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Monday, 15 March 2010

Hells Angels were originally called the Pissed-Off Bastards of Bloomington

Hells Angels were originally called the Pissed-Off Bastards of Bloomington, but that name didn’t exactly roll off of the tongue.
They were made up of disillusioned World War II veterans from southern California, and in 1948, they took the name of an American airforce squadron and called themselves “the Hells Angels.”
It was a case of life imitating art – eccentric mogul Howard Hughes had already made a movie in 1930 called Hell’s Angels, which was based on a fictional World War I fighter squadron.
For their symbol, the biker Hells Angels drew up a crest with a winged skull, which bore a resemblance to ones painted on American fighter planes and bombers.
Long before the Hells Angels logo or the aircraft paintings appeared, winged skulls appeared on headstones of Puritans in New England in the 1700s, symbolizing the ascendancy of the human spirit into heaven.
Around the same time the Pissed-Off Bastards of Bloomington changed their name, they also began wearing patches with “1%” on their chests.
That referred to a press release put out by the American Motorcyclist Association after bikers rioted at a rally in 1947 in Hollister, Calif.
The association’s press release stated that “the trouble was caused by the 1 per cent deviant that tarnishes the public image of both motorcycles and motorcyclists.”

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