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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Ah, the 70s.......

Another rambling post that starts somewhere and ends up somewhere else.......

Who else can remember (or admit to remembering) books published by the New English Library? Popular in the 70s with impressionable teenagers, they were trashy paperbacks centered around definable groups - skinheads, football hooligans, punks, and of particular interest to us, Hells Angels (or rather, someone's idea of what the Hells Angels were like!)
Increadably badly written and extremely repetative (they probably only had one storyline, just 'tweaked' to suit the group in question), they were extremely violent and sexual, but some teenagers thought they were based on fact.
As an example....

'Chopper, England's King of the Angels' by Peter Cave

"Chopper moved into position. The skinhead was still bent double. Bringing up his knee, Chopper felt with satisfaction the scrunch of broken bone as the kid's nose made contact. The kid went down, while blows from boots rained upon his body. He lay groaning, spitting out gouts of deep red blood and pieces of broken teeth.

" 'Don't ever pull a blade on an Angel.' snapped Freaky before they left the kid. 'It's not friendly.' "

This is the story of Chopper, of his bike, his pills, his girls and his violent bid for gang leadership. Author Peter Cave tells like never before how a greaser grows up to become a fallen Angel.

Yes, it really was that bad! Should you want to read more, there a blog about to NEL books (amongst other things).

However, there's worse! Amongst the sort of people who read (and believed) NEL books, there was also the belief that the Hells Angels were going to kill the members of pop group Mud. Why would a motorcycle club wish to kill a fairly harmless pop group? Because they 'stole their dance'!

Apparently, the dance performed by the 'dancers' (actually Mud's roadies) was a 'secret dance' that only Hells Angels were allowed to do, and as a result they were going to kill the members of Mud!
I think it's fair to point out that 39 years after this performance, two members of Mud are still alive, the other two passing away due to medical conditions in the 2000s.

Oh, the 70s, what a weird time!


  1. If you ask nicely you can borrow my collection of NEL 'Hells Angels' books.

    1. But do you have any Mud voodoo dolls?

    2. No. That would just be silly.

  2. Trashy NEL "Hell's Angels" books...........guilty as charged. Think I read them all (he whispers so no one will here).