COMING SUMMER OF 2017!
Book 2 – Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves
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 and a dramatic night of love and romance immersed in island magic are burned into memory. 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 Hawaiian wife blooms with the birth of their young son. With a chance to record the theme of a new major movie, it seems nothing can stop Stark Naked and the Car Thieves’ ascent to the top. But, when disaster strikes, 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 2016.
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 from Bunny, one of the two girls Mac shared a faded mini-mansion with in Indianapolis in late 1964, three and a half years ago. After Dave and I saw Mac performing in a slick nightclub band from Cincinnati, we discovered he’d left his group and was staying behind in a house on North Meridian Street near downtown. I decided there was nothing to lose in asking 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 normal 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 simply 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. 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…
December 8, 2017
January 15, 2018
November 13, 2017
November 27, 2017
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.
November 10, 2017
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….
December 16, 2017
November 11, 2017