American Biker – Book Review

American Biker by Bill hayes

I received an e-mail from Beverly Roberts of Flash Productions asking if I would like to review a new book. Of course I wanted to; that’s what I do (among other things). I received a copy of American Biker signed by the author Bill Hayes! He inscribed the book to me:

To Jay!

This book is dedicated with love & respect to the entire biker culture!

Motorcycle Hall of Famer, Keith Ball, refers to Bill as “The world’s most literate biker”. Bill has been living the lifestyle and writing about it since the 1960’s. Not just a journalist writng about the lifestyle but a patched club member giving you the inside scoop on the biker culture, no holds barred. Full emotional double barrel truth from the author’s perspective. A perspective true American Bikers will respect. Bill is also the author of The Original Wild Ones: Tales of the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club. I believe Bill is a member of the respected Boozefighters MC. The BFMC is one of the oldest motorcycle clubs in existance and most renowned for their acts at Holister in 1947. The Boozefighters MC were the original Wild Ones; the inspiration for the first biker flick: The Wild One. A new era was ushered in and Bill’s book the American Biker is now here 67 years later to give you: The History, The Clubs, The Lifestyle and the Truth

I’m a HOG member, not a patched club member. I don’t live the lifestyle but I envy it. I am fascinated by it and anything to do with motorcycles. I’m an enthusiast, not a biker. At least I don’t think the likes of Bill Hayes or Sonny Barger would consider me a biker. I read this book with some mixed emotions on whether I liked it or not. After reading it from cover to cover it inspired introspection on my part so I have to say it was a great book! Many a book can be good and educate you, but how many books challenge you and leave you thinking deep thoughts about what it is you hope to accomplish in your short time on this planet as a special guest in the biker culture? That is the affect this book had on me.

I can’t help but try to compare this book to One Percenter by Dave Nichols. Dave is the Editor of Easyriders and Bill has been a columnist for Easyriders. Both authors cover many of the same topics giving a history lesson of how this phenomenon of the American Biker came to be. The style of the two books however come across totally different. I reviewed One Percenter and likened it to a text book. It is put together well and published by a Motorbooks Publishing, a fairly large publisher. American Biker comes across less polished but with more edge. This is not the product of large corporate America. This book is the product of a small independant publishing company dedicated to the truth about this culture. This book was written by a man who has seen this culture from the inside and had a burning in his gut to tell you the truth about it with passion from his own personal view! And so he does! As I read it I felt like this old school biker had grabbed me by the ear, sat me down, told me to shut up and schooled me in everything related the the club culture. I imagined us drinking a few beers as he lectured me on the way it was and the way it is!

Now we have at least two books covering the history of motorcycle clubs. If you are an old school biker like Bill Hayes and Sonny Barger you don’t need to read a book on this subject because you know. You were there. Then why write the book? I think the first reason is to educate people like me. If at all possible we don’t need a bunch of RUBs running around on Harley-Davidson motorcycles thinking they are the American Biker. We need to educate these new bikers on the culture that they grew from. They need to understand how this sport and this fraterntiy came to be so they can respect it. Secondly the Old School Bikers of the 50’s and 60’s who created this lifestyle, who molded this image, will pass. Bill Hayes has done this country a great honor by documenting the lifestyle for future generations of Americans. It would be a shame if the original red blooded American Bikers passed without a book like this to share the truth about American Bikers. Thank you Bill Hayes!

Although I make a few cents commision if you buy this from my Amazon store I feel obligated to tell you-you can buy it for less and get a signed copy from Bill Hayes through the following website: