Anthony “LT” Menginie and Kerrie Droban
Kerrie Droban, who previously wrote Running With the Devil about former ATF agent Jay Dobyns and his infiltration of Arizona Hells Angels in Operation Black Biscuit, teamed up with Pagans MC scion Anthony “LT” Menginie to produce another motorcycle gang book, Prodigal Father, Pagan Son. In essence it’s another biker memoir, one of many published over the last decade. It seems as though every club wants to be represented in print in some form, and this book puts the Pagans MC into library stacks. Prodigal Father does have a crucial difference from most other biker memoirs though, LT was never a full patch Pagan but was rather a club prospect and the son of a powerful but unpopular Pagans chapter president, Anthony “Mangy” Menginie.
So LT grew from birth within the Pagans subculture and lifestyle. His father was in prison for much of his life/the book’s narrative arc and is therefore largely an absent referent throughout the book. LT’s growing up in a lifestyle and social scene where his gone father reigns as a king lends itself to lots of fun amature psychoanalyzing. Ultimately LTs father joined the Hells Angels, the enemy of all other biker clubs, and, in a expectedly classic Freudian turn, LT talks of killing his father. This memoir has most of the elements of many biker books, the discussions of crime and sex and brotherhood are consistently present in all of these books.
Prodigal Father doesn’t really have a lot of motorcycling in it, which is fine from my perspective. What it does have is a particular focus on the disgusting details of every event. LT describes the traumas of his early life, including an overdosing mother and being raped by a prostitute, and in all of these stories, straight through to later tales of direct criminal involvement, LT emphasizes the armpit stains of every characters, the piss stench of every room he enters, the minutia of disgust is laced through every description. So many of these memoirs do the ideological work of constructing the biker as a modern American individualist anti-hero while the true crime biker books counter the memoirs by emphasizing criminality. LT and Droban portray a subculture of the degraded social abject. People whose lives are composed, materially and metaphorically, of filth.
As I read this I wondered if there was such a thing as an outlaw biker without club affiliations. Thus far there doesn’t seem to be a concept of such a subject, and all the biker memoirs that I’ve read are the story of an individual biker and the story of their club.