“Hell’s Angels love to fistfight. There’s never a shortage of drunks or foolhardy motherfuckers willing to take us on, and a lot of times we’ll take on each other. Armond Bletcher stood 6″8″ and weighed 350 lbs. He was so strong he could pick up a couple motorcycles and put them on the back of a pickup truck. In the early ’70s Armond could bench 705 lbs., but he had to arch his back to do it. He was never in competition, but he took steroids and was unbelievably big.”
–Ralph “Sonny” Barger
Jesus-H-Christ this was a big ass dude. Depending on who’s telling it, Armond Bletcher was somewhere between 6′ 3″ – 6′ 8″, and tipped the scales around 300 – 350 lbs. A friend of the Fresno Hells Angel, and a feature favorite with the staff at Easyriders magazine, Armond was literally a giant among men and a controversial figure to this day. There are many colorful tales– It’s reported that as a doorman he got away with shooting a man to death, that he was a known hitman, also Frank Sinatra’s bodyguard, and that he took horse steroids to achieve and maintain his enoromous size.
He met his match at the wrong end of a .357 when a baseball bat beating couldn’t diffuse his anger– just pissed him off more. He was dead at 33 yrs old. Armond had allegedly gone after his cousins to “mess them up” when they refused to put him on their shop payroll, which he desperately needed to show an honest source of income while being investigated by the Feds for numerous illegal activities. Having his personal lifestyle and exploits plastered on the pages of Easyriders magazine probably didn’t help matters much.
“His willpower is strong enough to put down wine, women, and song in pursuit of his occupation, but his chopper remains his achilles heel.” –Easyriders magazine article, ca. 1976
“Anyone who has been on a 500-pound Hog knows that it is one heavy machine to handle– and because of its weight. If for any reason you get off balance, it’s really a bitch to get it upright. Flop it on its side and it usually takes two guys to stand it up again.
With this in mind, flash on Armond Bletcher, a 6’3″, 310-pounder who dwarfs his big 80, and makes it appear as if he’s putt-putting around on a Yamaha 125.
He earns his coins by being a strong-arm bodyguard –strong-arm meaning that his bad news, mangler-of-men appearance, and obvious capability is used instead of a gun to protect his clients.”
“Armond lives the good life of his wealthy clients while on duty and manages to spend three to four hours lifting weights everyday on his own time, while chug-a-lugging quarts of milk along with his five meals a day. ‘Not huge meals– just five spread out across the entire time I’m awake.’
His chopper, as with most chopper riders, is his “escape”— so much so in his case that he won’t even allow himself near it until after his workout, and most of the time he restricts his riding to weekends because, ‘Once I get on it, I want to go, and keep on going– and the hell with everything else.'”
“He’s been lifting weights for seven years, since he was 20with 60-pound bells, and has maintained a daily schedule except for “A couple of times when I broke my fist in fights.”
Really ape for his lifting and good health, he doesn’t drink or smoke, has 22″ biceps, can press 350 pounds, can bench-press — “I cheat a little with an arched back.” — 590 pounds. His daily routine consists of four sets of each exercise, sets of at least six reps– such exercises as curling 270 pounds.”
“He alternates his lifting schedule to workout different parts of his body, every other day, and increases the amount of weight as the exercise becomes too easy. He doesn’t workout for the usual definition and small waist, but rather lifts to develop and maintain overall brute strength. As he puts it, “A bear has a gut, and you know what he can do to a guy.” (His waist is 38″.)
Working out in his own gym (“Because I don’t like the creeps that frequent the public gyms”), he puts his lifting before anything else– he feels it’s vital to his occupation. An occupation that requires he stand near his client, and merely from his size and looks, be able to discourage most people from hassling his client or even think about attempting anything, yet at the same time being physically able to do battle if the occasion calls for it.
He’s a protector, an enforcer, a collector, and yet he has one admitted weakness– his chopper.”
Armond Bletcher’s Harley chopper photographed at the Malibu ER Ranch. Late ’70s or early ’80s Frank Kaisler (via)
“…A shot of Armond when he was probably 19, in Santa Cruz, and I am the chesty blonde. :)” –Indian Sue (via)
Armond Bletcher’s prized motorcycle and car, ca. 1963
A young Armond Bletcher with his prized car, ca. 1963