Night People at Amoeba Music

Just recently heard that you can find Night People stocked at Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard. The iconic music and record store is located between Ivar and Cahuenga in Hollywood. It’s a fantastic place and not far from many other places on Sunset Boulevard where the story takes place: the Hullabaloo Afterhours, where we played with many of the most popular acts of the early 1960s; Gazzari’s Nightclub; where I had a crisis of faith about our music, just one week before we opened at Caesars Palace; the Sunset Las Brea Travelodge where it crosses Sunset – we had to sneak most of the guys in Stark Naked and the Car Thieves in at night we were so broke, the Red Velvet club where we switched clubs with Ike and Tina Turner so we would be close to the studio, and Producer’s Workshop where we recorded most of our records.

Quick reminder, the concluding volume of Things We Lost in the Night, Enchanted, Book 2, will be available for early review soon. Sign up for the mail list if you’d like your review copy. Also not from Gower Street, where City Recorders, my recording studio used to be.

NP – Annotation 2 – California Tripping

This post is part of a series of annotations from the pages of Night People, Book 1 of Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music.

From: Ch1, ORPHAN, P7

Beginning of first paragraph on page 7:
“As Dave’s ragtop shrank into the sharp-edged morning, another big part of my life calved off like an iceberg. I imagined them heading west toward Plainfield, gathering speed as they picked up Highway 40 toward Saint Louis.”

ANNOTATION:

Larry, Dave, Les, Mac

As mentioned in Night People, Les Silvey was determined to leave for California as close to his 21st birthday as he could. What nobody else seemed to realize was Les wasn’t exactly sure where he was going in California. He had a friend who played guitar there named Jerry and he knew the name of the town and I think he had a phone number. I wasn’t in the car that left for California that April morning in 1968 so I’m going by what I was told. The plan, if we can call it that, was to drive to Hollywood, and then ask for directions. Now that might work in Indiana, nothing was too far away. California, on the other hand, is vast. Another limitation, they only had enough money to buy gas for the trip. There was no staying in motels, they drove straight through with everyone taking a turn at the wheel. When told that the town that was their destination was something like 8 hours further north, near San Francisco, Les was forced to hock his guitar amplifier. When I asked them later what the first thing they did in southern California, they told me Les used part of the pawn shop money to buy them all matching bathing suits so they could go to the beach. They must have had an angel on their shoulder just to survive until I got there with my $40.

NIGHT PEOPLE Annotation 1 – The Four Of Us

This post is part of a series of annotations from the pages of Night People, Book 1 of Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music.

From: Ch1, ORPHAN, P5

“Dave’s familiar grin forced me to smile as he unfolded his lanky frame out from behind the wheel.
Mac peered out at me from the passenger seat. Les, male-model handsome, wound down the rear window. A moon-faced guy he introduced as Mickey Smith, a guitar player friend, sat next to him. I didn’t know Mickey, but Dave, Mac, and Les were the rest of my disintegrating vocal group, the Reflections.”

ANNOTATION:

This excerpt from the second paragraph of the beginning chapter introduces (from left to right in the photo) me, Dave, Les, and Mac, the three members of my vocal group. I struggled with finding the right place to begin this memoir since this wasn’t the beginning of the story for me. For me, it all began in September of 1957 while I was a junior in high school. So, in one sense, I’ve started in the middle of the story, though interesting bits of what came before this will gradually be uncovered in the pages of Night People and Enchanted. The reason I chose this moment to begin the memoir was because the four of us, who I sometimes refer to as the Four Musketeers, will also appear together at the end of the story. And though it isn’t the beginning, it is where our journey begins. As for Micky Smith, that will be in a later annotation.