Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cincinnati Biker Misses Chance To Interview Hell's Angel Sonny Barger

Sonny Barger
                                                                                    Keep on reading because there's a good reason this occured. A little background first. I founded a radio show on called Cincinnati Biker Life. I reached out to interview Ralph Sonny Barger about the book he wrote Dead in 5 Heartbeats on the radio show.
Actually it was to be an interview about the movie that was made from the book by independant filmmaker Jeff Santo. This movie just had its first screening a few weeks ago and I understand it was well received.

I emailed Sonny Barger's web site  and requested an interview. This would be via telephone call to the radio show. A week went by and I did not think I would hear anything. But I did. In the middle of a Wednesday afternoon Sonny's wife Zorana called me. I was shocked.

Sonny agreed to call in to be interviewed on the show set for December 6th , 2012. Although I did not get to speak to him in that call with Z, I could hear him speaking in the background. They wanted to contact Jeff Santo to make sure he would be included in the interview. Jeff sent me an email and the big day was on.

Sonny Barger

I started looking around the web for stuff about Sonny Barger, his life, his books, and the movie. You can find his facebook page. I think he's on google plus as well as the you tube channel where you can see a lot about the movie and some unrelated interviews of Sonny.

I also sent away for the book and voraciously read my autographed copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fun read . And I'm betting an even better movie. I learned a lot about Sonny Barger in the process. He's a peacemaker not a war maker. Jerry Garcia was one of his best friends. He was a veteran. He tried to help the returning Vets from vietnam. He's beaten thyroid and prostate cancer. He seems to have a peace about him and a genuine honesty. He quietly campaigns to save children from cigarettes.

What I found out about the man caused me to want ot find out more. So I was really looking forward to the interview. I pumped it up all over social media. My good buddy Jim Pierce even showed up excited for the opportunity to hear Sonny live and ask a question or two. My friend Jimmy Kay called and asked if I had it under control.

So at the appointed time 8:30 PM EST the phone rang. It was Jeff Santo, the filmmaker , producer, director of the movie Dead in 5 Hearbeats. I asked him if we should wait for Sonny out of respect. He said that Sonny's wife had been feeling sick that morning and that probably Sonny would not be calling. Wow what a disappointment. But Sonny was obviously taking care of Z and, as he puts it in his book, "The Last Love of His Life." He was doing exactly what he has done forever. Taking care of those he loves.

We had a great time talking to Jeff Santo and learning about the movie. Jeff in his own right is a very interesting and accopmlished man. You could tell his love for Sonny and I tried to get the how they met. It was a bit of a blur, but it's really none of my business , although he mentioned he had filmed Sonny for a documentary Jeff did.

As of writing this I have not heard how Z is doing . So hopefully everything will be okay. So I did not get to interview Sonny because he had to take care of something really important, Family. But I don't doubt one bit that I'll get a chanceto interview Sonny about hs book and movie. Maybe we will get some time to talk about the man. To find out who he really is. That would be nice.

    Treat me good I'll treat you better. Treat me bad I'll treat you worse.

These words are taken from Sonny's web site. Yeh I think I get that. Words to live by. Or die by. But so far under the most extreme of circumstances Sonny's made it 74 years. One of a kind that's for sure. A charismatic leader who leads by example.

By Anthony Castelli 
    Cincinnati, Ohio

More Resources and Articles about Sonnay Barger , his wonderful book and movie: Sonny Barger's Web Site Interview ith Sonny Barger Dead in Five Heart Beats Trailer