Book 2 – “Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves”
(ARC Edition available HERE
for Reader Reviewers.)
IN A MAGICAL ENGAGEMENT IN HAWAII, Larry finds that danger lurks beneath the exotic beauty of the island of Oahu. A near-death drowning experience enhances a dramatic night of love and romance immersed in island magic. He is compelled to confront sex traffickers, and he and his friends learn firsthand of the horrors of the Vietnam War he barely avoided.
As the band seeks elusive fame in their recording career, success continues in famous Las Vegas resort hotels, and Larry’s chance at a forever-marriage with his new wife blooms with the birth of their young son. With a chance to record the theme of a new major movie, it seems Stark Naked and the Car Thieves’ will make their recording dreams come true— Instead, the band faces a crisis of confidence. When personal disaster strikes Larry, it is sudden and catastrophic. He must try to save his dream marriage, his band — even his life and sanity — before the music ends forever.
Larry J. Dunlap is the author of NIGHT PEOPLE, Book 1 of Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves and is currently preparing ENCHANTED, Book 2, the concluding volume, for publication in early 2019.
During the years following his memoir Larry continued in the Seventies music business inhabiting the streets of the Hollywood as a personal manager, publisher, and Sunset Boulevard recording studio owner/operator. In the Eighties Larry co-founded the first digital broadcasting network, to deliver computer games and internet to homes via cable television, followed by several years in video and film production, and post-production.
Larry earned his bones for several years as a pencil-for-hire, technical and training writer for Fortune 50 companies. He developed and designed the curricula and training for a national network engineer training program for CompUSA, later freelancing to write extensive training programs for Sprint, basic computer training curricula for Section 8 housing for HUD, and consumer electronics sales training for Sam’s Club.
Larry’s favorite project has been imagining a galactic empire, and then designing, authoring, and developing a graphical multiplayer online strategy game, IMPERIAL WARS, to play in it. He is a published short story author, music magazine columnist, and authored and drew a published music-based cartoon strip named Frets. Currently, Larry writes fiction and creative non-fiction from his home near the mountains east of Los Angeles where he shares his life with Laurie and their Chilidog.
Find out more at: http://larryjdunlap.com
I’d learned about sex trafficking in 1964 from Bunny, one of the two girls Mac shared a faded mini-mansion in Indianapolis with, three and a half years ago. Dave and I met Mac while he was performing in a slick nightclub band from Cincinnati. When we discovered he’d left his group and was staying behind in a house on North Meridian Street near downtown. We needed a new signer, and I decided there was nothing to lose in asking him if he’d like to sing in my vocal group, the Reflections. From the moment he’d introduced Bunny to me, I’d been morbidly fascinated by her thinly veiled profession.
I’d never considered the existence of a dark underbelly to the Wonder Bread town my friends and I disparagingly called Indianoplace. Mac’s comments more than hinted at Bunny’s ambiguous celebrity in the shadowy city where she consorted with vice detectives, corrupted police, judges, and high officials in city and state government. She must have known innumerable sordid stories if she’d ever dared tell them. I hinted to Mac about my interest in more details, but he was reluctant to elaborate then. One thing he did say: “…never ask a working girl ‘why she does what she does,’— about the worst thing you can ask, he said.
“In the usual course of events as Mac began to sing with us, Pat met Bunny. I hadn’t figured out what to tell my innocent young wife about Bunny yet, I was still trying to wrap my mind around who she was myself. Pat naturally assumed she was Mac’s girlfriend, similar to girlfriends of other guys I sang with, and struck up a friendship I never expected to happen. On a fateful Fall night, Bunny invited Pat to join her in a secret field trip to Cincinnati to check out a suspected rival for Mac’s affection. To say the outing ended badly is to suggest the Civil War was a minor scuffle.
Not long after that debacle, I dropped by the mansion to pick up Mac for rehearsal. Bunny and I sat together in the mansion’s sitting room while I waited for him to get ready, surprising in itself; I’d never had a real conversation with her before. The topic turned to Pat.
“You know Larry, I just love your wife. I never met anyone so smart and still so innocent,” she told me. “We had such sweet talks on the phone. I never had a girlfriend to say silly girl stuff to before. I suppose I knew she didn’t understand what I do for a living.” Bunny’s sidewise glance revealed her vulnerability. I couldn’t help but sympathize with her wistful desire to connect with someone who lived a normal life, as she put it.
“I guess we can’t be friends anymore now that Pat knows what I am. I’ll miss that very much.”
“I can’t say for sure how she feels, Bunny,” I said, realizing what she was asking. “I think she’s a little embarrassed about being in the middle of what happened, but she’s not mad at anybody.” She nodded.
“I sound like a stupid school girl, and God knows, I’ve never been one of those.” She stared away from me, despondent. I understood Mac’s convoluted relationship with Bunny much better now, of course, but back then Bunny displayed a proprietary affection for Mac I assumed he reciprocated. I’m sure what she discovered in Cincinnati, and the ferocious fights with Mac that followed, disheartened her more, but her regret for the loss of her short-lived friendship with Pat was touching.
“Do you know how someone becomes what I am?” she asked softly. The delicate lines etched beneath her eyes were beginning to concede her age and experience.
“No. Bunny, I don’t.” I itched with curiosity. I couldn’t deny my lascivious desire to hear what choices had brought her to this life.
She nodded and paused before going on. “I was an orphan.” She sighed with regret. “An orphan in Chicago. Found out my folks hailed from Tennessee originally, never figured out how I got to Chicago though.
“As a kid, you don’t have a way to measure how bad a place is.” Her eyes drilled into me, but a glimmer of the little girl she might have been shined in them somewhere. “I never remember being happy as a child.” She straightened the skirt of her long flowing day dress and reached for a cigarette. Bunny’s hair was done up in tight blond curls, but I’d seen her real hair, buzz-cut short, for wigs she used to help create erotic illusions in her professional role.
“I was such a pretty little thing, you see, so cute, and I craved the attention I got from that as a youngster. Until I turned thirteen and my ass was sold to the Chicago mob so they could turn me out.”
I bit back a shocked expression at the casual way she uttered that brutal statement…
Early Reviews For “Songs of Love and War,” Part I of ENCHANTED
Enchanted, And When the Spell Breaks
Kindle Customer, March 13, 2019
But the raw humanity of Larry knocked flat by loss and regret, and the f*ed-up place life becomes when he can’t even recognize himself—THIS is the beauty and the backbone of this book. And this why we read, to connect with someone who manages to find words for our crazy wordless lonely journey. Enchanted goes there…and I believe you’ll find yourself along the way.
A cool read, especially for those who lived through these … J. Matute on December 8, 2017
Finally got to read this after having to postpone it for various reason over the last few months. I read Larry’s first book and was intrigued to read the second. As one who went back and forth to Hawaii in the 60s and 70s, and having been around young warriors and family members involved in Vietnam, plus a brother in the SF Rock scene (where I first heard of Stark Naked and the Car Thieves), I kind of relived the tenor of the heady days of R&R and the sense of living in the moment in this book. A cool read, especially for those who lived through these days.
Great Read! The second in a set of a …
Russ Byer on January 15, 2018
Great Read! The second in a set of a young man becoming himself with the background of rock and roll. A well-written page turner.
Dunlap’s brilliant memoir. What an incredible description of this amazing …
David Dunn on November 13, 2017
This e-book edition is well written and entertaining as well as informative and descriptive of this portion of the total book and stands alone remarkably well as well as fitting into the entire “puzzle” of Mr. Dunlap’s brilliant memoir. What an incredible description of this amazing life trip of all six band members as well as numerous family members, friends, and acquaintances. Larry’s introduction of characters, especially the many celebrities, fits like a glove into the entire experience. Larry keeps the light sections light as well as intense descriptions when necessary to the flow and meter of the storyline. I found it difficult to put down even for brief periods that were necessary for my everyday functions of life such as eating, sleeping and catching my breath from this exciting trip this book took me on. Can’t wait for the next e release coming soon.
A Siren Song to the Soul
Kindle Customer on November 27, 2017
This latest in the coming of age adventure and career of Stark Naked and the Car Thieves’ Larry Dunlap will tweak your own passions, and stir the wild child living within your respectable 9-5 button up persona. Beware you don’t exit your latest staff meeting and book a flight to your nearest tropical isle.
I think with this book I have put my finger on part of Dunlap’s appeal as a writer to me. He is totally un-self-conscious in his transparency. Most writers, in depicting their inner world and outward adventures somehow convey a “I’m being so real with the reader” tone, as if they expect a pat on the back for their vulnerability. Dunlap seems as surprised as the reader as he discovers contradictions, consequences of his ill-placed bravado, and other human foibles about himself on his journey through life and love. At times he offers the reader the chance to have the attitude of “I could have told you that, Larry”, enabling us to feel superior, even reassured that we are better off with our safe and predictable lives even while we are envying his risk-taking and the living life large that he has embraced.
In short, this is a super relatable character and book that will recall to those of us of a certain age our own youth and experiences during the Viet Nam war. It will connect with younger people too, because the emotions are timeless, the risk of war and the trauma of those caught up in it are ceaseless, and the chance to peek inside the workings of a hot band working its hits are irresistible.
Great read. Highly recommend. I received my copy as an ARC book.
Songs of Love and War was an easy and descriptive read
micky d on November 10, 2017
Songs of Love and War was an easy and descriptive read. Am a little familiar with Oahu and even had a short stop there in ’67 on a trip from CA to Vietnam, so your descriptions were familiar, but even without my personal association with the time and place, I found your writings quite helpful in painting a picture of life on Oahu – especially appreciated the local color, association with the military and your body surfing experience…..and of course the people relationships and interaction in building the band identity.
For the most part I enjoyed the story, but for me, I’m not much for all the romantic stuff and kept looking for more sharing of life with the band, the gig itself, musical challenges, professional growth (or maybe decline), etc., that happened during your Island tenure. I know from the earlier book that you guys did mostly cover and that’s repeated again in this story, but there was some ambition on creating your own songs, your sound, your musical identity and the ups and downs of that experience —- I think those challenges are also part of the story and look forward to continued publications as we follow your music industry experiences…. Anyhow, am still a follower and send a thumbs up…
Often funny, tragic and insightful
ByRickon December 16, 2017
Often funny, tragic and insightful, Songs of Love and War by Larry Dunlap tells us about what went on with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves band during their trip to Hawaii in the 60s. The descriptive images of Hawaii as a paradise and a refuge from the Viet Nam war are so well drawn it will keep the reader involved in the continuing saga of Larry and his band. And, of course, the beautiful Theresa adds spice to this paradise gained and lost. Once you start on this journey with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, you’ll find yourself waiting impatiently for the next installment. Memoir writing at its best.
Another great read from Dunlap
Shiralyn Yates on November 11, 2017
I was delighted to read the ARC copy of the book “Songs of Love and War.” I hated when the “Things we lost in The Night” book ended. Seeing that I lived in this time, Dunlap captured the feeling of the 60’s and the love of his music. Having seen Stark Naked and the Car Thieves many times, reading the first novel brought back a wonderful time to be young. With this new book, once again he brought an authentic feel of how life was during the Vietnam war. You felt as though you were there, on the beautiful island, sitting and talking with the service men. It was a great read and once again I wished it were longer. But we can all look forward to many books to follow.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading the ARC copy of Songs of Love & …
The Wood Elf on November 15, 2017
What a delightful island adventure for a Midwestern boy in the band! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the ARC copy of Songs of Love & War by Larry Dunlap. The complex authenticity of the characters who rock and retch and make love in this time of divisive war compels close and avid reading. This is a gripping follow-up to What We Lost in the Night, as the band takes off for Hawaii, land of loveliness, lush beaches, late nights – and of dazed, grief-stricken boys on leave from Vietnam. This journey pulled me back to my own experience of these times. It was a memorable trip that I recommend most enthusiastically.
Heartfelt, Unafraid, Inspiring Look Back at Life in the Rock-n-Roll 60s
Amy FD November 15, 2017
Dunlap takes his readers through an unexpected journey back to the 1960s. Heartfelt but also unafraid to explore the dark side of an era, he shows us the glamor and underbelly of life as a rockstar coming of age in a time of war. Filled with the excitement of music, a lush Hawaiian setting, and a passion-filled romance, Dunlap doesn’t shy away from the horrors faced by the soldiers who frequented his shows or the predatory dangers faced by Hawaiian women struggling to achieve their dreams. Whether or not they lived through the 60s, readers will enjoy this story and eagerly await the next installment.
It holds your interest as if it were a nice novel, but is reality
Keith O’Conner on November 11, 2017
I reviewed an ARC of the book. The author draws you into his life as if you there. It holds your interest as if it were a nice novel, but is reality. As a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and a fellow Hoosier, I was most interested in the music-related parts of the book. Glad he followed up his great first book in the series with this winner!
A Quick, Vivid, Enjoyable Read
Lsufan on November 28, 2017
Larry Dunlap has once again picked up his colorful paint brush of words to put together a very vivid tale/ memoir of Stark Naked & the Car Thieves’ time in beautiful Hawaii. I was both anxious and delighted to read my ARC copy to see where the Band goes next after reading Night People, this book’s predecessor. Although Songs of Love & War focuses more on Larry’s personal adventure and veers some from the musical pace of Night People, it will leave you waiting none too patiently to see what happens next to the Band, the music, and to the author. Happy Reading, y’all!