Book 1 - A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves
LARRY J. DUNLAP DELIVERS 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 enjoy Night People.
"Instead of sharing a life with the woman I'd expected to be married to forever, my friends and I shared a dressing room, divided by thin wallboard, with a covey of topless showgirls and dancers."
In 1965, when Larry's scattered-to-the-winds, Indianapolis rock and roll vocal group is improbably reunited in distant San Francisco, they barely survive their clumsy transformation into entertainers in a rock and roll nightclub band. As their fortunes change, Larry and his band are plunged headfirst into an adventure that lures them into mob-run nightclubs, Las Vegas showrooms and backrooms, famous Hollywood night spots and recording studios, celebrity managers, and passionate romance--and the sacrifices it demands.
It's the West Coast in the mid-Sixties: a historic era of tectonic cultural, political, musical, and sexual upheaval--and the draft. The band scrambles to overcome, or at least endure, every obstacle in its path. But in the tumultuous nights the band inhabits, where things and people are too easily found and lost, everything Larry thought he knew about life, love, and himself is being challenged.
.... She sat with a leg folded beneath her, facing me in the darkened car. Posed that way, she reminded me of high school, cruising the TeePee, Knobby's, and the Ron-de-Vu drive-in restaurants on Indianapolis's north side. I never imagined I'd have the chance to feel this way again.
I began to suggest a movie, but Pat had another idea.
“Would it be okay if we just rode around? The air is so soft and warm. I like the feel of it blowing through the window. Anyway, I shouldn’t stay up late; I want to be on California time when I get up tomorrow.”READ MORE
Near Walnut Creek, I turned north on Ygnacio Valley Road into the desert night. Pat leaned back in the seat, her eyes closed, while the breeze, hinting of night-blooming jasmine, chased her hair. The moon and stars in the clear sky silvered everything inside and out as we drove along the country road. At Highway 4, I pulled right and then onto Leland Road until we came to lights on the left. I slowed the car.
“That’s where we played when I first got here.” She turned to gaze at the well-lit, isolated Hilltopper as we passed by.
“You play tomorrow night, don’t you?”
“Yes.” Headlights swept across her face; she seemed more relaxed. “Way over toward the bay, but I figured you’d want to come with me.”
“I’m looking forward to it. But please, for now, can we keep going?” She sighed. “I could ride like this forever.”
We drove though the night on country roads that ran through little Contra Costa delta towns. I knew the area just well enough not to get too lost. Outside of the tires humming on the pavement and the air flowing through the windows, silence surrounded us.
“Can’t help remembering a song you sang in high school when you were in The King and I.”
“That was in my sophomore year, after you'd transferred to North Central.” In a passing light, I saw a smile glimmer on Pat’s face. “You hate musicals.”
“Yeah, well . . . I came as your dutiful boyfriend. That huge auditorium at Shortridge was packed. I was nervous for you. Something special happened when you stepped out to sing your solo. You seemed so small and alone in the single spotlight.
“And then you looked out right at me and sang I Have Dreamed just to me, your voice filling me, and the whole theater. It’s stupid, I know; Caleb Mills Hall must hold twelve hundred or more people, and the place was packed. You couldn’t have seen me, especially not with the stage lights in your eyes.”
Pat leaned back into the seat, listening to me.
I shrugged. “Sounds goofy, but I got a little queasy. I knew right then I would ask you to marry me someday. I'd always been in love with you, but in a schoolboy crush kind of way. In that moment, I understood you were really my girl, and I couldn't imagine a day in my life without you in it to take care of.”
My left little finger and thumb searched my ring finger and came away empty. The wind swept across the open windows, but it remained quiet inside.
“I almost died when you went off to North Central,” she said, “and then when I had to go to Warren Central and you were in college at Butler, we were torn even farther apart . . . I got so afraid something would happen to us; I always wanted to be with you, too.”
I felt her eyes on me. I thought I heard her say, “Now look at us.” I glanced over to see that her head was down, pale strands of hair floating in the desert breeze, surrounding her as though she were underwater.COLLAPSE
PRAISE FOR NIGHT PEOPLE
"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, NIGHT PEOPLE,' 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
"Larry Dunlap lived it. His memoir 'NIGHT PEOPLE' is a frank, funny, frenzied chronicle of the 60's West Coast music scene." -- Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling memoirist, FIVE MEN WHO BROKE MY HEART, GOOD AS YOUR WORD, OVEREXPOSED
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
One of the best biographies written by a musician!
A Riveting, Mythic, Rock and Roll Memoir
Wonderful! Excellent Read!
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!
Great Look At An Era