Dear Rebel: On No Angel

May 22, 2009

All Posts, Reviews

Sometimes, one of your comments and my response to it, gets up on the page. Because, you know, I am lazy and this is how I can get somebody to do half my work for me. Especially when a holiday is coming up. Today’s winner is Jack. Jack commented on my review of Jay Dobyns’ book, No Angel.

Dear Rebel,

Maybe reading some of the other “biker” books out there will help. Hells Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws, Mongols, Warlocks, and Pagans. These are not depressed “war veterans” who are having a hard time adjusting. Yes, that may have been the case in 1948 when Frank started the Angels but do you really think Frank expected the Angels to turn into what they are?

Why do these clubs have portions of their websites dedicated to those members who are locked up? Why are the Outlaws and Mongols considered by the government to be the most violent and dangerous gangs in our country? Making Dobyns out to be a liar is fine by me. I don’t know the guy and you probably don’t either. Say what you want about the guy but what he and Queen did takes courage and balls! What ever happened to the “He who is without sin cast the first stone” thing?

Are all your sources legit? Do you never embellish your writings to get idiots like me to read to end of your less than spectacular articles? I don’t have a problem with a guy trying to make money by selling what he thinks are “harrowing” events. I’m quite sure they were.

I ride with a club and know full well that we can be all of the things he described. He admitted that everything was “to the best of my memory” or whatever. Personally, I liked the book. I liked Queen’s book and I especially liked Yves Lavigne’s book Three Can Keep a Secret If Two Are Dead. Get your hands on that one and then write some more.

Also, Dobyns was named to the University of Arizona’s All-Century team. I think a little hot dogging is okay when you’re qualified to be on that roster.


Dear Jack,

Thank you for reading and for your comments.

I do not know you and I am not exactly convinced that you have any idea what you are talking about.

Probably, the best “biker book” I have read is The Rebels: A Brotherhood of Outlaw Bikers by Daniel R. Wolf. It is dated. A friend of this page named David Haslett wrote Riding At The Margins as a Masters Thesis for the University of Canterbury. It is about bikers in New Zealand between the years 1950 and 1975 but he has some bright things to say. I would recommend you start with those two if you if you ever begin to feel less certain in your opinions.

Yves Lavigne is a clown. He is not even worth pistol whipping. Only a fool would cite Yves Lavigne as a credible source and most of what he has to say is about Quebec. He is Quebecois and he used to work for a paper up there. He knows nothing about the States except what he has been fed from the feds.

I believe William Queen had a genuinely tragic experience when he rode with the Mongols. I believe he came to love many of his club brothers and still feels bad that he betrayed them. I cannot say I am much impressed with his book.

I do not know Jay Dobyns. I think I actually saw him once in 2002 or 2003. If it was him, he was self-dramatizing to the extent that he was memorable. Maybe it was just some other jackass. We have exchanged a couple of notes. I believe that he is a genuinely likable man and I told him, “I can see how you got over on the Angels.” I think his book is embarrassingly bad. Bad, bad, bad. I hope he gets his million dollars soon and shuts up. Most recently, he has been in Britain going “Blah, blah, blah, Hells Angels Blah, blah.” His book was published there this week.

I was not aware that Frank Sadliek “started the Angels.” I have heard a story that he designed the original patch. If “Frank” is actually “Frank Sadliek.” I am not an Angel, so I would not know.

I am, however, a combat veteran and I have found my most sincere comradeship among men who ride with motorcycle clubs. So unless you are also a combat veteran, if I were you I would just shut up about that.

I will say that I have personally known Hells Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws, Mongols, Pagans and the Warlocks who ride in Philly. I have also known many members of many other clubs. Some clubs I like better than others. As far as club business goes, all of these guys can be territorial and annoying. I have never been personally mistreated by any of them.

The law enforcement industry has to manufacture boogey men from whom the people must be kept safe. That is why, this year the Outlaws and Mongols are the big, bad terror. If somebody in the government actually said that. I am fairly informed and I have not seen that accusation. Did you make that up?

No, I am not a fucking liar. I have not yet mastered the miracle of the immaculate perception but I do not just make shit up. Sometimes I am wrong but I am never intentionally wrong because I think wrong would make a better story than right-with the one exception of the Happy Happy Sober Riders. I kind of think they have all given me enough shit that now I can start handing a little back to them from time to time.

Jay Dobyns is full of shit. If I did not make that case well enough to convince you it is only because of my inadequacies as a writer and a thinker. Jay Dobyns is, after all, much more successful than I. But believe it or not, Jay Dobyns is full of shit. He is a likable, athletic, successful, man’s man who is full of shit. He has been full of shit for years.

I told Dobyns where to hide out, by the way, if he is really afraid of the Angels, if he is really afraid for his wife and kids. I meant it. I do not want to see his wife and kids hurt.  I have a place hidden there -where I told him to go. I told him we could go fishing. I told him we could both go out on the same boat. I did not promise him that both he and I would be coming back.


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14 Responses to “Dear Rebel: On No Angel”

  1. Jay Dobyns Says:


    As always, an entertaining piece.

    I’m not sure what you used to determine my credibility but, the great thing about America is that anyone can say pretty much anything they want, anywhere they want.

    As a Vet who fought for those rights we can probably at least agree on that.

    I can only figure that somewhere in the past I must have really pissed you off.

    I didn’t realize the offer to go fishing, at the time you extended it, was a set up. After all I’ve been through, shame on me for that. If you do want your shot, you’re gonna have to take a number. The people who want a piece of me goes around the corner and down the block. You’re number 789 and I am currently serving customer number 4. Its gonna take a while but you sound patient. Just wait your turn.

    As a correction, I don’t think you or anyone has ever heard me say I was afraid of the Angels. Concerned, yes. Cautious, yes. Respectful of what they are capable of, yes. A personal witness to their vengance, yes.

    But, remember, I was hanging with them on my own, they’re 50 deep, I got a microphone wire duct taped down one leg, an antenna down the other and a transmitter box tucked under my balls – for two years.

    Afraid? Come on.


  2. Sean Says:

    Hi Rebel.

    Just wanted to make one point clear to you. I have been associated with back patch clubs in the UK and Europe for 22 yrs. In all that time i haven’t as i recall come across many combat veterans in either the Hells Angels ( best club in the world), Brotherhood, Chopper Club, Incubus, Devils Diciples, outlaws(scum) Satans Slaves, Baracudas, Bandidos, Crutz, Red Devils to name but a few. Apart from that i liked your article and wish you well.

    Live fast and free.


  3. Rebel Says:

    Dear Jay Dobyns,

    Oh Bird! How did you go so wrong? Why did you have to join the ATF? Huh? You understand those HA brothers let you close because they liked you, right?

    Let us not back Rebel into the logical corner where I have to defend rape, brutalization, the slaughter of innocents, really bad parenting, domestic terrorism or any of that. Okay? Basically you told these guys that you were an unlicensed gun dealer who took recreational amounts of recreational drugs and you liked them all so much you would fight for them.

    These guys all liked you and you betrayed them. I am not trying to give you a hard time. Okay? You betrayed these guys. It is the moral equivalent of buying the homely girl a nice corsage and renting a really nice limousine to take her to a pig contest. Cold dude. I know it was your job, but some otherwise reasonable people might find that loathsome.

    Personally, long, long ago, many statutes of limitations ago, hypothetically, I might have sold a gun I found just laying around in an informal transaction. I might have sold a little bag of weed or a couple of pills. And, I know that if you caught me doing something like that you would try to put me in the penitentiary!

    Geez, Bird! Stop that shit! Stop being all shocked that all these guys are pissed off at you! This is America. We been getting loaded and shooting guns since 1607.

    Good luck with the book. Try not to get your snitch ass burned. Stop trying to taunt people who can hurt you. “Take a number.” Geez. Stop being so…I hate to say it…self dramatizing

    Maybe I would hit you over in the head and throw you into the Pacific and maybe I wouldn’t. I am of two minds about it. I really am. I am almost certain I would not. Not my fight. But then, a little doubt creeps in, you know. Who knows?

    Bird, you should go take a little motorcycle ride. Don’t compete with whoever you think you have to be. Ride as slow as you want. Just follow the freighters. Ride up to Flag, then Albuquerque, Durango, Moab, go back home through Monument Valley. See the Mexican Hat. I love to just stop, get off the bike and stare at the Mexican Hat. You will know what I mean if you don’t already. Get away from the pressures of being a celebrity for a few days. You’ll like it. I promise.

    So when you gonna be on Oprah? I’ll DVR it. Stay in touch.


  4. Jay Dobyns Says:


    I must say our debates put a smile on my face.

    Celebrity? Not in this lifetime. Oprah? I’m pretty sure she would not have me on her show but, if she would, I would most definitely go on and offer up the blah, blah, blah you hate.

    The motorcycle trip sounds excellent but I ride so damn slow and sloppy it would take me a year to complete it. I’m only good for about 50 miles at a stretcj at 35 mph before I need a break.

    Shocked they’re pissed off at me? I never have been. It is expected. When you do what I do for a living – pretend to be someone who you are not; befriend the enemy; gain their trust and loyalty; and, then betray that trust and betray it in a public venue like a courtroom or in the media – they are way beyond pissed. Your account is a minimization.

    Betrayal is cold, I agree. The world of cops and robbers is a nasty one. But if not me and my law enforcement partners; who is going to hold anyone accountable for crimes, in my case violent crimes? You? The Hells Angels? I don’t think so.

    The ‘take a number’ is no joke. The list of ‘Bird Haters’ is long and distinguished and, although your rants are very clever and always entertaining, you’re still somewhere near the bottom. You speak as if you have the inside scoop on me but you don’t even begin to have a clue.

    Finally, I can’t help myself in catching some of your misrepresentations. In one sentence the government is inventing boogeymen to justify our work; the next you won’t defend rape, brutalization and slaughter. For the sake of arguement, I can let you one side or the other but I can’t logically can let you take both sides and then attack me from each.

    What I did was beyond my job, I was handling America’s business by attempting to investigate and enforce the law of the land. If you don’t like a law write your Congressmen or better yet, run for office. If you don’t like the punishments, talk to a judge.

    I don’t put the laws or sentences on the books and I am not provided the discretion to decide which ones get enforced and which ones don’t.

    A motor cop may not agree with the speed limit but when I speed and get stopped, I get a ticket – my beef is not with the officer. He is doing what he is paid to do – enforce the laws that all of us have to live by until they are changed. Everyone hates speeding tickets, including me, the moral of the story is don’t speed and there will be no problem.

    So, don’t commit violent crime and you won’t go to prison for a long stretch.

    All the best. I don’t agree with your views but you do make me laugh.

  5. Rebel Says:

    I love you too, Bird,

    Let’s go fishin’. I know a spot where they even let you use a net. Plenty good fish. Push off from a green sand beach. Fire her up. Pretty soon, you look back, you can just see the top of the volcano. Nothing to the south until you hit the Marquesas. About 2,000 miles, I suppose. Current drifts south. Pretty strong. You would like it there. I know you would. Just go there and stay forever.


  6. FatBobber Says:

    I never – ever – ever get tired of reading this shit. The last post really did have me laughing outloud. My wife had to come check me out to see what the hell was going on. Funny shit, man, funny, funny shit. Thank you.

    As for this one: Come on, what cop ever tickets a cop unless there’s a ticket war going on. The only signing was an autograph. Nigga, please!

    A motor cop may not agree with the speed limit but when I speed and get stopped, I get a ticket – my beef is not with the officer. He is doing what he is paid to do – enforce the laws that all of us have to live by until they are changed. Everyone hates speeding tickets, including me, the moral of the story is don’t speed and there will be no problem.

  7. T-Bone (Santa Barbara) Says:

    So check out this shit..

    and read all the user comments at the bottom.. I couldn’t agree more.. I hope Jay has trouble sleeping at night. You just know his ol’ lady is waiting for some money to roll in, then she’s gonna divorce his ass. Probably for some Hells Angel. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

  8. Grumbler Says:

    Try riding btw Vale, OR and Klamath Falls, OR via Lakeview, OR at 55mph in the middle of nowhere – not gonna happen. ;^)

    Am not big on desert riding. I’ll take the coast, redwoods, river canyons, and mountains anytime.

    Rebel, have you ever read Chain Of Evidence by Michael Detroit? One of the more interesting books that I’ve read over the years is On Wheels by John Jakes although it has nothing to do with motorcycles.

    And just trying getting a hardcover or paperback edition of Freewheelin Frank by Frank Reynolds cheap.

  9. Izzy Wildheart Says:

    Funny shit Rebel thanks for the smile, I’d actually be pissing myself laughing if it wasn’t so serious.
    Unfortunately when Bird says he’s just doing his job for ” his Government” and no doubt enjoying it, which is bad enough, we also know they stitch up patched members big time on completely fabricated charges, and yes Bird, if you’re reading this I can back my statement up.
    I’ll take ticket number 791 ( the one after yours Rebel!)
    While we’re enjoying a bit of levity at Bird’s expense, shouldn’t Alcohol, Tobbacco & Firearms be the name of a convenience store?
    Respect to you Rebel, keep up the good work, it’s refreshing to see someone who actually “gets it”.

  10. Rebel Says:

    Dear Izzy,

    The ATF Store? Absolutely, best line of the week. Absolutely. Made me laugh out loud.

    Hey? Are you still going to jump out of that air plane?

    Your pal,

  11. Izzy Wildheart Says:

    Yes Rebel, or may I call you Reb!!
    I fully intend to jump out of a plane for defence funds for Brian Brewer, and now Dave Burgess too. Unfortunately I couldn’t jump at the Bulldog as I wanted to, as a certain member of the Blue gang, namely Bill Holland, known to his mates as ” The Fuhrer” was trying to fuck everything up.So I will plan another venue for it.Meanwhile, I’m so glad I brought a smile to your day! I still think it would be a great name for a store!
    Keep up the great work Reb, you make me laugh too!!!
    Take care and stay safe my friend.
    Love and Respect
    Izzy Wildheart

  12. tas Says:

    You say “dont break a law and you wont go to prison”

    But you broke the most sacred law of life.


    And the most f—–up part is that you did it for money.

    Fuck you Jackass, you deserve what they give you


  13. NCRider Says:

    Dear Mr. Dobyns,

    Its a few years later, but you still seem to manage to keep yourself in the media. I have no interest in your excuses EXCEPT there is one thing that makes me curious. Why in the world did you curl your mustache? Seriously.


  14. G3Ken Says:

    Sorry, the original post is old and I really write only to burn off some of my own annoyance. Just read Jay’s book, and it was enjoyable, but I don’t believe for a minute that anyone was really protected. The HA poses a risk to those who deal with them, not the average American. You did nothing for me or my family, nor for the average Joe.

    What I take exception to is the nonsense spouted about “if you don’t like the law, write your congressman and that cops are just doing their jobs “….I’m paraphrasing. That shit is the epitome of evil. It was used by the Nazis at Nuremberg and it didn’t fly. Doesn’t fly 60 years later, either. I’d respect cops if they only caught bad guys, but we all know that’s bulls***. A cop writing a ticket to someone for not wearing a seatbelt or a helmet on a bike is stealing from that man. That’s the ultimate in disreputable behavior and hiding behind “it’s the law” is despicable. That’s my beef with LEO. Show me a LEO who never ticketed someone for a victimless crime or arrested someone for drug possession or any other offense where there wasn’t a real victim and I might agree they are decent guys. A priest so molests kids is a molester, regardless of his profession. A cop who writes tickets for victimless offenses is a thief, nothing more.

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