Stark Naked In Waikiki (1968)

Mon 2/14/2011 5:06 PM

Hi Guys:

My name is Steve and I live in Honolulu, Hawaii.

I recall reading in our local newspaper in 1968 that “Stark Naked And The Car Thieves” opend at a nightclub called “The Lemon Tree” in Waikiki on March 26, 1968. The group members at that time were Larry Dunlap on organ, Dave Dunn on vocals, Les Silvey on guitar, Mac Brown on vocals, Leonard Souza on drums and Mickey Borden on bass.

The main rock and roll radio station in Hawaii at that time was K-POI. I was wondering if the guys were ever interviewed on that station while they were in town. I was quite young at that time so I did not get to go to the nightclub to see them. Did the group have any singles out during the time that they were performing in Hawaii?

Best Wishes,
Steve

  9Comments

  1. Tom Boyer   •  

    I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, every weekend we went to the Lemon Tree
    I danced many dances to your band. We had a one room apartment in the jungle not far from the Lemon Tree.
    I want the Thank Stark Naked and the Car Thieves for wonderful memories on the spring of 1968.

    • Larry J Dunlap   •  

      Hey Tom! Great to hear from you! Those months we played at the Lemon Tree in Waikiki in 1968 were magical and golden. I’ve just been working on those chapters in the new book, ENCHANTED. It was such an amazing experience playing for the servicemen there. So different from the mainland. Thanks for remembering us and taking the time to say hi.

  2. JIM MCAFEE   •  

    HI,I WAS WITH A GROUP CALLED THE 821ST C,S.P.S. ON OUR WAY TO VIET NAM AND OUR LAST NIGHT IN THE STATES WAS SPENT AT THE LEMON TREE. YOUR GROUP (STARK NAKED AND THE CAR THIEVES) GAVE US THE BEST SEND OFF ANYONE COULD ASK FOR. WHEN I GOT BACK HOME I PUT EVERYTHING AWAY AND JUST RECENTLY CAME ACROSS AUTOGRAPH PICTURES YOUR BAND SIGNED FOR ME.I WANT TO THINK THAT YOUR BAND HELPED SOME OF US TO MAKE IT BACK HOME O.K.(MAC-DAVE-MISSI-LARRY-LEONARD-BASS MAN)THE NAMES SIGNED ON THE BACK OF THE PICTURES MADE BY JIMMY O’NEILL MANAGEMENT.I WAS 19 YRS. OLD AT THE TIME AND I’M 63 NOW AND I’LL NEVER FORGET THAT NIGHT. THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT YOU GAVE ALL OF US THAT NIGHT.

    • NakedMe   •  

      Wow, Jim, thanks so much for the holler out! So glad you made it home okay. It was so great to play for all the guys who were going into the thick of things. A comment like this makes so much difference to us. If we played any part, even the littlest part in helping you and your buddies then we have a lot to be grateful for.

      Great stuff, and double thanks.

  3. LarryNaked   •  

    Hi Steve,

    Nice to hear from you! Yep, we played the Lemon Tree in spring of 1968 and loved it there. We were very surprised when we arrived to find our picture on the front page of the Honolulu Observer (think that was the name of the paper). While we didn’t do any radio interviews we did have a record that was just hitting the charts then called, “Look Back In Love”. In fact, we did what must have been one of the first music videos while we were there. We shot it on an empty beach and somewhere where there was an auto junkyard. They were still finishing the master when we left the island at the end of our contract. We were very disappointed when our management company, after okaying the project, didn’t pay for it so we never saw it though it sure looked like it was going to be good. I sometimes think about whether the production guys that shot it might still have it somewhere but don’t know how to reach them to find out.

    We were there for four months and I will always remember it as one of the best times of my life. We had played at the Lemon Tree in Reno, Nevada previously and the owners there were good friends with the owner of the Lemon Tree in Honolulu, a Samoan guy. They recommended us to him and a few months later we were there. We were treated great by the club owner who looked out for us at all times. It was a time when the U.S. armed services came to Hawaii for R ‘n R from Vietnam so it was totally packed and rocking every night, even occasionally dangerous. And the days were spectacular because the hotel we stayed at, despite being a fleabag, was one block to the beach. The club itself was right on Kalakaua so we could walk across the street to the beach on breaks. Most of us, being from the Midwest, found it to be such an exotic and different lifestyle. I found out what ‘Hawaii time” meant. I still fondly remember fresh pineapple and Portuguese sweet bread for breakfast from street vendors before rehearsals. Leonard, our drummer, had been stationed in Hawaii during his years in the Navy so he was kind of our guide until some of the local people took us under their wing. Before we left it felt like it was home to me and that we were leaving brothers and sisters and even more behind.

    I have to admit during the several times that I have been back to Honolulu that I have been disappointed in the changes. I haven’t even been able to even find the place where the Lemon Tree was and despite the continuing beauty of the island, the atmosphere seems entirely different. I remembered it as such an exciting and consuming time for us then.

    For many personal reasons, it was one of the best events in my life. Thanks for reminding me of that, Steve. 

    Larry Naked

    • LarryNaked   •  

      Damn, I love these “blast from the past” fans. Makes me want to go back to those fun times. We just didn’t know the impact we were having on that “love generation”.

      Mackie Naked

    • LarryNaked   •  

      Tue 2/15/2011 8:38 PM

      Thank you for the update! It was very interesting to read about your Hawaii memories.

      Take care.

      Steve

    • LarryNaked   •  

      Always good to hear from people in our past. We played the Lemon Tree for 9 weeks. I remember we were “rock happy” by the end of that time.

      It takes me back to simpler times in our lives. We just entertained people and had fun there. I remember we didn’t rehearse much because of the paradise surroundings. Had a lot of fun and “smoked” a lot too.

      It’s kind of amazing that this guy knew all our names and instruments as well even though he never saw us in person. A really nice compliment I think.

      Thanks for the good memories …

      David Naked

      • LarryNaked   •  

        Good catch, Dave. You’re right it was 9 weeks. Some of us wished it could be longer, others did have ‘rock fever’ and wanted to go after 4. 🙂

        Larry Naked

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