Playboy, February, 1975, Volume 22, Number 2. 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.
A topless dancer at San Francisco's hungry i was propositioned by a gentleman in the audience, who pressed a hotel key into her hand. A few minutes later, at the other end of the stage, came a second proposition from a ringsider who asked, "Can I see you after the show?" In answer, the lady handed him the key and danced away. There was no one around to record what happened when the gentlemen in question appeared at the hotel for their rendezvous.
It's reassuring to discover that the three Cincinnati French restaurants awarded five stars by Mobil in the past few years all offer consistently fine food in spite of the accolades. Entering Maisonette, 114 East Sixth, is like visiting the country manor of an old friend. Proprietors Lee and Michael Comisar, with the help of a foyer disguised as a sitting room, a lounge resembling a library and a total atmosphere of courtesy and warmth, have managed to create an aura of home. Well, almost. Captains and garçons seem to appear from brocaded walls and the maître de, Alphonse, is omnipresent. The menu is vast and bilingual; even so, many dishes aren't listed. (Maisonette must also assume that everyone who comes here for a meal has the appetite of a Bengals' lineman; its portions are extremely generous.) Veal Pierre, one of chef de cuisine George Haidon's masterpieces, is a tender example of how a perfect sauce can be wedded to a most receptive meat. This creamy-rich concoction--with Romano cheese, suprême sauce and bits of avocado--complements but doesn't smother the veal. Other choice dishes include La Sole du Dauvre sauté belle meunière/delicate English sole lightly sautéed in butter and mushrooms, garnished with parsley; sliced breast of duckling served with a pungent orange-Grand Marnier sauce; and Tournedos Rossini, two small filets sautéed with burgundy wine sauce and covered with foie gras. Hors d'oeuvres, hot and cold, are excellent, especially Crevettes "Maisonette"--heaping mounds of tiny shrimps and fresh mushrooms sautéed with a hint of garlic--and the baby Icelandic trout served with a herb-flavored mayonnaise. Boula-Boula, a split-pea-and-green-turtle soup with sherry and cream, is one of the many tasty potages available; and the choice of greenery in salads makes the Bois de Boulogne look defoliated. Passing up Maisonette's heavily laden dessert cart is like standing up Raquel Welch, and the same can be said for failing to order from its ample wine list. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. and for dinner from 5:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. Dinner Saturday is from 5:30 P.M. to 11 P.M. Most major credit cards are accepted and reservations are imperative (513-721-2260).
Idle Passion / The Psychology of Chess (Village Voice/Simon & Schuster), by Alexander (Cockburn (a Voice columnist), is one of the few books on chess in which no chess diagrams appear. Thank God. Instead, what you get is a perfectly charming night-stand history of The Royal Game that meanders from its shrouded origins to the paranoid spectacle of the Spassky/Fischer 17th game, when the Russians claimed that Fischer's special chair had a fiendish device embedded in it that was sapping Spassky's strength. (Both chairs were eventually X-rayed; Fischer's contained nothing unusual, Spassky's a foreign object--wood filler.) Then there is the strange tale of Paul Morphy, one year "the greatest player the world has ever seen," the next, a lunatic recluse dying alone in his New Orleans bath surrounded by women's shoes. Chess, as analyzed by Cockburn, is also the game of madness, sadism, suicide, Oedipal conflicts, exhibitionism, patricide, masturbation and homosexuality, plus a child prodigy's garden of other psychoses, not to mention the violence, castration and death that accompanied matches in medieval times. Think about them apples the next time you're trapped and squirming, contemplating whether to go down fighting or gently tip over your king. At least your opponent is only after your ego and not your balls.
I first met the great John Dillinger in a small, darkly lit diner on the North Side of Chicago in July of 1933. I was fresh out of college at the time and pretty wet behind the ears, but I was interested in a career as a bank robber, having majored in botany. I had used the small savings I had accumulated over the years as a camp counselor to purchase a raincoat and a fedora that I wore slightly cocked over both ears.
The decline and fall of a famous French swindler, whose rash wheeling-dealing brought about the collapse of the government back in the Thirties, is the subject of Stavisky--but only at first glance. Be warned, then, if you're not a Frenchman already familiar with backstairs banking and politics in Europe, that this elegant ode to a bygone era will be of little use as a history lesson. Director Alain Resnais (of Last Year at Marienbad) is more a film poet than a historian, also a better spell weaver than storyteller. Which makes Stavisky rather dull as a drama but absolutely breath-taking from time to time as a cinematic explosion of art-deco romanticism. The plot, such as it is, was developed by scenarist Jorge Semprun (of Z and La Guerre Est Finie), who preserves his standing among leftist intellectuals by forcing some ideological or philosophical link between the career of Alexandre Stavisky and that of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky, exiled in France at the same time. Forget it. The scenes with Trotsky are mostly irrelevant, and Stavisky's over-all pretensions are pretty well obliterated by the fact that Jean-Paul Belmondo plays the title role. Belmondo is Belmondo, a feisty superstar whose charisma outshines any isms that might tend to dim his ruddy natural glow. Matched with beautiful Anny Duperey (as Madame Stavisky) and Charles Boyer (as a worldly old aristocrat caught up in Stavisky's schemes), Belmondo takes over, virtually defying the movie to keep pace with him. In the end, his moxie saves Resnais' somewhat formal frieze depicting a vanished Gatsbyish world of sleek cars and clothes and grand hotels where "money attracts money"--and where a casual gentleman woos a provocative lady, after one brief glimpse across a lobby full of potted palms, by casually ordering that she be buried up to her beauty mark in flowers.
Listening to In Memoriam (Little David), the 34th and last LP by the Modern Jazz Quartet, we had the feeling that maybe the breakup of the MJQ was all for the best. There's nothing really wrong with the album; it's just that it seems we've been down this road many times before. Augmented by a symphony orchestra conducted by Maurice Peress, the group--John Lewis, Milt Jackson, Percy Heath and Connie Kay--performs Lewis' long title composition, his Jazz Ostinato and the adagio from Joaquin Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez. It's all impeccable, intelligent and--perhaps due to the attrition of the years--a little dull. The MJQ's two decades of productivity cannot be denied; we'll settle for remembering those.
Peter Shaffer's Equus is an operation on the mind and an investigation into the roots of sexual passion. A stable boy (Peter Firth), a lover of horses, has mysteriously blinded six of them, and a child psychiatrist (Anthony Hopkins) has been called in to solve the mystery and to administer the "cure." The author asks, What is the purpose of psychiatry? To adjust the seriously disturbed to normality? And what is disturbed and what is normality? The psychiatrist is repelled by the boy's psychotic act, yet he is magnetically attracted by his ferocious passion. The boy is hung up on horses in a religious as well as a sexual sense; the Equus of the title is both a sex object and a Godhead. The doctor, in contrast, despite pretensions of passion, leads a sterile, barren existence. A titanic struggle--of ideas, ethics and emotions--is waged, which ends in ambiguity. The mystery is solved, but still Shaffer offers no answers. The play is tantalizing and unsettling. What lifts it, what makes it a completely riveting experience, is its unconventional theatricality. It is a work, to be seen rather than read; in fact, it would be impossible without John Dexter's production, first presented at Britain's National Theater. Dexter approaches the work on the level of myth and directs it at a gallop. The horses are strikingly mimed by six prancing actors wearing sculptured semblances of horseheads (the contribution of designer John Napier). The violent attack on the animals and an orgiastic horse ride by night are treated ritualistically. Swiftly, the barely furnished stage becomes a paddock, a dissecting room and an arena of battle. The play stimulates the imagination of the audience, so that it feels a party to the hunt (actual, psychological and metaphorical). Equus demands, and receives, acting of the highest level. Firth, a sinewy young man making his stage debut, merges completely with the character of the unearthly stable boy (he almost looks equine). In the less physically demanding but more emotionally draining role of the doctor, Hopkins is scalpel-sharp. Together, in collaboration with author and director, they create a visceral evening of theater. At the Plymouth, 236 West 45th Street.
How do you tell someone you're living with to get lost? About a year ago, I met this guy--we liked each other, dated, made love. The only friction came from playing "your place or mine?"--the insecurity of being away from our respective creature comforts for a night (his music, my macramé), the sense of wasting a space by leaving it unoccupied--all seemed to detract from what was going down between us. We tossed a coin; he sublet his apartment and my place became our place. It was a mistake. I feel like my whole life has been invaded. I'm under a constant pressure to relate, to be domestic. There's no time left for my creative pursuits and that's a capital offense. More and more, I find myself taking it out on him. I want to go back to the old arrangement, or maybe to see him out of my life entirely, but the trouble involved is frightening. How can I broach the subject?--Miss P. B., Hartford, Connecticut.
"The rich," according to a Spanish proverb, "laugh carefully." They have a lot to lose. The poor, on the other hand, need to laugh in order to forget how little they have to laugh about--which may be why the Depression was the last golden age of comedy in American movies. Will the current economic recession bring on another comedy boom? Movie producers think so; the 1975 production docket is packed with laugh-it-up scripts. Film producers also acknowledge that the strongest creative impulse behind the boom is the maniacal imagination and energy of one of the very few moviemakers since Charlie Chaplin who is unarguably a comic genius--Mel Brooks.
You will please pardon me, dear madam, but I am a rude and straightforward person, so I'll come right out with it: Do not labor under any delusion; this is far from being a fan letter. On the contrary, as you will realize yourself in a minute, it is a rather odd little epistle that--who knows?--might serve as a lesson of sorts not only for you but for other impetuous lady novelists as well. I hasten, first of all, to introduce myself, so that my visual image may show through like a watermark; this is much more honest than to encourage by silence the incorrect conclusions that the eye involuntarily draws from the calligraphy of penned lines. No, in spite of my slender handwriting and the youthful flourish of my commas, I am stout and middle-aged; true, my corpulence is not flabby but has piquancy, zest, waspishness. It is far removed, madam, from the turndown collars of the poet Apukhtin, the fat pet of ladies. But that will do. You, as a writer, have already collected these clues to fill in the rest of me. Bonjour, madame. And now let's get down to business.
Jimmy Connors had won Wimbledon in July, stomping his elders, bludgeoning his contemporaries, alienating virtually everyone in tennis and the rest of the world, for that matter, so he could say that. And that statement is a measure of the arrogance, confidence and guts that make Connors (A) possibly the best tennis player in the world and (B) one of the cockiest superstars in sports today. It is the kind of line Connors has learned from his manager and political mentor, Bill Riordan, a tennis agent who bills himself as "the maverick of the tennis establishment." Riordan and his pupil believe in taking the game by storm--through a process of systematic paranoia, by creating false grudges to be overcome, by purporting to be loners and then having an excuse to "show those sons of bitches," as Connors once put it.
The idea sounds a bit wacky at first, but after you think about it awhile--sleep on it, as it were--it has a certain bizarre logic. A third-party convention, attended by delegates from every conceivable antiestablishment political faction in the country, is deadlocked over its choice of a Presidential candidate. What one person could possibly appeal to a conglomeration that includes in its ranks vegetarians, Nazis, gays, Indians, Legionnaires, women's liberationists, proponents of group marriage, the A.M.A. and the Suicide for Fun Committee? Why, Linda Lovelace, of course. To know her, especially in the Biblical sense, is to love her. The knowledge imparted by her latest picture, Linda Lovelace for President, is considerably less carnal than that dished up by Deep Throat, the film that made her famous. Linda doesn't actually perform her well-known sword-swallowing act onscreen this time, but, she observes, that shouldn't be necessary--"because people will fantasize about it, get off on it in their imaginations." Since the film was scheduled to be released within a week of this issue's hitting the newsstands, it's anyone's guess now whether Linda Lovelace for President will fare better than the R-rated Deep Throat II, which also left a lot to the imagination. But Linda--with others who worked on the film--sees no comparison. "I expected Deep Throat II to bomb," she says frankly. "It was a disaster, amateurish, haphazardly thrown together. I haven't seen it myself, and I have no desire to." L. L. for President has a lot more going for it in the way of production values; a budget in excess of $600,000, compared with the original Throat's $25,000, for one thing. "And Deep Throat was shot in eight days with a crew of eight or ten," Linda remarks. "This movie was shot in four weeks with a crew of 40 or 50." It also boasts a cast whose names are familiar to fans of rock, television and improvisational theater as well as motion pictures--among them, (text concluded on page 166) Linda Lovelace (continued from page 82) comics Joey Forman, Joe E. Ross and Louis Quinn, impressionist Vaughn (The First Family) Meader, ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz, Marty (I'm Dickens . . . He's Fenster) Ingels, The Committee's Gary Goodrow and Morgan Upton, Chuck McCann, who played the title role in the critically acclaimed film The Projectionist, and Skip Burton--whose wife, incidentally, is actress Karen Black.
America's banks are in trouble. Many of the largest and most powerful banks have been on a five-year expansion binge, spurred by bankers convinced that bigger is better. In their pursuit of growth, they have jeopardized the safety of your money, not to mention the survival of the entire banking system. Americans, accustomed to entrusting their money to banks without the slightest worry, should begin to worry--now.
At psychiatric conventions, they like to tell the story of a troubled lady who seeks help from her local analyst. Attempting to define the nature of her problem, the analyst asks her to describe a typical morning in her life. "Well, let's see," she says. "First I get out of bed, then I go to my closet and put on my robe and slippers, and then I go to the bathroom and I lean over the toilet bowl and I throw up----"
We've done all this before, you realize. When the economy went blooey in the late Fifties, the public started buying little cars in such quantities that even people importing obscure European brands such as Borgwards and Skodas made money. American Motors got a shot in the arm and George Romney paid us back by trying to run for President. So the Big Three countered with a volley of "compact" cars: the unforgettable Corvair (which took a bad rap from Ralph Nader for its handling but leaked oil, ate fan belts and rattled like a Taiwanese alarm clock), the Valiant (a stolid four-door that spawned the Chrysler Slant-Six still in use nearly 15 years later) and the Ford Falcon (an undistinguished sedan that was the mechanical basis for that unforgettable marketing coup, the Mustang). Now, these cars, which were introduced in 1959--1960, transmitted certain messages back to Detroit that were indelibly scribed in the brains of the (text continued on page 92) auto moguls; i.e., stark, cheap-o midget sedans would not sell in vast quantities, but gussied-up, two-door versions of the same vehicles would. Hence, the Corvair became successful after the sporty Monza reached the market and the Falcon made it only when it was given a full plastic-surgery rebuild and appeared masterfully disguised as the Mustang. This cycle is, of course, endemic to Detroit marketing, and all cars, large or small, tend to increase in size, weight, horsepower, price and general opulence as they proceed through their annual model changes.
Bob drifted into our lives one day through the door of a small beachside bar called the Malibu Cottage, where I spent an occasional afternoon drinking beer and shooting pool. The Cottage flashed a few signals of sophistication and sometimes small lights from the Malibu colony wandered in, but it was essentially a beer bar.
Fresh out of high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 18-year-old ex-cheerleader Laura Misch was confronted with that same question that has plagued most new high school graduates: What now? Wandering into a neighborhood drugstore, she happened to pick up a slick paperback entitled Playboy Bunnies. She leafed through it. She pictured herself with rabbit ears and a Bunny tail. She had an idea! "I dashed off a letter, enclosed a Polaroid of myself and sent it to the New Orleans Bunny Mother, since she was the closest to Tulsa," Laura recalls. "The next thing I knew, I was in New Orleans with a new job." Within a few weeks, she'd fallen madly in love with the place. Even today, two years later, she will wax rhapsodic about the delights of the old French city. "Except for the humidity," she says, "I adore everything about New Orleans. I'll never leave." This creates a conflict in her life, for she also wants to be a movie star ("Who doesn't?") and most stars have to emigrate to Hollywood sooner or later. No longer a Bunny since the temporary closing of the New Orleans Club some months ago, Laura has just finished an on-location shooting as an extra in Dino De Laurentiis' new film, Mandingo, starring James Mason and Susan George. In the movie, which is about life on a slave-breeding plantation in the pre--Civil War South, Laura plays one of the girls in a Mississippi delta whorehouse. This is how she describes her big scene: "A door opens and through the doorway you see me standing there, clutching my underwear. Then I blow a sensuous kiss to a satisfied customer." Since it was her first scene in a movie, and she appeared seminude, to boot, Laura admits to having had a certain initial apprehension. "I thought it would be awful with all those people watching me," she says. "But they were good about it and kept their eyes on my face." If you say so, Laura.
One frigid morning, a man turned up at his office much the worse for wear. "I didn't sleep a wink," he told a co-worker. "I was up almost all night trying to keep my wife's begonia covered against the freezing cold."
I was standing there in front of the Pipeline Club in a fine misting rain with my hand still on the door of the taxi that had brought me in from the airport to Valdez, Alaska (pronounced Valdeez, so that the last syllable rhymes with disease, by the folks who lived thereabouts, folks who do not take the pronunciation of their town lightly and who are subject to become very pissed very quick if you do not come down hard on the eez, drawing it out in a long sibilant Z); I was standing there looking at a legless man where he sat on the sidewalk on his little wheeled dolly, a beatific look of ecstasy on his thin pale face as he looked not back at me but up into the cold slanting mist and the lady cabdriver was saying for the fourth time since I got into her cab: "These goddamn new people think they own this goddamn town but I'll tell you one goddamn thing: They don't own it yet."
Judas Iscariot, disciple: Frankly, I can't be more emphatic about how dull this job is. You've got your corporate structure first of all. There are 12 senior members of the board and, of course, J. C.--the big boss. Then there are the junior partners, or disciples, like me. And when you get right down to what we have to do for it, the pay is terrible. We had to go on unemployment in order to embarrass Christ into giving us even a poverty-level salary. And the guy is so wrapped up in his own theories. I really think if he were examined, they'd find he was a little bit, you know, psycho. But what he doesn't realize is that sooner or later, one of us is going to get fed up with his bullshit. I mean, he's a subversive and all that. I'm no company man and if the right offer comes along, why shouldn't I take it? For this kind of money, I'm not exactly willing to risk my ass for some kook who thinks he's fucking God Almighty, you know what I mean? But you know how it is, a job's a job. The main thing I tell him is don't push me too far.
Shakespeare called it a "yellow slave" that could "knit and break religions, bless the accursed,/Make the hoar leprosy adored: place thieves/And give them title, knee, and approbation/With senators on the bench." The Bard didn't mention it, but it was also in quest of gold that Europe's alchemists and explorers toiled so hard for so long. All of which seems to place the distinction between master and slave in serious jeopardy. But when it comes to gold, masters quickly get to enjoy serving. We see why.
It was a year of triumphant return by diverse superstars--Bob Dylan's first concert tour in eight years; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young together again after four years; and Eric Clapton back in America after a two-year absence. It was also a year of loss, the greatest of which was the death, at 75, of the protean Duke Ellington.
It was during the Roaring Twenties, roughly the period between Prohibition and Repeal, that the American psyche came out of the closet and shed its puritan morality. Automobiles and contraceptives made things easier, and a kinky, bearded medic from Vienna made us face up to our carnal natures with such strange new terms as libido and id.
Back in November of 1970, when we ran a seven-page feature on the sensuous sculptures of Frank Gallo, the artist described the female form as "the only ... inspiring resource of simple beauty left to me." Today, more than four years later, Gallo feels much the same, although his vision has expanded to include the erotic. "A self-indulgent cathartic expression" is the way he characterizes his series of miniature sculptures Twelve Erotic Fantasies, several of which appear on these pages.