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  WHO ARE THOSE GUYS?

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 ...

NEWS

I recently recorded an Audible Excerpt from near the beginning of the book. In 1965, after our vocal group attempted to form a band that lasted a month and a night, which had a disasterous effect on my young marriage, and asplit up the Reflections vocal group for good, at least so I thought. I was forced to return to my parents house and childhood bedroom with my life in ruins. I'd made the decision to set aside the crazy dreams and schemes and try to figure out how to become a normal twenty-three year old guy in Indianapolis. The saying is if you want to make God laugh, make plans. Fate, Dave, Mac, and strangely enough my parents, had other ideas.... THIS IS FAMILY MATTERS
Larry J. Dunlap

YOU TUBE - FAMILY MATTERS AUDIBLE EXCERPTLook Back In Love, Audible Excerpt 1

 

 

Things We Lost in the Dark, a memoir of love and rock n rollSince August of 2011, I;ve been writing a personal memoir of my years in Stark Naked and the Car Thieves. I put several months of researching those years between 1965 and early 1971 before beginning, including the earlier years back to 1957 when my love affair with music and the high school girl I loved began. I'm nearing the end of the final draft, If you'd like to receive updates, new Audible Excerpts, and interesting behind the scenes facts, plus receive a free copy of the book when it's complete, please leave me your email below.

For more information online check these links:
THINGS WE LOST IN THE NIGHT Website
Look Back In Love on FACEBOOK where you can LIKE the book and see current posts, My FACEBOOK author site, or my AUTHOR website for current information
Or check out STILL NAKED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS BLOG here.

Thanks for signing up! - Larry

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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.

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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 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. I've asked Evan to put a link on the STILL NAKED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS blog, so look for his link there to contact him with any help you can give him. Below is a link to the PUSSYCAT A GO GO website.

Link to pussycat-a-go-go Las Vegas, Nevada back in the day

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Okay, I did a video track to LOOK BACK IN LOVE. You can see it in the blog. Be gentle, please.

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If you haven't, check out the blog at STILL NAKED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS or on the menu as Stark Naked blog.

To post or answer blogs, you will need to register. Look in the META section of the blog in the right side column and choose Register. A window will ask for a user name and an email address and then will send you a confirmation email to start writing. That's it.

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.

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Here is the link to a few pictures and a video of Leonard Souza's gravesite 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".

THE STRUCTURE OF THE BAND'S HISTORY

Stark Naked & the Car Thieves in suitsFrom 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 be.

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.

- Larry Dunlap 2004

Let's clear up Question number one right now. WHERE DID WE GET THAT NAME!

THE BANDS BEFORE THE BAND

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 BAND FRACTURES

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 ...

OFFSHOOT BANDS

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.