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About Kent Zimmerman
Keith and Kent Zimmerman are a unique twin-brother writing team. They have written 18 books together. Their latest projects will be published in 2014, two music projects that include Shining Star, Braving the Elements of Earth Wind & Fire, co-written with Philip Bailey of EWF and published by Viking. Published by Broadway /Random House in March 2011, Operation Family Secrets is a gripping narrative nonfiction work about the Chicago mob. It's being developed as a major motion picture. Recent published works by "the Zimmermen" include Alice Cooper, Golf Monster with rock legend Alice Cooper for Crown/Random House as well as A Personal Stand, with Country superstar Trace Adkins published by Villard/Random House.
Their first literary project was Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, John Lydon's acclaimed memoirs of the Sex Pistols and the London punk scene. Rotten was nominated for a Ralph J. Gleason Award in 1994, was a Number One bestseller in the UK, and is in print in six languages and has recently been reissued. Immediately after the release of Rotten, they co-authored a book in 1996 for St. Martin's Press entitled Daddy-O: Iguana Heads and Texas Tales about American Southwest photorealist painter and sculptor Robert "Daddy-O" Wade.
In 2000 the Zimmerman brothers scored their first New York Times bestseller with Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Ralph "Sonny" Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Hell's Angel has been published in fifteen countries. Four subsequent books written with Barger include Ridin' High, Livin' Free (a short story collection) and two thrillers, Dead In 5 Heartbeats and Six Chambers, One Bullet, and Freedom: Credos From the Road, all published by William Morrow/HarperCollins. Their sixth book, Soul On Bikes, was a true tale of an all-black/all-male/all-Harley motorcycle club called the East Bay Dragons, published by Motorbooks Int'l.
In 2004 BackBeat Books published the Zimmerman brothers' seventh book (and first music book since Rotten) called Sing My Way Home: Voices of the New American Roots Rock. In 2005 Simon & Schuster/Spotlight Entertainment published Mythbusters: The Explosive Truth Behind 30 of the Most Perplexing Urban Legends of All Time, based on the popular science television show seen worldwide on the Discovery Network. Next the Zimmermen completed a biography of Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton with David Hilliard. Huey: Spirit of the Panther was published by Avalon Press in 2006.
The Zimmermen also collaborated with the Teutul family--Paul Sr., Paul Jr., and Mikey--on Orange County Choppers: The Tale of the Teutuls for Warner Books. The book is also partially based on their hit television series, American Chopper. The Zimmermen also wrote The Art of Jazz, the official 50th Anniversary book for the Monterey Jazz Festival.
The two brothers began their writing careers in the music industry, having spent over two decades as Senior Editors with the national music trade magazine formerly known as Gavin. In April of 2005, the Zimmermen were named 2005 Writer Laureates by the San Francisco Friends of the Library. In addition, the Zimmermen teach a weekly creative writing class in H-Unit at San Quentin State Prison.
On the film front, Huey has been optioned for a mini-series by HBO, and Hell's Angel will star Mickey Rourke with Fox studios and director Tony Scott (Top Gun, True Romance) at the helm. Operation Family Secrets is also in development as a motion picture.
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Books By Kent Zimmerman
An angel spreads his wings. . . .
Sonny Barger is the number-one spokesman for the motorcycle experience. His New York Times bestseller, Hell's Angel, was an exhilarating history of his adventures with the world's most notorious motorcycle club. Now he brings us rousing, moving, and wildly entertaining true stories of his renegade brothers and sisters in the relentless pursuit of liberty, individuality, and the "ultimate ride."
And what stories he has to tell -- freewheeling, bare-knuckle tales of brawls and battles, brotherhood, breathtaking adventures, crazy quests, and the inevitable classic scrapes with "John Law." The most colorful legends and unforgettable characters of biker lore come alive in this book. In addition, celebrities like Steve McQueen, Johnny Paycheck, and David Crosby thunder through these pages in a sensational collection of rebel tales that runs the gamut from poignant and inspiring to thrilling and utterly outrageous.
Whether you ride, have never ridden, or dream of riding, Ridin' High, Livin' Free is a reading experience you won't soon forget -- a fascinating glimpse into a unique culture of freedom that recognizes only one commandment: the code of the road.
Narrated by the visionary founding member, Hell's Angel provides a fascinating all-access pass to the secret world of the notorious Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Sonny Barger recounts the birth of the original Oakland Hell's Angels and the four turbulent decades that followed. Hell's Angel also chronicles the way the HAMC revolutionized the look of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle and built what has become a worldwide bike-riding fraternity, a beacon for freedom-seekers the world over.
Dozens of photos, including many from private collections and from noted photographers, provide visual documentation to this extraordinary tale. Never simply a story about motorcycles, colorful characters, and high-speed thrills, Hell's Angel is the ultimate outlaw's tale of loyalty and betrayal, subcultures and brotherhood, and the real price of freedom.
Due to copyright restrictions, this eBook may not contain all of the images available in the print edition.
Ralph "Sonny" Barger first gained the attention of the book world with his bestselling memoir Hell's Angel. Now he uses what he’s learned from a life insidea subculture few will ever know to create his no-holds-barred first novel, giving readers a taste of thecamaraderie, the pain, and the thrills of what it’s like to live life on two wheels.
Everett John "Patch" Kinkade just wants to be left alone. The former president of the Infidelz, the most powerful motorcycle club in California, Patch has grown weary of the responsibilities and burdens that come with the mantle of leadership. He leaves California for Arizona, determined to start a new life and to put a few hundred miles between him and the tragedy that tore his family apart.
But it isn't long before a new crisis pulls Patch back to his old stomping grounds. Tension between the Infidelz and a rival club, the 2Wheelers, erupts one night in a lethal free-for-all, littering a casino with the corpses of club members and ordinary citizens alike. The newspapers call it a war, and Patch knows he must return to help the club, either by making peace or by charging into battle.Now it's not just his life at stake, but the lives of the rest of the Infidelz as well, and Patch would fight the Grim Reaper himself to protect his brothers. Prepared to destroy any man who crosses his path, even if it means confronting the demons from his past, Patch gases up his Harley, sharpens his blade, and heads out on the highway for what could be his final ride.
In this second adventure from bestselling author Sonny Barger, hard–living antihero Patch Kinkade must find a way to bust in to prison if he's going to figure out who is responsible for killing three of his brothers.
Patch Kinkade, the notorious leader of the infamous and feared Infidelz motorcycle club, has faced down a wide array of bad guys in his day. But when three of his fellow club members show up dead in a meat locker––frozen stiff on their bikes, with counterfeit $100 bills stuffed in their mouths – and the funny money leads back to the Russian mob, Patch is ready to add some ex–Pinkos to his hit list.
After shaking down a couple of Russian hooker/con artists, Patch learns that there's a new Russian crime family, the Shalinsky Cartel, trying to establish their turf, and the murdered Infidelz were unfortunate casualties in their ruthless campaign. The Russians' leader is awaiting trial in prison, and it seems that Patch won't be able to get to the bottom of things without going to extreme measures. Soon he's behind bars himself, after cooking up an ingenious scheme to get at the Russian godfather, where he hopes to send a clear message – don't mess with the brotherhood of the Infidelz –with one well–placed shank. Now Patch's well–honed skills, learned inside and outside of prison walls, must serve him well if he's to avenge his compatriots' deaths, and regain dominance for the Infidelz once and for all.
There are few men who are as quintessentially American as Sonny Barger. He is patriotic—a veteran who loves his country. He is independent—choosing his own path on his motorcycle, living life on his own terms. He is outspoken—he has boldly criticized injustices in American law and society despite the backlash this has evoked from the establishment. Yet the element that he finds most important, most sacred, most American, is freedom.
In Freedom, Sonny articulates many of the principles he employs in his own life. Whether he is regarded as a leader, a rebel, a revolutionary, a criminal, or a soldier, Sonny's outlook has been influenced not just by school but by the military, prison, and his experiences riding with the world's most notorious motorcycle club. It was on these various journeys that he learned the lessons that are most important in his life and the qualities he respects when he sees them in others:
Customize Yourself; Originals Don't Come Off an Assembly Line
Temper the Steel to Forge a Strong Blade
Treat Me Good, I'll Treat You Better; Treat Me Bad, I'll Treat You Worse
Presented in the form of fifty credos, this book gives Sonny Barger's perspective on how to live a life that embodies the most fundamental of American virtues: freedom.
"I have no time for lies and fantasy, and neither should you. Enjoy or die..." --John Lydon
Punk has been romanticized and embalmed in various media. An English class revolt that became a worldwide fashion statement, punk's idols were the Sex Pistols, and its sneering hero was Johnny Rotten.
Seventeen years later, John Lydon looks back at himself, the Sex Pistols, and the "no future" disaffection of the time. Much more than just a music book, Rotten is an oral history of punk: angry, witty, honest, poignant, crackling with energy. Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Idol, London and England in the late 1970s, the Pistols' creation and collapse...all are here, in perhaps the best book ever written about music and youth culture, by one of its most notorious figures.
In Operation Family Secrets, Frank Calabrese, Jr. reveals for the first time the outfit’s “made” ceremony and describes being put to work alongside his father and uncle in loan sharking, gambling, labor racketeering, and extortion. As members of the outfit, they plotted the slaying of a fellow gangster, committed the bombing murder of a trucking executive, the gangland execution of two mobsters—whose burial in an Indiana cornfield was reenacted in Martin Scorsese’s blockbuster film Casino—and numerous other hits.
The Calabrese Crew’s colossal earnings and extreme ruthlessness made them both a dreaded criminal gang and the object of an intense FBi inquiry. When Frank Jr., his father, and Uncle Nick are convicted on racketeering violations, “Junior” and “Senior” are sent to the same federal penitentiary in Michigan. It's there that Frank Jr. makes the life-changing decision to go straight. But he needs to keep his father behind bars in order to regain control of his life and save his family. So Frank Jr. makes a secret deal with prosecutors, and for six months—unmonitored and unprotected—he wears a wire as his father recounts decades of hideous crimes. Frank Jr.’s cooperation with the FBI for virtually no monetary gain or special privileges helped create the government’s “Operation Family Secrets” campaign against the Chicago outfit, which reopened eighteen unsolved murders, implicated twelve La Cosa Nostra soldiers and two outfit bosses, and became one of the largest organized crime cases in U.S. history.
Operation Family Secrets intimately portrays how organized crime rots a family from the inside out while detailing Frank Jr.’s deadly prison-yard mission, the FBI’s landmark investigation, and the U.S. attorney’s office’s daring prosecution of America’s most dangerous criminal organization.