Meet Larry J Dunlap
A BRIEF BIO
I was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana where I first fell in love, and developed an obsession with singing 50s and 60s rock music. Now, I mellow quietly in Southern California.
THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT, follows my six years as the leader of a mid-sixties rock band, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. In 1971, after that experience I worked in Hollywood for nine years as a personal manager, first with Seymour Heller, who practically invented Artist Management, and then independently. I tried my hand as a record producer, eventually building and operating CITY RECORDERS, a recording studio on the Paramount Studios lot at Sunset and Gower Boulevards.
I left the music business in 1980 to found TGN, Inc. – THE GAMES NETWORK, where we developed the first digital cable television network, followed by four years in film and video, production and post production. After several years consulting for Fortune 50 companies in Southern California, in the early 2000s I started an online game company, INTELLIGENT LIFE GAMES, to develop, with the help of an exceptionally talented team, IMPERIAL WARS, a multiplayer, online strategy and role-playing game I’d been designing for many years previous.
In recent years, before turning to full time creative writing, I returned to consultancy developing and authoring technical and instructional materials and curricula for corporate clients. I’m a published short story author, magazine columnist (Nightwork) for Affair Magazine, reviewing southern California’s music scene, and authored and drew a monthly cartoon strip called FRETS for INSIDE Video & Music, a music industry magazine. I am unreasonably fortunate to share my existence with my wife, Laurie and Chili Dog. [/wptab] [wptab name=’Background in Music’]
THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT
NIGHT PEOPLE, Book 1, improbably reunites me with my vocal group, the Reflections, from a broken life in the sleepy Midwest to the San Francisco Bay Area, 1,800 miles away. My vocalist friends and I attempt to turn ourselves into a rock band in the mid-sixties musical whirlwind of San Francisco’s East Bay dive bars. The band manages to survive, though at great personal cost, and finds itself accidentally renamed Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, which begins to rise to local fame in a North Beach topless club. On to Hollywood nights, celebrity managers, gangsters, famous studios and music producers, to become the first rock band to perform at Las Vegas’ fantastic new Caesars Palace Hotel. I narrowly avoid the Selective Service’s all-expenses-paid trip to Vietnam as our first record is being released.
In ENCHANTED, Book 2, as our second record, picked by Billboard Magazine to hit the top of the charts, is released the band embarks on an island adventure steeped in ancient magic, where hidden dangers are disguised by exotic beauty. The romance of a lifetime finds me here. We see the true effect of our music when we entertain America’s recovering warriors at the edge of Waikiki at the height of the Vietnam War. With more records being released, appearing nightly at the luxurious Flamingo Sky Room, and sharing the Crown Room at the top of the International Hotel while Elvis performed in the main showroom, everything seemed perfect — until everything changed and the music ended for me. I would try everything to rescue my forever marriage and save my imploding band — if I had the strength.
THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT is my six-year chronicle of life with a band of brothers who loved, betrayed, saved and changed each other; my romantic adventure of true love lost, found, and lost again in the tumultuous sixties. We jostled through a historical time of change in one of the most important eras in national history, meeting memorable characters, the famous and infamous, stretching to reach every entertainer’s mythical dream of “Making It”, often forgetting the journey was the real prize.
I’d always believed I would someday tell the story of the incredible ride my band brothers and I took as youths from Indianapolis and share the amazing time and events we experienced on the West Coast of the late 1960s. NIGHT PEOPLE was published in June of 2015 and ENCHANTED in April of 2019. I didn’t think writing it would take longer than living it.
AFTER THE STORY
Following my years in Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, I moved to Hollywood where I took over the management of my band in Seymour Heller’s offices. In return, I managed the other young rock bands that Ed Cobb was recording for Attarack-Heller. About three years later, I joined two partners, Ron Singer and Scott Norton, to form The Management Tree with penthouse offices on just west of the Rainbow Grill and the Roxie nightclub on Sunset Boulevard. Eventually, Scott and I took over space at Sunset and Gower Boulevards in the Paramount Studio lot where we built City Recorders, a high-end recording studio. When family affairs called Scott away I took over the studio full-time, recording and producing, while managing several artists, until I left the music in 1980.
I turned 21 in 1970 however, I started going to bars a couple of years before that (don’t tell anyone). One of my favorite bars/nightclubs was the Hollyoke. That is where we discovered Stark Naked and The Car Thieves. We loved to go when you all were there and dance and just listen to the band. Great memories.
I ran across an article a few years ago where i learned that you were writing a book. I ran across another article today where I learned that you now have 2 books. I found them on Amazon and ordered both. I can’t wait to get them and read about one
of my all time favorite bands.
Jolene, thank you so much for letting me know. Hope you enjoyed the books. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Did you know that three of the band members were from Indianapolis? It was our first trip home since we’d left three years earlier as four singers trying to make our way in the music business. At the time we left Hawaii, where we’d been just before we opened at the Holyoke, “Look Back In Love” was number one on Hawaii radio. We thought we were about to become a big deal. But nobody in the mid-west was playing our record. Kind of disappointing.
I don’t know how I missed hearing about this… but I was “there.” And still remember all the bands and the Pussycat. I just ordered both your books on Amazon and can’t wait to read them!
Katharine, we had so much fun at the Cat! It was a struggle to get to play there at first, but then it got us into Caesars Palace! And then we got ourselves out of Caesars and back to the Cat! So many great groups there. We made a lot of friends and had a great time there. Thanks for remembering us.
I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed “Night People.” I’m from Chicago, and though I’m younger than most people who love the music you played and love, I grew up listening to and loving it. The Four Seasons was and still is one of my all time favorite groups, and your talk of Midwest living, the sound, the era–it was all fascinating and enthralling; but that was just the icing on the cake. Your writing is so honest and enjoyable, without a hiccup, I was turning pages and entranced. I am/was also a fan of the local-to-Chicago band The Buckinghams, and have seen them perform quite a lot, spoken to them often enough, that your story at times reminded me of some of their perspectives on certain things regarding music of that time.
I did receive an ARC of your book, so I’m not sure if this has been corrected, but you spelled Kathie/Kathy different ways in one chapter, so I just thought I’d mention that here (rather than in my public review), as I’m a word nerd and would want to know the same of anything I’d written.
I’m very much looking forward to the second book, and if you’d like to correspond with a 38-year-old whose soul and love of music is much older, that would be welcomed.
All my best,