Pleasant Hill to Hayward, California via Crow Canyon Road
When Stark Naked and the Car Thieves were still called The Checkmates, and were newly arrived in California, most of us lived inland around Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek (A) because the first club we worked in was in Pittsburg, CA a few miles further north and east as described in NIGHT PEOPLE [Chapter 6: California Checkmates]. It was pretty much a disaster to begin with though we closed strong.
Following a successful after-hours audition, [Chapter 7: No Plan B] we caught on at the Town Club in Hayward, California (B) in the San Francisco East Bay city of Hayward. This illustration shows the drive we had to make every night to get to the club.
It also illustrates why we needed drugs when we started playing both the night club, an after-hours in Oakland (north of Hayward and out of map view), and then a 6 to 10 am jam session back at the Town Club every Friday Night/Saturday morning, and Saturday Night/Sunday morning. There wasn’t enough time for us to get back to our inland home so we just stayed up the entire weekend for several months. [Chapter 11: The Pharmacist and the Nurse].
Back in the early 80’s, I lived in the Los Feliz/Atwater area. I spent many a night walking my dog with my neighbor Bud Mason, ne Wayne Mason, who told me stories about growing up in 50’s and 60’s. He seemed to have a story about everything. To give you an idea of how wacky his childhood was, when Oregon went to the Rose Bowl in 1958 they found out Bud had a pet duck. They gave him free tickets in return that the duck could be their mascot for the game. That was the kind of stuff that happened to Bud, and I spent a lot time cracking up at his escapades. He spoke of his days in the navy, hot rodding up and down San Fernando Road, ordering Zombie’s from a black bartender named Ben at Gazzarri’s, and rocking out to a band named “Stark Naked and the Car Thieves.”
I was just a kid back then, but the name was instantly cool to me and remains so to this day. I decided to google your band for kicks, and it is nice to finally be able to put a face to the name. Bud has been gone for a few years now, but every once in a while I think about him fondly and laugh. I have regaled my own son with some of Bud’s stories… and yes, about a band called Stark Naked and the Car Thieves.