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Born to be wild

LIFE.com says: Outlaws have always held a singular if ambiguous place in America's popular imagination: we fear and loathe their appetite for violence; we envy and covet their freedom. In 1965, LIFE photographer Bill Ray and writer Joe Bride spent several weeks with a gang that, to this day, serves as a living, brawling embodiment of our schizoid relationship with the rebel: the Hells Angels. Now, in a gallery of never-published pictures, Ray and Bride recall their days and nights with Buzzard, Hambone, Big D, and other Angels (and their "old ladies") at a time when the sight of long-haired, Harley-riding bikers was still new, alien, and for average, law-abiding citizens, simply terrifying.

Click here to see the LIFE.com gallery.