By Anna Pulley
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Erin Sherbert
By Rachel Swan
By Joe Eskenazi
By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
When T-Rexxx joined the Devil Dolls, she had just broken up with her third fiance, and she was thinking about leaving town. "It [the club] came at a good point," she says. "I was trying to find friends, or a niche. I needed something. But at first I was like, "Whatever, these are just some chicks, and one of them is going to bring some drama and I'm going to get in a fight with one of these broads.' But it turned out great. It surprised me."
When Goth Girl and Calamity decided to go ahead with the club, they followed outlaw biker protocol and went to the Frisco Hell's Angels to get the OK. If they had been a gang of guys, the Hell's Angels probably wouldn't have allowed it, but the Devil Dolls quickly got the nod.
"We're no threat," Goth Girl explains. "We're girls."
It helped, though, that Goth Girl and Calamity had established good reputations by frequently socializing with the Hell's Angels. "If they don't know you, then it's tough, big-time," Goth Girl says. "But I've been doing the right thing all along. I love these people. I think the Hell's Angels should rule the world. This is my life."
Though the Devil Dolls are not sanctioned by, approved by, or a female extension of the Hell's Angels, there are undeniable links between the two clubs. John Fukushima, a 23-year member of the Oakland Hell's Angels who now has the nickname "Devil Doll Daddy," guided Goth Girl and Calamity through the process of starting the club. The Dolls also got some help from Tony Catrell, vice president of the Frisco Hell's Angels, who sat on the floor of Goth Girl's apartment to help her fine-tune the Devil Doll patch.
The Dolls loosely modeled the club after the Hell's Angels, even adopting some of the Angels' bylaws. But perhaps the ultimate sign of respect for the Devil Dolls is that Noel Barger, the wife of the legendary Sonny Barger (a founding member of the Oakland Hell's Angels), is an honorary member.
"I would say that there is a welcome support from the Hell's Angels," Noel Barger says from her home in Arizona. "I mean, this is the first women's motorcycle club that I've met in 20 years of riding that I would even consider being a member of. When I met the girls, I noted that they have a lot of the same social ethics. They're very respectful, intelligent, and comfortable with themselves. And the fact that we all eat, breathe, sleep, dream motorcycles."
Angel Cassidy grew up on Haight Street -- literally -- in the late '60s. At age 5, her father gave Angel her first hit of pot, and then taught her how to panhandle so she could get money to buy food. By age 6, she knew how to drink and to roll her own joints. And because her parents were too drugged up to care for her or her brother, Angel says she ate dog biscuits, and learned to climb fences into people's back yards to dine from their fig trees and blackberry patches.
At age 14, Angel left home to hitchhike all over the U.S. -- sometimes on the back of her boyfriends' bikes. On those reckless tours, she says, she "did just about everything," and began her descent into drug abuse.
Angel has been arrested many times -- she's lost count -- on drug charges, and three times for felonies. But eight years ago, when she got tired of constantly bouncing in and out of jail, she checked herself into an 18-month residential program and has been clean ever since.
Angel has essentially swapped her drug addiction for an obsession with motorcycles. She bought her first Harley in 1997. Since then, she's traded in that bike for two Buells and a '99 Harley Low Rider, which she has pumped tens of thousands of dollars into modifying. Always the risk-taker, Angel is the daredevil of the club, and she loves to pop wheelies.
"As an ex-junkie, riding motorcycles is the closest thing to getting high," she says.
As with all of the members, the club sucks up Angel's spare time with Costco runs, T-shirt orders, and motorcycle events. But Angel says she sees it as "working for a cause." She willingly sacrifices her time because, to her, the club is about more than motorcycles and merchandise.
"My parents were hippie drug addicts and they have not been a part of my life," she explains. "I had to find my own family, and these women are my family. We look out for one another. A lot of us, nobody ever looked out for us."
AS MORE PEOPLE BEGAN buying their merchandise and hitting their Web page, and after a brief spot on MSNBC and a write-up in Outlaw Biker Magazine, female motorcyclists from all over the country began calling or e-mailing to ask the Devil Dolls to start charters outside San Francisco. One high school student recently sent the Dolls a school report she had written on them. Several men have offered themselves as nonsexual slaves, begging for the honor of running the Dolls' errands.