We all Know Someone who's done it. Or claims he has. Outfitted himself with this fancy camera with a mile-long lens, see, and walked up to this absolute knockout at a bar/in the park/on the street and said, "Uh, pardon me . . . I'm a photographer for Playboy magazine and you, well. . . ." Afterward, they smoked cigarettes. Still later, he told all his buddies about it. "Amazing, man, I just stood there, clicking this empty camera, and. . . ." But we also know women who have been too smart to fall for such a cheap dodge, and to them we'd like to say: If you were approached in the past year by a tall, handsome gentleman passing himself off as George Plimpton, Playboy photographer, you were talking to the real thing. The Mission Enviable he chose to accept was to find and photograph a Playmate--one that would get past Hefner's well-honed eye and into the magazine. You'll see the fruits of his search in George Plimpton: Playboy Photographer. We wondered how it compared with hanging around with Alex Karras and asked him about it. "The denouement with Alex," Plimpton told us, "is to be tackled by him, whereas the climax of the picture taking was to stand in a field and look at a lovely girl, albeit upside down, in the Deardorff camera. I wouldn't want to do Karras again, but I'd love to have another try at doing a Playmate. In fact, I tried to convince Mark Kauffman, Playboy's Photography Editor, that it would be a nice annual feature." Plimpton of the Year?
Playboy, January, 1975, Volume 22, Number 1, 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 $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 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and Allow 30 Days for Change. Marketing: Richard S. Rosenzweig, Director of Marketing; Emery Smyth, Marketing Services Director; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Herbert D. Maneloveg; Associate 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; 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 Street.
The most recent Annual Spittin', Belchin' and Cussin' Contest, held in Central City, Colorado, wasn't quite up to the standards of previous competitions. First of all, the World Champion Watermelon Seed Spittin' contest was taken by a spit only 50 feet, two inches--seven and a half feet off 1973's record. Then, to the disappointment of the gallery, the highly touted grudge match between two previous spittin' champions failed to come off. The belchin' competition featured the sounds of "The Wounded Whale," "The Dying Rhino" and "The Drunken Buffalo"; but 1973's winner, Harold "I Live for Filth" Fielden, failed to show up to defend his title. So, halfway through the contest, 29 spectators mooned the contestants.
We heard that the latest hangout for the Beautiful People was a $160-a-day hotel in Port-au-Prince called Habitation Leclerc, and since author Herbert Gold was in Haiti anyway, getting inspiration for his short story, "Paternity," elsewhere in this issue, we asked him to stop by and take a look. His report:
One of the wonderful things about billboards and signs is that they cannot be censored for double-entendres. To the innocent eye, these signs convey a sensible message. To the rest of us, they represent a plot to undermine our moral fiber. All of them really exist and were photographed and sent to us over the past year by fairly dirty-minded readers. This is what they would look like if they were all located in the same town. Drive slowly.
The father of the Keystone Cops, pratfalls and the custard-pie fight was Mack Sennett, king of the two-reel silent comedy. How can you make a musical about Mack Sennett and not be funny? Easy, if you know how. In Mack & Mabel, producer David Merrick, author Michael Stewart and composer Jerry Herman (the trio that founded Hello, Dolly!) have zeroed in on the squalid side of Sennett, his on-and-off-and-on-and-off romance with his star Mabel Normand and her collapse into drink, drugs and delirium. This dreary "musical love story" is crosscut with glimpses of Sennett working hard at funny business and production numbers that attempt to create, with great gimmickry and small success, the zaniness on the Sennett back lot. There are more dancing girls than cops, which sometimes makes it seem as if the collaborators have confused Sennett with Busby Berkeley. The dancing is good, Robert Preston is a strong Mack and Bernadette Peters has the propulsive personality to play Mabel. But one of Herman's catchy tunes (so catchy he can't get rid of it)--When Mabel Comes in the Room--could just as well have been called Hello, Mabel! The evening's peak comes early, with the projection on a screen of film clips from Sennett's own knockabout comedies. Unlike Mack & Mabel, they are bright and funny. At the Majestic, 245 West 44th Street.
The holidays traditionally prompt publishers to produce their most lavish books, and this year is no exception. We offer our annual roundup of the most interesting--and most excessive--of the coffee-table variety: Art and Life Style (Felicie) is the first hardcover cross section of artist LeRoy Neiman's work, including 270 full-color reproductions interspersed with his own commentary. We're understandably proud--Neiman is one of our own. Other art volumes span five centuries: A superb example of the medieval illuminated manuscript is The Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry (Braziller), in which 15th Century miniatures glow like jewels. The revival of interest in late-19th Century art nouveau finds exotic expression in The Graphic Work of Alphonse Mucha (St. Martin's), most fashionable of the poster artists of the period, edited by his son Jiri. A companion volume, Mucha Photographs (St. Martin's), provides a fascinating glimpse of the experimental camera studies that formed the basis of Mucha's poster designs. Harsher realities are the background for The American Scene: American Painting of the 1930s (Praeger), where art expert Matthew Baigell explores the reactions of such masters as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton and Ben Shahn to the Depression years. In a friend's personal tribute, writer-photographer David Douglas Duncan says Goodbye Picasso (Grosset & Dunlap); the author's candid photo-and-word portraits, plus the artist's work, combine to form a touching farewell. Art and text are linked in Jericho The South Beheld (Oxmoor House), which meshes the talents of poet James Dickey and painter Hubert Shuptrine. They have created a multileveled vision of the South--land and people (a sample appeared in the October Playboy). The photograph becomes art in Irving Penn's powerful Worlds in a Small Room (Grossman), a collection of intense studio portraits of people from remote places. Photography in America (Random House/Ridge Press) records the evolution of still photography since 1841 in 259 examples from the Whitney Museum collection. The inner world is celebrated by microphotographer Lennart Nilsson's Behold Man (Little, Brown), which reveals the body's interior landscape from single cell to the reproductive cycle. The outer landscape is captured by the master in Ansel Adams (New York Graphic Society) with a representative collection of 50 years of studying nature. The movies come into sharper focus with two retrospective collections, The Movie Book, by Steven H. Scheuer (Ridge Press/Playboy Press), a pictorial survey with over 400 photos, and The Platinum Years (Random House/Ridge Press), with on-set photographer Bob Willoughby's behind-the-scenes photos of 24 notable films, accompanied by Richard Schickel's discerning commentary. There are some strange--and strong--animal books worth mentioning. Naturalist Roger Caras presents an almost too intimate look at The Private Lives of Animals (Grosset & Dunlap). Lions in the act of coitus and baby turtles being killed by ghost crabs, for example. Caras also produced a chilling and hypnotic guide to Venomous Animals of the World (Prentice-Hall). Time-Life put together a color collection of the Vanishing Species, with a cautionary foreword by novelist Romain Gary. Mind in the Waters (Scribner's/Sierra Club) is a brilliantly detailed account of whales and dolphins; and for a lighter touch, humorist P. G. Wodehouse teams up with photographer Elliott Erwitt for Son of Bitch (Grossman), a fond, fey tribute to man's best friend. Two exceptional pictorial history books this year: Felix Barker and Peter Jackson's London (Macmillan), a pictorial history of that city's 2000 years; and Roloff Beny's In Italy (Harper & Row), a visually stupendous tapestry of the history and culture of that country. This year's crop of special-interest books: For the road burners, Phil Schilling's The Motorcycle World (Random House/Ridge Press) conducts a tour of the men, machines and races. For those people who have been following the World at War on TV, there is an Atlas of the Second World War (Putnam), with maps detailing strategy and tactics of land/sea/air operations. And, finally, Louisette Bertholle reveals 560 gourmet recipes in Secrets of the Great French Restaurants (Macmillan). We'd like to pass along an unclassifiable but extraordinary manuscript: The Unknown Leonardo (McGraw-Hill), based on the recently discovered "Madrid Codices," in which the master artist-inventor encoded his visionary ideas and inventions. The book is enhanced by more than 800 illustrations by Da Vinci. Best to end on a lighter note: Encyclopedia of Graffiti (Macmillan) is Robert Reisner's research of more than 5000 inscriptions from ancient walls to the subway. And there must be one or two people out there who can stand just a little more on Zelda and Scott: The Romantic Egoists (Scribner's) sent daughter Scottie back to the old scrapbooks and candid pictures for one more look. Big books come at big expense, but there is one alternative--write your own. The Nothing Book (Harmony/Crown) is just that--192 blank pages (in the deluxe edition, you can get French marbled binding). Have fun.
Rich period decor--it's the Thirties again--and lush camera work, along with a dazzling galaxy of superstars in upper orbit, should make Murder on the Orient Express a sentimental journey for movie-goers ready to switch from nerve-grinding problem pictures to sheer old-fashioned escapism. Agatha Christie's classic whodunit, the like of which has not been splashed on the screen since Witness for the Prosecution, takes place aboard a crack international sleeper stalled in snowdrifts between Istanbul and Calais. England's Albert Finney, formidable with a fake mustache and jet pomade on his hair, could not be mistaken for anything but what he is--a flashy actor in party disguise as Christie's portly Belgian sleuth-hero Hercule Poirot. The plot decrees that Poirot is in transit with a corpse (Richard Widmark, seen briefly as an infamous kidnaper-killer who has more deadly enemies than Finney can wag a finger at), plus a trainload of glamorous suspects played by Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Sean Connery, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Rachel Roberts and Michael York. Whew! Just watching such showstoppers sweep into the station prior to the first "All aboard" is at least . . . well . . . the next best thing to a television rerun of Grand Hotel. Try as they will, they don't make movies like Orient Express anymore, and director Sidney Lumet (after Serpico, working from a literate but none-too-reverent screenplay by Paul Dehn) harvests Christie's corn with the zest of a connoisseur. Perhaps Gielgud, as the murdered gentleman's gentleman, most precisely sums up the style of the piece when he turns to sniff, with withering disdain, at Balsam's vehement accusation that "The butler did it!" Delicious. Unless this warning comes too late, don't reread the book, which might inhibit innocent enjoyment of the adroit surprise ending, where every clue becomes Christie clear.
The holidays, as usual, have brought forth a spate of handsomely packaged, lushly recorded multiple-LP albums that are great for giving and even better for getting, you lucky dog. There is a wide spectrum of opera available. First spot goes to the RCA recording of Puccini's classic La Bohème, with, as the saying goes, an all-star cast--Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo. Sherrill Milnes and Sir Georg Solti conducting the London Philharmonic. It's a glittering production. Another RCA recording, an all-Italian production (again with Domingo) of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, is its first presentation in stereo. A welcome addition. Columbia's Odyssey label offers a German recording of the Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht acerbic masterpiece. Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera). The indestructible Lotte Lenya plays Jenny and has supervised the entire production. If there's a tiny tyke anywhere within gift-giving reach of you, lay RCA's recording of Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel on him or her. It's probably too good for the little bastard, but what the hell, it's that time of year. The cast is breath-taking--Anna Moffo, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig and a bunch of Bavarians who know what it's all about. And then there's Columbia's Elephant Steps, subtitled "A Fearful Radio Show" and subsubtitled "A Multimedia Pop-Opera Extravaganza." The music is by Stanley Silverman, the libretto by Richard Foreman and it features pop singers, opera singers, orchestra, rock band, electronic tape, raga group, tape recorder, gypsy ensemble and--what else?--elephants, all under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. To put it mildly, it is far, far out, but it is fascinating.
Big Clarence is pacing back and forth in Chicago's High Chaparral night club, pacing off about two yards with each step, taking the entire front-room bar in two and a half seconds, turning, pacing back. . . . The motion is stirring his drink. The people at the bar are black. Everybody at the High Chaparral is black. But Big Clarence is blacker. Because he owns the High Chaparral--all 15,000 square feet of it, with one Afro-American for every ten squares. The 200-odd board feet of him sort of hangs over into your peripheral vision, whether you like it or not. So when Big Clarence paces, Big Clarence gets watched. He's waiting for Bobby Bland, a singer who started out in Memphis with B. B. King, Johnny Ace, Roscoe Gordon, Little Junior Parker and has worked with or been admired by just about any other heavyweight blues or r&b artist you could mention. ("Stevie Wonder?" Bland says. "Lovely, lovely. I understand he's going to write a couple of songs for me.") But the industry has passed him up for all these years. Musicians you talk to rank Bland with Ray Charles, B. B., Albert King--people like that, the ones who last. Now Bobby is recording for ABC/Dunhill and things are happening--good things.
My husband and I have never switched partners with another couple, so we really don't know the nuances of swinging. A few nights ago, we got together with some married friends for an evening of drinking and listening to music. In the course of events, both my husband and I used the bathroom a couple of times. Toward the end of the party, we noticed a pair of women's underpants in the middle of the bathroom floor that had not been there earlier. Our hostess had not used that bathroom the entire time we were there, but the host had, just before my husband went in. Was the sudden appearance of the underpants an invitation on the part of our host?--Mrs. B. D., Topeka, Kansas.
The year 1974 was not a good one for Presidents, the economy, crops or, alas, civil liberties. Efforts to reform laws and expand personal liberties encountered an abortion backlash, a capital-punishment backlash and new Supreme Court decisions that did for obscenity law what the Watergate cover-up did for Nixon: made a bad problem worse. Despite these setbacks, there was some progress in other areas. One of these was drug-law reform. An increasing number of official voices called for decriminalization of marijuana (see "Pros for Pot" in Forum Newsfront). The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which receives the lion's share of its financial support from the Playboy Foundation, has filed a suit challenging the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration's classification of pot as a narcotic. As part of its educational function, last year NORML provided nationally known experts for legislative hearings in some 20 states. NORML also helps to find legal counsel for hundreds of individuals arrested on marijuana charges each year.
When he was a boy, he had been caught at some mischief and tried to worm his way out of it. "You're cornered, son," his father said, "and when you're cornered, there's only one way out: Tell the truth." That made sense to John Wesley Dean III, and some 30 years later--trapped this time in a web of intrigue he had helped weave around the White House--it still did. In March of 1973, Dean decided to tell everything he knew--or at least everything he had to--about the spreading scandal that had come to be known as Watergate. He knew plenty.
I inherited her. Alicia had been hired by my predecessor, a languid Gnostic stirred to dynamism only by the numen of church finances. Having ministered to our flock and its fleece during the go-go years, he left me a fat portfolio and lean attendance rolls. I was told, indeed, that the Reverend Eccles (short for shekels) believed that nothing so became a parishioner's life as the leaving of it, with a valedictory bequest to the building fund. At any rate, the nominal members stayed away from the Sabbath pews as from an internal-revenue collecting point, until the word went about in the land that lo! the new parson was not a hunting one but a hunted. Oh, shame upon me as I recall those Sundays, my sermons so fetchingly agonized, so fashionably anti-nomian. I suffered, impaled upon those impossible texts, weeping tears with my refusal to blink at the eschatological, yet happy in my work, pale in my pantomime of holy agitation, self-pleasing in my sleepless sweat, a fevered scapegoat taking upon myself the sins of the prosperous. The blue-suited businessmen regarded me with guarded but approbatory grimace as a curious sort of specialist, while musk arose thicker than incense from between the legs of their sea of wives. But enough of such shoptalk. I was sincere, if the word has meaning. Better our own act than another's. The Lord smiled; the cloud of witnesses beneath me grew, while wiring hung inside the pulpit like entrails in a butcher's shop, and my collection of interior pornography improved in technical quality (the early graininess expunged by computer enhancement from these latest Danish imports), and the organ behind me pertly sliced a premature end to the eloquent anguish of my silence.
This is a Historic Occasion. It is the year of America's sesquicentquadragenarinovennial--our 199th birthday. It is a year that makes us think back to our past, our heritage, our great traditions. And we at Playboy would be remiss if we failed to strike up a brass band and celebrate with a few fireworks of our own. And so, we salute you, America--beginning with your top men, our Presidents!
Two Young men with junior executive haircuts were taking a drink together after a long hot day at the office. They worked in the Marseilles branch of the E. T. & Orient Line and it was in Alec Weaver's apartment where they now had their drinks.
As most Playboy readers know, the official headquarters of the remarkable corporate empire known as Playboy Enterprises, Inc., is the 37-story Playboy Building on Chicago's Magnificent Mile along North Michigan Avenue. In this imposing architectural landmark, topped by the rotating Bunny Beacon--reportedly the most powerful sea-and-air-navigation light ever built--Playboy editors toil over story outlines, photographers pose Playmates of the Month, architects draw up plans for new Playboy Clubs and Resort-Hotels, secretaries pound their typewriters, artists sketch illustrations and mail-room clerks receive, sort and distribute thousands of letters, manuscripts and subscription order forms daily. But the true nerve center of the operation, aficionados have long realized, is a building some blocks away--the stately. 74-room brick-and-stone edifice known as the Playboy (text continued on page 108) Mansion--where, since 1960, Hugh Hefner has resided and presided over every phase of the company's activities. You read about it in Playboy's January 1966 issue.
I suppose it would have been a fair bet 20 years ago that at least one out of every ten readers would at once recognize 221B. Today would even one in 50 know it for the number of a certain London door that once opened onto magic for those of us who, in our teens and 20s, knew that the most famous detective in the world lived behind it for most of his professional life? What none, or only a very few of us, then knew was that he would die quietly on the Sussex Downs, whither he had retired from 221B Baker Street to keep bees. How could we have known that Sherlock Holmes had died? We knew in our hearts that he had never existed--other than as a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His death was, in fact, due solely to the activities of a few homicidal scholars who, in reconstructing the chronology of Sherlock Holmes, drove him to the grave around 1926. They could, no doubt, have told us just as ingeniously what Ophelia had eaten for breakfast on the day she drowned herself or what size tights her Black Prince wore.
Winter, in grim detail, comes early in Scandinavia and Lasts forever. No wonder the descendants of the vikings culinarily indulge themselves during the year end holidays. It's their antidote to the endless night--and it's a good one. Celebrating starts the day after Christmas and may go on for a fortnight, with New Year's Eve the high point. Lusty Scandinavian appetites and general Gemütlichkeit are sustained during the (continued on page 126)Skoal Days(continued from page 115) rounds of visiting and good-natured cavorting by smorgasbord, aquavit and glögg.
I'm sitting in my office on 34th Street, cleaning the blood and part of my aunt's large intestine out of my .38, when this sharp sheila comes in and sashays on over to my desk. She's got a pair of galoshes on her that sure look waterproof. After we size each other up, she tells me her name is Myrna Leroy and that her sister Gesundheit is missing.
The Sun Burned through the summer dust of Port-au-Prince, road grit and charcoal smoke. The consoling sway of palm was stilled at midday. With total confidence, Fritz emerged from the shop and set an unwrapped quart of ice cream on the floor of his Fiat. It would go too fast for mere melting. I said; it would explode--fissionable chocolate, the first Haitian atomic bomb.
Cocaine--coke, flake, blow and lady, the white crystalline compound that Sigmund Freud made famous in 1884--is also called snow; and now at the beginning of 1975, a blizzard of cocaine is blowing over us, little spoons hanging from our necks like crucifixes, snorting noises in the next room coming from people who don't have colds, people working 20-hour days who used to work four. The United States Bureau of Customs seized only six pounds of illegal cocaine in 1960, but 907 pounds in 1974, and the bureau estimates that each figure accounted for less than five percent of the traffic. Both estimates are probably low. In the past two years, cocaine has spilled from the ghetto and the mansion to become the illegal drug of choice, second only to marijuana, of many prosperous middle-class Americans. At $60 to $90 a gram, one user's evening's worth, it isn't likely to replace Jack Daniel's or Chivas Regal on the side table, but it is being used, socially and privately, in every major American city. Illegal laboratories in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina are working overtime to satisfy the growing North American demand, a demand that must seem all the more surprising when you consider that cocaine is classed, inaccurately but legally, as a hard narcotic and is subject to the same Draconian penalties as heroin. Who, even as recently as five years ago, would have guessed that otherwise straight people, doctors, lawyers and merchant chiefs, would take such risks? And what are we to make of that?
Lynnda Kimball is the victim of an unusual occupational hazard. She was working as a part-time photo stylist in Playboy's West Coast studio when someone asked her to pose for the gatefold. It's a familiar story, the stuff of late shows and soapers: A jaded staff photographer, unable to recognize the obvious when they're staring him right in the old F-stop, one day put on his glasses, pulled the hair from over his eyes and beheld the lovely Lynnda. Rumor has it that a tiny electronic flash went off in his frontal lobe as the full extent of his discovery became evident. The only thing that puzzles us is why it took so long. Attentive readers (we have no other kind) noted Lynnda's potential last year in the July pictorial Heady Stuff (she was the model perched atop two giant lips) and again on the August cover (she was the board-walk waif ogled by a crowd of comic-strip crazies). Before she wandered in front of our viewfinder, Lynnda lived with a friend in Bolinas, a seacoast town above San Francisco. "I was one of those people," says Lynnda, "who think California begins when you cross the Golden Gate Bridge driving north. There's no toll and the first thing you see is the rainbow on the arch of the tunnel leading into Marin County." There she raised vegetables in her back yard, sampled the dry red wines of the region, reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy and enjoyed what are sometimes called the country comforts. "When I lived in the middle of nowhere, I did next to nothing and that felt natural. Then I moved to Los Angeles. It was a head-on collision. Suddenly, I was pure adrenaline. It took a while for my body to adjust to the rush. Now I'm addicted to the chaos. I've become an adrenaline junkie." To satisfy her activity habit, Lynnda attends courses at Los Angeles City College and then goes across town to take acting, fencing, dancing and speech lessons at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. Although it sounds like she's preparing for the lead role in a women's lib song-and-dance swashbuckler, she has no plans for a Hollywood career--she doesn't even own a television set: "An acting class just seemed to be the right thing to take in Los Angeles. Like a Berlitz course in a foreign language--it helps me understand and communicate with the natives. And besides, it's a lot of fun. Your mind and body have to be quite agile onstage. We do exercises that help shed inhibitions and free the instrument for self-expression. I am more aware of my body now than I've ever been before." And so are we.
The recent bride, who was already seeking a divorce, explained to the attorney that her husband was so hugely endowed that intercourse was a painful experience. "Ok," advised the lawyer, "if you simply can't put up with it, you ought to file your petition."
A film is being shown. In it, an angry man fires out titles from a pornography library. The man's face is round, lumpy at the edges, with wild black hair like curled horns and skin peeled white by the fumes and sulphurs of New York. In a black turtleneck, against a black background, he looks like one of the reckless, seedy, whoring, half-learned, hung-over monks of the Middle Ages, methodically blashpeming after a tavern keeper has beaten him up. . . .
Shakespeare once wrote of Cleopatra, "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety." The old Bard might just as well have been talking about France's ageless sex kitten, Brigitte Bardot, who turned 40 last September and on that occasion remarked, "Look at me, now that I am 40 years old. So what?" So what, indeed! As a birthday present to BB, her current lover, 25-year-old Laurent Vergez, took the photographs on these pages at BB's sumptuous villa in St.-Tropez, Vergez, who some of BB's closest friends predict will be the next Monsieur Bardot, is the newest in a list of lovers and husbands that includes Roger Vadim, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jacques Charrier, Gunther Sachs, Bob Zaguri, Sacha Distel and many, many more. "No man can have any security in loving me," says BB. "The problem is to hold on to me. And that is difficult."
Captain Burger stepped from the red Eldorado convertible and stood for a moment under a magnificent oak tree whose thick branches and sharp metallic-green leaves afforded protection against the heat and glare of the sultry June morning. A sweet fragrance dripped from the leaves, the fragrance of early summer, of promises and memories, of newly awakened dreams. In a direct line from the tree under which he was standing, some 20 or 30 feet farther on, was another exactly like it and beyond that another, and so on for as far as he could see. He imagined an early settler had planted them as a shield for his crops against the violent winds that blew otherwise unfettered across this flat New Jersey plain. What might have once been a farm was now the Cedar Rest cemetery, although there were no cedars in sight, with trimmed hedges beyond the black iron-spiked fence and row upon row of white and gray headstones growing up out of the meticulously groomed lawns.
If any part of the male wardrobe has been neglected of late, it is the topcoat; same old thing after same old thing. So Playboy fashion director Robert L. Green translated that observation into action by inviting a group of top international designers, including Pierre Cardin and Bill Blass, to do something about the status quo; their submissions are showcased on these pages. None of the outfits featured is currently available--but to further the cause of more creative menswear, Green is taking his topcoat show into major cities. So if history repeats itself, it won't be long before what you see here is what you'll get in your favorite men's shop. Try that on for size.
It used to be that our Playmates were all girl-next-door types--innocent, unassuming and always available for interviews. Now we tend to get more professional young ladies--actresses, models, etc.--and we have to catch them between gigs. Which is all to the good, we think Because these worldly young women--one of whom will be Playmate of the Year (we welcome your nomination)--still have many of the qualities you'd hope to find in the girl next door; it's just that the girl next door is growing up.
Perhaps you will recognize the lady in this story. She's a young blonde, tall and supple, with an intelligent face full of artful innocence. She has the profile of a virgin but an amorous mouth, teeth that look lovely in a smile but can be sharp when they mock, a finely formed chin, rather sloping shoulders that show off the grace and pliancy of her neck. Her bosom is modest in size, but those fine legs with the little arched feet are classic pieces of sculpture. She has the whitest of white skin; she has the texture of cream and, with her hair in golden disorder, the hue of peaches. That hair seems to hold the scent of freshly cut hay and violets together.
Money and The Rich have never had a particularly good press. The Bible, among much in a similar vein, remarks coldly that the love of money is the root of all evil. Dr. Freud said it was more or less the same thing as, um, excrement and Karl Marx's views are too well known to go into here (though it's less well known that his wife is supposed to have said that she wished Karl would stop writing about Das Kapital and start making a bundle). Writers from Shakespeare to Jacqueline Susann show the rich coming to sticky ends.
When I was offered the project of trying to photograph a Playmate for this magazine some time back, I thought I might stick to it for a number of years, just easing around with my camera and recruiting new candidates, browsing here and there, perhaps in Scandinavia--a long and pleasant contemplation that would be extended either by never quite finding the right girl ("She had a blemish on her knee") or by suffering equipment difficulties ("I'm having lens-cap problems"). (text continued on page 192) I had a vague notion of the sort of picture I wanted to end up with--a girl standing in a meadow, perhaps with a horse. But there was no need to rush it. I saw the opportunity as a steady adjunct to my life--like going to the theater.
Recognizing that all things in this world are arbitrary and transient, we nonetheless set forth once again to determine the best of our contributors over the past year. We do this by polling ourselves, and it's a brutal exercise that every sane member of the cast tries to avoid. That means that most years the participation is close to 100 percent. This time we had as full a turnout, and as heated a grapple, as any other. We have, however, done a few things differently. Instead of the one category, with first- and second-prize winners for Best Major Work, there are now two categories--for fictional and nonfictional major works--with but one winner apiece. And the new-contributor categories, fiction and non-, also have but one winner each. In case you're wondering what's in it for those chosen, there are a thousand bucks and the silver medallion pictured here. Runners-up get half a thousand but a whole medallion. Fair enough.
Walking around midtown Manhattan, we noticed an inordinate number of jewelry stores. Say, two every block from 59th to 45th and from Lexington to Fifth. We visited these stores looking for something pretty and found that a lot of people are paying large amounts of money for little spoons to hang around their neck. Among the finer examples are spoons crested with butterflies in gold and rubies, a little Aztec figure holding up "the symbol of life forces," a precious nonferrous-metal woman who appeared to be water-skiing (the skis were two spoons) with small diamonds in her breasts and navel, a couple kissing and a cubist face. Some of the best, however, are by L. Bandel of Los Angeles. They are hand-carved ivory spoons with extremely complex Oriental designs on them. Their owner was displaying them at a boutique show that was in New York at the same time we were, but he wasn't quite sure why. He's now getting orders from all over the country.