Recently, Dave sent me some photos that had come to light. This one show our band in early 1966, I’m going to guess about February or so. Dave Rapken, was the club owner of one of the hottest topless bars in North Beach, back when the naughty but nice atmosphere brought celebs of every stripe over to the original Barbary coast, when he hired us to play at his club for a year. Though he never said, I am certain that the name Stark Naked and the Car Thieves really appealed to him. It had been a joke name to us but there was no changing it now.
Most of us were vocalists, recently arrived from Indianapolis, and we’d formed a band with some available musicians and played a couple of bay area, (mostly dive bar) clubs for a few months. Dave Rapken insisted on suits, as you can see in the publicity picture he arranged for. He also hired a pretty tough guy who had many years experience in Las Vegas. Eddie taught us stagecraft, virtually at gunpoint. Usually we did what he asked since he made such a point of it but on occasion, we slipped.
Sharing a dressing room with six topless dancers over a year was an education there was no way to prepare for, let alone if you were a recent emigrant from the Midwest. It was all part of growing up as A Naked Car Thief.
Across the top: Mac, Dave, Larry; across the bottom, Leonard, Les, Jack. I still can’t believe we were ever that young.