A gripping portrait of a notorious Vancouver gangster and Hells Angels elite who descended into a life of homelessness and addiction, ultimately redeeming himself through award-winning youth advocacy.
As an outlaw biker living on the fringes of society Joe Calendino travelled the world, relishing the dangerous glamour of the Hells Angels’ lifestyle, even committing himself to an elite chapter in the organization: the Nomads Motorcycle Club or “one percenters.”
But his life soon spiralled into a world of drugs and debt. A tight noose of addiction began to rule. Eventually frustrated by Calendino’s recklessness, the Hells Angels stripped him of membership. In desperation, Calendino spent months in rat-infested crack houses, combing back alleys for anything that might help him get his next fix.
Finding himself on the cusp of death, he gained the support of an unlikely ally, Officer Kevin Torvik, a former high-school buddy on a very different path. Calendino not only recovered but thrived and redefined himself as a community youth leader, eventually winning the Courage to Come Back Award given to individuals who give back after overcoming tremendous adversity.
Told by his trusted former high school counsellor, author and educator Gary Little, To Hell and Back offers a page turning and rarely told perspective on gang life—a remarkable reminder of the power of individual transformation.