Clifford Park “Skip” Workman

Mon, Apr 2, 2012

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Clifford Park “Skip” Workman

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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72 Comments For This Post

  1. OneEye Says:

    Condolences to the Workman family, as well as brothers and friends. RIP.

  2. troyez Says:

    I didn’t know he was such a strong advocate for veterans, wish I could have met him before he passed. God Bless his family and brothers.
    Rest in peace Skip.

  3. sled tramp Says:

    Skip and Deakon are sitting up there drinkin’ and laughin’…..

  4. Caretaker Says:

    Not many posts here bring a tear to my eyes… This is one that does. R.i.p skip, my condolences to his friends,family,and club brothers…

  5. observer Says:

    That video is priceless. Skip comes across as the man of the house, Hunter some kind of weasel.

  6. Charlie Says:

    RIP Skip. I recently saw that LA times article and i believe it referenced the woman who survied him as his wife, as the bride he took in 1970. (Correct me if i’m wrong.) Regardless a family man, and an activist for a group that needs our voices more than ever: our veterans. With veteran unemployment at 16% on the books, if you are in a position too hire them, then get em on board. If you know of work that matches their skill sets, refer them to the job. If they’re disabled then stand up for em. But i don’t need to tell anyone reading this the obvious. Oh, and if any of you ATF gooses are snooping about. Stick it in your ear and hang up all the blood in blood out bullshit you pander about. Skip is living proof you can go out in good standings from your club and lead an honorable life. Unlike the cockroaches you hide Johnny boy. Just my 10 cents. Cheers Rebel. Keep shining the light.

  7. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    We just lost a piece of old school America. RIP

    YYZ Skinhead

  8. Johnny Sharkey Says:

    Love & Respect to you Skip. It was a foocking honor to have known you as you are and to have met your sons and to have inked you and your family… I will miss you.

  9. Bobby Blood Says:

    Condolences to the Workman family, as well as brothers and friends. RIP. Much L&R

  10. RVN69 Says:

    R.I.P. Skip Workman, condolences to friends and family. A man from a different era, when the American Republic still existed. Now both have passed.

    Le anpetu kin mat’e kin waste ktelo

  11. Rebel Says:

    Dear Charlie,

    I believe Skip Workman was survived by his second wife.


  12. Rebel Says:

    Dear observer,

    I don’t think Hunter Thompson’s Hell’s Angels is a dependable primary source. I wrote about it for a paragraph or two in Out Bad. How can you not like Skip Workman?


  13. Grumbler Says:

    My deepest condolences to Skip’s family, friends and brothers. Have copied/pasted this comment from theselvedgeyard:

    Mike Salvio
    August 28, 2010 2:17 pm
    I knew Skip Workman (the Hells Angel in the video with HST) back in the ’70′s after he’d moved from California. Were in a bar, him and I with two friends, and two guys got up from the bar and came to our table and wanted to start a fight. They started on Skip. They didn’t seem to care about the other three of us. Skip didn’t want to fight, he wasn’t that kind of person. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t though. There was us four against them two, but he still didn’t want to fight. As these guys kept up I saw a tear come from Skip’s eye. He just wanted to leave, so we left. When we got outside Skip saw the car that belonged to the guy that was causing the trouble inside. So he opened the guys car door and pissed all over his seat. Remmeber, he’s still a Hells Angel.

  14. sherides Says:

    Condolences to the family and friends of Skip Workman.

  15. Philo Says:

    The bad thing about getting old is watching those you looked up to pass away.


  16. things that make you go hmm Says:

    old school cool ,men like that are like the last of the mohicans, a mans man. ive seen this video on you tube before so very cool.much respect god bless.

  17. 10Gauge Says:

    My respects to all who knew and loved him.

  18. rollinnorth Says:

    “Tribute to my friend, Clifford P. Workman:

    This man has dedicated his life to helping all veterans with their rights and pensions. He served with Disabled American Veterans as the past state Commander, also chapter commander. He helps 2 chapters even though only a member of one. Was appointed Aid to the Governor. Very active in the Legion and holds various positions. Taken vets into is own home, given money, rides, and advocacy to many veterans in need.

    Teresa Lownds, New harbor, Maine”

    Condolences to those who knew and loved him.

  19. Jack Sharkey Says:

    “Skip” – here is to 40 years of freindship. Thanks for all the help with the VA and I will miss you. L&R – Sharkey

  20. Mike the Bike Says:

    I met Skip in the 70’s when I was a teenager. I was intrigued by his words. The coolest memory was the time Skip and a bunch of us went to Manchester, NH to Sonny’s book signing. That was something I will never forget. Thank you for signing my book the same day Sonny did.
    You guys are my heroes.
    Love and respect forever,
    Mike the Bike

  21. Dan the Man Says:

    “don’t think Hunter Thompson’s Hell’s Angels is a dependable primary source.”

    As much as I HATE to say this, and I love his work, Thompson was a fucking poser. Yet another yuppie shit, looking for story with the same attitude and posture a cat looks for a mouse. He loved shooting guns, and posing with them, but this kinda machismo he made for himself is full of shit. His journalism lacked any sort of ethic or objectivity and gets lost in his eclectic style of self-aggrandizement. He always needed someone elses life and culture as a backdrop to place himself.

    That said “Hell’s Angels” is a great book, and hunter thompson writes great books. I am willing to bet their are some chunks of truth thrown in there too.

    Men like Workman are the type that are “real”. Inspiration to us all, from a forgotten era.


  22. observer Says:

    Just chanced upon this insightful and thoughtful take on that video, and Skip. The comments are an encouraging read as well.

  23. Storm Says:

    RIP SKIP..

  24. Snow Says:

    RIP Skip Workman

  25. Susie Q Says:

    Thanks for making a difference in the world Skip!!! gone but not forgotten!!Rest in Peace…………

  26. Glenn S. Says:

    My deepest condolances to the brothers, family, and friends.

  27. Oilslick Says:

    Never met Skip, though I do know a few that remain from that era. I’ve heard a few stories firsthand. This world would be a better place if more people like these men existed. Condolences to his family and brothers and friends. R.I.P. Skip Workman


  28. Linda Stephenson,Bishop Says:

    RIP Uncle Skip. You and my dad are having a few beers together I am sure!I remember when you lived with Me my Dad Scraggs, my mom and my sister. You will be missed by many.

  29. JIM666 Says:

    Damn I really hate to hear this, I spoke to him over the net a little over a year ago, he really was one of a kind, R.I.P. Skip, Condolences & Respects to Shelly,Bobby,Gary and Jess,,now maby you can ride again Skip,

  30. Sorcerer745 Says:

    That is a great video shows that just because your a biker doesn’t mean your a illiterite like people believe a great biker and man showing what he stands for no matter what or who says

  31. Tim Says:

    Rest in Peace Workman, love and respect to his wife and Kids, and The Hells Angels, I very sorry you lost a Husband , Father, And Brother. Tim D. oh and the video was great, I have seen it many times, and its LMAO time when I do, Never get involved In another mans problem with his wife or dog, LOL, I hope the Angels got their copy of the book as well as the BEER. Tim D.

  32. Jill Stefani Says:

    My Deepest Condelonces to Skip’s Famiglia & all His Brother’s…A Legend Gone But Not Forgotten MLR Always RIP

  33. Occam RS Says:

    My condolences to the family. I’ll miss his wit and insight on the other end of my computer. RIP

  34. yeah Says:

    Who cares

  35. IrishDragon Says:

    R.I.P and condolences to his friends and family. Sounds like the world lost a great man.

    “Yeah” show some respect you bitch.


  36. ToSlick Says:

    R.I.P. My condolences to his family and brothers

  37. CHARTER OAK MC Says:

    R.I.P Skip, one-of-a-kind. ML&R to his family and Club Brothers.

  38. Lovely Says:

    He is never Died. love Clifford Whi Ever

  39. Caretaker Says:

    @ lovely,
    Perhaps you should try posting sober? Might be a good idea…

  40. Lovely Says:

    Whi??sis Pik from 1969!!! I
    Lovely Pik. Clifford likes nici today

  41. Lovely Says:

    Love & Respect

  42. Marines MC Says:

    Condolences & respects to Mr. Workman and his family. Veterans everywhere appreciate what you have done.

    – Marines MC

  43. Little Cricket Says:

    Only met you once Skip and I really liked you.
    Rest in peace Skip. I bet your riding your Harley now!

  44. DirtyBruin Says:

    I only knew of him from reading Sonny Barger’s memoir; sad to see the men of that era leaving us.

    Condolences to those who knew him.

  45. Cap'n Bill Says:

    R I P Skip

  46. Dave Perry Says:

    My friend Clifford “Skip” Workman of New Harbor Maine. I was thinking about him recently so decided to look him up, only to find he had recently died. I knew Skip later in his life when I lived in Maine, I live in Virginia now, during the early ’90s. He was a member of my sponsorship line and I spent many weekends at his house hanging out, shoot assault rifles, and even camping. He held an annual camp out for a few years and was a tireless servant for those in recovery and an advocate for our American Veteran heros. His home was always open to friends and strangers who became friends. I never got the opportunity to ride with him because his back was shot from riding hard tails all his life, but I did get to ride with him in his ‘Vette a number of times. I was in Maine last Summer but didn’t look him up. I wish I had.

  47. Lovely Says:

    R. I. P. Skip


    I had the pleasure of knowing skip,
    i moved up to new harbour from florida with eric workman {his son r.i.p.}. i was 16 or 17 “89” skip took me in, he didnt say much {he didnt have to!} we stayed in the house and 1 of the cabins and did our chores, skip always made sure when times were tight we had what we needed. he was a great person from the short time i spent there. At that age it was a pivot point in my life. im very thankful for the experience of knowing skip and eric {r.i.p}
    if anyone remembers me from that time, give me a shout

  49. Lovely Says:

    Good Bye Massachustts. Good Bye Wellesey.Bye california. Very cool Man is go Home.

  50. WR Says:

    Ride On Skip…

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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,


  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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

  60. 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……

  61. Gary Says:

    Skip’s middle name was Park, not Clark.

  62. moonlight Says:

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

  63. 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.

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

    He was a cunt

  65. rollinnorth Says:

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

  66. 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.

  67. Concerned Says:

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

  68. cchhaadd Says:

    hunter s. kicks ass

    beating on women is bullshit

  69. J. bean Says:

    fuck this guy

  70. 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.

  71. 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

  72. 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

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