LA Times Festival of Books ARC Give-away

LA Times Festival of Books logoLarry and Andrew will be at the LA Times Festival of Books on Sunday on the USC Campus to give away promotional copies of Things We Lost in the Night, Night People. We’ll be in the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS) Booth 953 from 12:20 to 2:00 pm, Sunday afternoon, the 19th of April. The event is free, though parking is not.

Please drop by and see us if you plan to be there. If you’d like to pick up a free  Advance Reading Copy of TWLitN, please let me know at [email protected] so we’ll be sure to have enough books on hand.

The Power of the Pill in the late 60s

“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” Mary Dore’s documentary of The Women’s Movement

06 March 2015 | By Reverend Irene Monroe

I’ve always contended that the Pill was one of the main contributors to many if not all of the upheavals of the 60s, not just the women’s movement that got started then. When Margaret Sanger, who felt that women should be allowed to pursue sex with the same sense of abandon as men, combined with Dr. Gregory Pincus, a biologist expert in mammalian birth, combined to create a birth control pill as easy to take as an aspirin, it changed the game entirely.  Many women recognized the power of being able to change their reproductive cycle from random chance to a matter of choice, and all the ways they could exert it on the world around them, especially socially. In the 60s, before the scourge of HIV and the lack of incurable, and possible life-threatening sexually-transmitted disease, this change introduced what was considered in many places a scandalous return to the sexual freedoms of the Garden of Eden, pre-fall.

As young men from the Midwest, we began to notice this new attitude when we were hired to work for a year doing shows at a ritzy topless night club in San Francisco’s North Beach, original home of the West Coast beatniks. Women were the instigators now. The saying “men proposed, women depose” wasn’t always true. The girls could also propose and decide the outcome of sexual encounters. Females taking off their tops in San Francisco was no longer hidden in sleazy strip clubs populated by lonely men in raincoats, but featured in the heart of the City’s nightlife. Audiences were filled with ‘date night’ couples, men in suits and women arrayed in top couture come to view the Topless Insurgency.

Four miles south of us in Haight Ashbury, the Peace and Love movement flourished, however it seems obvious to me that  ‘free love’ would have drowned itself in a sea of offspring if the ability of the girls and women there had been unable control pregnancy. Much of that movement was driven by the ethos of women, that love could conquer all, who wouldn’t have been able to take that leadership role if not able to postpone childbearing.

However, as the author of this article, points out, it wasn’t all romance either.

“March is Women’s History Month and Mary Dore’s documentary She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry helps us celebrate, remember, and cheer one of our most vilified sheroes of the last century, The Women’s Movement.

Zooming in on the years 1966 to 1971, Dore excavated the archival images of the birth of the movement. She captures the spirit, soul and fire of these fiercely courageous, brilliant and badass feminists who were fighting for the very same issues we fight for today – our right to control our bodies, and our struggle for freedom and equality. We stand on the shoulders of these mighty warriors.

And who said feminists aren’t any fun? Dore documents the hilarity, excitement, outright boldness and scandalous moments of the movement.”

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/discover-bold-brilliant-badass-feminists-60s060315#sthash.mSRFc4l9.dpuf

The Girl Who Named 3 Dog Night – June Fairchild

June_Fairchild-gazarri_dancers.com

June Fairchild (Wilson) 1971

Larry J Dunlap – http://larryjdunlap.com/ljd-blog/

I never met June Fairchild, though I first heard about her in 1968, and even then I didn’t know her name. Her given name was June Wilson and she was born in Manhattan Beach, California. Like many of the young beautiful girls of the 60s, she wanted to be a movie star. During the years she was with Danny Hutton of “Roses and Rainbows” fame , she took the fateful step of joining the Screen Actors Guild, discovering that someone had already taken that name. Danny, apparently suggested Fairchild for her stagename and that was accepted. June is famous for naming as well. When she read in a National Geographic that Australian Aborigines defined how cold nights were in the Outback by how many dogs you needed to sleep with to keep warm enough to survive she told Danny that’s what he should name his new band. If it was really cold, it was a three-dog night. It stuck and Three Dog Night when on to a memorable career.

It appeared that June would go on to a memorable career too, as she worked in several movies and danced on Hollywood A’ Go Go TV show with a troupe called the Gazzari Dancers,  though they have no official connection to the Gazzari’s night club where we and many, many other 60s band played. Somehow, in someway, in a haze of drugs and alcohol, she fell through the cracks. The Manhattan Beach prom queen, famous go-go dancer, actress with a brilliant life and future fell all the way down to a skid row cardboard box in downtown Los Angeles. The mean, mean streets of rape and beatings.

Floyd Sneed, pictured here with June last September, was who told several of the guys in our band that some people had come in to see us, as we sat around a table at the

Floyd Sneed with June Fairchild

Floyd Sneed with June Fairchild

Rag Doll night club in North Hollywood in 1968. But they’d missed us, it was our night off. Floyd had been playing our off-nights with an excellent little trio called “Heat Wave,” and we’d become friendly. Especially with our drummer Leonard. One night Leonard asked Floyd, who held his sticks like hammers, about his unusual style and Floyd said, “African Lighting, baby, African Lightning.” He explained that even when the people who came to see us discovered we weren’t playing that night, they stayed anyway and then asked him if he’d like to audition for this new super group they were forming. “Three lead singers,” he’d said. “I told you guys I wanted to play in a group like yours, and look what happened?” I can’t remember for certain but I’m pretty certain it was Reb Foster, one of Three Dog’s managers, and Danny Hutton.

When one of us asked what the name of this hot new super group was, he said Three Dog Night, Leonard, puzzled, wanted to know what that meant. Floyd shrugged. “I dunno. Danny’s girlfriend read something about how many dogs you gotta sleep with on a really cold night, but,” Floyd grinned, and leaned back in his chair. “How can guys in a band called Stark Naked and the Car Thieves question anyone else’s wacky name?”

June died of liver cancer last Tuesday, at the age of 68 in a convalescent home. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-june-fairchild-20150219-story.html Two of her high school girlfriends rescued her several years earlier from the streets to get her to come to a reunion. Though life was difficult her living on social security disability she remained living in small downtown hotels doing her best. It may not be the newest story of the high-flying 60s, of the time and place, but it reminds me of the pitfalls and dangers my friends and I saw take down so many. There’s a donation site for June at http://www.gofundme.com/JuneFairchild I’m going to go donate to it in our group’s name. For June, and for many others who burned so bright and fell so far in those days of music and love.

Do A Good Deed

HELP CATHERINE GET BACK TO CANADA

https://2dbdd5116ffa30a49aa8-c03f075f8191fb4e60e74b907071aee8.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/2422327_1414065338.4639.jpgCatherine Rideout was a community manager for Imperial Wars back when we were entertaining the masses by giving them an online space empire of their own. She’s had her share of bad breaks, disabled with a severe spine condition that leaves her in pain 24/7, but thought she’d found a home in Scotland. It hasn’t turned out so well. If you can spare a farthing or two, please help her to return to her home in Canada with her rescue animals. Note the page shows English pounds, so don’t forget to adjust for US Dollars.

Even if you can’t help, consider sharing so others can have a chance to do a mitzvah, a good deed.

http://www.gofundme.com/escapethehate

THE DEAD CIRCUS from BroadwayWorld.com

THE DEAD CIRCUS Brings L.A.,

the Sixties, to Life

John Walker RossBroadwayWorld.com

“More than any other American city–even New York–Los Angeles occupies a psychic space as well as a geographic one. More than any other decade “the sixties” represents a state of mind as much as a series of dates in history.

As someone who grew up discovering the sixties in the seventies and has visited Los Angeles exactly once (and that in the nineties), I can’t speak with much personal experience about either the city or the decade that fascinate me beyond reason. The most I’ve been able to do regarding either is, well, read about them.

That has amounted to a lot of reading–both fiction and nonfiction–much of it deeply rewarding and/or disturbing.

John Kaye’s 2002 novel, The Dead Circus (the title is from a barely mentioned underground newspaper which I took to be fictional, but one of the many strengths here is a wealth of details that blur the line between what was and what ought to have been), brings a new dimension–one I didn’t suspect could be caught between the covers of a book until now…”

Read the rest here – THE DEAD CIRCUS

When I first began the process of actually writing a full-length book about my adventures with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT, I wasn’t sure what form it would take. However, it soon became obvious it would have to be memoir, and that made it personal. I hadn’t read many memoirs I liked but I decided I needed to find some that could help me model the way I should express myself. The first, and most important, influence on my writing was Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, and with good reason. Her unflinching and matter-of-fact sense of writing about her life inspired me. I have several wonderful influencers now but Cheryl Strayed’s story is first, and how I got started. Here’s the trailer to the movie from the book starring Reese Witherspoon. I’ll be in line to see it when it’s released.

WILD by Cheryl Strayed, movie trailer

Part Three final draft of TWLitN Complete

Things We Lost in the Night, coverThings We Lost in the Night, a memoir of love and music, Part Three of Five, final draft is finished, and available to beta readers. If you aren’t a beta reader and wanted to be, just let me know. Parts One and Two are available now. One slight caveat, I still have a couple of people helping me edit the Hawaiian English Pidgin in some of the chapters, so that will change as I get back edits from them. In the meantime – Aloha.

“Pleasure” Atlantic City 1967

http://www.atlanticcityweekly.com/
The Pleasure Of Your Company/Maria, Love and Music“I remember my mother watching your show when I was a child. Those songs are still in my head as an adult. I would like to know who sings “I’d Like to Have the Pleasure of Your Company” and what year was it released? Thank you — Veronica, via Facebook
”

“The group was called S.N. and the CT’s (Stark Naked and the Car Thieves). Basically it was a studio group that put it together on a little independent label called Sunburst. Didn’t do anything much nationally, but locally a great hit and can be found on the Geator’s For Dancers Only CD, volume 2. Great cha-cha record. The year was 1968.”

 

Trackback: http://www.atlanticcityweekly.com/news-and-views/ask-the-geator/Marvin-at-Midnight-132630228.html

Tonight: The War in Vietnam – The Sixties

DON”T MISS IT. Tonight The Sixties on CNN, 9 pm (EST), 6 pm (PDT), plus there are usually several re-runs. Covers the war from its beginnings through 1968. The face of war changed forever with this escalation.  Combined with the pictures that brought the brutality of the war to the home front, a new sense of power and disenfranchisement from the country’s youth, and the hangover from the loss of a young and popular president, the support for this war faded as the commitment to it by the government went up. Up until this war, as Bill Murray exhorts his army buddies it in Stripes, “We’re 10 and 1!”

For me, it was trying to find a way to stay with my band when the army was bound and determined to induct me. I had no political viewpoint in the beginning, and to the degree I did, I tended to trust the government implicitly then.  That all began to change when it started to impact my life and I had to figure things out.

My most personal experience was when Stark Naked and the Car Thieves performed for a couple of months at a nightclub in Honolulu in April of 1968, as the buildup of American forces followed the Tet Offensive during the height of the Vietnam War. 80% of the guys in the club were either on R&R coming from the war or going home. The emotional power of the songs we played to remind these warriors of home, girlfriends and wives, high school, families, and buddies, some of them lost by their side, came through to all of us there. As the messengers through our music we became instant friends, somehow passed into the intimacy of one solder to another, and it was all we could do to hold onto our own feelings sometimes. We heard many stories from the battlefield, reminisces from home and witnessed soldiers at the outer  limits of their ability to endure. But as humans do, they found humor and understanding and love in their experiences. While they thought we were enriching their lives, it was they who were enriching ours.

Over the last few years I have received a surprising number of messages from soldiers who saw us at the Lemon Tree on the beach in Waikiki. To a man they remember us for the music and how it helped connect them to the things most important to them. God love them all.

Here’s a little quiz about the 60s you might enjoy – What 60s personality are you?

Larry J Dunlap, Things We Lost in the Night, a memoir of love and rock n roll music