Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Book Review: “The One Percenter Encyclopedia” by Bill Hayes

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Motorbooks sent me one of their newest publications, “The One Percenter Encyclopedia” for review. The book was written by Bill Hayes.

Bill Hayes is an avid motorcyclist whose articles, columns, and fiction have been published in Easyriders, Thunder Press, and Biker magazines. His column in Real Blues magazine has run for many years and several of his feature articles on martial arts have appeared in Black Belt magazine. Bill writes passionately about the things he loves and knows best: motorcycles, the blues, and martial arts.

(Motorbooks website)

Do I love it? Eh… it’s OK. I think there are some who’ll love it; others, not so much.

First off, you should know that it is not exclusively One Percent. It’s more like the Three Piece Patch Encyclopedia, but that probably wouldn’t have been so intriguing a title. There are varying degrees of information about the clubs with many of them being a sentence that indicates they’ve been of interest to law enforcement at some point in time. It’s clear upon reading where the author’s allegiance lies; one of the “Big Five”  seems to only have been mentioned because there would be a glaring hole otherwise.

A few all-female clubs have been mentioned, but Hayes is so apologetic about it, he should have just left them out. He states in the beginning that Christian clubs and clean and sober clubs have been excluded but then goes on to not only mention Phil Aguilar and the Set Free Soldiers (understandably so), but also the Black Sheep, which is a Christian club that ministers to HOG chapters. Of course this leaves me wondering why clean and sober clubs are so abhorrent, especially when you consider the reason those folks decided a change in lifestyle would be beneficial.

Despite there being some things that bugged me (it would be impossible to write this book without pissing virtually everyone off to some degree, at some point), there are interesting stories from other contributors. I particularly like the one about the Pagans outside the Outlaws clubhouse in Ohio, apparently a story never told before this book was published. Hayes has some good stories of his own. I found myself recalling fond memories (winning 3rd place in a chili contest hosted by the Yonkers Motorcycle Club, among others) that had been shoved into the archives of my brain.

“The One Percenter Encyclopedia” isn’t very well-named, and the content is on the heavily subjective side, but it is interesting and you’ll definitely learn something. The photographs of patches throughout the book and the literature review at the back of the book make it worth the price of admission. The book is available on the Motorbooks website for $29.99, or you can get it at Amazon for $19.79.