One-Percenters

Fortune profiled the Hell’s Angels in 1992 (via Noah Brier).

It’s a dry piece, but this bit about how they used to call themselves One-Percenters is great (not to be confused with the Muslim Five-Percenters):

What makes the Angels and the lesser outlaws so distinctive among criminal enterprises—and adds to the frustration of law enforcement officials—is that many Americans celebrate them and identify with them. Back in the 1950s, the American Motorcyclist Association, the voice of legitimate riders, pronounced that ”only 1%” of all riders were troublemakers. The outlaws gleefully accepted the label, and many still call themselves one-percenters. (The actual percentage is much smaller—counting the hangers-on police call associates, only about 0.2% of the estimated nine million motorcyclists in the U.S.) And plenty of people—including many who have never even sat on a motorcycle—like their style and applaud them for defying convention and authority.

I used to live a few blocks away from the Hell’s Angels NYC headquarters in the East Village. Definitely not the kind of guys you want to mess with.

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