Bill Ray’s (Never Before Seen) Hells Angels

Photo Courtesy of Life

In 1965, Bill Ray, a staff photographer for Life magazine, grabbed his cameras and hitched a ride with one of the most legendary biker gangs to ever rule America’s roadways. At the time, the group of rebels were still relatively unknown to many, but for weeks, Ray traveled and drank beer with guys named Hambone, Buzzard, Big D, and their “old ladies,” documenting a way of life that caused most people (like the “tough guys” you watch on “Mad Men” each week) to cower in fear.

“There was always a sense that anything could happen at any minute. Things could go from light-hearted to scary pretty goddamn quick.” – Bill Ray

However, George Hunt, Life’s managing editor at the time, thought the Angels “all looked like a smelly bunch of bastards,” so Ray’s work was never published—until now.

To listen to an interview with Bill talking about his work and his time spent with the Angels, check out CNN’s coverage here.

And if you really want to take your time looking at Bill’s work, Life.com has a gallery of the never-published photographs here.

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