(KRON) — The funeral service for Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger will take place this weekend at a race track in Stockton. Ralph “Sonny” Barger was a founding member of the notorious Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels in 1957.
Barger, who grew up in Oakland, died earlier this year at his home in Livermore. He was 83. His former attorney, Fritz Clapp, told The Associated Press that the biker had liver cancer.
“If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing,” a post on his Facebook page said at the time. “I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club.”
The post said that “I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer.”
Barger was center-stage for one of the Hells Angels’ most notorious moments, the 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway when the motorcycle club was enlisted as security by the band. During the course of the Stones’ performance, Hells Angels fatally stabbed a concertgoer who pulled a gun on one of the bikers.
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The killing was captured on camera in the documentary, “Gimme Shelter.” Barger maintains the bikers acted in self-defense. The club member involved was acquitted.
Barger also did jail time in 1988 after being found guilty of conspiracy to violate federal firearms and explosives laws involving plots to kill rival gang members. He was sentenced to six years but was released in 1992.
In addition to being the author of several of his own books, Barger was a central figure in Hunter S. Thompson’s 1966 expose on the biker gang, “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.”
Barger’s funeral will take place Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Stockton 99 Speedway and will also be livestreamed, according to a Facebook post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.