Night People is the first of two books that make up "Things We Lost in the Night, A Memoir of Love and Music in the 60s with Stark Naked and the Car Thieves," takes place in the 1960s music business in California and Nevada, and tells of a group of friends in a rock band who migrate to California, reunite to make music, and find themselves unexpectedly on the cutting edge of nightclubs and Vegas showrooms - venues entirely outside of their experience as musicians.
From Larry J. Dunlap's early, evolving group of musician friends and why they moved from Indianapolis to California to the opportunity offered by the lure of a nightclub gig, Night People provides a fine autobiography of golden prospects, how these are assessed, and what is involved in a "…clean sweep, [sic] necessary for me to change, to become what everyone here expected of me."
From the monotony of an assembly-line job that offers its own kind of peace (if not a degree of ennui) to the decision to undertake a risky journey to California, there to become embroiled in the music scene springing from counterculture roots like a phoenix from the ashes, Night People does a terrific job of charting the impetus for change, immersions in different kinds of musical atmospheres, evolving relationships between musicians, and a combination of circumstance and drive that keeps Larry J. Dunlap on a fast-paced journey of discovery.
Against the backdrop of 1960s (amidst the military draft, rising political savvy, and marriages lost and found), Dunlap's roller coaster ride through the worlds of music and love involves transformations, departures, and new beginnings.
Readers looking for a great beach read who are interested in sagas of Hollywood and limelight encounters, back rooms, bars and nightclubs, and the progress of a band of musicians who strive for success will find that Night People is a well-written memoir that deftly captures a sense of the 1960s and what it meant to be an aspiring musician during this time of seismic cultural change.