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11 Things You May Not Know About Hells Angels Legend Sonny Barger

Time to play a quick game of “Did You Know?” regarding Oakland Angels icon, Sonny Barger:

  1. Sonny’s actual birth name is Ralph Hubert Barger.

2. In 1955, Barger dropped out of high school and enlisted in the army. He was dishonorably discharged when superiors realized he was only 16.

3. Barger became a founding member of the Oakland, California chapter of the Hells Angels on April 1st of 1957. He was 18 years old.

4. Barger was one of several Hells Angels who were reportedly paid “$500 worth of beer” to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, California (1969) that resulted in at least four fatalities and a number of injuries. According to Barger, the Hells Angels were never officially hired to police the venue.

5. During the early seventies, it was revealed that the Hells Angels had been buying up all the illegal firearms around Oakland, with Barger personally turning those firearms over to police in an effort to keep them out of the hands of fringe groups like the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground.

6. Barger spent four and a half years in Folsom State Prison as a result of a 1972 conviction for narcotics possession.

7. Barger spent a year in prison after being convicted on Federal racketeering charges in 1979.

8. Barger’s larynx was removed in 1983 (the result of throat cancer), which is why he breathes through a medical blowhole in his throat.

9. In addition to appearing in several films – as well as the Sons of Anarchy television show – Barger is the author of five books.

10. Barger spent nearly four years in prison (1988-1992) for conspiring to blow up an Outlaws clubhouse in Louisville, KY.

11. Barger is not a fan of Harley-Davidsons. He rides them in accordance with the Hells Angels image, but has claimed he prefers motorcycles that are built by foreign companies like Honda and BMW.

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