For several months they'd been drifting toward political involvement, but the picture was hazy and one of the most confusing elements was their geographical proximity to Berkeley, the citadel of West Coast radicalism. Berkeley is right next door to Oakland, with nothing between them but a line on the map and a few street signs, but in many ways they are as different as Manhattan and the Bronx. Berkeley is a college town and, like Manhattan, a magnet for intellectual transients. Oakland is a magnet for people who want hour-wage jobs and cheap housing, who can't afford to live in Berkeley, San Francisco or any of the middle-class Bay Area suburbs.  It is a noisy, ugly, mean-spirited place, with the sort of charm that Chicago had for Sandburg. It is also a natural environment for hoodlums, brawlers, teenage gangs and racial tensions.
The Hell's Angels' massive publicity -- coming hard on the heels of the widely publicized student rebellion in Berkeley -- was interpreted in liberal-radical-intellectual circles as the signal for a natural alliance. Beyond that, the Angels' aggressive, antisocial stance -- their alienation, as it were -- had a tremendous appeal for the more aesthetic Berkeley temperament. Students who could barely get up the nerve to sign a petition or to shoplift a candy bar were fascinated by tales of the Hell's Angels ripping up towns and taking whatever they wanted. Most important, the Angels had a reputation for defying police, for successfully bucking authority, and to the frustrated student radical this was a powerful image indeed. The Angels didn't masturbate, they raped. They didn't come on with theories and songs and quotations, but with noise and muscle and sheer balls.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)