banner ad
banner ad
banner ad


| 19 October 2016 | Reply


Pan Macmillan Australia
August 2016
Paperback, $32.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Autobiography: Motorcycle Clubs



George Christie tells his story well, even though it’s obvious some crucial pieces of the information may have been excluded due to the statute of limitations pertaining to certain crimes (which may or may not have happened). Consequently, it’s a story which feels incomplete – a tale with deliberate (and perhaps, for him, necessary) holes – a birthday cake that is more frosting than cake.

A former marine, Christie gravitated quickly to the outlaw lifestyle – a lifestyle he holds dear to this day. During forty years with the Hells Angels he saw a lot, did a lot, changed a lot… but declines to go into detail about much untoward.

What we do get is snippets – he describes going out fully armed looking for revenge on rival gangs; that confrontations with other members were a regular thing, especially the famed Hells Angels chieftain Sonny Barger & his minions – but these stories always end with other people (usually now dead or locked up for life) being the criminals, not Christie himself.

We can understand that aged 69 and with a few extended prison stays under his belt, Christie would be reluctant to admit to anything which would get him sent back to the Big House. What is more disappointing, though, is that for this reader at least, he never really addresses the issue of how wanting to be in an Outlaw biker gang correlates to violence against others with the same mindset.

His story is interesting, there’s no doubt about it. Christie carried the Olympic torch in 1984, has a family, ran legitimate businesses, and was the unofficial Hells Angels California spokesperson and peacekeeper for three decades. He even admits from the first paragraph of his book that he “hadn’t planned on writing a book when I quit the Hells Angels,” that he was “perfectly happy to step down, quietly run my businesses, be the best husband and father I could be, and ride off into the sunset.” But then he was betrayed by the club leadership, so he says – put out “on Front Street” – gang talk for being labelled ‘out bad’, ignoring that he had quit on good terms.

Hunter S Thompson famously wrote a gripping and shocking expose of the Angels – and it cost him a severe beating. If only Christie could have treated his former club brothers as poorly as they treated him, and could have told us more about his motivations to how Outlaw status automatically seemingly made him prepared to kill (alluded to repeatedly, but never admitted), then this book would have been the classic it could have been.

Category: Book Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad