In the world of tennis, Wimbledon is the ne plus ultra; and in Centre Court, John McPhee's matchless description of that classic tourney, he elevates sports writing to an art form. "I first saw Wimbledon in 1954, when I was a student at Cambridge," McPhee told us. "The atmosphere--the lawns, the flowers, the people, the strawberries and Devonshire cream--was something all its own, and I have gone back whenever I've had a chance. This article for Playboy is an attempt to do a kind of frieze of Wimbledon, using, for the most part, notes made at the 1970 tournament, but with the feeling of Wimbledon as it is year after year." Craftsmanship also marks the work of Eric Norden, winner of our best-article award for 1969 for The Paramilitary Right, a study that exposed, among others, American neo-Nazis. In this month's Playboy Interview, Norden skillfully cross-examines a Nazi of the old school--Hitler's armaments minister, Albert Speer, author of the best-selling Inside the Third Reich. Norden divides his time these days between his London flat and a cottage in St. Ives, on the rugged coast of Cornwall, where he's working on a book for Viking Press. Titled Rebels with Guns, it examines such groups as the Black Panthers. In a different observation of blacks in America, Staff Writer Craig Vetter's Funeral in Jackson vividly re-creates a mournful day in Mississippi. "I was as interested in the minutiae of people's behavior in crisis as I was in the issues that the Jackson State tragedy represented," Vetter says. "It seems to me that by focusing on the tiny things people do at a funeral, or anywhere else, you begin to understand what's really happening." Vetter's thesis is supported by Edward and Mildred Hall's The Sounds of Silence, an exposition of the ways in which our gestures and glances involuntarily communicate our feelings--sometimes much more strongly than words. Hall, a professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, authored, with his wife's assistance, the trail-blazing volume The Silent Language, which he straight-facedly describes as "a quiet little book." Published 12 years ago, it's out now in paperback--and sales, increasing annually, have topped 500,000. Bodily movements are a luxury not permitted the residents of a future world chillingly depicted by novelist William Hjortsberg in Gray Matters, his first venture into science fiction. Its characters, living human brains without bodies, are ingeniously illustrated by Chicago artist S. Thomas Scarff's neon sculpture encased in a mirrored cube. Hjortsberg writes from Costa Rica, where he's living with his wife and small daughter, that a longer version of Gray Matters will be published by Simon & Schuster in the fall. Actor Steve McQueen's misadventures in filming a racing movie are chronicled by John Skow in The 24 Hours of Steve McQueen. "I've always been partial to drivers and film makers," says Skow, "and seeing them together made me understand why. The members of each group tend to be good men who work honorably at not-so-good trades. Maybe that could also describe the condition of journalists." A veteran journalist, Playboy Executive Editor Michael Demarest (who came to us after 16 years with Time Inc.) takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the supersnoop syndrome in Bliss Comes to Ezra Hapgood. The Chief Executive in Larry Siegel's White House!, a spoof of cinema spectaculars of the Airport school, is the victim of bugged begonias. A more intellectual form of sleuthmanship is practiced in The Odd Man, this month's contribution by Ellery Queen--known to crime-story cognoscenti as the writing partnership of Fred Dannay and the late Manfred Lee. Excitement of another kind is provided in Nude Theater photographs by Manhattan's widely acclaimed Max Waldman. A compilation of his major camera studies of the past five years. Waldman on Theater, with an introduction by New York Times critic Clive Barnes, will be published by Doubleday in November. Don Carpenter, who asks us to emphasize that the plight of the besotted protagonist who makes a sobering discovery in The Change is "in no way autobiographical," is currently polishing up a screenplay. Absinthe is Maurice Zolotow's 15th magazine article on wine and spirits--a field into which he was led, he says, by old drinking companion (and Playboy Contributing Editor) Ken W. Purdy. Other good things busting out all over this issue: a pictorial tribute to our 12th Playmate of the Year, with a loving backward glance at her predecessors, and Just Add Water, a wet look at the latest swimwear. Come on in: The reading's fine.
Playboy, June, 1971, Volume 18, Number 6. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States, 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 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago Illinois 60611, and Allow 30 days for change. Marketing: Nelson Futch. Promotion Director: Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer. Advertising Director: Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising managers, 405 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022; Sherman Keats, Chicago manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611; Detroit, Robert A. Mc Kenzie, manager. 2990 West Grand Boulevard; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco. Robert E. Stephens, manager, 110 Sutter Street; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
Well, it had to happen. A women's lib group (British division, Liverpool chapter) has pronounced that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs reeks of male chauvinism. What particularly irks the group, it seems, is the thought of that bright, sweet girl having to wash dishes for seven dirty little old men. (Dwarfs' lib might point out that they were letting her off easy.) Even worse, to the Liverpudlian lib ladies, is the denouement, in which Snow White rides off with the fairy prince to become a sex object in his castle. (Of course, he could have been a closet queen.) Accordingly, fem-lib revisionists are rewriting the tale so that Snow White and Prince wind up working arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder in the dwarfs' mine--which is a helluva way to mine.
Books by and about black America are again focusing on individual odysseys. Now that so much probing has been done into the black man, there is need for more precise and subtle differentiation among varieties of black men. A halfway house between the two genres is the work of Drs. William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs. In their earlier Black Rage, they argued that a certain degree of paranoia is essential to sanity for the black American. In The Jesus Bag (McGraw-Hill), they use a diversity of case histories to amplify that thesis. More impressive than Black Rage in its scope and power, this book explores the ways in which black Americans have adapted to a hostile environment. Violence, poverty, black psychology, white "expertise" and other elements are linked to "the commands of conscience and the strictures of religion which have haunted blacks from slavery to this day." Interweaving individual lives with historical forces, The Jesus Bag is of jolting value. Five other new books concentrate on individual black men. John Neary's Julian Bond: Black Rebel (Morrow) is an illuminating account of an elusive subject--the cool ex-SNCC Georgia legislator and poet who appears before more college audiences these days than any black speaker except Dick Gregory. A pragmatist rather than an ideologue, Bond is trying to organize blacks for power within the system, but he is not at all an assimilationist: "Our job, from now into the future, is to carve out our own place, separate, but a part of the whole." By contrast with young, smooth, actor-handsome Bond, there is Charles Evers. Mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, a national force in black politics, a onetime hustler turned fiercely straight, Evers is a formidable figure. Just how formidable is made clear in Evers (World), a remarkable editing job by Grace Halsell, who put the book together from taped interviews and speeches. "Sure, I hate. I think I really do hate. But I hate so bad till I'm gonna make damn sure that I kill off all the cause that makes me hate." There are penetrating insights here into Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Charles's brother, the late Medgar Evers, among others. But it is Charles Evers who comes through to show how large a life can be. Stokely Speaks (Random House), a collection of Stokely Carmichael's 1965--1970 speeches and articles, is much more polemical than personal. Recently a resident of Guinea and a disciple of the exiled Nkrumah, Carmichael is preaching Pan-Africanism as an ultimate goal ("Black people ... are all an African people"). He advocates highly disciplined organizing of blacks in America, so that they can control their own communities. Carmichael sees much bloodshed ahead; one almost feels he will be terribly disappointed if his prophecy proves untrue. It would be difficult to imagine two black men less alike than Stokely Carmichael and Bobby Short. The latter, an ultrachic pianist-singer with such admirers as the Duke of Windsor and Jackie Onassis, does, however, have some sense of the black veins in the American grain. His Black and White Baby (Dodd, Mead), an account of his first 17 years, is a singular addition to American social history. Short was molded as a Midwestern Protestant, certainly aware of being black but not piercingly aware. (He still uses the term colored.) He grew up "different" in Danville, Illinois, but he considered Jews and Catholics even more "taboo." Also remarkable, to say the least, is the long-promised autobiography of Charles Mingus, Beneath the Underdog (Knopf), edited by Nel King. It's a book concerned with more than growing up black in America, although blackness is at its core. In a kaleidoscopic feat of energy and imagination, Mingus rides the rapids of his past and reveals much in the process about himself, his country, jazz and sex. One section, by the way, on how best to satisfy a woman, is worth more than all the didactic erotica on the market. An extraordinary book about an extraordinary man.
The usual image of Paul Cézanne is as the visual engineer who fathered modern painting by calmly reconstructing nature with building blocks of color. But behind those cubes and planes burned an intensity of feeling. In his 20s and 30s, Cézanne was so tortured by sexual frustration that he would sometimes swoon before his naked models, then throw them half dressed down the stairs. His pictures of the 1860s seem to writhe and boil and, though eventually he found himself a woman, thinned his paint and turned to less disturbing subjects--still lifes, portraits, country landscapes--the passion never left his work. That is evident in the impressive Cézanne exhibition now concluding its tour at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, after stopovers at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D. C., and Chicago's Art Institute. The show honors the late Duncan Phillips, who fully understood the restrained restlessness that lends the paintings of Cézanne their inimitable power. It was Phillips who, half a century ago, invited a curious public to see the collection of paintings in his red-brick Washington mansion and, in so doing, opened America's first gallery of modern art. He felt that art should be seen not in marble monuments but in the comfort of a home. The Phillips Collection today is much the way he left it; the guards do not wear uniforms and the elegant galleries are equipped with easy chairs and sofas. It is in tribute to Phillips, as well as to his favorite artist, that such museums as the Louvre, Washington, D. C.'s National Gallery and the Met, and such collectors as Paul Mellon and Stavros Niarchos, have lent their own Cézannes to this unforgettable assemblage.
There are two restaurants in this country where you must have a phone at your lunch table. One is The Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, where movie options are picked up or dropped over the salade niçoise; the other is the Sans Souci, a French restaurant at 726 17th Street, N. W., in Washington, D. C., just about a paving stone's throw from the White House. Once you're seated, look around and chances are you'll see Art Buchwald and Martha Mitchell at a nearby table. They're not holding hands--as Henry Kissinger and Jill St. John have been known to do at the Sans Souci--probably because Martha is busy on the phone. Art will write a column about the whole experience during dessert. Neither of them will be at the Sans Souci for dinner, however. In the evening, Washington's Beautiful People fade into the night, the management puts away the phones and the lobbyists take over. The decor is Potomac Gallic, with just a touch of tackiness--bad Utrillo reproductions set off by gold-flecked wallpaper and dark-wood paneling; a carved wooden Venus and Cupid in the center of the room under a crystal chandelier. Sans Souci's food, however, is exceptionally good, especially for a city where the culinary apogee at many a leading restaurant is the popovers. The menu is varied. Artichaut vinaigrette or the superb watercress soup should start the meal. Either of these and the Sans Souci's special salad are worth the visit. The salad is a crisp collage of endive, watercress and mushroom, held together by a magnificent dressing that hints at the presence of French mustard among its secret ingredients. For an entree, Grenadins de Veau are particularly good: small slices of fillet of veal, larded and braised in a madeira-wine sauce. Very light and subtle. From the more than adequate wine list, you might select a Puligny Montrachet 1967 to accompany the veau. For dessert, we found the Crème Caramel in top form--light and firm and not too sweet. Lunch and dinner are à la carte. Entrees run from $3 to $4 for lunch. Add about $4 more for the dinner price. Lunch is served from noon to 2:30 P.M.; dinner is from 6 P.M. to 11 P.M. Reservations are imperative. For lunch, they should be made--literally--days in advance (298-7424). If the Sans Souci is booked for the hour you request, you might tell the headwaiter that you're David Eisenhower. He squeaks a little when he talks.
The plot of A New Leaf is surprisingly old hat, considering its appeal to the fertile imagination of Elaine May. As adapter and director of her own scenario, in which she co-stars with Walter Matthau, Miss May seems smitten with nostalgia for those high-society Hollywood comedies that were all the rage back in the mid-Thirties. Her tale concerns a wastrel (Matthau) who squanders his fortune and sets out to find an heiress he can marry--and perhaps murder, if the occasion arises--in order to retain his Ferrari, polo pony, racquet-club membership and lunches at Lutèce. The girl he selects (Elaine) is a bookish, feelthy-rich botanist who brings out the snob in him but never quite inflames his penchant for justifiable homicide. At length, the lady wins the day for love and marriage by discovering a new species of fern and naming it after her reluctant but grudgingly contented spouse. A New Leaf itself belongs to an uncommon species--a movie so full of good ideas and zany dialog that you can laugh your head off without actually admiring it very much. While the acting of minor roles is impeccable (especially that of Jack Weston as an unscrupulous estate attorney and of Broadway's Red Hot Lover, James Coco, doing a droll turn as the hero's hedonistic guardian), both May and Matthau seem to be giving dry impersonations of characters instead of playing them for real. Experience shows, however, in the sure-fire Nichols-May timing of gags, whether verbal ("All I am--or was--was rich, and that was all I ever wanted to be," Matthau observes plaintively) or visual (Elaine approaching the marriage bed with her head through the armhole of a diaphanous nightgown). There's fun to be had here, but don't expect miracles.
Stoney End (Columbia) may be a new beginning for Barbra Streisand, whose career seems to have--let's say it--plateaued. She's into the pop-rock-folk bag with a vengeance--a trio of Laura Nyro tunes, including the title song smash, Nilsson's Maybe and, among others, Randy Newman's Let Me Go and (the best effort on the album) I'll Be Home. Composer Newman accompanies Barbra on his tunes, and familiarity obviously breeds success. The backgrounds vary, but, in marked contrast with some of Miss Streisand's past albums, they're kept fairly simple. It all works.
The three sisters in Paul Zindel's And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little are schoolteachers: a wilted innocent on the edge of insanity (Julie Harris), a wisecracking middle sibling on the brink of despair (Estelle Parsons) and a survivor who has freed herself from the family strangle hold at the price of her own humanity (Nancy Marchand). These are queen-size characters ripped from the author's memory book (as was his earlier hit, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds) and, as they mock and abuse one another and their coexistence, the play flashes with humor and vitality. Much of the success is due to the actresses, who invest the roles with their own energy and imagination. As the self-server, Miss Marchand is smoothly harsh. Miss Harris is birdlike but resilient even as her mind is splitting. But the finest performance is by Miss Parsons. In her hands, middle Reardon's shrewdness and flipness mask depths of compassion. The play has problems: Psychological pieces are missing; the end is unresolved; director Melvin Bernhardt occasionally gropes for a gimmick. But Zindel knows the Reardons, and the audience gets to know them, too. On the basis of this and Marigolds, it's clear that Zindel is a delivering (as compared with promising) playwright who can create characters with living room enough for the biggest actresses. At the Morosco, 215 West 45th Street.
A friend of mine and I recently had an argument over what part beauty plays in the choice of a mate. He contends that when I meet the girl I'll marry, physical appearance won't matter. I realize the virtues of the intangible qualities of a relationship, but don't you think that I have a point when I insist that beauty will be a factor?--S. D., Washington, D. C.
deep in the depository seethed a vast network of disembodied minds, locked in endless programmed reveries of love, hate and fear........until, spurred on by a desperate hunger for a long-lost past, one of them rebelled
Rumors are flying that the famous town of Intercourse, Pennsylvania, is threatened with a superhighway that would cut right through its center. It's also hinted that if this occurs, the town might be renamed Coitus Interruptus.
take neutral grape spirits combined with dried flowers and wormwood leaves, suffuse with vaunted aphrodisiac powers, mix in a history dark with tales of death and madness, and you have one of the world's most maligned--and misunderstood--aperitifs
When you hear talk of widespread unemployment, don't you believe it, fellah. Just count all the hard-working muggers, footpads and second-story men and include them in the labor force and you'll realize we're having runaway prosperity! ... But, say, look what's happening here, kids -- -- Annie's erstwhile companion, Wanda... summoning the gendarmes???