Sometimes a Journalist conducts his basic research without consciously knowing it. He reads a fascinating item in the paper and follows it off and on through the years, simply because it interests him. But if that small news clip grows into a full event, he suddenly finds himself peculiarly qualified to write about it. This happened to Brad Darrach after he heard about a 13-year-old kid from Brooklyn named Bobby Fischer. "When I first read about this phenomenal prodigy, I filed the information away in my head and began to keep track of his activities. I finally met him in New York, where we had a steak dinner and played chess. I was always tactful around Bobby, found him a place to play tennis in Manhattan, things like that. By the time championship negotiations were under way, I was talking with his aides and lawyers almost daily." After the match was finished, Darrach spoke with members of Fischer's circle and was able, through many long interviews with them, to construct The Day Bobby Blew It (illustrated by Shawn Shea), a vivid account of their frantic efforts to get him on that plane to Iceland. "I was already up there," says Darrach, "waiting with everyone else, while these events were going on in New York. What was really most important to him was not the championship, not the money, but the need to achieve all of it on his terms. I think his battle for autonomy was admirable, especially when you consider that, in my opinion, another part of him was terrified during all this."
Playboy, July, 1973, Volume 20, Number 7. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. 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 $15 per year. 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. Marketing: Robert A. Gutwillig, Marketing Director; Emery Smyth, Marketing Services Director; Nelson Futch. Marketing Manager: Michael Rich, Promotion Director; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Joseph Guenther, Associate Advertising Managers, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Chicago, Sherman Keats, Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611: Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Building; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens. Manager, 417 Montgomery St.; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Road, N. E., Atlanta, Georgia 30305.
The little old ladies on the Arkansas Apiary Board couldn't understand why one of their publicity gadgets-a pin-on lapel button with a picture of a smiling bumblebee-was in such demand at the State Beekeepers' Society convention. Besides the bumblebee, the button bears this syrupy invitation: Enjoy Health-Eat Your Honey.
The International Museum of Erotic Art in San Francisco was supposed to open officially for the first time at five P.M. one dlay a few months ago, but, like many others interested in erotic behavior, Playboy's correspondent arrived early to watch the Drs. Kronhausen, Phyllis and Eberhard, "directly from Sweden and Denmark," get ready for the mass of sexual supplicants directly from Sausalito and North Beach. Housed in a distinguished downtown building at Powell and Bush, the I.M. of E.A. is the outcropping of shopping bags and suitcases in which the Kronhausens lugged their collection of 1500 all-time erotic masterpieces across frontiers, past customs, beneath the smiling Irish eyes of shore police. That's a lot of shopping bags.
This is a bad time for writing about Vietnam. We have the appearance of peace in Indochina, though that Grail may prove more elusive than even the pessimists could have believed. And last year there were two big studies of the war: Frances FitzGerald's Fire in the Lake, which won a National Book Award, and The Best and the Brightest, by David Halberstam, a number-one best seller for several weeks. But there will probably always be something left unsaid about Vietnam: an understanding as imperfect as ours was of that war can always profit from another book. And both FitzGerald and Halberstam talked about the big issues and the big men; but for all they explain, reading their books won't tell you what it was like to be there.
Funk fanciers, rejoice! If you've been longing for a New York restaurant where the walls are paneled with packing-case lumber and the ceiling is decorated with fish nets, and where the bar has a canopy of Honda-motorcycle crates, a collection of electrified beer signs and a pristine row of still-spinnable red-vinyl-and-chrome bar stools, then the Inca (399 West 12th Street) is your place. But don't go just for the funk; go for the food, too, because it's terrific. Just a whiff away from the Mounted Police stable in western Greenwich Village and almost under the West Side Highway, the Inca is a former waterfront bar that has survived the closing of the piers by becoming one of Manhattan's "in"-est restaurants. "We get a real mixed salad here," says owner Bill Gottlieb, "from rich uptown kids to showbiz types to motorcycle gangs sitting right next to tables filled with elderly Jewish ladies. Even John and Yoko came in the other evening, but they left right away because we were too crowded." The Inca's chef is a young Thai named Tu, whose mother sends him the East Indian curry powder he uses in the pork and chicken dishes on the restaurant's international menu. The star of the limited appetizer list is seviche—a Peruvian-style raw flounder fillet marinated and garnished with chopped tomatoes, parsley, chili peppers onion and pimientos. Hommos—a Middle Eastern delicacy of chickpeas ground into a paste with garlic, lemon juice and parsley, then eaten with bread sticks—is also highly recommended. Entree specialties include Chicken Divan (asparagus covered with boned white-meat chicken and baked with cheese in a casserole) and a delicious Daube Provençale de Mme. Molière that consists of cubes of beef cooked in a red wine and a seasoning of garlic, onion and—surprise!—orange peel. With each entree comes a fresh salad of romaine lettuce, Chinese cabbage, escarole and spinach. The house dressing presents a delicious mystery until Gottlieb explains that it's "four fingers of lemon juice in an empty rosé bottle, three espresso spoons of Lawry salt, two espresso spoons of monosodium glutamate, two ounces of dry sherry, nine shakes of Angostura and some good corn oil." Desserts at the Inca are fairly limited, but the Interesting Ice Creams listed include cinnamon chocolate and Dutch apple. The ingredients of Inca's Four-Layer Cake change daily, but most often consist of orange cake with a chocolate-fudge icing. The house wine list is short but includes plenty of three- to four-dollar reds, whites and rosés. One red. the Spanish Marques de Riscal, is a particularly good buy; it's as robust and earthy as the Inca's atmosphere. Sangria and beer are also available. Gottlieb believes in neither reservations ("Just come and wait in line with John and Yoko") nor credit cards. Worry not, however, for the wait, if there is one, is usually short and the prices are stupefyingly cheap. (The most expensive entree, Gaucho Steak, is $4.95.) The Inca's hours are from 6 P.M. to 1 A.M., seven days a week.
It looks as if Italy's spaghetti Westerns may soon be ridden out of town by the hottest thing in filmdom since the invention of the fistfight: action-packed Kung Fu movies from Hong Kong. Recently, one of these lo mein Easterns, featuring plenty of Chinese-style martial mayhem, proved to be Rome's sleeper hit of the year. The same thing has been happening throughout Europe and the Middle East, and now it appears the U. S. is about to succumb to the golden box-office hordes.
Now that she's won an Oscar, we can look for more and more movie ventures for Liza Minnelli. We just hope she doesn't stay too far from the musical fold. Liza Minnelli/The Singer (Columbia) offers unalterable proof that Miss M. is now at the top of her vocal game. She has superb confidence in what she can do, the ability to do it and material with which she can work beautifully; the Al Capps charts are just right for her. If you think Carly Simon did big things with You're So Vain, wait till you hear what Liza has whipped up. She also does a couple of Mac Davis numbers-I Believe in Music and Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me-that are supersmash. A sensational album.
In a score of finely wrought plays, produced on and off Broadway and in regional theaters, Lanford Wilson has written in a modern idiom about timeless material. The main character in his new play, The Hot L Baltimore, is a vivacious young prostitute who forgoes tricks while longing for the time when trains ran on time (she can identify them by their whistle). The play itself is about a lost era, when people could fulfill dreams and when hotels had all the letters on their marquee. (The E in this title has plunged along with the Hotel Baltimore itself.) The characters who inhabit the lobby of the now-seedy Baltimore are rejects and misfits—three whores of diverse persuasions, a butch health-food nut (Mari Gorman, giving the most memorable in a gallery of memorable performances), an old lady who remembers ghosts, a young man in futile search of his grandfather. This is a wise, funny and wistful play, one that disarms you with its modesty and honesty. It's lovingly staged by Marshall W. Mason and acted by a large ensemble, most of whom were unknown before the play opened. At Circle in the Square, 159 Bleecker Street.
A girl who lives upstairs in my dormitory used to brush off every boy who tried to make a pass at her. I resolved to greet her with absolute indifference and was glad to observe that this produced an uneasiness in her. That is, I was glad until I realized that I loved her. What can I do? I cannot face the consequences of an unsuccessful approach.-L. M., New Haven, Connecticut.
By 1962, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., had been writing novels for ten years; three had been published-"Player Piano," "The Sirens of Titan" and "Mother Night"-and nobody had ever heard of him. He didn't count. "Player Piano" had been haphazardly reviewed when it was published in 1952, because it was a first novel; and had been as haphazardly dismissed when the reviewers found out that it looked a lot like science fiction-which is to say, trash. In 1959, "The Sirens of Titan" came out as a paperback original, with a screaming space-opera cover-and didn't get a single review. Ditto "Mother Night," in 1962, which carried a cover blurb implying that it was part of the "Kiss My Whip" school of writing.
Rushing Out of Philadelphia in the sleek, gray Lincoln, Monsignor Martin de Porres Fisher crested the high point of the Ben Franklin Bridge and drove into the blinding rays of first dawn. In a moment, his welling spirit escaped the our, was airborne, To an undertone of the Magnificat, it fled the long distance over land and sea to his favorite all black beach in Jamaica, where he'd often lain naked and at peace, his relentless vigilance against the white world, temporarily put aside. Then, almost instantly, he had to slow down and pull up at the toll booths on the Camden side of the river. The fugue through the air, the flash of tropical-beach serenity vanished in banal, banal considerations.
Bobby Fischer heard a knock at the door. It was sometime after ten a. m., Thursday, June 29, 1972. Three days before the first game of his match with Boris Spassky for the world chess championship. Eleven hours before the plane left for Iceland. Five nights in a row, he had been booked on a northbound plane and five nights in a row he had not shown. Now time was running out. He had to take this flight. He couldn't fly tomorrow night, because the Sabbath began at sundown on Friday and for religious reasons he couldn't fly on the Sabbath. That left Saturday night; yet if he flew up on Saturday night, he would arrive on Sunday morning dog-tired from the trip just a few hours before the game began. So it was tonight or never. But he didn't want to think about that right now. He wanted to rest up. He had slept 20 hours since arriving in New York about 36 hours before; but even so, he kept slipping deeper into exhaustion.
If we had to sum up the beauty of Tisa Farrow in a word, there'd be one that applied more than all others. The dictionary defines wistful as "full of unfulfilled longing or desire," and if the images of Tisa on these pages communicate anything about the lady, it's that there's still an uncertain and intangible something eluding her. "Of course," says Tisa, "people are always comparing me with my sister Mia. But she's far more ambitious—and successful—than I. Honestly. I can't convince myself that I'm particularly beautiful or talented. I'm not even sure what I really want out of life." Nevertheless, it was precisely these qualities that attracted producer-director James B. Harris to cast Tisa as the principal love interest in his newest film, Some Call It Loving, an allegory about a young man's fantasy world and the sleeping beauty who awakens to alter it forever.
Thirty Miles Outside Jerusalem I was taken into a labyrinth of underground caves, where the apostles and their women were performing a dance routine. The atmosphere inside was rank and airless, the heat was murderous. After half an hour, half-choked by dust, I came stumbling out into the sunlight and fell asleep beneath an olive tree, dreaming of Gadarene swine. When I awoke I saw a figure perched motionless on a rock above me, a small man in a coarse white robe, with a cassette recorder pressed against his ear. For some moments he gazed blankly at the horizon, lost in the music, and then he came down slowly toward me, to crouch beside me in the dirt. His beard was silky, his eyes full of light. "You must be Jesus," I said.
The late Somerset Maugham, a master traveler, once told me that he felt completely relaxed only aboard ship. There is the blessed moment when the slight tremor of the engines under your feet indicates you are off. Then the coast recedes into a bluish haze and, with it, the burden of conventions and responsibilities. Ahead of you there is the unknown. "No matter how often you sail it's always an experience," the Very Old Party said wistfully. I thought of Maugham recently as I watched the tip of Manhattan fall away from the observation deck of the S.S. France. The panorama has been spoiled by the two obscene supertowers of the World Trade Center, but I didn't mind. I've been happy aboard ships ever since a summer day in the Twenties when I sailed from Bordeaux to New York as the impecunious fiddler in the three-man ship's orchestra on the tiny La Bourdonnais—a poor French Line relation of which the France would be ashamed today. The France is the flagship, the world's longest liner—1035 feet—and most luxurious. Her crew of 1100 includes 19 musicians, each playing several instruments. Times have changed.
One Afternoon in November of 1972, when I happened to be sojourning in Charlotte, taking the waters of North Carolina, I directed my native driver to take me to the telegraph office. There I dispatched the following wire less to the director-general at the Society's international headquarters in Woodville, Virginia: "Have Sighted Bijoona, Letter Follows."
Martha Smith is trying to sort things out: Should she go to school and take classes in film? Should she simply show up in California and try to get a sense of the best way to begin? Would it be better to stay in Detroit and look for a job in the media department of some advertising agency or to show a documentary director the 16mm stuff she's already shot? Though she hasn't yet imposed any order on her ambition, Martha knows she wants to be a film maker and figures that, at the age of 20, there's still time to consider the many ways to go about it. "I've talked to a lot of people, and they all give me different advice. My dream is to do it all, write the script, direct, be totally involved with the production of a film. That's a very large dream, I know, but I want to do it anyway. For now, I'm writing script outlines and, with a few friends, shooting some small productions around Detroit." The rest of Martha's schedule is devoted to modeling; from her parents' home in suburban Farmington, it's only a half hour's drive to her jobs in the city, where she most often promotes the newest cars at auto shows and in commercials. Her modeling career was really unplanned-the suggestion of a college friend who asked her to join him on a summer-long tour of Mexico and help show a line of clothing. The trip sounded fine, but Martha first had to register herself with a modeling agency, so she called the agency where her older sister was employed, and that's how she fell into what's become a busy career. Naturally, some of her jobs are more memorable than others, but she recalls one vividly. "My agency told me to put on a bikini and go to Olympia Stadium, where I was to assist in a car presentation. I didn't know until I arrived that I was supposed to hop out of the car onto an ice-hockey rink between periods of a Red Wings game. When I jumped out of the car, the people started whistling and screaming at the top of their lungs. The announcer was talking about all the car's features and I was supposed to be pointing them out as he spoke, but the crowd noise was so loud I couldn't hear a word he was saying and I was pointing at a tire while he was describing the windshield. At the same time, I was slipping all over the ice, because I was wearing hard-soled sandals and couldn't keep my balance." Eventually, Martha wants to turn all modeling jobs into a memory, but she's making no hasty decisions; she'd like to begin her next career on as sure a footing as possible.
How to Beat the Stock Market by Watching Girls, Counting Aspirin, Checking Sunspots and Wondering Wh
Jesse Livermore, a big-time speculator from an earlier era, once remarked that the stock market is crazy and that to beat it you have to be crazy yourself. Liver-more was right. Unfortunately, he wasn't crazy enough. He made four colossal fortunes but lost all four and died in virtual poverty, a suicide.
If you've never pictured New Jersey as the setting for a mountain-country resort, you have a surprise coming on your first visit to the state's biggest and most lavish new hostelry, the Playboy Club-Hotel at Great Gorge in northwest Jersey's Sussex County, just over 50 miles from New York City. It's a total recreation-and-relaxation complex located in a district of smogless skies and great natural beauty—green, rolling woodlands, clear-water lakes, unusual rock formations—offering a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities that includes, in winter, access to some of the best skiing on the Eastern Seaboard.
I suppose if I were watching television coverage of the return of a lunar mission and Kek Huuygens climbed out of the command module after splashdown, I shouldn't be greatly surprised. I'd be even less surprised to see Kek hustled aboard the aircraft carrier and given a thorough search by a suspicious Customs official. Kek, you see, is one of those men who turn up at very odd times in unexpected places. Also, he is rated by the customs services of nearly every nation in the world as the most talented smuggler alive. Polish by birth, Dutch by adopted name, the holder of a valid U. S. passport, multilingual, a born sleight-of-hand artist, Kek is an elusive target for the stolid bureaucrat who thinks in terms of hollow shoe heels and suitcases with false bottoms. Now and then over the years, (continued on page 130)The Wager(continued from page 127) Kek has allowed me to publish a little of his lore in my column. When I came across him last, however, he was doing something very ordinary in a commonplace setting. Under the critical eye of a waiter, he was nursing a beer at a table in that little sunken-garden affair in Rockefeller Center.
Camera Number One: At long last, my time machine has become a reality! Late-afternoon sunlight filters through its translucent panels, lies like a golden carpet upon the floor of my lodgings. Traffic noises from far below, muted by its photon field, faintly reach my ears as I recline upon the satin pillows of my sumptuous studio couch. Gazing fondly at the concretion of my lifelong dream. Soon-tonight, perhaps, no later than tomorrow-I shall take that giant step forward so long envisioned by my erstwhile colleagues and myself. And I shall never return.
Wizards of bareback riding, tumbling, juggling, the high trapeze and perch, the Cristianis are the Royal Family of Circusdom," wrote John and Alice Durant in their Pictorial History of the American Circus. Tina was part of it from the age of five, putting the elephants through their paces, balancing on aerial ladders—till the day she took a close look at one of her aunts and saw how she'd been prematurely aged by her years of nerve-racking activity. So Tina left the big top and went to New York to study acting. Seasoned by stage plays and TV commercials, she makes her film debut in the imminent Paramount release Badge 373.
South Beach is where the town started. The years went by, the wars, the inventions. Progress marched away to the north. Hotels became bigger and more lavish. Mansions were constructed. Islands were dredged out of Biscayne Bay. Causeways. Throughways. Motels. Traffic. The Fontainebleau. Eden Roc. Gradually, South Beach became old-fashioned, then marginal, and finally a slum.
Lo Latjut was an old man who proclaimed that since all women were tricky as cats, he would never take one to wife. Since his name means Unlucky Dog, perhaps this wariness was justified. But all his sour resolves vanished when he saw the beautiful Yaya. Surely, he thought, this innocent maiden could conceive no thought but fidelity to a lusty, though elderly, husband such as I!
The sun never sets on Her Majesty's Secret Service or, at least, on that redoubtable agent 007. Sean Connery has apparently dispatched his last villain as Ian Fleming's hero, and Roger Moore-best remembered for his TV role as "The Saint"-has replaced him. The latest Bond epic, Live and Let Die, is set in New Orleans and New York-with interludes in a romantic Jamaican bower and a macabre voodoo cemetery. Perennial Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (of United Artists) send the supersleuth on the trail of a Caribbean connection that pits him against the diabolical Dr. Kananga, prime minister of an island republic, site of a huge poppy-to-powder heroin operation. Kananga divines his machinations with the aid of a tarot deck dealt by the beautiful sorceress, Solitaire; needless to say, it's in the cards for Bond and Solitaire (Jane Seymour) to cross paths in the boudoir. Fate has also dealt 007 his first black inamorata, Rosie Carver (Gloria Hendry). Bond's fortunes are again fraught with an array of far-out gadgets-a Rolex watch with a magnetic field to deflect bullets and a prosthetic arm designed like a lobster claw; and with the usual chase scenes-crack-ups impacting cars into accordions and motorboats hurdling bayou sand bars. Whether on board or in bed, Connery or Moore, Bond is obviously still Bond.
Who Knows Their Names, who knows their faces? Grayness is crucial, anonymity is prized. Herb Klein, who has been with him longer than most, is memorable for never having done or said anything memorable. They seem men designed to function rather than to live. Who could, in happier, pre-Watergate times, tell Haldeman from Ehrlichman? One was John and one was Bob, but which was which? Efficiency is valued. They seem mechanistic more than anything else, more at ease with the mechanics of politics than with the humanity of it. Pleasure and joy make them wary. Pleasure may be sinful and it may be a sign of frailty; it may weaken the fiber. He is against weakening the fiber. There are speeches to prove it.
It's Changed so much it's all the same. (Do you hear us, Jay Gatsby?) Summer in the Hamptons: It's all so different you'd know it in a minute. ... Big money clinging to the center (ordering the party lemons in on Saturday afternoon, then laughing over sour drinks, watching the rinds go out as garbage Sunday morning). Small change around the edges; young, pretty (looking in). ... And, yes, the popular journals still send artists with their sketch pads to catch the tattletale moments: a Senator's brother at play (things you've seen a thousand times), a parasol shadow creeping across polka dots onto a wicker pram. Quick sketches done with a stiletto. ... Still true: You can't hear a Rolls-Royce coming. You feel it. The sound of money here is the silence it buys. Behind topiary hedges, on greens as trim as billiard tables, for serious croquet, private tennis. ... The cranky sea tried to wash the Beach Club away in 1938 (remember?), but the Beach Club wasn't ready to go. It may take more than acts of God to finally wash this terrace down. Mother and son are at their table again (still) talking about his last marriage, hers, other disasters they have survived together. And they are eavesdropping over "the sound of tinkling waiters" on the kind of clever conversation they invented 40 years ago. "Love, darling boy, is a dream ... and I am beginning to think they will never change this luncheon menu." A sturdy terrace, indeed. ... City people on the sandy fringe make crowds of themselves even when they don't have to, because two weeks at the beach can't cure the New York feeling that we are all in this together. Secretaries, brokers, salespeople, copy writers, wild hairy children a stone's throw, a putting green away from the hush of money. Listening to the difference, wondering: Could the artist possibly be painting them into the picture? ... Some of the proud ponies are left and some have turned to minibikes, but they still call it polo. Some of the power has turned to giggles, some of the danger to scraped knees, and most of Sunday's fine sporting togs have turned to flesh. And then at night, in small spaces, these athletes dance off whatever is left of the day to a roaring music and drink whiskey that is legal and take pills that are not. (Prohibition is as much fun now as it was then.) Most of the fine old cars are gone now (time and the salt air), but some of the riders have hung on all this time. And (can you believe this, Gatsby?) the artist swears by his fancy mustache and his quick brush that although the cars shown here are different, and the dogs-although the footmen are missing-this is the same woman: the flower of the Twenties (Daisy?) 50 years later. The floppy hat and sunglasses cover the scars of a recent face lift and daily shots of vitamin B12 have kept her sense of drama and style up to the occasion. Today, lunch at the Beach Club with her granddaughter. The artist says the old lady had the look of someone passing secrets. Over lobster tails and romaine: the same secrets, rich enough for another summer.
Although Marvin Miller grew up in Brooklyn almost in the shadow of Ebbets Field, home of the old Dodgers, the executive director of the Baseball Players Association is not a man nostalgic for the old order. Like other areas deserted by their franchises, Brooklyn lost the Dodgers. After all, says Miller, "The owners are in baseball to make a profit." But indifference to fan loyalty, as Miller sees it, is only one symptom of the malaise that afflicts baseball. "The players of today are young, bright, modern, with it," says the 55-year-old former negotiator for the steelworkers' union. "They're different from the players of 20 or 30 years ago. Now look at some of these management characters. They're not only the same type but often the very same people who were there 20 or 30 years ago." In Miller's opinion, crusty Houston manager Leo Durocher epitomizes this generation gap. During a spring-training flap, Durocher and Astro general manager Spec Richardson reneged on the new hard-won contract between the association and the owners by denying Miller enough time to disseminate its provisions to their team. "Leo doesn't understand young people. That's been the reaction of players everywhere he's gone. It's the reason he can't put his teams over the top." The contract provides impartial arbitration of salary disputes, a first step in dismantling the "reserve clause," a shorthand phrase for the maze of rules that binds each player to his club. "Up till now, the club has always held the hammer. You either took its offer or found a new way to make a living," says Miller. That's a hard choice for a big-league ballplayer whose playing life averages about five years, often after a long apprenticeship in the minors. But Miller is still swinging. During his tenure, owner contribution to the association's player pension fund has tripled, minimum salary has risen from $6000 to $15,000 and average salary has jumped to $35,000. It seems that Brooklyn has some heavy hitters who never played in Ebbets Field.
"Actin' and Singin' are about the same," says Kris Kristofferson-that low, echoing hoarseness, like he's just on the recovery side of a cold, permanently in his voice. "I don't feel real comfortable doin' either one. They're both performin'." But he wants to make a success of his new acting career, and the way things are going, it'll be easy compared with the long struggle before his "meteoric" rise as a country-rock singer and composer. "I enjoyed my two latest films," he says (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, playing Billy, and a comedy, Blume in Love, playing one of the three key roles), "a lot more than I did Cisco Pike, my first one. I just played myself in that one, wore my own clothes." Still, the only work that feels natural to him is writing songs, which he wanted to do so badly that he quit the life of a West Point literature instructor and family man and went to Nashville to be discovered. But after one quick success, with Vietnam Blues, he went through four bleak years, and the closest he got to a recording studio was carrying equipment for Columbia at $58 a week; but finally people like Johnny Cash and Roger Miller noticed his songs ("autobiographical crap about growing up in Texas, being down and out in Nashville," says Kristofferson), people began hearing Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down, For the Good Times, and the composer was on his way. He's still busy writing and recording, thinks his newest album with girlfriend Rita Coolidge "is better than anything I've done ... feels like it, anyway," and is learning all he can about film "to someday get on the other side of the camera." He watched Sam Peckinpah direct Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and was intrigued by the way "he worked off conflict." It figures that since he'd rather write songs than sing them, he'd prefer to direct movies than star in them. And, chances are his films will possess the same deep clarity that characterizes his music. Because whatever he creates, says Kristofferson, his goal is "to try and get it as honest as I can."
"Q.: Dr. Kissinger, if I put a pistol to your head and enjoined you to choose between a dinner with [South Vietnamese president Nguyen Van] Thieu and a dinner with [North Vietnamese negotiator] Le Duc Tho ... which would you choose? A.: That's a question I can't answer. Q.: What if I were to answer it saying that I like to think you would prefer to dine with Le Duc Tho? A.: I can't, I can't ... I don't want to answer that question." The above is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Oriana Fallaci, staff writer for the Italian magazine L'Europeo and many people's choice as the world's foremost—or at least toughest—interviewer. Vexing international figures such as Kissinger is nothing new for Fallaci: the 43-year-old Florentine has been doing that for most of her journalistic career. She landed her first assignment as a reporter in 1946, when she joined a local daily to support herself while attending medical school. She never became a doctor, but from her days as a free-lancer to her current magazine work, Fallaci has evolved an interview style that's as sharp as a scalpel. "I have no secret formula," she says, "for getting my material. I am, however, unpredictable, and that often catches powerful people off guard." Fallaci followed the Kissinger interview with an exclusive session with Thieu, adding the South Vietnamese chief to a list of subjects that includes Bangla Desh prime minister Mujibur Rahman, North Vietnamese defense minister Vo Nguyen Giap and writer Norman Mailer. Although she describes her journalism as "personal, but not partisan," she denies identification with the new journalists. "I don't believe in objectivity," she says, "but my feelings are secondary in my work." Those feelings, nevertheless, form the basis for Nothing, and So Be It, her well-received diary of war in Vietnam and riot in Mexico City. For the present, though, she is avoiding battle. "I don't intend to become an old-lady war correspondent. But I will continue to write," she vows. "It is my duty."