Clifford Park “Skip” Workman

April 2, 2012

All Posts, News, Obituaries

Clifford Park “Skip” Workman died Saturday in New Harbor, Maine. He was one of the last of the original Oakland Hells Angels and his life was interesting and fully realized.

Skip Workman joined the club while he was still in the Navy. After a nasty motorcycle accident in 1957, Sonny Barger rebuilt his bike for him. Before assaulting a policeman became a felony in California, Workman was famous for punching out cops. “Skip loved hitting cops,” Barger recalled in his memoir Hell’s Angel.

The novelist Ken Kesey introduced Workman to LSD in 1964 when that drug was still legal to possess and consume. He has been reported to have had the same acid vision time after time, of a fire breathing dragon in front of American flags. “The dragon was keeping time with the music, “ he said, “and sometimes the dragon would be blowing the bugle and the notes would come out of the bugle.”

He appeared in the movie Hells Angels ’69, which the studio American International decided to produce instead of Easy Rider. And his double wedding at Bass Lake in 1970, with club brother Edward James “The Deacon” Proudfoot, was covered by the Los Angeles Times in a feature titled “Hells Angels – Homes, Wives and Paychecks.”

Skip Workman may be best known for confronting Hunter S. Thompson on television after the publication of Hell’s Angels. (See video below.) He characterized the book as “60 percent cheap trash.”

And, all of this only hints at the man Skip Workman was. He moved back to New England in the 1970s. He left the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in 1981 after what he called “a severe case of spinal stenosis” kept him from riding. He spent most of the last 30 years in his home town of New Harbor and he devoted much of his energy to helping “Disabled American Vets who are being screwed by our government.

Skip Workman was born April 20, 1938. He was 73. He is survived by his widow, Shelly Workman and three sons Robert “Bobby” Boutelle, Jesse Workman and Gary Workman. Funeral services, which are incomplete at this writing, will be arranged by the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home in Damariscotta, Maine.

Clifford Park “Skip” Workman made the world richer and better.


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78 Responses to “Clifford Park “Skip” Workman”

  1. Heather Says:

    I Loved you when I met you and I cried my heart out when you passed…Miss you dearly, with all of my Love and more respect that could ever be expressed

  2. harry Says:

    went all thru grade school and high school with skip then went into the navy,Skip got a carrier USS Ranger west coast and i got a carrier USS franklin D roosevelt east coast.Could not ask for a better friend and fellow veteran.RIP my friend.

  3. tommy's bar (phila., pa.) Says:

    I write this on 2-4-2013. I’ve been curious about Skip since I first started reading Sonny Barger’s books in 2004. Just as in the movie “Hell’s Angels ’69”, Skip has a very significant part in Sonny’s books, especially the first one, “Hell’s Angel”. The video on this page, in which Skip confronts Hunter Thompson, is really interesting, because it sounds chapter and verse just like a part of “Hell’s Angel”, in which Sonny describes the same situation at an Angel gun run at Squaw Rock. After this video is over, there’s a menu of other Angel-related videos to choose from, including a clip from “Hell’s Angels ’69”. One of the more unusual things about this video clip is that in the first 30 seconds or so, the Angels are on the down-slope of a moon-scape-like mountain, and someone calls-out to Sonny, “Hey, Ralph”. Whoever heard anyone else call Sonny by his real first name? I wish I had the kahunas to join a free-spirited group like the Angels when I was in my twenties (late 1970’s). God bless 81.

  4. Rebel Says:

    Dear Tommy’s Bar,

    Well, Ralph “Sonny” Barger’s first name is Ralph. I think his club brothers (I know he is retired from the club but I think he probably still thinks of Hells Angels as brothers) might call him Ralph. I’m guessing. I have met the guy but I don’t know him. I think he’s met a lot of people. I don’t have a picture of me standing next to him. I am gonna try to get one of those one of these days. He’s very generous about that. I’m sure if you ever get out to Arizona and run into him he will pose for a photo with you, too.

    I think there is a concensus that Hunter Thompson significantly embellished the “beating” he took. I talk about it a little in Out Bad.

    Thanks for reading and commenting,


  5. Teresa Workman Says:

    R.I.P. Skip… Happy Fathers Day! I miss and love you. TO all the readers please note, he had another son Eric Ralph Workman…R.I.P. ERIC u r missed.

  6. Frequent Flyer Says:

    Who was the one at Altamont who was tripping his balls off? I wonder if he got it off Skip.

    RIP Skip.

  7. Keith Says:

    I don’t know who the tripping guy was, but I’m pretty sure he was not an Angel. The Angel who helped him off the stage was Pete Knell, president of the Frisco chapter.

  8. Jim W. Says:

    I remember the day my ex wife called me to tell me Skip had passed. I moved to New Harbor back in 03 and got to meet skip and get to know him over the next 5 years. I have to say I am very blessed to have known Skip. I ended up helping him with his electronics and watching his dogs when he had left the state for D.A.V. conventions. It was an honor wow to ever think someone like Skip trusted me with his home. There are so many things I could say about our relationship but one thing is for sure, Skip always looked out for others without ever expecting anything in return. I was glad I could give back by helping Skip who did nothing but help other all his life. They don’t make em like they use to… Skip R.I.P. I’ll see you again one day brother!

  9. moonlight Says:

    Hi! Teresa Lownds your madden Name is Not Workman. Your’e Name is Lownds.You are the girlfriend from Clyde Bailye You live in Brunswick Me.Send Pics from you& Clyde .Teresa go onTherapy

  10. bigtwin Says:

    R.I.P. Skip…………I remember the parties in the cliff estates…I remember you driving to school in that convertible when it was snowing out…..always a great guy,friend and brother………you did a lot for the Vets God Bless you……

  11. Gary Says:

    Skip’s middle name was Park, not Clark.

  12. moonlight Says:

    That’s Correct Gary! His Name is Clifford Park Workman

  13. jeff Says:

    I feel very bummed out. I have been so out of the loop and also coincidentally find this site tonight after picking up an older book mentioning Skip in it recently and finally decided to try to contact him tonight and that’s when I found out he’s been gone for two years. Also, did not realize Skip from that book was the same guy in that clip with Hunter Thompson and I assume that he was mentioned in Hunter’s book too and I never connected the three in the 25ish years since I first read Hunter’s book and how many since Brightman’s book. I would’ve loved to have met the guy or atleast talk with him. I wish that his family has been able to find more peace as time has gone on.

  14. alan B'stard MP (@alanBStardmp) Says:

    He was a cunt

  15. rollinnorth Says:

    Ignore the troll, ignore the troll, ignore the troll…

  16. jj solari Says:

    the interview that is on you tube of workman chiding that annoying little irritant hunter thompson about not making-good on his beer promise is interesting for a number of reasons that show with horrific certainty what a nation of total and worthless douchebags we all have become. first of all there’s a hells angel as a secret guest of honor on an interview show hosted by an extremely intelligent man surrounded by an audience of civilized white adults in dress-up clothing in a close-in environment…..where a man is riding a motorcycle that is burning gasoline and belching blue smoke inside a studio. not one of the audience members filed suit claiming having received lung cancer from the incident. not one of the members of the audience balked at seeing a hells angel riding into the intimate audienced-arena. no one screamed in fear. it was just a situation that was happening at the moment in their contented lives and in a minute something else would be happening in their contented lives, no big deal. workman’s gripe with thompson was that he didnt make good on his beer promise. the audience found this hilarious and immediately were on workman’s side. because at one time the mindset of the hells angels and the mindset of the average North American Colonist were in alignment: you promise beer you make good. its not complicated. the moderator at one point, when hunter proclaimed that workman was “not a typical hells angel” the moderator jumped in and said something to the effect of “this is not a typical hells angel? oh: what kind of hells angel is this, a ph.d. from harvard, here to debate the roll of the bohemian in a materialistic society devoted to the pursuit of mindless distractions?” for a second workman looked at the fellow wondering “should i smack this guy? or let this go.” he decided to let it go. it was clear that being a hells angel was not an act with workman. that’s what he was. it was his identity. he was in a group that embraced his actual essence. he wasnt “playing a part.” he wasnt “being a tough guy.” he was in fact being honest and funny. he was being entertaining. he was being charming. he was being an american. he was winning over an audience of “normal citizens.” you watch this video today you think “is this a rehearsed stage production of lies and propaganda designed to make to make monsters look good?” no. it was just a show with a writer who was a schnook who is now revered as a wise and holy man of genius and with a man who was admired as a roll model belonging to a group that was an entertaining last bastion of spinal sand and which is now considered the most dangerous threat to human existence since nerve gas. the video is a window back to a time when things were just normal, and when you promised beer, it didnt matter if you were considered an up and coming force in literature to be revered down through the ages as an investigative wonderboy, you delivered on the beer promise. and if a guy was beating his wife and the dog was biting the guy beating his wife……you stayed out of it. now, the audience had no problem understanding this philosophy either. at that time. today?….if this interview happened today television would be declared an illegal drug and watching it would get you 20 years in prison. i dont know who the brains behind that show was but he is an unsung genius in the history of television if for no reason other than for this incident.

  17. Concerned Says:

    “Only a punk beats his wife and his dog.”
    -Hunter S. Thompson; speaking the facts

  18. cchhaadd Says:

    hunter s. kicks ass

    beating on women is bullshit

  19. J. bean Says:

    fuck this guy

  20. wascally wabbit Says:

    there was a guy with class. I never knew him but, i’m a vet also and can appreciate the righteous work he did to make things better for all
    the vet’s lives he touched. he may be retired from the club but, he
    probably deserves a big send off. hope his buddy sonny gets to see him off.

  21. Jim666 Says:

    I was very fortunate enough to talk a few ties w/Skip before he passed, and he just oozed honor and respect,also a lot of love and kindness for his fellow vets, He was a true man among men ! R.I.P. My Friend I will always remember our talks
    M/L&R Jim666

  22. caretaker 1%er Says:

    J bean-
    No,fuck you. You are nothing more than an insignifigant dog turd,and you mean less to this world than the bird shit i wiped off my skid lid this morning. By the way, and most regulars here know, i live in the north east. The temperature was about 14 this morning. And i still rode my bike to work. And home.that’s about 45 mins each way. No windscreen,no full face helmet. Do you even own a motorcycle? If you do,do you ride daily,or just on weekends,if it’s warm and sunny? I put 8,000 miles on my bike last year. Did you? You are nothing. You are worthless. Fuck off and die you piece of shit.
    Caretaker 1%er

  23. Jet Says:

    Well Now is there any middle ground? The book was not 60% trash and Hunter had given them plenty of beer…….it seems though Hunter actually helped the HAMC looking back…

  24. Jet Says:

    Really though overall is there not more to admire about Hunter than say Clint eastwood or whoever…..He was a rebel who believes in freedom….Much like our own Ageing Rebel…!

  25. Gunner Says:

    Never knew Skip. Nor Hunter. But, from what I saw on the interview when the two of them were together: Skip spoke TRUE and HONEST…and Hunter was a pussy. No more, no less. I’d much rather hang with a guy that is honest (even if he is honest about being a bad ass….) than to hang out with a lyin’ ass whipe like Hunter. He was scared throughout the entire interview. Why?

    ’cause he KNEW he was wrong and that he should have kept his mouth SHUT and learned about being a MAN from a MAN when he was allowed to hang with the Angels.

  26. Jim Martin Says:

    Does any one have contact with Jesse Workman? I am an old friend who would like to reconnect with him. Does anyone have his email address?

  27. commenter Says:

    I was reading the thread and someone commented about Skip and his son both being deceased. Where are they buried? I bet many of us would like to pay respects and lay out flowers?

  28. FF Says:

    You know, I harbor alot of animosity towards that coward hunter s, thompson because when I was 15 I read his books and I damn near killed myself on the drug cocktails he bragged about doing when all along he was EXAGERATING and lying. But I didnt know that.

    He is a coward because he committed suicide.

    The only thing I recall from his book on 81 was a quote by a tranny calling them “mean hairy fairy’s” . I thought that was funny but then again that also never happened. Just like the Richard Nixon interviews or fishing in Hawaii.

    Fuck him and the bends. And fuck dave letterman too.

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