“One thing about the Angels that I found fascinating,” Ray told LIFE.com, “and something I’d never given much thought to before I started photographing them, was the role that the women played. The girls weren’t there in chains, or against their will or anything. They had to want that life if they were going to be accepted by the Angels. These guys were kings of the road. I don’t think they ever felt they had to look around for girls. Girls would come to them, and they would take their pick. And then they’d tell them where to sit and what to do.”
I did a little research after seeing this photo and learned that an “old lady” referred to a steady girlfriend or wife of a Hell’s Angel outlaw. This is not to be confused with a “mama” or “strange chick”, which was more or less a term for groupies–girls who were always available. For example, there was the common expression “Let’s go make a mama”. However, if you were considered an “old lady”, it meant that you were spoken for and all other Angels knew to back off.