(Update from post in March 2011 – larryjdunlap.com/ljd-blog) An amazing thing has happened on YouTube. One of the things we all mourn is the loss of one the first music videos ever, which we did in Hawaii for “Look Back in Love” in 1968, the song was supposed to become our first big, national hit. Not only did it feature the band, but also the Hawaiian girl I met there and later married, (Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s, Book 2: Enchanted). I finally located the cinematographer who shot it but he told me it was lost in a fire. It appears that there are many modern admirers of the band who have taken our music to YouTube. While noodling around on the web I somehow got to a wikipedia page that mentioned Jan Hutchins and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and then a link to a YouTube video (below) that was weird. But first things first. Here is the first video to kick this montage off …
Look Back in Love
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SEE ALL THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS
For those of you who’ve been following along, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves began as an acappella vocal group back in Indianapolis. We called ourselves the Reflections when our very first recording was released in late 1963 on WLS radio in Chicago. Unexpectedly, our uptempo version of In The Still of the Night hit the Chicago charts in early 1964 at the same time the Beatles did with I Want to Hold Your Hand. If you can read the chart below you’ll see we arrived at #17 while the Beatles languished at #40. Our producer screwed up and lost or accidentally destroyed the master of In The Still of The Night so even though we got great airplay and were about to break out nationally, when the charts came out two weeks later, our record had fallen off into oblivion while the Beatles were on their way to number one.
WLS Chart Jan 17, 1964
What you don’t know is, and that’s because even I’ve never heard or seen a copy of the record since we recorded it 50 years ago, our producer rushed us into the studio to get another record out to try to take advantage of the tremendous interest in the Reflections up in the Windy City. Since we sounded a lot like the Four Seasons, he found a song by Larry Huff, who’d co-written Easier Said Than Done for the Essex, called In the Beginning. We tried to adapt to sound like it was from the original Jersey Boys right in the studio, recording literally overnight. By the time it was pressed, the Reflections who recorded (Just Like) Romeo and Juliet) had hit with their song, and our name and all the good will we’d built up with the previous record was lost. He had to decide on the spot what we would be called so he decided we were the Illusions. But the record failed and soon the Indy Sound no longer existed.
Today, doing some research for Things We Lost in the Night, I ran across our recording on YouTube. I can’t tell you how amazed and pleased I was. Made me glad I got up this morning. It’s the weirdest thing though, strangers have put almost all our records up on YouTube. I’m hoping the person who posted this knows where I can buy a copy of the original record.
OPEN HOUSE AT LARRYJDUNLAP.COM
Probably as good a time as any to invite you to the Open House at my new website! I’m halfway through my final draft and scheduled some time to get my site in order. Among other features, is a list of thirteen songs we recorded and that are an important part of Things We Lost in the Night. They’re listed in chronological order (excepting this one of course), and make something of a musical history of the band under its various names. It’s on the THINGS WE LOST page in the Songs from TWL tab here on this site. There’s also a First Chapter sample from the book and two audio excerpts as well as short blurbs from the book. Come one, come all! Look around. Log in , say hi. Let me know what you think.
When Dave, Mac and I first met Les, we didn’t realize what a good singer he was. He had an instrumental guitar band called the MG’s, who were highly influenced by Nokie Edwards and the Ventures. They were playing weekend sock hop dances with Bouncin’ Bill Baker for WIBC radio in Indianapolis, where they also backed our vocal group for a few appearances. Later, the MG’s backed us as the Reflections in our first studio sessions. When the vocal group made its first attempt to become a band, Les joined the three of us as a singer, and later became Stark Naked and the Car Thieves’ guitarist and vocal arranger. I do remember what a big deal it was when Nokie Edwards came in to a club to see us.
I just recently discovered that the Ventures’ first drummer, when they recorded Walk Don’t Run, and practically still a garage band, was George Babbit. Apparently, he was too young to play in many of the venues they were booked into when their record started to break. He entered the U.S. Air Force and went on to become a four star general.
If your love rock ‘n roll, and remember the Ventures, I invite you to click on the link below to watch this reunion. I think it’s pretty cool and I enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully you will too, and it brings you a smile.
In thrashing about on the Internet and just plain dumb good luck I came across David Cornwell Photography in Hawaii. On occasion in the past I had searched for ‘David Cornwall’ and never thought to try this name but now that I did there were several websites to pick from. From what seemed the most recent website, this seemed to be the same David Cornwell who had filmed our music video for Look Back in Love in Hawaii. I sent a couple of emails waiting each time for several days in between. No reply.
Finally I picked up the phone and called. Dave’s address is in Waipahu. I got him on the phone and after a polite conversation we did determine that Dave’s business at the time was on Kalakaua Ave and that he was the one to do the video. I had kept my expectations low as we know something like 44 years have passed since this video was filmed. Dave is now 74 and told me that he had left the islands for about 8 years in the eighties to live in Connecticut and then did some traveling before returning to Hawaii. A few years ago his offices were robbed and he said he lost the majority of everything he had. In short, he didn’t think he had anything left from those days.
I asked him to please check as well as he was able. I have had an email or two from him since but so far he has been unable to find anything.
That’s pretty sad but for those as intensely interested as I have been there is at least some resolution.
So after seeing all of the videos I posted a week or so ago, I thought: why can’t I do a video track to our music, too. I’ve had to do a few videos in the last several months for work projects and I never had time to learn anything more than the basics of the video editing software I use so I thought I could work on some chops and try to put something together for Look Back In Love. Also, we’ve never had a video since all of the footage that was shot for it in Honolulu was never paid for by Attarack/Heller so we never even got to see it, let alone own a copy. 🙁 So this is something at least.
Anyway, I’m posting it here and linking it to the front page on our website. Hope everyone enjoys it. It’s kind of an open letter to all of us from that band. No matter what, in the end I love all my band brothers, including everyone those that I’m not in regular contact with.