Larry J Dunlap, author photo

THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves – Larry J. Dunlap

Thanks for visiting. For the last few years, I’ve been writing a memoir of my experiences in Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, a traveling rock band on the west coast in the latter half on the 1960’s. Detailing our adventures from my perspective has become a journey all on its own. NIGHT PEOPLE, the first book from Things We Lost in the Night: A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves is available at Amazon.com.

Book Cover for NIGHT PEOPLE, Book 1 - Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves

NIGHT PEOPLE, Book 1 on Amazon in Print and eBook    [Read First Chapters]

NIGHT PEOPLE, BOOK 1, IS A FAST-MOVING, ROMANCE-FILLED MEMOIR of a young singer and his friends search for success in the 1960s music business of California and Las Vegas – if you liked memoirs from Carly Simon, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Tommy James, and “The Wrecking Crew,” you’re sure to love NIGHT PEOPLE.

[Excerpt from THE SUNSET LA BREA TRAVELODGE]

We took our pizza and soft drinks up to Mulholland Drive on the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, where a carpet of lights spread out over Hollywood and off to the ocean to the southwest. The muted rumble of the great engine driving this mammoth city, unnoticeable down below, reached us up here. By the time we’d parked, it was eight o’clock and we should have been on stage at Gazzarri’s with our band brothers. We hadn’t even warned them, but then we hadn’t known we’d crack.
    We shared pizza out of the box and drank our Cokes, watching the night deepen and the cloud cover roll in until the lights below were more like a blanket of stars fallen to earth. It was quiet, and I felt drained and empty. I pulled out a couple of tightly rolled joints, thanks again to Trish’s generosity, and handed one to Dave. 
    We smoked until I’d distanced myself enough to try and sort out what was bugging me. I sighed. “What are we doing, man?”
    “I’m eating pizza.”
    I tried to make sense of my confusion. I began talking in a stream of consciousness, not knowing what would come out. 
    “I feel like we’re doing something wrong, but I don’t know what. I feel like it should be obvious to me, but I still don’t know what it is. It’s like, well you know, the place behind your eyes, in back of you, the place you never see because whenever you turn your head, it’s always behind you. Well, I think it’s like that. I mean whatever’s wrong is right here with us, but I can’t see it, even when I turn to look for it. Figuratively speaking, of course.”
    “Uh-huh.” Dave opened the pizza box and tilted out another pepperoni and sausage slice.

Here’s an easy way to preview NIGHT PEOPLE! Click on the Book Cover, or here for an easy-to-read seven chapter preview, or send it right to your Kindle app or device.

Claremont Village Press readies release of ENCHANTED

ENCHANTED, Book CoverENCHANTED, the concluding book of Things We Lost in the Night, picks up where NIGHT PEOPLE ended. The band arrives in Hawaii in the spring of 1968 to play at the Lemon Tree, what seems to be a nondescript local nightclub near the beach on the far edge of Waikiki. Honolulu is a military town, packed with soldiers on temporary R&R or arriving to fight as the Vietnam War heats up. In this intense atmosphere, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves’ songs wake dramatic emotions in many of the warriors, some fresh from jungle firefights. Larry encounters a breathtaking Hawaiian girl, and though the island is the most beautiful place he’s ever seen, discovers deadly dangers hidden beneath its lush beauty.

[Excerpt 1 from SANDY BEACH] 

Leonard waved out the window. “You’re frickin’ lucky you’re getting to see this, you know.” We gazed down on the top of a cloud cell in a distant valley, where rain fell in a spectacular, rainbow-producing shower. I wondered what new calamity was being inflicted on the land beneath it.
     We entered and exited a pair of tunnels near the top of the Pali, and Leonard negotiated the descending zigzag road through intermittent showers. Foliage, thinner on this side of the mountain, slipped by our windows as we skirted east around Honolulu toward the distant ocean. I sensed Leonard’s attempt to read me, his anger gone, long lines carved on his face.
     “You do get that I couldn’t have saved you, don’t you? If I’d gone into the surf after you, I would have drowned along with you. You do know that, right?” I nodded dreamily. I knew. I’d never really blamed him for my lack of impulse control and idiocy. I should have absolved him then, but soul-seared, still somewhere between this life and the next, I couldn’t bring myself to speak.

[Excerpt 2 from LIBERACE’S TAILOR]

Three Chinese men came out from the back, yellow measuring tapes strung around their shoulders, and took us three at a time to workstations for a session lasting most of two hours. We were measured in every direction imaginable, some starting at the forehead and extended to fingertips, heels, or toes. The tailors approached fitting more like engineers, noting everything down in their small notebooks.
     “Which way you dress, mister?” said the man crouching below me.
     I wasn’t sure what he meant. “Ah, right-handed.”
     “No, no.” He scowled, gesturing at my genitals. “What way you dress?”
I cringed a little, uncomfortable with a man kneeling in front of me giving my crotch his full attention. He glared up at me in frustration and spoke sharply in Chinese
John Lieu stepped over to explain. “He want to know what side your stuff, your privates, hang on when you put on pants.” He stared down at me. “Right now, I think you dress left. You comfortable that way?”
     “Oh. Okay, I get it,” I said, aware for the first time of an organizing principle I dealt with every day without thought.        
     “Yeah. I dress left, definitely.”
John spoke to his assistant who nodded in dour satisfaction. Without warning he reached out to cradle my family jewels in his palm, giving them a quick, professional heft before I could flinch away. He scratched squiggly Chinese characters into his little book.
     “He need to know how much room to leave for resting genitals,” John reassured me. “We want pants form-fit, but not crowd, you know, and not show too much.” 
     Before I’d quite gotten over that shock, my tailor, as I now possessively thought of him, whipped off his yellow tape again, and moved behind me to measure my buttocks from every conceivable angle. It was strange to see a Chinese guy writing down more about my body than anyone, except possibly Theresa, knew.

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EDITORIAL REVIEWS FOR THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT MEMOIR

“Dunlap’s sense of transcendence is similar to the sensation Keith Richards describes in his memoir, ‘Life: ‘ …you leave the planet for a while…’ Reliving his rock and roll years in his wonderful memoir, Larry Dunlap, must have left the planet for a while, too.” I loved it and highly recommend it.       — Kiana Davenport, The Spy Lover, Shark Dialogues

“Whether or not you remember the swift intoxicating music of that era or the seismic shift of mores that burst from the free-love movement, [Night People] captures the beat of that misty time when the country suffered “a growing thirst for individual freedom, a desire to escape from an ever-darkening shadow of war, and a national hangover following the public murder of a young and popular president.”      — C.D. Quyn, Steph Rodriguez, Manhattan Book Review

“Did you watch Dennis Leary’s new FX show “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” about a crazy old time rock-in-roller? Larry J. Dunlap lived it. His memoir, NIGHT PEOPLE, is a frank, funny, frenzied chronicle of the 60’s music scene.”   Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author, Lighting Up, Only as Good as Your Word and Five Men Who Broke My Heart.

“Dunlap relates much of the story through conversations, and his California journey features a number of memorable characters. [Night People] … is an enjoyable hangout book, a chance to spend time with witty characters at that point in their lives when success feels so close, but the path to get there isn’t quite clear.”       —  Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Reviews Magazine, Fall Issue 2015, Memoir ForeSight section

“… Larry J. Dunlap faithfully, endearingly, recreates his rock-and-roll years [in Night People]. He does it in a soaring, roaring prose, reminiscent of Patti Smith’s National Book Award-winning memoir, ‘Just Kids.’ ”    — P.J. Colando, Stashes, Hashes and Bashes

“… a well-written memoir that deftly captures a sense of the 1960s and what it meant to be an aspiring musician during a time of seismic cultural change.”         —  D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Manhattan Book Review

best seller categories 05-19-16

Reader Reviews on Amazon for Night People

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING!

One of the best biographies written by a musician!
A Riveting, Mythic, Rock and Roll Memoir
Wonderful! Excellent Read!
Thoroughly Entertaining.
A Great Read
A Window Into a Fascinating Era
Rock and Roll, baby!
A Must Read
A Great Read About An Exciting Life
Music Has Found Me Again
SO Worth Reading!
My Life Seemed Extremely Boring After Finishing “Night People”
Lessons of Life, Love, and Sex in the 60s
Genuine, Exciting, Graphic and Memorable – life in the 60’s
Fantastic Coming of Age Memoir!
Compelling
Great Look At An Era
Meant to be savored
Engrossing
Rock and roll band life
Brilliantly crafted
Passion for music
Car Thieves take me away!

ON THE SITE

There are several items on the site relating to the books that you might find them interesting. Here is a newly re-mastered PLAYLIST OF SONGS mentioned in the book as we were recording them, and a few of the early homemade sessions with the vocal group before Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. Read the Larry J Dunlap Blog, which posts periodically. If you want to know more about me, and why it fell to me to write this story you can visit Meet Larry. For more information on our Privacy Policy, please access this link.