Our November issue kicks off with a philatelic flourish as München Mädchen Maria Hoff, edging out of an envelope Rabbit-earmarked for our offices, presages The Girls of Germany, a ten-page verbal and visual paean that is one highlight of this month's Playboy.
Playboy, November, 1964, Vol. 11, No. 11. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Company, Inc., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., its possessions, the Pan American Union and Canada, $20 for three years, $15 for two years, $8 for one year. Elsewhere add $4.60 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Associate Advertising Manager, 405 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10022, MU 8-3030; Joseph Fall, Advertising Manager; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 155 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, Ill. 60611, MI 2-1000. Detroit, Joseph Guenther, Manager, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard, OL 2-8790; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, YU 2-7994; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
On our recommended reading list for a long winter's night are the following 18th and 19th Century erotic tomes, just a few of the many thousands noted in the recently republished Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a 1600-page bibliography of what the French fondly call curiosa. (The Index was compiled by one Henry Spencer Ashbee, Victorian merchant-bibliophile, who in his lifetime put together the greatest collection of English-language pornography ever assembled, now the property of the British Museum.) The titles, here presented in full:
Vic Damone / On the Street Where You Live (Capitol) finds the classy baritone weaving his way through fresh arrangements of a near-dozen Broadway show tunes, a number of which—the title ballad, Tonight and Maria—have long been associated with him. Pete King's charts add appreciably to the session.
Ginger Coffey's luck in The Luck of Ginger Coffey is mostly bad, but the movie is good. It's a solid, sensitive film, written by Brian Moore from his own novel and directed by Irvin Kershner, a youngish refugee from Hollywood who is obviously to be heard from again. The setting of the film and of his self-exile is Montreal, and Ginger is a transplanted Irishman whose opinion of himself is higher than the facts warrant. Less a braggart than a man unrelated to reality, he has taken his wife and daughter to Canada in search of opportunity, and soon his small family is reduced to near poverty. His wife, fed up with his blather and blarney, leaves him and takes the job he wouldn't let her take while they were together. Things go from bad to bleak for Ginger, who is essentially a good, softhearted guy. He takes a poor-paying job as a newspaper proofreader, in hopes that he will rise to reporter, then editor; and moonlights delivering diapers for a baby-laundry service. When a bit of luck does come his way, he's a bit too fatheaded to recognize it. Eventually he's really down on his luck, even to being arrested for relieving himself late at night against the side of a building. It's only when his ego dissolves that he is able to pick up the pieces of his life, face the facts about himself and start afresh. This story, tenuous as it is, becomes uncommonly fascinating as played by Robert Shaw and Mary Ure. Like the writing of Brian Moore, the film is lovingly fashioned and achingly real.
During the House of Lords debate on Lady Chatterley's Lover a few years back, it was reported that a peer, on being asked whether he objected to his daughter reading the book, replied that he had no such objection, but that he had "the strongest objection to the book being read by his gamekeeper." This observation may go down as one of the few rational comments to emerge from the past hundred years of efforts to censor sex in literature and the arts. The legal and linguistic jungle that has grown up around the subject is impenetrable to the layman and troublesome even to the most astute judges. But now two leading New York lawyers have provided an intelligent guidebook in Censorship: The Search for the Obscene (Macmillan, $6). Morris L. Ernst, who won safe passage for James Joyce's Ulysses through the shoals of U. S. literary censorship, has joined with his law-firm colleague Alan U. Schwartz to write this Baedeker for the land of the banned. The authors trace much of the current tangle of restrictive legislation back to post-Civil War days when a 24-year-old grocery clerk named Anthony Comstock led a crusade against "sex in all its manifestations." One of his self-revealing slogans: "Books are Feeders for Brothels." His Committee for the Suppression of Vice, in alliance with the Y.M.C.A., lobbied through Congress in 1873 "the law that—with few and relatively trifling changes—still governs 'obscenity' in the mails." The Comstock laws made censorship a big business (enabling their originator to leave the grocery store) and many antisex crusaders joined in. In the ensuing years a healthy portion of American literature was branded obscene. Perhaps the most pathetic attack came against poor—and surely unsuspecting—Tarzan, who was removed from school libraries in zany Los Angeles, in 1961 yet, on the grounds that he had never married Jane. In most censorship cases, the authors point out, "Judges had fun but little success in trying to define 'obscene,' 'lewd,' 'lascivious,' 'indecent'—a game still seemingly engaged in with pleasure by the courts." Among the extra dividends of this abundantly documented book is an appendix consisting of a do-it-yourself case of censorship, complete with dissenting judges' opinions (the reader is asked to form his own) plus a short set of etymologies of the key words used for branding something "obscene." Sample: "Lustful. Teutonic. Lust originally meant pleasure, delight. To long for. A lust-house was a country villa." While acknowledging many advances in liberalization of the laws—including the freeing of such notables as Ulysses and Fanny Hill—the authors still feel that in the censorship field "for a century the law of our land has been running very fast but not moving very far." They conclude: "What we, all of us, are just beginning to learn is that democratic society, if it is to survive, cannot afford to rule by taboo and temperament. It must rule by reason."
To those who have dug Trini Lopez solely on vinyl, and have been wondering what all the shouting is about, we suggest a visit to an in-person performance. We caught Trini at an S. R. O. session at Chicago's Mister Kelly's and were given a highly enlightening lesson in the ephemeral art of communication. Trini—dark, boyish, wearing a perpetual Look-Ma-I'm-Dancing grin—has come up with a well-nigh metaphysical formula: one part folk, one part rock 'n' roll and one part Latin. Some of his big hits—If I Had a Hammer, La Bamba and Kansas City—offer decisive proof of this all-purpose amalgam. Lopez, with bass guitar and drums for accompaniment, turned Mister Kelly's into a rollicking hootenanny with much hand clapping and fervent sing-along (mass mania we can ordinarily do without). The audience seemed on intimate terms with every number in the Lopez book—!Hola! Chica, a Spanish take-off on Hello, Dolly!, America and What Have I Got of My Own? were all group efforts. Lopez' Latin-flavored baritone is neither strong nor distinctive; his guitarwork can be called, at best, adequate, but his personality lights up the room; from the first guitar chord to the last of several encores, his auditors become a rabid Trini Lopez Fan Club, in which we now count ourself a loyal member.
Right now is the time to plan a January jaunt to the former Reef Club near Ocho Rios on the stunning island of Jamaica, reopening shortly after New Year's as the Jamaica Playboy Club. Equidistant from Montego Bay and Kingston (both easily reached by daily jet from most major U. S. cities), the 10-acre, palm-studded, breeze-wafted site offers all the amenities of a Playboy Club plus the pleasures of a swinging, deluxe oceanside resort, completely refurbished. Upon arrival, guests are warmly welcomed by a bevy of Bunnies, and the cottontails extend their hospitality to the Playboy Patio overlooking the 50-meter Olympic-sized swimming pool and the cabanas near the 800-foot white-sand beach (where the Bunnies serve exotic drinks and double as bikini-bedecked lifeguards). In the VIP dining room, Continental cuisine and tangy native dishes highlight the gourmet menu. Evening beach parties feature calypso and limbo dancing, and daytime sports include riding, fishing, swimming, water-skiing, sight-seeing, skindiving, tennis, sailing and glass-bottom boating on crystal-clear Bunny Bay. You can pick up some nifty bargains at the free-port shop, where every type of merchandise, including liquor, is available at discounts of up to 80 percent. Rates begin at $20 per day, double occupancy, modified American plan.