Riding on the Edge: A Motorcycle Outlaw's Tale

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9780760332764: Riding on the Edge: A Motorcycle Outlaw's Tale
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Ride with author John Hall into the turbulent world of 1960s bike club culture, from the time he joined an upstart motorcycle club from Dixie, and rose to become Long Island chapter president of the Pagans, a club that the FBI called "the most violent criminal organization in America." Follow him into the Pagan heartland of Pennsylvania where he fell in love, got in a roadhouse brawl over a honky-tonk angel, and eventually went to jail for "takin' care a club business." Now after a career as a journalist and college professor, he returns to the violent days of his youth and smashes up stereotypes like he once smashed up bars, resurrecting long-dead brothers, in a style reminiscent of Jack Kerouac and Mark Twain.  Hall presents them as they really were: hard living, hard loving, hard drinking, hard fighting rebels, but also hardworking, patriotic, loyal, and lovable characters, and a band of brothers whose outlandish behavior forged an all-American outlaw legend in the tradition of Jesse James, Doc Holliday, John Dillinger, and Pretty Boy Floyd.  Outlaws yes, but outlaws as American as apple pie.

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In the 1960s, John Hall, a Harley-riding hell-raiser, hooked up with the Pagans, a group of like-minded individuals who went on to become the largest outlaw motorcycle club on the East Coast. Hall and the Pagans rode roughshod across the Eastern Seaboard throughout the 1960s, until John and six other Pagans ended up in the Pennsylvania State Penitentiary. While in prison John began taking college classes and earned several degrees. Now after a career as a journalist and college professor, he returns to the violent days of his youth and smashes up stereotypes like he once smashed up bars, resurrecting long-dead brothers in a writing style that is part Raymond Carver and part Jack Kerouac. Hall presents the Pagans as they really were: hard-living, hard-loving, hard-drinking, hard-fighting rebels, but also hardworking patriots, loyal, lovable characters, a band of brothers whose outlandish behavior forged an all-American outlaw legend in the tradition of Jesse James, Doc Holliday, John Dillinger, and Pretty Boy Floyd. Riding on the Edge: A Motorcycle Outlaw’s Tale tells the story of John and the Pagans as they rode hard through the tumultuous decade of the 1960s, doing their damnedest to die young and leave good-looking corpses. Bikernet.com “This is a good story about a lifestyle and chapter in American history that we will never see again. Back when America was a free country and you were innocent until proven guilty, before political correctness and before the patriot act. Read this and remember or imagine what it must have been like to be so free!” Motorcycle.comFew people are able to retrospectively recount the life of an outlaw biker with such accuracy and candor as John Hall, mostly because few people so deeply entrenched within such a culture ever make it out alive. If rival gangs, bar brawls or bike accidents don’t kill them, years of hard drinking and hard living usually do. Documenting historical sociological connections to the beliefs and brotherhood of medieval Vikings, Hall paints a sometimes entertaining, occasionally chilling picture of men who live beyond the boundaries of our society yet will do anything to uphold the sacred values and tradition of their heritage. Whether you are interested in the sociology of such sub cultures or just want to read a firsthand account of life within an outlaw biker club, Riding on the Edge will surely quench this thirst like a cold beer at a biker rally. RoadRUNNER Magazine“Riding on the Edge breaks down the stereotypes and newspaper headlines to reveal the raw moments in time which spawned them. John Hall's writing is so down-to-earth it seems as if you're listening to a favorite uncle spin a tale.”

About the Author:

A former chapter president of the Long Island Pagans, John Hall has done time in the state pen, as well as Penn State, where he taught history, American studies, rhetoric, and mathematics.  He also worked as bouncer, bartender, bookmaker, stonemason, professional gambler, law clerk, and freelance journalist.  He has written over 400 syndicated opinion columns, which have appeared in over a dozen newspapers, including the Houston Post and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has raised seven children, half the time as a single parent. He currently lives in a 127-year-old dilapidated farmhouse in the Appalachian Mountains, where he seeks what George Jean Nathan once described as the three essentials of life: reasonable well prepared food, a moderately alcoholic diet, and the amiable company of amiable women.                                      

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9780760341339: Riding on the Edge: A Motorcycle Outlaw's Tale

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