It began as a simple idea, the retelling of the four of us from Indiana’s musical adventures in the wild and chaotic West Coast of the mid-1960s for friends and family. It turned into a memoir of our story as seen and experienced through my eyes, and–in the end, it became what it had always been-–A LOVE STORY.
ENCHANTED CONCLUDES A FAST-MOVING, ROMANCE-FILLED MEMOIR of a young singer and his friends search for success in the 1960s music business of California and Las Vegas - if you liked memoirs from Carly Simon, Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Tommy James, and "The Wrecking Crew," you're sure to enjoy Night People and Enchanted.
In the final three years of Things We Lost in the Night, the band’s trajectory continues to rise as their latest record is expected to debut high on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100. In Hawaii, Larry encounters a life-threatening moment and an indelible romantic fantasy, experiences on this beautiful and exotic island during the Vietnam War that changes his life in many ways. The homecoming trip to Indianapolis with the band that follows is far less satisfying than he’d expected and a national tragedy affects the hit record everyone expected. But the band’s success as performers continues to soar as they headline in a Las Vegas nightclub with famous bands like Sly and the Family Stone and discover that Stark Naked and the Car Thieves has become the model for the latest supergroup, Three Dog Night.
Though the recording success they’d hoped for hasn’t materialized yet, the new owner of the Flamingo Hotel has booked them on a long-term contract to play in a dance/showroom designed and built especially for them, the Sky Room. Here they perform for the biggest stars in the world, including Tom Jones and Elvis Presley and play with internationally famous musicians who come to sit in with them. Larry’s feels he’s living a romantic fairy tale with his new wife and baby son and been given a second chance to redeem the failure of his first marriage.
When the Flamingo’s owner completes construction on the new International Hotel, the world’s largest resort casino, Elvis is booked in the main showroom to begin his legendary climb to superstardom in the city that never sleeps. Stark Naked and the Car Thieves are expected to open the Crown Room simultaneously in a venue similar to the Sky Room at the top of the new hotel. After another record release fizzles, the band is frustrated with their progress as recording artists.
Though they have been chosen by Capitol Records to record the theme song for a new major movie, Larry realizes their options are limited by the band’s inability to create their own original music, their own sound. But the disappointment continues when the movie fails to be completed, and forces are at work to implode the band. Larry is determined to find new ways to develop the band’s creativity. During a scheduling mixup following another trip home to Indiana, a crisis arises. His new wife and son are missing and he faces severe threats to his life and sanity as he attempts to salvage his family and keep the band together.
PRAISE FOR NIGHT PEOPLE
Dunlap's sense of transcendence is similar to the sensation Keith Richards describes in his memoir, 'Life: ' ...you leave the planet for a while...' Reliving his rock and roll years in his wonderful memoir, Larry Dunlap must have left the planet for a while, too." I loved it and highly recommend it.
-- Kiana Davenport, The Spy Lover, Shark Dialogues
Whether or not you remember the swift intoxicating music of that era or the seismic shift of mores that burst from the free-love movement, [NIGHT PEOPLE] captures the beat of that misty time when the country suffered "a growing thirst for individual freedom, a desire to escape from an ever-darkening shadow of war, and a national hangover following the public murder of a young and popular president."
-- C.D. Quyn, Steph Rodriguez, Manhattan Book Review
NIGHT PEOPLE, Book 1 - Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir ofLove and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, a current AMAZON #1 BEST SELLER in POP ARTIST BIOGRAPHY, is available in Kindle and Paperback at Amazon.com. The concluding volume, ENCHANTED, Book 2 is slated for release in 2016. Check it out here at Noise Trade at http://books.noisetrade.com/la... band started life as the Reflections, a hometown vocal group in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they charted with a top 40 hit on Chicago's WLS in January of 1964 with a classic uptempo remake of "In The Still of the Night," originally recorded by the Five Satins. One week later the Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," came onto the chart at #40. The Reflections kept ahead of the Beatles rise for two more weeks until it was discovered their producer had lost their master, and they lost their place in history. They rushed out a record called "In The Beginning," by Larry Huff on Laurie Records but were forced to change their name to the Illusions.
When the group added musicians it changed its name to the Checkmates, finding their way to California and a new name, Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. They went on to play at the high profile San Francisco clubs in North Beach and rock star-studded clubs in Hollywood before landing a spot at Caesars Palace shortly after it opened in 1966. With their lineup of 3 lead singers, they went on to become a model for Three Dog Night. They were managed by Jimmy O'Neill of Shindig! fame, and Seymour Heller, who managed Liberace and several other stars. Signed to their private record label, AVI, distributed by NYC's Bell Records and published by Four Preps, Ed Cobb, their recording success seemed certain. Despite many sessions in the best Hollywood studios, that success eluded them. This Album, "Songs from Things We Lost in the Night," includes "In The Still of the Night," as well as "In The Beginning," and "Look Back in Love." along with the rest of the songs released during these years.
Enchanted, Book 2 of Larry J. Dunlap's romantic memoir series Things We Lost in the Night, follows the first book, Night People, in documenting his band's continuing climb toward national recording success on the West Coast in the 1960s. To get a sense of the flavor of the story, think Kerouac's On the Road, then add the best elements of rock star memoirs to the mix. The final three years of Dunlap's band's successes and disappointments are charted with an attention to detail that gives you the feeling "you are there." Woven into the band's journey is Dunlap's personal love story beginning with an intense romantic encounter in Hawaii through marriage and fatherhood to the drama of the final chapters.
- D. Donovan, Sr. Editor, Midwest Book Review
FIVE STAR REVIEW! Enchanted: Things We Lost in the Night (A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves) is the second book in a breathtaking memoir by Larry Dunlap, a veritable tour de force for readers who enjoy real-life adventures and what the life of a band feels like. Larry takes readers on a ride with the band as they continue to rise in popularity, exploring intense moments of performance, relationships, and disappointments. [In Hawaii,] Larry will face a life-threatening experience against the backdrop of the Vietnam War; and [Larry's return with his band to]... his hometown... is not what he expected.
The story is written in an engrossing, first-person narrative voice and the author captures very interesting dialogues and memorable moments in prose that is excellent, pulling readers into his worldview and compelling them to experience the hype surrounding a working band. [When they star in a major Las Vegas hotel,] we encounter legendary musicians like Elvis Presley, but what caught my attention most was the author's romantic journey... and the surprising thrills of an endearing romance.
--Divine Zape for Reader's Favorite
"This book and this series are for anyone who's made a terrible mistake regarding people they love. It's also a book for someone who's been crushed beyond endurance by one they trusted, and how they go on. Larry Dunlap takes us on many journeys and does so with an intent to do justice to the trust we've put in him for the ride. The jockeying and insecurities and squabbles of the band, the vast distance from performing to recording and the players and influences in the process, Las Vegas during Elvis and Streisand's time, native Hawaiian home life, love-making that makes you feel a nun by comparison--read Enchanted for all of this.
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."
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 an "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."