The Record success of our hefty holiday issues---specially priced, outsized annual editions brimming with fine fiction, features, articles and pictorials---has demonstrated to us that our readers are content to pay more for a meatier, more bountiful editorial package. Beginning with this issue, therefore, we've raised the cover price of Playboy to one dollar in order to provide you with a very special issue every month.
Playboy, February, 1969, Vol. 16, No. 2. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co. Inc., Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., Its Possessions and Canada, $24 for Three Years, $18 for Two Years, $10 for One Year. Elsewhere add $2 Per Year for Foreign Postage. Allow 30 days for New Subscriptions and Renewals. Change of Address: Send Both Old and New Addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030; Sherman Keats, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, MI 2-1000; Detroit, Robert A. Mc Kenzie, 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, 434-2675; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
Some of the most imaginative fiction being written in America today appears in the tabloids that come out once a week with shrieking headlines such as "Iowa farm Girl raped by entire crew of flying Saucer (Authentic Photos Inside)." The boldness of the "reporters" who produce this native variety of pop art was never so well illustrated as in a recent story that was a direct steal from Tennyson's poem about Lady Godiva and Tom the Tailor. The tabloid version merely converted Miss Godiva into a "voluptuous burlesque dancer" undressing for bed, made Tom a voyeur on the fire escape and gave a scientific flavor to the supernatural blinding of the peeper by having Tom fall into the alley and "shatter the optic nerve."
Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn's second novel, The First Circle (Harper & Row), begins with a warning telephone call made by State Counselor Second Rank Innokenty Volodin and ends nearly 600 pages later with Innokenty's capture and imprisonment. The telephone and the counselor's first name are significant, for it is the perverted use of that instrument for the perverted use of the state that threads the plot and sends an innocent man to prison. Solzhenitsyn, whose first novel was the celebrated One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, knows whereof he speaks, having been sentenced to eight years of forced labor in a Soviet prison camp for having written derogatory remarks about "the man with the mustache" in a letter to a friend. The First Circle is a monumental achievement. Dante's First Circle of Hell was reserved for the souls of pre-Christian philosophers who must pay an eternal, but mitigated, price for having been born before their time. A Soviet prison camp, where the book takes place, operates as a laboratory where scientists and technicians serving sentences for what Stalin whimsically decreed were crimes contribute their talents on prisoner's pay. By the spare accounts of Stalin's staggering crimes and casual references to those nauseating sobriquets he allowed to be showered on him, Solzhenitsyn conveys the poisonous flavor of tyranny. There are no heroes in this novel, only victims and victimizers, including Stalin himself. What the author portrays unforgettably is the attrition of humanity under a despotism. It is an attrition not unlike that which occurs to an individual who finds himself in the grip of another kind of tyranny, the tyranny of disease. Reading Solzhenitsyn's third novel, The Cancer Ward (Dial), in tandem with The First Circle extends the boundaries of the reader's participation from a Russian experience to a universal one. Instead of a prison camp, Solzhenitsyn places his victims in ward 13 of a provincial hospital. Just as "Deviationism" and "Obstructionism" are terror words whispered by the Soviet political devil, "Melanoblastoma" and "Metastasis" are the lexicon of the world's devil. The inmates of ward 13 come in varying states of political grace and disgrace, but all are reduced to the barest essentials of self as the tyranny of the tumor takes over. The author makes it easy to read a macrocosmic interpretation into his story, with the cancer of the individual transposed to the cancer in society, and usually this would fault a novel. But somehow it works in The Cancer Ward. Being subject to human mortality, Solzhenitsyn seems to be saying, is tyranny enough; every other relationship in the world, including that between man and government, should strive to ease that tyranny.
San Francisco's intrepid Enrico Banducci, the master impresario who early displayed Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, the Kingston Trio, Barbra Streisand and Woody Allen in his classy nouveau-beat North Beach boite, the hungry i, has done it---again? No, for the first time he has opened a new hungry i---maybe $500,000 worth of wood and open brick and slinky stairways and Danish-Tiffany-Frisco elegance in the booming Ghirardelli Square neighborhood, near Fisherman's Wharf. To start things off last November, he served up Jonathan Winters; and he promises the best, the greatest, the wildest, the funniest in the years to come. The bar, Harry's, named for Harry Smith, is plush and warm, both princely and intimate---don't worry if you don't know who Harry Smith was. The restaurant tinkles with good fork-and-knife work (parchment menus, food made dizzy by air shipment). The theater, seating about 400, is superlatively and extravagantly designed to please audiences, performers and Saint Nero, the patron of blessed night clubs. The small dancing area, with its small combo, is conducive to elementary discussions and complex footwork. Perfectionist that he is, Bandooch delayed opening the new i until every polished panel and plotted bauble could be in place and approximately paid for. Not losing touch with his bohemian North Beach past, he hopes to use the new facilities for 16mm movies during the daytime, for experimental theater, for all that can gladden the heart and irrigate the mind. And, of course, if Beauty and Truth and Good Food and Laughter and Classy Architecture and Fine Drink don't bring in the revelers, well, Enrico Banducci will have on his hands a fine, multileveled parking lot with space for 11 Bentleys. More likely, however, justice will be done and the cleverer tourists and cunning San Franciscans will find their way to the new hungry i.
The Birthday Party is Harold Pinter's own screen adaptation of an early exercise in Pinteresque terror that Broadway audiences saw last season. Pinter characters by definition are people at the end of their tethers, impotent, trapped in small, stifling rooms and using meaningless words to fend off modern man's chronic sense of dread. Here the setting is a sleazy rooming house in a dreary seaside town, and director William Friedkin imbues every inch of habitable space with claustrophobia. A frumpy English landlady, her taciturn husband and a mysterious young male boarder receive unexpected visitors---two vaguely threatening men who have come to take the boarder away, though they stay long enough to celebrate his birthday and pulverize his feeble resistance. Ostensibly hoods with a contract for murder, they are also supersymbols of an evil establishment conformity, crucifying their victim for his betrayal of "the organization." Even to audiences familiar with the nightmare world of Pinter, the psychological tension of this long Walpurgisnacht is excruciating, flawed only by Friedkin's occasional tendency to short-circuit the slow, steady build of the dialog with tricky photography. Patrick McGee and Sydney Tafler, as the menacing intruders, and Dandy Nichols, as the lickerish lady of the house, are superb, phrasing their lines so meticulously that every remark about the weather curdles with connotations of impending disaster. As the victim, Britain's versatile Robert Shaw is almost too commanding an actor to project the futility of his role; his ultimate collapse looks very intelligently programed, rather than inevitable. Yet he serves the author well, with a deep and clear perception of The Birthday Party's subtle ideas---one fringe benefit, possibly, of a working relationship with Pinter, who directed the London and Broadway productions of Shaw's play The Man in the Glass Booth (see page 38).
There are 29 new songs (Revolution is also included) on the Beatles' latest twin- LP effort---inexplicably titled The Beatles (Capitol; also available on stereo tape)---and, as might be expected, there's a fair amount of waste: satire that undercuts itself, unmemorable melodies, etc. The material---drawn from all the far-flung territories the M. B. E.s have explored in their vinyl voyages---includes enough musical high spots (Blackbird), comic low spots (Why Don't We Do It in the Road?) and combinations of the two (Happiness Is a Warm Gun) to have filled one solid LP.
Zorbá, which was conceived, composed, directed and produced by the same ensemble that crafted Cabaret, is the reverse side of that other hit musical. Where Cabaret looked upon life with cynicism, Zorbá celebrates it. "Life is a cabaret, old chum," runs the theme song of the former, and every bit of irony is intended. Zorbá's theme song is Life Is---a cabaret and everything else. "I live as if I would the any night," Zorba boasts, and grabs at everything---every passion, every experience and every woman. The chief similarity, besides excellence and tastefulness, of the two Harold Prince shows is that each is held together by a seemingly extraneous character who turns out to be essential: the emcee in Cabaret and Lorraine Serabian's one-woman Greek chorus in Zorbá. Miss Serabian, a darkly beautiful newcomer with a Streisand-power voice, sweeps fatelike through the play, providing a framework and also a spirit. But the play is, after all, about Zorba the Greek; and the transition from Nikos Kazantzakis' novel to movie to musical is effected with surprising preservation of tone and character. Under Prince's creative direction, author Joseph Stein, composer John Kander, lyricist Fred Ebb and choreographer Ronald Field have collaboratively produced not a theatrical retread but something alive in its own right. Though Herschel Bernardi---short, somewhat squat---does not resemble the movie's Anthony Quinn, he can sing and he can act. He is not the definitive Zorba---perhaps only one and a half times larger than life---but a good one. The rest of the cast stands tall: John Cunningham as the tightly restrained Nikos, Maria Karnilova as the lusty, childlike Hortense, Carmen Alvarez as the lonely widow, the supporting townspeople and bouzouki players and, of course, Lorraine Serabian. Zorbá's accent is very much in the right place. At the Imperial, 249 West 45th Street.
I've dated dozens of girls all over the country, but I am about to reach the age of 21 still a virgin. I have necked and petted and tried to go further, but somehow I end up making a fool of myself, inasmuch as my propositions are invariably rejected. I ask the girls as politely as I know how. What am I doing wrong?---R. W., FPO San Francisco, California.
Once described as a "nice, fresh breath of carbon monoxide," Mort Sahl continues to pollute the complacency of the political establishment with the same kind of satirical laughing gas that has won him both widespread popularity and bitter condemnation. Adlai Stevenson was his friend, Dwight Eisenhower claimed he'd never heard of him. and President Kennedy knew him well but never accepted him within White House inner circles. Despite the controversy Sahl has always managed to create, he has never been willing to sweeten the acerbic tone of his humor.
He was a Typical 235-pound married American boy, rosy-cheeked, broken-nosed, with an excellent five-tooth bridge across the front of his mouth and a 63-stitch scar on his right knee, where the doctors had done some remarkable things with floating cartilage. His father-in-law had a thriving insurance agency and there was a place open in it for him, the sooner, his father-in-law said, the better. He was growing progressively deafer in the left ear, due to something that had happened to him during the course of his work the year before on a cold Sunday afternoon out in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was a professional football player. He played middle linebacker on defense and a certain amount of physical wear and tear was to be expected, especially in Green Bay.
Ethelbert admired everything about the exciting divorcée Mrs. Creek-Stile---her furniture, her hairdo, her imperial manner and the long flowing white gown that she wore even while ice skating. That she should find anything in him to admire in return was beyond his wildest dreams; and yet one day she sauntered regally over to the cozy old mahogany settee and, depositing herself upon it with many a flourish, beckoned him by crooking a finger majestically to stand behind her. In a flash, he had found his place and hovered expectantly above this fascinating creature. Mrs. Creek-Stile, smelling heavily of eau de bamboo, then placed her hand on her hip and, raising her head so that the muscles of her neck vibrated genteelly, permitted her lips a fleeting pucker. Such a signal could not be ignored, and Ethelbert, although aware that he might twist his corset out of shape, bent and placed his lips respectfully upon hers. He twisted his corset out of shape. "Oooof," he said, the breath quite knocked out of him, to which Mrs. Creek-Stile, sucking sedately upon his mustache, replied, "Flatterer."
The 1968 Campaign will be remembered as the year intellectuals first emerged as a new national constituency in American politics. As individuals, intellectuals have long been attracted by power and fascinated by politicians. But today, as Lewis S. Feuer (the former University of California philosopher, now at the University of Toronto) has pointed out, "For the first time, the intellectual elite is trying to assert itself as a self-conscious force in the making of decisions by the Government." For some years, politicians of both parties have been vaguely aware that such a new constituency was emerging, but the events of 1968 removed any doubts they may have entertained of its political potency. In one of the numerous pieces in which friends of President Johnson have speculated on why he decided not to seek renomination, one of his "closest friends" is quoted as saying: "You cannot put your finger on any one thing that happened to start the reaction. However, attacks by the so-called intellectuals cannot be underrated. These intellectuals have more voice than real power. They represent minority opinion, but the attention paid them gives the impression that theirs is the voice of majority opinion." There is, of course, much more to the growing influence of intellectuals than this statement implies, but it is true that today they form a key link in the process of communication between politicians and the public. As much as any single group, they can shape or distort or destroy a politician's image.
Shindai. or the Japanese art of pillow fighting, is probably as old as the Orient itself. Maybe even a week older. It is the last word in Eastern eroticism. (Nobody knows what the first word is, a serious problem when trying to start a dirty conversation.)
Some People turn into werewolves from time to time without the least desire to do so. Moonlight is what does it to them. The moon that matters in cases of involuntary lycanthropy is not the full moon, as many imagine, but the rather lopsided moon that rises exactly at midnight from five to twelve nights later, depending on the season. On that night, the unfortunate victim, who knows from bitter past experience what to expect, tries to be in the area that is his to haunt or range; he knows what difficult problems he encounters if he is late. Western werewolves, with their wider and less populous terrains, are somewhat less troubled by this consideration; Connecticut werewolves must be very careful, indeed.
"I was Sitting ... in the outer seat of a table for four in the Pullman dining car of the Orient Express. Another man was seated on my left, and the two-seat table ... on the other side of the gangway was occupied by an Austrian lady and gentlemen. On a curve just outside Munich, Owing to a rail being out of place, our carriage suddenly leaned over hard to the left and I was forced violently (continued on page 100) (continued from page 97) against my companion. When the carriage righted itself, I found that the Austrian couple had both fallen over, making a complete somersault. The lady's head had got underneath our table and her legs were upright in the air. While the other ladies in the carriage screamed with laughter and the men endeavored to keep grave faces, I grappled with the difficult task of holding the inverted lady's petticoats together and at the same time freeing her head from the table legs.
Hi-Fi aficionados, fm fanciers, dedicated tapesters and discriminating TV-niks have never had it so good. At their beck is a copiously stocked market place bursting with top-quality ear- and eye-filling electronic goodies. In pointing up some of this year's best equipage, we've put together several stereo systems---pictured here and on the preceding and following pages---and categorized them according to approximate total price. Our suggested rigs, of course, don't begin to exhaust the potential combinations available. But they will serve as handy guideposts for those of you seeking one or two components---or a completely new hookup to replace your old unit---especially if you don't know what the cost will be.
Astrologically Speaking, Lorrie Menconi has her pretty head in the stars. "I was born on Tuesday," our valentine Playmate told us, "February 24th 1948. That makes me a Pisces, so I think it's perfect to appear in the February issue---it just has to be good luck. I guess you could call me a zodiac nut." But so many Piscean characteristics are true of me that it's hard not to believe in it." Exhibiting a prime Piscean trait---talkativeness---Lorrie goes on: "Pisces is a water sign, which may explain why I'm so crazy about living in California. We moved to San Diego when I was very young, so I don't know what it's like to live away from the water. The beach scene here is terrific. But the mountains in northern California are great, too. I went to a combination boarding school and camp up there, around Manzanita Lake, which is beautiful country. Cooking and sleeping out, sailing, swimming---really most all activities in or around the water---that's my kind of life."
In a year of social and political upheaval---assassinations, growing racial polarization, the end of innocence for the Eugene McCarthy crusaders---the young of all political persuasions, including none, found a center of emotional gravity in music. Only there, it often seemed, was direct, open communication possible---transcending race and class and politics. And the artists, themselves feeling the need for secure foundations as fissures deepened in the outer world, devoted much of the year to getting back to roots.
I Imagine that almost everyone is familiar with the age-old, perennially popular game "Bait the Businessman." But for the benefit of those who, by some freak of fate, have remained ignorant of the game, permit me to describe its rudimentary form.
Two of the most enduring myths in the mythmakers' paradise of Hollywood hold that every star should be discovered by accident and that any girl who gets typecast as a scatterbrain is really an intellectual. Pamela Tiffin in each instance happens to be the exception that proves that myths aren't always untrue. On a Thanksgiving trip to Hollywood in 1960, Pamela took a tour of the Paramount Studios with friends, was approached in the commissary by lieutenants of producer Hal Wallis and that afternoon found herself reading for the role of Nellie in Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. She got the part, of course, and within the year had finished work on two more films---Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three and 20th Century-Fox' State Fair. And she got the Hollywood superbuild-up: "Pamela is the greatest film discovery since Audrey Hepburn," said Wilder. "She learns so quickly, I can't understand why she isn't on the Supreme Court bench." None of her eight subsequent American films revealed Pamela's acknowledged braininess, though not all were mindless: Besides such forgettable beach-and-surf epics as For Those Who Think Young and The Lively Set, she also appeared in The Hallelujah Trail with Burt Lancaster and in Harper with Paul Newman. Now 26, a veteran of art-history courses at Columbia and language courses at Berlitz---she's fluent in French, Italian and Spanish---Pamela has spent the past few years filming in Rome. For Kiss the Other Sheik, in which she became the first American actress to play opposite Marcello Mastroianni, Pamela reluctantly bleached her brunette locks---but loved the results: "Go blonde, gain weight and lose your inhibitions," she told her fans through a reporter soon after the change. Herewith, then, the uninhibited Pamela.
For no particular reason, I have lately been thinking of the female elbow. Perhaps I have been thinking of the elbow out of perverseness. By this I do not mean that I am perverted or that I have an elbow fetish or anything of the sort. It is merely that so few have given any thought to the elbow that it seems high time to give this important part of the body its due.
Within the past year, acknowledgment of leather as a fashionable male trapping has inspired a plenitude of sophisticated new wearables. Smartly tailored adaptations of classic trench- and greatcoats in calfskin have the urban scene snugly wrapped up, while supple kid-leather suits and sports jackets are being warmly received by elegantly togged indoor sportsmen. Here, our artful gallerygoers stand ready for leather weather---after having wisely added slick new items to their wardrobes. From left to right: Lad favors an imported French calfskin double-breasted jacket with hacking pockets, by De Noyer, $225. Tall chap in turtleneck stands out in an imported antiqued-glove-leather double-breasted greatcoat with a fox fur collar and a deep center vent, by Europhilia, $275. The next polished gentleman prefers a grained kid-leather double-breasted shaped suit with wide lapels, deep center vent and flared legs, by Ericson of Sweden, $195. Our end man also sports a stylish hide; he's donned a soft glove-leather double-breasted coat with notched lapels, a half belt and a yoke back, by Pierre Cardin for Bonwit Teller, $375.
Ribald Classic: The Meek Wolf among the Savage Lambs
In the Reign of our Sultan Abdul Hamid, it suddenly became very fashionable among the infidels to visit our glorious capital. Overnight, great trains, real caravansaries on wheels, with bedrooms, bathrooms and restaurants installed in their railroad carriages, seemed to have unloaded, on the platforms of Sirkeji station, the oddest assortment of monocled and side-whiskered gentlemen accompanied by their unveiled women, who wore dead birds on their heads and had the voices of petulant screech owls. All of them were intent, with an indecent curiosity, on violating what they believed to be the mysteries of our enigmatic Orient.
On His Way to Epley's Bike Shop Charley Meets a Girl with Twelve Dogs
James D. Houston
Ten O'clock on a Saturday Morning and here comes Charley in his big VW bus, red white and blue like a mail truck. He's crossing town to a bike shop to have his gear cable fixed, exhilarated by the brand-new feel of this day, thinking how rain has rinsed it clean and vaguely watching the road for hitchhikers. He likes to pick up hitchhikers on such a day. He'd like to pick up a high school girl. He sees so many on the roads now, wrinkled boots, ranch coats, straight long hair. Something about the long hair gets him, some flash of recklessness. He'd like to flirt a little, seduce one, maybe, if he could figure out a way. He stretches to see his face in the rearview, pushes back his forelock. Charley is 31; his wife and two kids are out of town for the weekend. His bus is equipped for random outings, mattress in back, tin skillet, kerosene stove and, at the moment, one bicycle with cable wires dangling. As he rounds a corner ten blocks from home, he sees the girl he might be looking for sitting on a curb.
What's Cooking in some of the poshest kitchens across this land? Soul food. More and more gourmet chefs are doing it gustatorially with ribs, black-eyed peas, collards and spoon bread---and the reaction of first-time delvers into soul cuisine is usually total delight. Once denigrated as little more than sustenance for the poor, soul food is coming into its own, and justly so: Its imaginative variety and hearty robustness appeal to all except the most confirmed calorie counter. The dishes that today fall under the soul umbrella (trying to pin down an exact definition of soul food is like attempting to codify the permutations of rock; it's almost impossible) were created out of the direst economic necessity by slaves in the Old South, who had to make do with their masters' discards and leftovers and what they found growing wild in the fields around them. There are African, Cajun and American Indian influences bubbling felicitously together in the savory soul-food cooking pot. There's also much colorful folklore. Take hush puppies, for instance. Legend has it that they got their name from Negro cooks who, after frying fish, would make small corn-meal fritters. They would then throw some of them to the hungry hounds begging around the frying kettle, to keep them from baying. Thus---hush puppies.
Early in 1965, Peter Max was "the wonder boy of Madison Avenue," by his own account. His designs for everything from posters to soap boxes were sought by every hip ad agency in Manhattan and had garnered 68 awards in two years. Then, acting on intuition, Max suddenly quit, shut himself in his huge Riverside Drive apartment and indulged in a disciplined orgy of creativity. Working 18-hour days, he produced 4500 fresh ideas---all of them, characteristically, mixing nostalgia, cosmology and psychedelia, and somehow epitomizing youth. "And," says Max, who is now 29, "I met myself. I figured out what I wanted to do and how." What he wanted to do was turn the world on to his visions, and he decided big business could help him do so. He was right. Today, close to 1000 products are getting the Max treatment---from a series of wild patterns for the old-line Iroquois China Company to a clock whose hands emanate from the tip of W. C. Fields' nose. The artist's own half-dozen small companies and his tie-ins with such corporate giants as General Electric earned him more than $1,000,000 last year. Recently, he closed a deal with New York's Kane-Miller Corporation, which appointed him designer for the company's new chain of 60 restaurants. "I assume that by 1970, we'll be taking in quite a few million every year, but all that's superfluous," says Max, a yoga-oriented vegetarian with philosophical convictions as original as his work. "My designs produce a relaxing, harmonic feeling. I'm trying to bring order to the planet. I want the whole world to be a gallery." At his current pace, much of it soon will be, with many of the pieces bearing Max' own sought-after signature.
Explorer, Archaeologist, paleontologist, author and perhaps the West's leading authority on southern Arabia, Wendell Phillips is all of these and more. "As a hobby," he says, "I also dabble in oil." Some hobby. Phillips (no relation to Phillips 66) is the world's biggest private oil concessionaire, with rights to more than 100,000,000 acres of land in all parts of the globe, and is worth, by his own estimate, nearly a half-billion dollars. California-born Phillips worked his way through the U of C at Berkeley as a jazz drummer and, at 26, led a Cairo-to-Capetown archaeological expedition. Several years later, while exploring the ancient kingdoms of Qataban and Sheba, Phillips and his expedition were attacked by Yemenite bandits. He fled to the neighboring sultanate of Oman and there was befriended by---and appointed economic advisor to---King Said bin Taimur. In recognition of his efforts, the sultan named Phillips the first American sheik in history, a laurel he values more than his 11 honorary degrees. Oman at the time was that geological rarity---an Arabian sheikdom in which oil had not been discovered. But one day the sultan told Phillips, "By the will of God, we shall have oil, for I am granting you the oil concession for Dhofar," an Oman dependency about the size of Ohio. "Overnight," says Phillips, "the sultan had made me a millionaire." Although his home is a lavish penthouse overlooking Waikiki Beach, the 47-year-old dynamo spends most of the year traveling the world to lecture on archaeology and the Middle East, the subjects of his three critically acclaimed books. If he keeps up his hegiras on behalf of Islam, Wendell may soon be known as Phillips of Arabia.
"Ah need ... a man to ... love me," she sings in an anguished whine that turns into an earthy whisper and then roars into a heady blues shout that's all her own. She is Janis Joplin, a wild-haired 25-year-old blend of little girl and truck driver whose number-three rating in our annual Jazz and Pop Poll proves she's the finest and funkiest white singer of rock blues around. For the past two years, she's bettered the fortunes of Big Brother and the Holding Company---a luke-warm San Francisco group that made it mainly by adding her raw energy to its repertoire---hurtling them from house-band status at the Avalon to a million-dollar LP called Cheap Thrills. Though she's got a voice that can split single notes into electrifying polyphonics, Janis has never formally studied music. Born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas, she got tuned in to blues in high school. "Somebody played me a Leadbelly record when I was about fifteen and I freaked," she says. After that, she made a steady diet of blues, dropped in and out of three colleges ("That's just not where my head's at"), sang casually with a small group ("Just for fun and free beer"), traveled the entire country and became a self-professed beatnik. "Hippies believe they're going to change things---but beatniks know they're not. They just try to get through the best they can under the circumstances," she explains. For Janis these days, that means splitting from Big Brother ("New directions and all that shit") and putting together a group of her own so she can groove with her first love: socking it to audiences. "I try to come on so strong they can't even think anymore. Just dance and scream---that's what this music is for."
---you dressed yet, sweetie -- Baby? I've made reservations at a Quaint, Old-Fashioned spotYou've had such a tough day, honey ... Are you sure you're up to going out with a Creep like solly brass?A nice Old-Fashioned place sounds relaxing, Ruthie ... soft lights ... violins.