Joe Calendino and Gary Little, the authors of To Hell and Back (L&C Press, 2017), discuss Joe’s life as a former member of the Hells Angels, as well as the depths of addiction he’s experienced, with Joseph Planta. Also discussed is the Yo Bro Yo Girl initiative to help at risk youth, which Joe and Gary founded.

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at

Joe Calendino grew up in East Vancouver. He was actually born in Prince Rupert, and had spent some early years in the Okanagan, but it was the time here that shaped him. He was what they call nowadays as at risk in his school days. There were some teachers and school councillors who tried reaching out to try and tame the street fighter. Young Joe’s goal is to join the Hells Angels. He wants the camaraderie, the glamour of gang life. Soon he spirals into drug addiction. He recounts his life thus far, the struggle with substance abuse and recovery, and his work now launching the Yo Bro Yo Girl initiative that empowers youth against involvement in drugs, violence and gangs. Joe Calendino joins me now, as does Gary Little, an educator, and Joe’s former high school counsellor. Their new book is To Hell and Back, and it’s published by L&C Press. I spoke to Joe and Gary last week. Gary, incidentally was the principal of Sir Charles Tupper Secondary for a few years when I went there. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Joe Calendino; Mr. Calendino, good morning. And Gary Little; Mr. Little, good morning.