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Book Review: EXILE ON FRONT STREET

Hells Angel… And Beyond, by George Christie

By J.J. Solari
9/22/2023


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The first sentence of Chapter 13 of this 16-chapter book is…..

“Solitary confinement is the worst thing one man can do to another.”

Now, since this is a “book review” and since I don’t know this guy, but I do know who he is, mostly from the “news,” once I got to the above-mentioned sentence in the course of my already having read the first 12 chapters of the book - which I was reading not to give a “report” on it but to get some familiarity with the fellow, from, ya know, his own self, rather than from the news…….where was I. Oh yeah: so I’m reading this here book, and most of it has been read and stuff, I’m almost done, and I’m goin’ along fine, and then I get to this sentence, the opening sentence of chapter 13.

“Solitary confinement is the worst thing one man can do to another.”

Now, For 12 chapters I’ve been reading about life as a Hells Angel. Which apparently isn’t a hobby. It’s a fucking job description. And I’m reading about it from one of only three Hells Angels anyone has ever heard of. Which alone should tell you that whatever a Hells Angel IS, if you’re one of the three everyone has actually HEARD about……you’re probably not just fucking bone-headed resilient like most of them are….. rather your bone-headed resilience likely grows back harder and more resilient every time some of it wears off or gets sawed off. So what i’m saying is, Christie’s pro’bly pretty resilient. He’s likely a pro’bly bounce-back kind of dude.

In other words, Christie or not, life as a Hells Angel, famous or not, no matter what degree of notoriety or lack of incognitoness you might have achieved …….well it’s not the life for me. Let’s put it that way. And I’m reading about this life from someone who not only lived the life but helped shape its direction. So, in other words, for 12 chapters I have been hearing about someone directing traffic in a 24 hour a day job, the LEAST dangerous aspect of it being riding a very large Harley in constant need of repairs that you’re going to do yourself…..at 70 miles an hour. Probably inebriated. To put it mildly: as your go-to mode of transportation. For years at a time. And somehow manage to not die….. just from that.

In other words, by the time I got to Chapter 13 I was now ass-deep inside the head of George Christie. Pro’bly not the best way to put that. Let me try that again. I was being escorted, personally, in his own words, very SENSIBLE words, I have to say, down the life-road of an enthusiastic outsider who from childhood knew he wanted to be not just an outsider but the most universally shunned outsider possible: a Harley-riding, Ensignia-Affiliation on his filthy clothes wearing, brawl first, ask questions later fraternal order of self-admitted lunatics and fuck you, but not your mom, I’ll do that personally……biker.

That’s the ilk the guy who’s story I’m listening to is running around with and in fact earning a reputation for keeping the peace among: keeping the peace among hyper-volatile, anti upwardly-mobile, indifferent to consequences, legality-mocking, enthusiastically confrontational daredevils on all levels of dares, be they man beast or terrain…..….all of which daredevils have severe anger issues ignited by very short fuses. And this is the guy keeping them in line. THAT’S who I’m reading from his own words when I get to the first sentence of chapter 13.

I’m inside this guy’s head, he’s taking me down the road of his life of relentless danger, stress, explosive personalities, he’s trodding through morasses of massive problems, to understate things, not a big deal, all part of the job, “I gut this” sort of thing, trying to keep peace and order through landscapes and wildernesses of paranoia and treachery and eternal threat from“the authorities”……..and then out of the blue comes THIS sentence:

“Solitary confinement is the worst thing one man can do to another.”

The WORST thing one man can do to another……comes at the hands of……not from the most shunned, most-considered-to-be-animals on the planet, namely bikers…….BUT FROM THE PEOPLE CLAIMING TO BE HOLDING THE MORAL AND SANCTIMONIOUS HIGH GROUND!!! GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL!!!

And this ain’t him talking. This is me editorializing. Because he - the writer - ain’t making this claim. I’M telling you this. What HE’S telling you is something different. What HE’S telling you, in very compelling simple language, is what solitary, or what the concept-warping government vocabulary kiddie language calls “Segregated Housing Unit”…. confinement does to a person. This is where that first sentence is going. What solitary does to you. And to him included.

Trust me, by the time you get to this above-referenced sentence you have long ago become totally convinced you are in the company of a fucking truth teller. And get this…..what then FOLLOWS this sentence is a humble, self-confessing litany, very soul-bearing confession of what solitary does to a person and certainly did to him. And this is an actual tough guy.

He says solitary has one function: to break you. And he says it does. It broke him. He then describes the particulars of the eventual, relentless erosion of your entire physical, mental and spiritual superstructure you may or may not have thought of as well-constructed.

So, I’ll tell you this, if he hasn’t won you over with his sincerity and honesty before you got to this chapter, this is the chapter that will cement the issue for you.



Now, his REPUTATION is of an adroit, capable analyzer of the best way to negotiate safely the biker world and the “citizenry” world with the least if not the complete absence of turmoil to both sides. This is not a vice, having this ability. This is a fucking whopping virtue. This is not a quality, if you are wise and sane, you want to squash. You want to SURROUND yourself with such people.

If you’re afraid of competence, then you’re not a leader. You’re a fool. And PROBABLY bureaucrat material. APPARENTLY - and this is me editorializing again - this is not a universally-held attitude. Apparently, a lot of people fear competence and a gift for making things better. Hence his legion of enemies, all of them stupid and the WORST ones being the ones insisting all they want is for you to be safe: The Authorities. And their way of keeping you safe is to lock you down. School shooter? Lock the kids down so they can be systematically killed and thus made safe while the authorities stand around outside doing nothing.

Flu From Nowhere? Lock everyone down so they can be kept safe from earning a living or visiting their aged relatives who are being locked down so they can stay safe from comfort and love. Your planet too dangerously hot due to you existing on it? Lock you down from escaping to a cooler clime or a cooler room by making travel a threat to the weather and making air conditioning a threat those who don’t have air conditioning by allowing you to live while they are dying: all should die in the interests of fairness.

Trespass? Lock you down. Steal a car? Lock you down. Get in a fight? Lock you down. Say a forbidden word? Lock you down. Have a dislike of a category of human? Lock you down. Own something you’re not supposed to own? Lock you down. Wearing forbidden words and cartoons on the back of your clothes? Lock you down. Kill someone? Lock you down.

Show enough sense of fair play that you start getting better press than The Authorities?…..welcome to the world of indictments, the easiest thing on earth to obtain next to getting laid in Parumph. Welcome to a “segregated housing unit.” Welcome to being kept safe enough to kill you as you scream to death with no one around.

And keep in mind when you are being relentlessly tortured by the authorities….you don’t know them and they don’t know you. This torture ain’t even personal. It’s being done by strangers….to strangers. It’s sociopathic behavior taken to almost supernatural levels. Like as though other fucking dimensions are involved. OK. I’m done.

When YOU’RE done, and you WILL read this all the way through because you won’t even know you’re reading, you’ll think George Christie came over the house and sat down in your living room and just started chatting with you - when you’re done, you won’t care what the scuttlebutt is about this fellow, which scuttlebutt SEEMED TO ME to get worse after he threatened to take the holy and sanctified member of the angelic Kennedy Family, Maria Shriver, former wife of the guy who recently during the Bad Cold Lockdown told Americans who wouldn’t wear a mask in an accent he hasn’t been able to undo in 50 years of living here to “Fhuack yu phreedum!!”..…..to court.

When you’re done reading it you will be on his side. And if he DOES show up for a chat? Invite him inside. And you won’t have to hide the silverware either. I’m CONVINCED of that.

--J.J. Solari

We reached out to George about his new book. “Look for my new book Crossing The Rubicon. It spans my 46-year relationship with Ralph “Sonny“ Barger. It will also, between chapters, be filled with short stories from my time with the Hells Angels, Satan’s Slaves and Question Marks,” George Christie.

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Reader Comments


I've read this book and all of Christie's books, and you nailed it. Extremely well written review.

Jeff McDonough
Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Editor Response Thanks!
--Bandit
JJ. That’s a great description of what George is saying in the book and ya- the type of man George comes across as. I see what you see, and I’m fucking glad that there’s still people like us out here. Great works both of you! I like that phrase ‘a truth teller.' We don’t see enough of that, do we? Thanks JJ Solari . You are spot on.

Leo Buholzer
Osoyoos , BC, Canada
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Editor Response Terrific, J.J. will be delighted.
--Bandit
I look forward to reading George's new book. Enjoyed reading his first three, great writing on the southland biker/ hotrod couture. I totally agree with concern on "solitary confinement SHU. Sensory deprivation is what cdcr called it, but it's endless torture that often lasts long years. Stop this treatment now. The shu is just a lunatic factory and the government knows it.

David C. Vandiver
West Sacramento , CA
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
I was planning on reading it before I read this review. NOW I'm compelled too.
This review was very interesting and one of the more uniquely written and enjoyable to read ones I have ever read.
Well done J.J.

Jim 'el Waggs' Waggaman
Oceanside, CA
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Editor Response You'll make his day!
--Bandit

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