The Radiant young lady out front, ascendant actress Barbi Benton, is a fitting symbol both of the regenerative season's impending arrival and of the bountiful issue we've prepared to greet the vernal equinox. It's laden with fictional, reportorial and pictorial pleasures, not the least of which is Barbi Doll, a nine-page paean to our cover girl, who has the special distinction of being Editor-Publisher Hugh M. Hefner's constant companion. Heading our list of nonfiction this month are two views of youthful currents and crosscurrents in contemporary politics--the conflicting directions in which campus radicals and conservatives seek to lead the nation. Jules Siegel's Revolution surveys the precepts and programs of SDS and similarly anti-establishmentarian factions on the left-hand end of the political spectrum; George Fox's Counterrevolution focuses on the ways and means by which the ideological opponents of the New Left hope to arrest its movement--which they feel is a downhill trip toward anarchy--and on the measures by which conservative students propose to build a new society that is, in many instances, surprisingly similar to that envisioned by their rivals. Fox and Siegel, while young themselves, are old friends. Tongue firmly in cheek, Fox informs us that when Siegel found out who was covering the conservative side of the collegiate scene for Playboy, "he telephoned to express the opinion that I was the perfect choice for the assignment, since he couldn't think of another American writer under 40 who looked square enough to gain the confidence of right-wing college students." Apparently fated to continue their parallel pursuits, both writers are currently at work on novels.
Playboy, March, 1970, Vol. 17, No. 3. 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 Mangers, 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 Franciso, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 110 Sutter Street, 434 2675; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
Just to show Spiro Agnew that we're not among those effete intellectual snobs who are always criticizing things, we'd like to say a few kind words about the Pentagon. Smug peaceniks condemn it at the drop of a bomb for such peccadilloes as its mind-expanding budget and its scorched-earth policy in Vietnam--but they simply haven't looked at all five sides of the question. Admittedly, this much-maligned institution has shown a certain abiding affection for war, but this doesn't mean that it likes to see people killed. Not American people, at any rate.
Vic Damone is one of those quietly dynamic masters of the vocal art who can handle a Jimmy Van Heusen love lyric or a Jim Webb ballad with equal ease. When Vic strolled onto the stage of the Empire Room in Chicago's Palmer House, he looked for all the world as if he were window-shopping--except for the microphone in his hand. But he was soon working his wonders on middle-aged mothers and miniboppers alike. Damone prefers to perform right out there among his audiences; finding that difficult to do in a place the size of the Empire Room, he completely killed the house lights and called for a single spot. Then, alone in its radiant ring, he drew the crowd close to him with only the warmth of his voice working over such contemporary classics as The Look of Love and Little Green Apples. Next, he sang What Good Is My Life? and a cute young thing nearby seemed eager to volunteer an answer. He did, in fact, borrow an honest-to-God member of the audience for an impromptu bump and grind that attested to the relaxed atmosphere of his act. Eight years ago, while doing a run at another Chicago club, Damone discovered his current musical director, pianist Joe Parnello. Since that time, Parnello has put together a band that belts or caresses as it backs the star's efforts in the best manner of supporting casts throughout showbiz. After a dozen numbers, Damone had put himself and the audience through an emotional wringer. The opening song in Damone's repertoire was I Hear Music, and that everyone did--for sure.
Seriousness, Saul Bellow recently said, is what is needed in both novel and novelist. His latest work, Mr. Sammler's Planet (Viking), is, indeed, serious. Arthur Sammler, a man in his 70s mutilated by this century's history, lives in that fierce vortex of disintegration, New York City, where he sees traditional values ripped and tossed like a rag doll in a mastiff's mouth. One eye smashed to blindness, and left for dead by a Nazi murder squad, the cultured Jew Sammler somehow crawled back to life, to new threats and new savageries. Rescued by a relative, the rich American Dr. Gruner, a figure who combines compassion and corruption in true Bellow style, Sammler and his bizarre daughter take up residence in familiar territory, the West Side of New York, transient home of another of the author's badly mauled heroes, Tommy Wilhelm of Seize the Day. Here, one senses, is where the author catches the hot fumes of our topside purgatory at its most sulphurous, and here Sammler and his strange relatives confront one another in postures of love, lust and lostness. Symbol of the times and of the eschatological nature of this novel without a conventional story line is a resplendent Negro pickpocket who exposes himself to Sammler in a scene whose mute and terrifying power captures and illuminates this moment in our history. Once again, in Mr. Sammler's Planet, the seriousness that lies at the heart of every Bellow work is forcefully present.
Over a clock at one end of the ballroom hangs a sign asking, How long can they last? The year is 1932, the setting a tawdry replica of the Aragon ballroom in Los Angeles during the depths of the Depression. It was the macabre era of marathon dances, when hard-time couples lured by prizes of hard cash would keep moving to the tinny strains of Japanese Sandman for days, weeks, a month if necessary, until they began to hallucinate or collapsed from exhaustion. The story of the marathons was never told better than in Horace McCoy's 1935 novel of the same name, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, a cry of existentialist despair that found its most receptive audience abroad among such authors as Camus and Sartre. Filmed by director Sydney Pollack from a screenplay by Robert E. Thompson and James Poe, Horses isn't the great movie it might have been, but it does score as a flamboyant period piece, done up with a certain cheap Hollywood luster that sometimes gleams like the real McCoy. The seaside pavilion looks right. The costumes and frizzy hairdos look right. Gig Young looks very right, as the seedy emcee-promoter who uses anguish as the raw material to mount one helluva show. And Jane Fonda looks even better, playing an unemployed movie extra named Gloria, for whom scorn and cynicism are the last defensive weapons in a fight she knows nobody can win. Jane's gradual descent from hit-the-jack-pot brassiness to humiliation, hopelessness and suicidal grief that appears to be brought on by finding a hole in her silk stockings, eloquently expresses what the movie is all about. That her tragedy doesn't shake us the way it should is directly traceable to Pollack, who immunizes an audience to agony by emphasizing nothing else. Even in the bleak Depression era, a few young people must have gone into marathons with high hopes, or at least a bit of enthusiasm for dancing. Yet Pollack probes the sallow faces of the contestants as if he were peering through a barbed-wire fence at Buchenwald. Such a heavy spiking of melodrama tends to diffuse fine work by Red Buttons, as the sailor who suffers a heart attack; Susannah York, as the would-be starlet who goes mad; Michael Sarrazin, as a boy who diffidently commits murder; and Bonnie Bedelia, as a very pregnant, very disadvantaged girl who briefly grabs the spotlight, singing The Best Things in Life Are Free. It's a misery marathon.
Although fledgling thrushes continue to come up with new sounds, it takes Peggy Lee to show the people how it's really done. Is That All There Is? (Capitol; also available on stereo tape) has Peggy's instant smash as its title ode; but the lady doesn't rest on that single laurel. There are such diverse delights as Me and My Shadow, My Old Flame, Don't Smoke in Bed and a couple of other outstanding items from All There Is composers Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Randy Newman, Mundell Lowe, Bobby Bryant and Benny Carter are among those handling the charting and conducting--which should give you some idea of the quality of the merchandise. Which brings up a lovely package that MGM has put together--Judy Garland/The Golden Years of MGM. It's a two-LP album (also available on stereo tape) and covers the sound-track songs from Broadway Melody of 1938 through 1950's Summer Stock. But the real dividend is nonaural: a portfolio of pictures and memorabilia gleaned from Judy's 15 years on the MGM lot. The songs, of course, are all the Garland specials that, as the saying goes, need no further introduction.
"Excuse me a moment while I get a caraway biscuit and change my crinoline." You can hear the Noel Coward consonants crackle, and as Tammy Grimes delivers the line in Private Lives with her half-syrup, hall-sandpaper voice, it is a tremendous laugh. Coward's lines are meant to be acted rather than read, and in Stephen Porter's smart APA revival (as brought to Broadway by David Merrick), they are acted with enormous style and wit. Ham that she is, Miss Grimes is a perfect Amanda--selfish, spiteful, acidulous and adorable. And Brian Bedford, as Elyot (the part originated by Coward himself almost four decades ago), with his dry, impeccable, seemingly offhand delivery, is as much Tammy's match as Elyot is Amanda's. Somehow, the creaky plot--Amanda and Elyot, long divorced, just happen to be honeymooning with other spouses in adjacent suites in the same Riviera hotel--doesn't seem to creak much, or at least the contrivance of the situation doesn't matter. Those other spouses, the stuffy Victor and the silly Sybil, play the fools while the leads play the foils. That is not to say that Private Lives is mere thrust and parry. There is a solid play here, and two mutually devastating characters. In a season marked by revivals--Our Town, The Time of Your Life, The Front Page, Three Men on a Horse-- it comes as a surprise that Private Lives, a supposed piece of Thirties fluff, is the one that survives intact, the one that may really be the classic. At the Billy Rose, 208 West 41st Street.
I am a 22-year-old male and will graduate from college this June. I am engaged to a wonderful girl in another city, whom I plan to marry upon graduation. She cooks, sews and writes me daily letters in her spare time. We are completely compatible sexually, intellectually, religiously and socially. She claims I am all she has ever looked for in a man, admits she is wrong after arguments and guarantees no fights once we are married. Is she perfect, or am I in for a shock?--R. G., New York, New York.
Ray Charles has been an international institution for so long that only a handful of those under 30 can remember when the singer-instrumentalist-band-leader-businessman wasn't looming over the music scene in such outsized dimensions as to appear more myth than man. By any measure the dean of the current soul movement, Charles has the ability to reduce the diverse idioms of blues, country-and-western, jazz, rhythm-and-blues and rock to an emotional common denominator that overcomes barriers of language and culture around the world. Frank Sinatra--voicing the almost unanimous sentiments of Ray's colleagues--calls him "the giant of our profession."
His picture was, until recently, everywhere: on television, on posters that stared out at one in airports and railroad stations, on leaflets, matchbooks and magazines. He was an inspired creation of Madison Avenue--a fictional character with whom millions could subconsciously identify. Young and clean-cut, he carried an attaché case, glanced at his watch and looked like an ordinary businessman off to his next appointment--except for an enormous protuberance on his back. Sticking out from between his shoulder blades was a great, butterfly-shaped key of the type used to wind up mechanical toys. The text that accompanied his picture urged keyed-up executives to "unwind" at the Sheraton Hotels. This wound-up man on the go was, and still is, a striking symbol of our times.
Scorning the ancient soothsayer's advice to "Beware the ides of March," we suggest it's high time to glorify that traditional doomsday. And no better way could we find than to pay pictorial tribute to great Caesar's handmaidens--a well-endowed body of Roman beauties who make a brief (and briefly attired) appearance in the latest and most ambitious screen version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Slated for Easter release by Commonwealth United, the film also boasts a star-studded cast, headed by Sir John Gielgud in the title role, Charlton Heston portraying Mark Antony, Jason Robards as the noble Brutus, Richard Johnson as the troubled Cassius, Robert Vaughn as the envious Casca and Richard Chamberlain as the future first emperor, Octavius. The script closely follows the Bard's scenario, except for the obvious--and welcome--addition of the handmaidens. The only women in the original cast were Portia and Calpurnia, and their parts were slight; since actresses were barred from the Elizabethan theater, female roles were taken by boys. Happily, times have changed--and producer Peter Snell has lightened the tragedy by surrounding Caesar in the opening processional with some truly classic lovelies. (He'll also be accompanied by royal elephants, but we thought you'd rather see the handmaidens.) Commonwealth United invited us to its lavish sets for an exclusive pictorial preview of the girls provided in the film. If such beauty abounded 2000 years ago (as indicated by some frescoes from the period), it's easier than ever to appreciate "the grandeur that was Rome."
Time was when a well-dressed gentleman could build his wardrobe as he did his wine cellar, content in the knowledge that his selections would remain stylishly imperishable for years to come. Closets often overflowed with suits and sports jackets and bureaus bulged with shirts and other gear; all were fashionably correct--and all began to look tiresomely familiar, and alike, as men's clothing manufacturers continued to cater to conservative tastes and to produce clichéed variations of popular apparel themes with predictable regularity.
Sprawling across the barren valley from which it sprang, Las Vegas shimmers in the heat, a surreal shrine to the gods of opulence and good fortune who dwell in its Greco-Roman-French-provincial-ponderosa-riverboat-neo-neon palaces, where they exact tribute from the reverent who travel hence on missions of homage and seduction. Condemned by some for its outrageous success of excess, ignored by others who seek their pleasure in smaller measure, Las Vegas is the most persuasive monument ever erected to man's inconsolable yearning for a wild weekend. At the rate of 15,000,000 every year, winners and losers from all over the world flock to the big money machine in the desert, driven by the knowledge of miracles that actually happen and nourished by the faith that one will happen to them. In Vegas, all things are probable
Synopsis: Once upon a time, in the Asian country of Chanda, there were the picturesque Royal City, a jungle, a king who stood 5'2", a holy man named Buon Kong, a lot of hunters up in the mountains who wore silver collars and rode shaggy ponies, some of the most beautiful small brown women in the world--and, though nobody ever counted them, about 1,000,000 elephants. They are still there. But nowadays, there are also Colonel Kelly, the American military advisor; Nadolsky, the Soviet ambassador; Andreas, the Greek hotelkeeper, who does spying on the side; Tay Vinh, the North Vietnamese cultural attaché, who has a surprisingly expert knowledge of artillery; Harry Mennan, the cowboy flier; Captain Kong Le, who commands the Chanda troops; Charley Dog, who drifts in by way of a California prison farm; Marine Master Sergeant Danny Campo, who gets lost on his way downtown; Coakley and Sumner-Clark, who represent the U. S. State Department and the British Foreign Office, respectively. And along with all of these people, there is Dawn, who has no other name and is a deaf-mute. She first appeared when somebody found her aboard a plane out of L. A. carrying a Special Services troupe to Saigon. Then Harry Mennan got a hurry-up call to fly her out of Vietnam. When she stepped from the plane in Chanda, all of the men--even the grim little North Vietnamese attaché--gasped. She is impossible to describe--a collage of the beauties of many races. Every man who watches her has the impression that she is giving off secret vibrations for him alone. Dawn is almost enough to make one forget that the Russians and the Americans are bringing hardware into Chanda and that a war is raging just next door in Vietnam. With tension mounting daily, can this colorful never-never land of elephants and parasols stay neutral and at peace?
Although Horace Greeley's famous travel instructions were addressed to young men only, Cleveland-born Christine Koren corrected the editor's oversight several years ago, when she swapped secretarial chores in her home town for the mind-enlarging excitement of California's art and couture cultures. Soon after her arrival in Los Angeles, the 22-year-old brunette found jobs that satisfied her aesthetic predilections and has worked at them ever since. On weekends and some evenings, she part-times at Pasadena's Palace Boutique--where, she says, "the customers are even more fun than the clothes." And from nine to five, Chris manages artist Tony Amiry's well-known Hollywood art gallery, where she's as likely to sell a painting to a famous motion-picture star as to a tourist from Toledo. But Chris sees to it that her fast-paced work week doesn't confine her to a life without leisure. At home in her kitchen, Chris is something of an artist herself. Her specialty is preparing health-food dishes: "Things like wheat germ, avocado honey and papaya juice beat TV dinners any time. But I admit I'm a nut on the subject." Chris also takes maximum advantage of the salubrious West Coast climate by going sailing, water-skiing or bicycling at every available opportunity. Though bachelor-girl Chris cites procrastination as her worst fault, she admits she isn't in too big a hurry to meet the man in her life. "I'm still trying to find out all the things I am," she says. "When I do, I'll know the type of mate I'm suited for--and vice versa." Chris feels that, for similar reasons, many young people are waiting a little longer to get married these days, but she doesn't completely agree with all the things they're doing. "Many kids are trying to find themselves through the drug scene," she says. "But I think there are better ways, and lots of people--I'm one of them--have begun to explore these alternatives over the past few years. This fall at UCLA, I intend to study yoga and metaphysics; they have it all over artificial stimulants as a means of self-discovery: They discipline the mind." Chris has many male admirers who are eager to assist her with her homework, but she insists that she's just in love with Luv--a mostly Maltese pooch who gladly goes almost everywhere she does. So would we.
The lonely executive had spent the whole evening at a cocktail party complaining to an attractive guest about his wife's constant visits to her mother. "She's away again tonight," said the man. "What would you do if you were in my place?"
When stock prices were falling so suddenly last summer, at least one investor--H. Ross Perot of Dallas--wasn't hurting. The few Americans who know of Perot probably associate him with United We Stand, a nationwide lobby, of which he is chairman, that supports President Nixon's policies in Vietnam. (Perot tried unsuccessfully to get a planeload of Christmas gifts and food to U. S. war prisoners in North Vietnam last December.) But Perot also wears another hat, which makes him a fascinating representtative of the silent majority for which his organization speaks. Simply stated, Perot is the first person in history to make a billion dollars in the stock market in a single year--a feat he seems to have completed, perhaps significantly, during the moratorium month of October 1969.
In New York, it never fails, the doorbell rings just when you've plopped down onto the couch for a well-deserved snooze. Now, a person of character would say, "To hell with that, a man's home is his castle and they can slide any telegrams under the door." But if you're like Edelstein, not particularly strong on character, then you think to yourself that maybe it's the blonde from 12C, who has come up to borrow a jar of chili powder. Or it could even be some crazy film producer who wants to make a movie based on the letters you've been sending your mother in Santa Monica. (And why not; don't they make movies out of worse material than that?)
In the crowded coffee shop of the Cedar Rapids airport, Thomas Emmett Hayden, 29, founder of SDS and, according to one Iowa state senator, "a known Communist," was waiting for the winter weather to clear, so that his plane could leave for Chicago.
The campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville might have been deliberately created as a monument to every New Left cliché about the sterility of the U. S. educational establishment. Built only five years ago, it consists of eight or nine rust-colored, ultramodern buildings plopped down in the middle of 6000 featureless acres, like spaceships that have crash-lauded on a not-quite-habitable planet. Last spring, Young Americans for Freedom, the nation's largest organization of right-wing college students, chose it as the site for its Midwestern regional conference.
She never intended to be an actress, says 20-year-old Barbi Benton; but one thing led to another from the first day that the former Sacramento beauty queen and UCLA coed showed up for work as an extra on the set of Editor-Publisher Hugh M. Hefner's TV series, Playboy After Dark. To her surprise, Barbi found herself going out with Hefner that night. He soon became her steady escort; she graced the magazine twice, starting with last July's cover; and it wasn't long before she came to the attention of director Will Tremper, who was looking for a star for his film--How Did a Nice Girl Like You Get into This Business? That, against all odds, is how it happened.
The intelligent host knows better than to judge a food by its name; he recognizes that hash--the kind you can serve your guests without fear of a bust--has no rival, be it creamy potage or luscious crepe, in providing sustained gustatory comfort. Certain foods, such as the tender green stalks of the year's first asparagus, are a joy to the eye; some, such as wild rice or Italian white truffles, are craved for their unusually exquisite flavor. But the right hash can encompass all these things and provide assurance, especially around the month of March, that all's right with the world--at least when hash is served. To men sloughing off the aftereffects of the night before, what finer balm could possibly be offered than a hot chicken hash simmered in cream and oloroso sherry? At midnight suppers, hash is invariably the first food to be enjoyed. It's one of the dishes that guests find equally manageable in standing, sitting or lounging positions. Hosts, alert to their guests' appetites, always make sure to provide second and third helpings for a hash-hungry crowd around a buffet table. As a dining custom, hash antedates the brunch by centuries, flourishing long before the invention of the fork. But as brunches these days become more and more a way of weekend partying, hashes are offered in ever-richer variety on cozy Sunday-morning tables.
It was during the siege of Taklat, when island was set against island, when men slaughtered men for tribute and glory that Rau-mahora confronted her father. For seven days, the people of the pa of Ngati-ama had drunk only mango juice and coconut milk, and they thirsted. Now, on the seventh day, Rau-mahora spoke to her father, Pu-arika, chief of the Ngati-ama, speaking thus:
Among the local coterie of truly important writers, of which I am a leading member, it's legendary that Mark Twain once said that since books about Lincoln are proverbially best sellers, and since stories about doctors are always popular, and since Americans love to read about dogs, a story about Lincoln's doctor's dog must surely make a mint; and Twain said he was going to write it as soon as he could think of a story about the confounded dog.
They came from all points of the compass--from London and Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York, Jamaica, Denver, Montreal and a dozen other Bunny bastions--to converge on the stage of the Penthouse showroom in the Playboy Club-Hotel at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for this moment of truth: selection of the Playboy Clubs' Bunny of the Year for 1970. All 19 finalists, representing each Club in the Playboy empire, had just gone through four months of competition, topped by an exciting final week in Chicago and Lake Geneva that was one third frolic, two thirds preparation for the pageant.