Aaron Burr has ceased galloping through the streets of Greenwich Village. Henry James, Edgar Allan Poe, Eugene O'Neill and Walt Whitman – Greenwich gadabouts of the past – are gone. Yet the Village – as Herbert Gold surveys it in his essay The Restless Mecca. leading of this September issue – is still the nucleus of American ferment. In Gold's view, there may be vanishing Villagers, but there is no vanishing Village. Ron Bradford's stunning diorama and Shel Silverstein's sly sketches assist Herb in making his point.
Playboy Subscriptions: in the U.S., Its possessions, the Pan American Union and Canada, $14 for three years. $11 for two years, $6 for one year. Elsewhere add $3 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals, change of Address: send both old and new Addresses and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director, 720 fifth avenue, New york 19, New york, CL 5-2620; Advertising Production, Playboy building, 232 East Ohio Street, Chicago 11, Illinois, ML 2-1000; Los Angeles representative, Blanchard-Nichols Associates, 633 South Westmoreland Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California, DU 8-6134; San Francisco representative, Blanchard-Nichols Associates, Phillips and Van Orden building. 900 third street. San Francisco 7, California, YU 6-6341: SouthEastern representative, SouthEast advertising sales, Chamber of Commerce building. Miami 32, Florida, FR 1-2103.
If this magazine has given Las Vegas a lot of attention over the years via ardent articles and pectoral pictorials, it's probably because we feel that Nevada is one of America's last frontiers, a citadel that has not yet fallen to the encroaching hordes of NOLs (Nasty Old Ladies, a virulent Anti-Fun Faction). We regret to report, at this time, that although Vegas, and perhaps Reno, are still the anything-goes communities we've known and loved for lo these many moons, the Nevada town of State-line – a gambling spot, on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, which we recently visited – has fallen to the enemy. Even before unpacking our bags, we were aware that the NOLs had arrived in northern Nevada ahead of us, and in all too short a time, we learned to what extent they've invaded this lake-shore Disneyland for crap shooters. It all began when casino owners started employing polls to find out where the real suckers were hidden. Controlling the family funds, presumably by outliving their work-weakened mates, the NOLs, it was discovered, are the suckers of all time. Thus, the casino management happily hired bus companies to pick up en masse the NOLs from points as far away as San Jose, California, charging little or nothing for the round-trip rides. The NOLs fell for the pitch like shot pigeons, but they have exerted their baleful influence. While elbowing their way into controlling the play of the machines and tables, the NOLs have, in no uncertain terms, let the management know how they want things run. Not only is the nude from Las Vegas fought with spiteful venge-ance, but even the dress of change girls has undergone metamorphosis. No longer flashy, sexy or even remotely eye-catching, the change girl is now turned out like a schoolgirl skipping to early-morning class. The abundance of name talent notwithstanding, the bar shows at Stateline are screened for "family" enjoyment, this despite the fact that minors are not allowed into casino areas. The decolletage of sophisticated female per-formers is checked as though for a Sunday afternoon television show. While Granny is tossing her dice, the grand-children are being wooed in the Kiddies' Theatre. In restaurants, where minors are allowed, it is family night every night, complete with kiddie plates; and club routines of such comics as Ernie Kovacs or Jack Carter are properly tempered to meet the requirements of the NOLs. It is, in truth, no longer a place we like very much. It is now the oasis of wilted organdy. Ask when Lili St. Cyr is coming to the lounge stage, and a club bouncer will wash your mouth out with soap. This we dug not, so we hopped the next flying machine to our old favorite, Vegas, where we had a ball. But through the fun – like a vague and persistent headache – we wondered: If Stateline has fallen, can Vegas be far behind? To the city fathers of Vegas – indeed, to fun-lovers and free souls all over – we must therefore quote a corny but memorable utterance: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Psycho, the Hitchcock jolter from Playboy-contributor Robert Bloch's same-name novel, starts slow but builds to shocks that make the most blase of moviegoers clutch their partners and let out full-throated shrieks of horror in the best tradition. The plot, which wild horses won't drag out of us, involves several handsome people: full-bosomed Janet Leigh (who spends most of the picture in her bra or nude in a shower); Vera Miles as her sister; newcomer John Gavin as the fellow Janet shacks with during lunch hours and for love of whom she swipes $40,000; and Anthony Perkins as a young motel operator. There is also a Mrs. Bates, who is not at all handsome. Which one's the psycho of the title? Go see. Murder is done, of course, and seldom has it been done on the screen in such loving detail, with such lingering lenses, at such length, with such gore and grue. Full of surprises, packed with real body blows, this is expert Guignol entertainment that recalls no other U.S. film but, rather, the goose-fleshy French Diabolique and Wages of Fear and some of Swedish Ingmar Bergman's most moribund moments. It is such stuff as bad dreams are made on, and is one of the few films about which we can say, without hoke, that coronary types should stay away.
Probably the most elaborate entry in the race to bring cabaret theatre to Chicago is The happy medium (901 Rush). Major-domos Oscar and George Marienthal – also of The London House and Mister Kelly's – doled out half a million berries to construct the place from the ground up. The theatre's interior (three hundred comfy seats ringed by tables plus a single circle of mezzanine tables) was designed by Broadway's Ralph Alswang. On a lower level, there's The down stage room, a cozy cocktail refuge with dance floor and rather square combo sounds. We caught the preem of the initial revue, Medium Rare, and came away less than enthusiastic. For one thing, there's a strong Manhattan flavor to the show and little of the relaxed, improvisatory "Chicago style"; for an other thing, some of the material is old (including the best skit, a Walt Disney version of Medea), having been borrowed from such as Julius Monk's and Ben Bagley's New York productions; for still another thing, much of the satire is labored, ineffective, or plain no good (surprising, considering the young, capable, largely Gotham-imported cast and such writers as Fiorello's Sheldon Harnick and Bye Bye Birdie's Strouse and Adams). But though Medium Rare needs a lot of its fat trimmed, it is hoped that future shows will be Well Done. Speaking of food, none is served there, but you can swig drinks and coffee at steepish prices during the performances (8:30 and 11:30; an hour earlier on Sundays; dark Mondays). Ducats range from $2.65 to $4.65. Another Chicago spot, the venerable Trade winds (867 Rush), boasts new wrinkles, management-entertainment-decor-and-menuwise. Once the gathering place for Chicago's greet-the-dawn set (over lox, bagels and cream cheese), the fresh Winds entertainment policy is now the high spot, with the likes of Lenny Bruce, Chris Connor, Vic Damone and the Four Freshmen (not on the same bill) playing to packed houses seven nights a week. Show times are nine and twelve (with an extra two-A.M. performance on Friday and Saturday), and you'd be intelligent if you phoned impresario Buzzy Rivkin for a reservation before you started out. Grub is hefty and hearty, everything from barbecued ribs to Maryland crab fingers; the prices are not exorbitant. Open till 4 A.M., 5 on Saturdays.
If Frank Gibney, author of The Operators (Harper, $3.95) is to be believed, our nation is inhabited by just two kinds of people: guys on the take and guys who wish they were. The "if" above is rhetorical, by the way. Gibney's book does a very convincing job indeed of proving his contention. Fact is piled on fact as he examines every aspect of our economy – and lack of it – including drug firms, stock wheeler-dealers, advertising, corporate giantism, government, taxes, and a few other choice topics, including the pressures which drive "good" men to become embezzlers, the euphoria engendered by elastic expense accounts, and the whole subject of public morality. A good and sound reporter, Gibney keeps his fact and his opinion well labeled and separated, saves for his last chapter his value judgments and analyses. It's all highly readable, a lot of it is shocking and juicy, and the book – true to the genre of popularized socio-economics – proposes a new descriptive phrase, The Genial Society, to take its place with The Power Elite, Upper Bohemia, and others. But this is not merely a scolding book, in which The Genial Society is upbraided for its permissive attitude toward white collar crime. With wit and insight Gibney shows what this costs all of us, morally, ethically, financially. Only trouble is, he's not explicit enough to be of much help to corruptibles looking for pointers.
Jazzophiles everywhere had good cause for glee when two top instrumentalists decided to chuck plans to form separate groups and united under the banner of the Art farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet. We dropped in to audit the crew at the venerable Sutherland Lounge in Chicago recently and we were, as they say, gassed by what we heard. The sextet (trumpeter Farmer, tenor man Golson, trombonist Tom McIntosh, pianist Duke Pearson, Art's brother Addison on bass and drummer Lex Humphries) is strikingly aware of pacing. They opened a set with a fleet, melodic version of LeRoy Anderson's Serenata – normally Boston Pops fodder – and followed it with a bright, droll Killer Joe, a Golson-composed sketch-in-sound (with narrative) of a gold-bricking hipster. Next came a mournful I Remember Clifford (a Golson original that's become a jazz standard) and, as the wrapup, a soulful, sizzling Mox Nix (penned by Farmer). Through every bar, a respect for melody was apparent; and intelligently-arranged ensemble passages preceded, punctuated and preened the solos. There was none of that endless blowing by every member of the combo on every tune. "We want to make this group the best possible setting for soloists," coleader Farmer told us, "without cluttering things too much. And we want a precise, warm ensemble sound." This emphasis on cohesion is one of the Jazztet's most apparent assets. Another is Golson's knack of composing for the group with an array of tone colors as wide as that used by Duke Ellington for his big band. And Farmer's consistently inspired playing is of immeasurable value. With continued TV appearances, theatre, night-club, concert and dance dates plus more LPs like its top-drawer debut disc, Meet the Jazztet (Argo), the Farmer-Golson entente cordiale should click with a jazz public hungry for just such sane, yet swinging, sounds.
If you've been unable to attend the Broadway musical Bye bye birdie per our recommendation (Playboy after hours, July 1960), pick up a copy of the original-cast album (Columbia). The fifteen-tune score, by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, contains a batch of baubles – sung most effectively by Chita Rivera, Dick Van Dyke, Dick Gautier, Susan Watson and other wisely-cast talents. Gautier's rocking presleyland mockery, Honestly sincere, is a delightful demolition. Van Dyke's plea to Chita, Baby, Talk, to Me, and Gautier's almost-straight A Lot of Livin' to Do are standouts, too. The songs, a detailed plot summary and plenty of photos on the liner make listening to this almost as much fun as having a pair on the aisle.
In the playboy advisor, spanking new to our pages, we will attempt to answer your questions on a wide variety of topics of interest to the urban man – from fashion, food and drink, hi-fi and sports cars to dating dilemmas, taste and etiquette. All reasonable questions addressed to The Playboy Advisor, Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio Street, Chicago 11, Illinois, will be personally answered, if the writer included a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The most provocative, pertinent queries will be presented on this page each month, with only the readers' initials, city and state included.
On a dusty table in the back room of a Greenwich Village antique shop lies an etching that pictures a mighty stand of oak being cleared to make way for the construction of a cabin. A few disconsolate figures, their heads bowed, mourn the vile encroachment of the metropolis. The title of the etching is The End of Greenwich Village and the date on it is 1859.
Shel Silverstein, the free-wheeling humorist who has sketched many of the world's most exotic lands for Playboy, has been living in Greenwich Village for the past year, recuperating from wounds incurred on safari (Silverstein in Africa, Playboy, October 1959), working at drawing board and recording studio (his disc, Hairy Jazz, was reviewed in February's Playboy After Hours), and just generally absorbing. Before long, he will journey forth again to far-flung places, but in the meantime he has set down his impressions of a locale in many ways as exotic as any he visited across the great waters. A whole new philosophy, called Beat, blossomed forth in America while he was away, and it took root in the Village. On these pages, Shel depicts this town-within-a-town in all its beat and bawdy glory.
The true gourmet, as opposed to the food snob, enjoys simple fare with as much gusto as he enjoys intricate and subtle delicacies. Nobody with good sense and a brisk appetite would snub, for example, the lowly frankfurter — provided it were well prepared. And, not long ago, the frankfurter was prepared to a Frenchy fare-thee-well by chef John Bandera of Chicago's Cafe Bonaparte, as part of a hoopla signalizing the hundredth anniversary of David Berg & Co., whose founder, we're told, was instrumental in introducing the succulent sausage to America. We were invited to the celebration because of our keen interest in gourmandise, and we ate well. Afterward, we became chummy with Mr. Bandera and, always working, pried out of him his recipes for the glamorous Gallicized franks we had enjoyed:
So It Went, Peaches All Day, complaints all night. "If not too big a work, could you make the voice somewhat softer?" he said to his wife. "I pick the peaches ten large hours today and even my ears fall down from tiredness."
From Aceca to Zagato-Abarth the range of available sports cars would appear to be wide enough to accommodate most tastes. Then, for sheer luxurious comfort, there are the land yachts, a la Rolls-Royce and Cadillac; and, for maneuverability, the domestic and European compacts. Seldom if ever before has the car owner been offered a wider range of vehicles from which to select his preferred mode of automotive travel. Yet we here at Playboy have long been intrigued with the notion that there still exists a very special automotive niche as yet unfilled: the ideal gentleman's sporting motor-carriage, which might give him, in one package, the amentities he wants plus the speed and roadability he demands from an out-and-out sports car. We have, therefore, decided to design – and perhaps produce in limited quantity – a Playboy car. Ken Purdy, our Contributing Editor and an internationally renowned automotive authority, has been working with us in establishing the criteria that will dictate basic design, though the final form of the car has not yet been determined. Instead of a standard chassis, the Playboy will have the welded space-tube frame that is the basis of contemporary front-rank racing cars. The space frame gives two great advantages: lightness and enormous strength. The rear axle will be De Dion for maximum roadability, and the differential will be of the limited-slip type. The engine will be American, for maximum torque combined with reliability and ease of maintenance. A four-speed manual gearbox will handle the power. Since the end of World War 11, nearly every new and exciting conception in automobile body design has appeared on a car carrying the plaque of an Italian carrozzeria. That is why we have commissioned Bill Frick, the famous racing and design specialist, to go to Italy for us to solicit design-sketches from leading Italian houses.
Since playboy went into orbit half-a-dozen-plus years ago, there's been no doubt about the popularity of our center gatefolds, thanks to the inspiring beauty of the femmes who fill them. In our brief history, too, the magazine has been honored with more than fifty awards for the excellence of its art and design. Putting the first and second facts together, we decided to place our September Playmate, Chicago secretary Ann Davis, in a staff photographer's bachelor pad, surround her with eleven first-rate Playboy artists and present their interpretations of her in our pages. As we see her, in photo and fine-art renditions, she's a memorable Miss September in both media.
Despite the possibly apocryphal legend of the Britisher who, watching his first American football game, said "It is frightfully rude for a dozen or so men to gather in a bunch and whisper with thirty thousand other people present," there is nothing in amateur athletics to rival the game's color, excitement and pageantry. On campuses across the country, no substitute has been found for a football team as the rallying point for a large and diverse assembly of students. Fortunately – or unfortunately – no other facet of college life has inspired so much interest, and such heavy financial contributions, by alumni.
"I Make Records because I honestly believe that what I say in the clubs the rest of the country should hear. Y'know, people are very evangelistic about comedy records. They play them for one another, like we take out our best silver for our friends." So says Morton Lyon Sahl, a self-confessed "Night Blooming Serious" and also one of the strong reasons for a humor record sales boom that has set industry executives smiling to the chatter of cash registers being rung up in record shops across the country.
If your shoe fits into the urban fashion scene today, you can bet your boots it is definitely lightweight and more than heretofore tapered at the toe, in keeping with the slimmish lines of this year's Ivy and Continental suits. You'll want an in-town shoe wardrobe that includes not only traditional blacks and deep browns, but cordovan shades and burnished olive tones as well. Too-flimsy Italian styling has gone by the boards, but a lesson has been learned: city shoes are light afoot. Set on flexible leather soles cut close to the shape of the shoe, one's step can be jaunty without sacrificing elegance. Shoes for the cosmopolitan gentleman are cut to fit snugly for a neat, trim look. Linked to the demand for slimmer lasts is the trend toward slightly higher and smaller heels. Slip-ons are popular and correct, but a still dressier look is achieved in the three-eyelet blucher or a stylized wing-tip. Decorations are held to a minimum, and are handled with discretion and taste. Beware of fancy etchings and curlycues.
This is a poison pen note, in a way, to a dear person named Miss Wren, or Miss Sparrow or Miss Bullfinch or possibly just plain Miss Byrd, who taught fifth grade at the Edward C. Delano Elementary School in Chicago more years ago than it is healthy to think about.
All through the day curran's mind kept drifting from his work and he felt inside himself the feeling he had for-gotten for so long, the feeling he associated, when he thought of it, with youth, with being a young man, desper-ately and foolishly in love, and quite inexperienced, and love is a field in which the amateur is of no use whatsoever. How desperately and foolishly he had been in love with Anne.She had been the magical and beautiful girl for him as a girl can be only when you are young and all is wonderful and unknown and you first notice the tilt of her head and the lilt of lip, the turn of wrist and sway of ankle.It is utter sweetness and complete misery.
Campus-Bound fellows can close their trunks with a comfortable sense of being really turned on to the fashion scene – if they pay close attention to those ineluctable extras that allow the fullest use of and add the greatest flexibility to the basic collegiate wardrobe. Get set for twists on the traditional and a batch of bold new departures – from hats to hose – reflecting contemporary concern for cut, fabric and pattern. Members of all classes, pace-setting seniors and incoming freshmen alike, will want to pore over our annual campus checklist for tips on timely touches that make an undergraduate wardrobe truly distinctive. Like so:
Pants, Trousers, Breeches, Britches, Slacks, Shorts, Jeans or Drawers: in one form or another these rather whimsical two-legged togs are easily the most essential garments in the male wardrobe, and the sine qua non of all social life in the Western world. While men have been known to achieve success and happiness as shirt-sleeve executives, hatless college presidents and barefooted philosophers, no man has ever managed to get very far in our society without pants. On a good day, he'd be lucky to make it to the corner mailbox.
The Hottest Ticket On Broadway is a musical called Bye Bye Birdie and the most talked-about new talent on the main stem is its producer – only recently risen from the relatively lowly ranks of production manager – forty-two-year-old Edward Padula. Vitally interested in theatre since childhood when he played with marionettes in the coal bin, he's assisted Lawrence Langner, John C. Wilson, Maurice Evans ("I owe more to Evans than to anyone – he's the most beautifully organized man in theatre"), got a break as production manager of No Time for Sergeants. When it closed, the old what-am-I-gonna-do-now blues gripped Padula, and out of it eventually came Birdie: "I wanted to do a musical comedy in the old style, though with a contemporary theme, but every script I looked at was a musical tragedy." So he started from scratch with a bare idea: why not a show about American teenagers – not West Side Story J.D.s but clean-cut, kookie, unBeat kids? He assembled talent: Michael Stewart, once Sid Caesar's top writer; songsmiths Strouse and Adams, rescued from the resort circuit: dancer Gower Champion in a switch-of-roles: director. Birdie was three years in the planning, during which time Padula earned his living as production manager of the lackluster shows Rumple, Seventh Heaven and Saratoga. A solid hit, Birdie opened to no advance (no stars) but to rave notices from all the daily critics save Brooks Atkinson. Padula, shrugging off that dissenting review from the vantage point of his posh new East 79th Street Penthouse, grins: "Who cares? Atkinson's retiring!"
The Day-And-Night Doings of a big-city newspaper columnist require an athlete's stamina. Irv Kupcinet, whose nationally regarded Kup's Column is the best-read entertainment feature in the Chicago Sun-Times, has been an athlete. A former football stalwart (college All-American and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback), the Chi-born writer joined the paper's sports staff in 1935, shifted to his own column eight years later and has been growing in influence ever since (he now appears also in New York, Miami and London papers, as well as the Army Times). A calm, amiable type, a constant supporter of a string of charitable causes and a battling liberal on matters of civic concern, Kup never has joined the ranks of needling, nasty gossipmongers. "I love people. A friendship is more important to me than an item for my column," he has said. When CBS in Chicago chose him in February 1959 to host a three-hours-plus, late-night conversation show, At Random, there were some who thought the ex-football player would be out of his depth ex-changing quips and comments with the likes of Adlai Stevenson, Mortimer Adler and Julian Huxley, but it was Kup who gave the show its real verve and flavor, turned it into a solid Saturday-night hit with more than a million Midwestern viewers, winning Kup an Emmy. This has been Kup's year for awards: two Chicago associations have picked him as their Man of the Year and another honored him for his devotion to the betterment of race relations. Brimming with ever-accumulating integrity, respect and honest power, Kup's cup runneth over.
Most Eligible Heir to the Ellington dukedom seems to be composer-arranger-trumpeter-bandleader. Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. In the partisan, trend-conscious realm of jazz, nothing is so prized as newness, and Jones, at twenty-seven, is one of the multifaceted young pioneers transfusing fresh sounds into the jazz mainstream. He's not a fad-inspiring eccentric, however, so his laurels probably won't wither. His major challenge, it is announced, is due soon, when he'll showcase his conducting and orchestrating skills as musical director of the Johnny Mercer – Harold Arlen musical, Free and Easy, batoning a pit band of his own jazzmen – a departure for Broadway. He's been well prepared for the task: thirteen years of trumpet playing, study at Boston's Schillinger House (on a scholarship), two years with the Lionel Hampton band, a State Department-sponsored Near East crusade with Dizzy Gillespie's crew, study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger (mentor of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein), arranging for pop and jazz record dates – from danceable ditties for Ray Anthony to bouncy blues for Count Basie. A zealous explorer, he spent '57 and '58 hopping from New York to Paris to Stockholm – composing, playing and just digging. As his next giant step, Jones wants to compose his own musical comedy. Twisting a Twainism, he says. "All the musicians moan about American popular music, but all they do is moan about it." Not quite all. The moans of Jones, unlike those of other cats, are productive.
Thirty Days Hath November and, for the aware and fun-loving traveler, therein lie some of the most exciting and rewarding days of the year. No need to bear the bitter gusts of late autumn, or endure the turkey-laden monotony of Thanksgiving at grandma's. Better goings-on are at your beck.