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on March 11, 2012
The name Terry the Tramp as made famous by John Terrance Tracy, an original member of Hellbent For Glory MC in Sacramento, CA who transferred to the Hells Angels MC in Oakland, CA along with the rest of Hellbent For Glory. He was made famous by Hunter S. Thompson in the book Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga Of The Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. He became even more famous for his major role in the B grade biker film Hell's Angels 69'. This book seems like a play off that name and attempt to boost sales by creating the assumption that the book is actually about John "Terry the Tramp" Tracy, which I and several others thought the book was about, who is a well known character also mentioned in Sonny Barger's book. IT IS NOT. If you're interested in the Vagos MC and the outlaw/1% culture you might find this book interesting however there are other books out there that explore the MC culture in much better ways.
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on February 18, 2014
I've had an interest in motorcycle gangs for a few years now... interested in what makes them tick, why these loners and misfits come together in a good ol' boys club. This book had some interesting background about Terry the Tramp and how he rose to become the president of "Green Nation". From what I've read before this, however, Terry took a pretty hard fall from the Vagos leadership under some pretty shady circumstances. That said, I thought the book was informative... although the author patted his subject's back pretty damn hard. Poor Terry must've been bruised.
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on November 3, 2011
Most 1%'er Motorcycle Club books are written by law enforcement types who have infiltrated clubs in order to make arrests and take those criminals down, by God! Other 1%'er books are written by club insiders by themselves with the help of a ghost writer. Terry The Tramp: The Life and Dangerous Times of a One Percenter falls into the latter with a twist. This 1%'er book is crafted by none other than all around motorcycle expert K. Randall Ball, otherwise known as Bandit of
The preface alone is worth the price of admission and tells the history of the modern motorcycle industry that began after WW2 and its effect on society. Ball chronicles the story of Terry `The Tramp" Orendorf and the Vagos Motorcycle Club in a gripping and realistic manner.
Terry the Tramp is a great rollercoaster ride of a book based on the true life adventures of Terry Orendorf of the Vagos M/C as told to someone who lived the life
and also survived the ride.
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on November 23, 2011
Terry the Tramp: The Life and Dangerous Times of a One Percenter takes the reader on a stroll down memory lane... back to where the Biker culture began, racing forward, slowing only briefly, at important places and events in time, only to downshift, grab another handfull of throttle and race forward toward the next topic. Terry the Tramp: The Life and Dangerous Times of a One Percenter, through author K. Randall Ball, is surprisingly relatable. When I first cracked open the cover, I could hardly put it down. Informative, yet not "wordy", I finished it in two sittings.
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on August 7, 2014
When I had initially ordered this book, I thought that it was going to be about Terry the Tramp, the charismatic Hells Angel who was quite popular during the 1960's in San Francisco. Imagine my surprise when I realized my mistake! However, I read the book anyway; K. Randall Ball has written several book about bikers and/or the biker culture, so I was familiar with him. The story of Terry's life is interesting and the author (as well as the subject, I'm sure) tried to convey a man who, although "bad", tried to keep his integrity and honesty throughout his life, not only for himself but for his club. Ball is a basic kind of writer and while the story was interesting, there wasn't much more to it; no great insight or revelations to let you see more deeply into Terry's heart, mind and soul.
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on February 11, 2012
Thanks for finally writing a book that holds my attention.. Not an easy thing to do. As a child I lived with my Father in the same complex as Terry and I am friends with his son to this day.. For someone to come from such a hard life, Terry sure turned out to be a better man than most others would have...or did. I am not a biker I live a pretty quiet life.. I bought this book because of my history with Terry & his son.. But you don't have to have any knowledge of this family or club to enjoy the crazy ride this book takes you on..
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on January 11, 2012
I enjoyed this book, but finished a bit let down--- I expected more because of the author's background, but then again, precisely because of that, I SHOULD have expected exactly what was there... Confused? Keith "Bandit" Ball was the editor and frequent writer for EASYRIDERS magazine in the 70's--- my favorite mag at the time ( can't stand it now) He made that mag extremley entertaining, mostly because he really lived the life he wrote about--- he built bike after bike, from show worthy customs to far out RATS ( the rats were way cool). He also held a patch in the Hells Angels MC for a period of time so he's no outsider to the one percenter lifstyle... Which is why, methinks, this book is a bit (or a lot) whitewashed--- the real criminal stuff is glossed over, never really detailed. In other "true" biker expose' books, the author goes way out of their way to make outlaws look as bad as possible, including outright lying... the opposite is the case here and it makes the book kinda...milktoasty...just an opinion.
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on December 19, 2015
I've read a number of 1%'er bios lately and this one is the weakest. The writing is more fawning high schooler than objective journalist. Reading this you'd think this guy is just a misunderstood outcast with a heart of gold. If you know MC's, you know that's not the case. And in that sense this book does a disservice to the subject, whom is no doubt far more interesting and colorful than is disclosed, as well as to the outlaw biker culture. Based on this description of the Vagos, it might as well be a mom and pop club that enjoys Sunday rides after church. This might be interesting if you have NEVER read another book about bikers, but if you have even a passing familiarity with the culture and the recent of volume of associated literature, you will be disappointed.
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on July 11, 2012
Its been at least six months since I read Terry the Tramp, but it's a hard book to forget. That said, I'm going to write this review from memory... Not something I have a lot of these days.

In late 1970 I returned home to California, after a one-year stint in southern Michigan, custom painting Harley-Davidsons, and buying up as many old ones as I could find. Once home it wasn't long before I'd made friends with other guys in the San Gabriel Valley that rode hogs. One of them introduced me to "Dresser" Sam, a real good guy when it came to helping out FNG kids like me that didn't know shit about working on a Harley-Davidson. I spent a lot of time over at Sam's learning, and wrenching in his garage on some of the Pan, and Sportster motors I hauled out of Michigan. Sam was and probably still is a pretty good motor builder. There were Vagos that used to drop by Sam's for motor work. I remember a fair sized Vago named Duffy that used to show up in a white '58 Coupe De Ville when his bike was down. There were other Vagos too, "Jerry the Jew", "Speed" "Parts" and others I don't remember the names of now. Maybe I'd heard of "Terry the Tramp" back then at Sam's, but I can't remember. In 1972 I moved to El Monte, not far from where Keith Ball does a great job of describing the surroundings Terry the Tramp grew up in. For someone that knows the area it'll bring back some memories. For those that have never seen the place especially from back in the day, Keith paints a perfect picture describing Terry's early beginnings and how the area shaped his future. The wild shit, fights etc. that used to break out at the Denny's next to Earl Scheib, and Sears El Monte. Also Nashville West, a country & western joint where the bouncers used to ask the loser of a fight what color his car was, so they could drag him out, and dump him in a pile on the hood -- I used to ride by those places all the time heading out of town. I have vivid memories of the area, but all a person has to do to is read Terry the Tramp and Keith's words will leave them thinking they were back there in the day. It's a time warp, I couldn't put the book down, I read it from cover-to-cover.

Perhaps one of the most interesting, and hard for a writer to write about accounts was the Vagos' bum murder wrap in New Mexico. I say this because I know there had to be an endless amount of research before Mr. Ball could even begin to write the chapter. I knew of a fellow custom painter inBaldwin Park at the time named Art Smith. It has to be the same Art Smith involved in that mess. Terry the Tramp is a must read... Even for bikers that usually don't like to read this is a great book. Whatever side of the law one thinks they're on, this is a story about freedom.
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on December 14, 2012
The stories are interesting. Inevitably Mr. Ball sinks into the blame game and downplaying the crime and drug use, production and sales that maintain most 1% clubs. He really went off the deep end when he went off into how the government can maintain an army but 1% clubs can't and how that's unfair somehow.... real psycho stuff. The ending is terrible but it's a good read overall.
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