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.
Things 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.
“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.”
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
I was determined not to read this book or see this movie. I hate tearjerkers, I just won’t do it. Then I find out today that it’s set in Indianapolis, and that author John Green is from Indianapolis, lives in Broad Ripple near where I grew up, near where many scenes in my book take place and realize I have to support a home town author! It’s a dilemma. I did read a blurb, and yes the dialog seems sharp and witty. The girl seems interesting, but no, I’m just not going to get invested.
My friends in Indianapolis tell me that there are all kinds of locations in Indianapolis in the book. It would be like visiting back there. All the kids like the book, they’ve given it a call sign, TFiOS, which must mean something. Many of the young readers say it has replaced Hunger Games in their affections, so that’s a positive. Well okay then, I’ll read the book, John Green, because it looks like you’re a fabulous writer, and I’d like to visit home. But that doesn’t mean I’m seeing the movie. I don’t cry in public.