In the early 1960's six young men got together in Indianapolis, Indiana
and moved to California where after many zany adventures they had hit
after hit, their own television show, and became a famous rock band,
whose influences on the history of music rival those of the Beach Boys,
the Temptations, the Beatles and the Four Seasons ....
Well that was the plan anyway. This website is a little history of
how a band assembled itself into the group of guys who ended up in California
known as Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. It is a story
of adolescent fantasy meeting the reality of being far from home. It
is about learning the necessity for hard work and coming to depend upon
others no more dependable then oneself. And while it's a nostalgic website
about a group of guys coming of age in California, hopefully it's more
than that. It is also about the fresh eyes of musical immigrants arriving
in the mid-sixties in a special era in Californian and American history.
Stark Naked never became a household name, never had that big hit
that we dreamed of and chased through seven different record labels,
so why, is it our story to tell? This is a band that was within a heartbeat,
a handshake, a hairsbreadth of many of the events that shaped the times,
fun, scary, good, bad and ugly. We were often one degree of separation
from the idealistic dream of 'peace and love' and it's polar
opposite, the gritty reality of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. We touched
a lot of people in these very special years, including our own psyches.
And maybe we wee a hairs breadth away from hit city as well but that's not really for us to determine. Despite the fact that it was a thrilling and wonderful ride that none
of us would ever take back, only some of us survived and thrived in
this environment. Some of us didn't, and some of us were damaged.
As a player in the band, I would want this site to be a comfortable place
where we can kick our shoes off, put on slippers and reminisce about
a time that continues to press upon our present and future. Whenever
we get together we remember our adventures in little vignettes, stories.
So I hope to recreate that here. It is my hope that it will never quite be finished, that
it will always be organic, continually growing and changing, trying
to capture in words, pictures, and music the emotions and color of the
times, as they were a-changing, from our point of view. For you as a
visitor or contributor, we hope you find it interesting, amusing, informative
and fun. For me, I'm trying to bring these things we experienced and
those from contributors into a living, breathing repository of our
memories for ourselves and to express to others who don't really understand
when we try to tell them. This is an attempt to get it right, one more time ...
When the band was in Hawaii in the spring of 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War, we were offered an opportunity to record one of the first music videos.LOOK BACK IN LOVE was just being released and everyone was excited, it was picked to go high on the Billboard Hot 100 so we did a video on the beach and in a automobile junkyard. We only saw it before final editing and it looked great when we left for the mainland. Unfortunately, no one wanted to pay for it when the record failed to break onto the charts, and the footage was lost in time. Below is a rough video I made for LOOK BACK IN LOVEwhich can't replace the one on Waikiki Beach but at least signifies its existence.
NIGHT PEOPLE & ENCHANTED
THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT, A Memoir of Love and Music
in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves
Since August of 2011, I;ve been working on a personal memoir of my years in Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. NIGHT PEOPLE was published in June of 2015 covering the years between 1965 and early 1968 (backstory to 1957) and has become an Amazon Top Ten Seller in POP>Biography and Memoir. You can find NIGHT PEOPLE on Amazon in PRINT and eBOOK editions.. I'm nearing the end of ENCHANTED about my final 3 years with the band. More info at http://LarryJDunlap.com
If you'd like to be NOTIFIED and qualify for a free copy please join my special friends and fans of the book by signing up below.
Anytime you want to stop recieving notifications about the books and interesting behind the scenes information, there is an unsubscribe feature on the bottom of each message. New friends have access to an advance release of Chapter One from ENCHANTED, Island GIrl. More new chapters soon.
I recently found the last few things I produced at my studio, City Recorders for Easy Street Productions, circa 1980.. These are only instrumental tracks but I think they showcase the studio and the caliber of engineers and musicians we could call on. You can listen to them at this link: EASYSTREET.
Updated the links page. Some of the links had gone the way of all things made of bits and bytes. Doing research has led me to various interesting sites. Some old, some new.
Nice note from Evan Marshall, who is reviving a website for the old PUSSYCAT A GO GO in Las Vegas. No matter where we were playing, The CAT was always a home to us in our early Las Vegas years. He' s trying to locate PUSSYCAT A GO GO photos and pictures of memorabilia, histories, stories, anything that can help enhance the site and bring back memories of that amazing place and time.
Believe me I notice how horribly dated this site is, yet I see a lot of mention of it around on different places on the Internet so it seems to be getting a surprising amount of traffic. I would like to update it but for several reasons that may not happen any time soon.
Here is the link to a few pictures and a video of Leonard Souza's grave site if you'd like to see it.
IMPORTANT: This site features a lot of people who played in the band that was, the groups that came before, and the bands that came after Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. However, where information on this site is not directly attributable to a specific individual, the opinions and facts related here are entirely my responsibility. Any inaccuracies, minor or egregious, are mine, and mine alone. I am hopeful that if anyone notices an inaccuracy that they will alert me to it so that I can correct it. But hey! a lot of the site is about the sixties and seventies and if you remembered it all that clearly, maybe you weren't alive then. Also, if you are mentioned (or not and should be), and you are mischaracterized in some way please let me know. And don't ever confuse any of my twisted humor or biased insight with any intention of meanness in this site - it would never happen. In one way or another, I love all my brothers who I played and sang with in this band. This site is dedicated them and to the fans who supported and cared about us through the thick years and the thin. I know we want to say to those fans, "Thanks from all of us who ever hit the stage as a part of this vocal group or band". -Larry
THE STRUCTURE OF THE BAND'S HISTORY
From my point of view the band is one long linear string of events. To
me, I was only ever in this band that began in high school as a vocal group we called the AristoCats, that mutated,
evolved and eventually became Stark Naked. And even after my playing days ended and I became the band's "suit", I still felt connected to the band to the end.
So the reason the band members
are listed in the Original Player's page in
the particular order they are, is because that is the order in which
they appear to me, kaleidoscopically joining, influencing and changing the only group I've ever been in. It has caused some distress to 'original' members because I view life as a parallel process experienced by each individual. Many things
occurred outside of my limited and sometimes impaired perception but I cannot speak to those things or viewpoints I didn't share. So despite this "siloed" limitation,
my point of view supplies the backbone, the structure of our story
in broad strokes so that other individual stories, other "viewpoints"
or vignettes, can be "linked" into this broad narrative if others are willing to donate them.
Hopefully, this narrative will be passed on to others who participated in the history of the band who will make their voice heard here as well. I'll try to represent
the consensus of the group members despite my linear recital, while individual
comments links will link individual viewpoints throughout, so keep your
eye open for those links. That's probably where the good stuff will
Stark Naked's history can be broken up into
chunks so I've taken a whack at those below; I think they will subdivide as things go along but these chunks are a good place to start. Those moments that are related inside these arbitrary frames
were very important to us in our growth as people. Sometimes they are uncomfortable but we were just doing the best we could at the time. These words may resonate with
others who passed through those amazing, dangerous, revolutionary but
rarely boring years of the sixties and seventies in California's era
of peace, love and music . That would be cool.
Before there was Stark Naked and the Car Thieves, there were the Reflections,
the MG's and the Casinos ...
THE FIRST TOUR - WE'RE NOT YET NAKED
When we made the decision to become a traveling club band, it was New Years Eve,
1964. Dave had lost his milk truck, Les his Coke truck and Larry was about
to lose his Wonder Bread truck. Mac wanted to get back to the world he
knew and, poor Chuck has lost his gig ...
NAKED IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
The gods were either smiling or laughing when Dave pulled his '63 Ford convertible up at the
Santa Monica pier and the guys asked for directions to Hayward, California
NAKED IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Our comfy home at the Galaxie was over and we were off to a new club called
the Pink Carousel in Downey, California ...
NAKED IN SIN CITY - LAS VEGAS
While we spent most of our nights at the Sky Room of the Flamingo Hotel,
we began at a infamous Las Vegas Strip rock club, the Pussycat A-Go-Go, the hottest club in Vegas at the time. Our first booking was interesting since it was a ruse that
got us to Las Vegas ...
THE NAKED FELLOWSHIP IS BROKEN - THE ORIGINAL
Las Vegas takes its toll. As Les whispered to us on stage when we came
out to open Nero's Nook at Caesar's, "We've finally made it to the
top of the bottom.". It was prophetic, the drive for a hit record
was stalled and dead as the distraction and ...
THE LATER DAY NAKEDS
For the next seven years of the band's existence, it sheltered many of
Los Angeles, career musicians and the odd star between gigs ...
Stark Naked's experiment with three front singers in a packaged band
led to the formation of other bands. Some because original members wanted
to try out experiments, like Mac's American Headband, and some were directly influenced
by us, like Three Dog Night.
THE NAKED HONOR ROLL & WHERE ARE THEY NOW
Here's where the original band members are and others who played in the
band over the years, as best we can determine. If you know of any of the
guys and/or where they are, contact me and I'll update this list.