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.