If an interviewer told his editor that he wanted his expense money in cash, that he could provide no receipts, that he couldn't mention his subject's name aloud and that the magazine would just have to trust him to deliver, you would assume the interview was highly unusual. You'd be right. Ken Kelley, a free-lancer with many friends in radical groups, went above and beyond the call of duty to conduct this month's Playboy Interview with Abbie Hoffman. In hiding for two years since his cocaine bust in New York City, the clown prince of Sixties radicals has reclaimed the title of America's best-known fugitive in the so-called revolutionary underground following Patty Hearst's capture. And until now, he hasn't surfaced long enough to give anyone a full picture of his desperate existence underground, with the rhetoric stripped away. As to what Kelley went through to conduct the interview, read Riding the Underground Range with Abbie for an adventure story in itself.
Playboy, May, 1976, Volume 23, Number 5. 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: Herbert D. Maneloveg, Director of Marketing Information; Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager; Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director; Don Hanrahan, Associate Advertising Director; Jules Kase, Advertising Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Chicago, Sherman Keats, Associate Advertising 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.
You are hereby sentenced to two hours of eating out. An article on sex in the nation's capital, appearing in the White Plains, New York, Reporter Dispatch, noted that "of the roughly 450 women who pleaded guilty or who were convicted of prostitution in 1974, only three percent were sentenced to jail and only 13 percent were dined."
Civilization has always celebrated man's greatest works--greatest paintings, greatest scenes in literature, greatest statements--but man's worst efforts and stupidest ideas have gone unrecognized. In an attempt to rectify this situation, we bring you a sampling from the book Best, Worst, and Most Unusual (Crowell), by Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler.
Voted in for unparalleled stupidity, a West German man who called birth-control pills a swindle because, though he took them for seven years, his wife had had six children. When told by doctors that the pill was for women, the man said: "But the directions on the box don't say that."
A hack's-eye view of Fun City, Taxi Driver plants Robert De Niro behind the wheel of a cab and sends him off on a downbeat guided tour of the lower depths inhabited by pimps, hustlers and other fierce nocturnal predators. This is no joy ride. In fact, compared with Taxi Driver's horrific journey through Man-hattan, Midnight Cowboy was a spin on a merry-go-round. Director Martin (Mean Streets and Alice Doesn't Live Here any More) Scorsese is a street-wise New York native who paints the town in garish neon. Although Taxi Driver is very well done up to a point, the only sensible reason for making--or sitting through--a movie so crammed full of bad vibes is the hypnotic performance by De Niro. "Cast as a desperate, lonely in-somniac who drives by night, he's like a tortured Dostoievsky character cruising the fleshpits around Times Square--bitter at having, as he complains at one point, to "clean the cum off the back seat" of his taxi. He himself strikes out with women and is flatly spurned by a golden girl who becomes the object of his obsessions while going about her business as a political campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd performs well enough in another of those snow-queen roles she seems destined to play till hell freezes over). More isolated than ever, De Niro's psychotic cabby assembles a cache of deadly weapons, undertakes a Spartan program of physical fitness and, imagining himself surrounded by enemies, decides that sooner or later he will have to kill someone. De Niro, too smart an actor to milk pathos in a plea for audience sympathy, plays this perennial loser straight in a clinically precise portrait that's about as heart-warming as a home movie starring Lee Harvey Oswald or James Earl Ray. Among the friends and foes within firing range are Peter Boyle, as a veteran cabby called Wizard; Jodie Foster, a precocious teeny-bopper actress who plays a 12-and-a-half-year-old hustler with unnerving aplomb; Harvey Keitel, as her sewer-mouthed pimp; and former CBS-TV film critic Leonard Harris, in a passable acting debut as a Presidential candidate who's clearly one of an endangered species (we won't dwell on the possible motivations for casting a critic as a target). After a cool and well-sustained build-up to its grisly climax, Taxi Driver takes a couple of hairpin turns into serious trouble. Scorsese and scenarist Paul Schrader leave the story with a screw loose, finally suggesting that there's nothing like a good old catharsis of murderous violence to bring a psycho to his senses. A doubtful premise for a movie aspiring to make the big time and just missing it.
Porno is served up sizzling in Honeypie, a four-course sexual snack that starts out with a dopey premise--dramatizing the letters to the editor of a lewd pulp magazine (Screw publisher AlGoldstein, playing himself, wallows through the crass editor's role). The individual episodes, however, are something else. For S/M freaks, there's a bondage sequence so sustained and heavy that queasier types may prefer to go out for a smoke. There's a dreamy soft-focus seduction scene between a virginal boy and an older woman (with the aggressive lady Played sinuously by Jennifer Welles, onetime exotic dancer and a sultry veteran of Minsky's Burlesque). There's spirited lesbian action, with a dance teacher (Sharon Thorpe) giving afterhours lessons in love to a ripe and willing ballerina (Serena, billed as a Oui calendar girl). To top all, perhaps as a special attraction for novelty seekers, there's Terri Hall (star of Gerard Damiano's The Story of Joanna) Performing a housewife-and-the-handy-men bit opposite two muscular studs--who lay down their tools to lay the lady and accomplish a tricky double penetration, both entering her vagina at the same time. Honeypie is not good film making by any standard. But it's good filmed fucking.
If you're having problems keeping a sense of historical perspective--or even of humor--about the whole Bicentennial business, you might keep this image in mind: Every time (probably starting later today) some politician or celebrity comes on the tube to tell you, as solemnly as possible, about one or another of the republic's past glories or heroic leaders, just picture good old Gore Vidal, looking cool and aristocratic, a big grin on his face, poised slightly offcamera with ... a pie in his hand. ("Hello. I'm Ronald Reagan." Plop!) Vidal's 1876 (Random House) is subtler than a pie but no less cheerfully devastating to the notion that American history can be honestly looked at with a straight face. Especially not by Mr. Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, the novel's narrator--created by Vidal as the illegitimate son of Aaron Burr--who mingles freely with a motley gang of real historical characters, including robber barons, socialites, President Grant and Mark Twain. Schuyler is an aging and elegant journalist who separates himself from poverty mostly by traveling, with his much-sought-after daughter, in the highest social and political circles--and by writing articles that keep him welcome there. As an intimate of the rich in New York and the powerful in Washington, Schuyler is in a position to record for us the centennial Presidential election of 1876 and how things really worked. Pretty much the same as they do now, it turns out. Schuyler attacks in his articles the massive corruption of his enemies--Grant needed a special prosecutor worse than Richard Nixon did--keeps to himself the wrongdoing and pretensions of his friends and allies and is vastly amused by both. As you, too, will be.
The movie world has never proved lucky for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even The Great Gatsby, last time out, did little to reverse the tradition that films, Fitzgerald and failure were an illfated threesome. Right now, some West Coast optimists are well into a movie (starring Robert De Niro) based on The Last Tycoon, the fine unfinished novel about Hollywood that Fitzgerald died believing would signal his comeback. To date, though, his best bet would seem to be a two-hour TV special, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood, that will be aired by ABC Theater on Sunday, May 16 (9-11 p.m. E.D.T.). A real winner on the bitter subject of hard losing, this film for television has authoractor Jason Miller in the title role opposite Tuesday Weld as Zelda, with Julia Foster playing gossip columnist Sheilah Graham--who had a semisecret affair with Fitzgerald at the frayed end of his life and later got a book out of it (two books, in fact: The Real F. Scott Fitzgerald just hit the shelves).
On Second Childhood (Columbia), Phoebe Snow seems more at ease with herself, both musically and personally, than on her first album; paradoxically, this new mellowness has transformed itself into greater musical energy. The album brims over with a buoyant, swingy charm that takes the sting and heavyheartedness out of such songs as her own Inspired Insanity and All Over or Holland/Dozier/Holland's Goin' Down for the Third Time. She also demonstrates a greater willingness to work in various jazz idioms, one result of which is a gorgeous big-band version of the Gershwins' There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York.
I am a 21-year-old college senior who has a hard time mixing in public--at dances, parties or in bars. The problem is that I can't bear small talk. I tend to be overcome with awkwardness and nervous energy. I'll just stand there, looking at a girl who attracts me, asking myself, is it worth the risk? Surely you can suggest a strategy to see me through such situations. How do you pick up girls?-- A.H., Geneseo, New York.
In 1966, Daniel Atkinson was about as close as one can get to being the typical American boy--a white, Protestant, middle-class, B-average San Diego high school graduate from a good home who enlisted in the Air Force and became a combat air-traffic controller in Vietnam. Five years later, he was back in California, an opponent of the war and a heroin addict with a two-year suspended sentence. Today, he is living at a drug-rehabilitation center in Seattle, along with his wife and four-year-old daughter, but facing new drug charges that could send him to "the Walls"--Walla Walla state prison--for 20 years to life. He contacted Playboy not to secure legal help, which he has already, but to advocate reforms in this country's approach to heroin. His case illustrates the problem facing thousands of veterans and others who need some alternative to drug addiction besides a prison cell.
He grew up a smart-assed pool shark in Worcester, Massachusetts, an industrial town famous for being only six miles from the birthplace of the pill. Most townfolk wish the pill had come first. After a checkered scholastic career that included spells at Brandeis and Berkeley, he returned to Massachusetts, where he tried to combine political activism with careers as a psychologist and a pharmaceuticals salesman; by then he had a wife, Sheila, and two young children to support. It was at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival that Hoffman first found himself on the wrong side of a policeman's truncheon--a position he would assume many times over the next decade. He joined the civil-rights movement and spent three years in Mississippi and Georgia alternately fighting off the Ku Klux Klan and trying to register blacks to vote.
One April day in San Francisco last year, I was awakened at the crack of noon by the trill of my doorbell. A postman with an American-flag lapel pin handed me a letter with four cents' postage due. Inside was a cryptic note: "Hi! Greetings from The Underground! Wanna rendez-vous? Go to a pay phone and call -- 11 P.M., April 15. 11:05 will be too late. Your old pal, Abbie." The postmark was Seattle; the area code, Miami. I pictured a coast-to-coast tunnel of radical molework.
Jerry Ford hates america. Not all of America. He keeps tucked like an armored pocket Bible next to his heart a xenophobic compendium of the glories he imagines she wore in an imaginary golden age. When the flag flew high over a nation of honest yeomen, when government was best because it governed least, when honest folk spurned cities because cities bred the spirochetes of sin, when virtues were plain, skins white, values puritan and businesses mom and pop, when the lazy poor deservedly starved and the inferior shuffling blacks knew their place and paradise was country-club golf on a sunny Saturday afternoon--true believer that he is, this is the America that he adores. But the America of conflict and diversity, of poverty and races, of promised equality and government brave and strong enough to guarantee it, of massive forces massively joined in a struggle for the future--the America that is the real and contentious and idealistic and unfinished place in which we live--Jerry Ford hates, with the ferocity of a man whose deepest childhood fears have not yet, at 63, been laid to rest.
She arrives at Kennedy Airport via jet from London and heads start turning as if she'd never been away. Brunette, surprisingly petite, with brown-velvet eyes--and dressed in trim greenish denim travel togs that she calls "my James Dean boiler suit"--Barbara Parkins enjoys the indestructible celebrity of having played Betty Anderson on Peyton Place for five long years (1964--1969). Ryan O'Neal got her pregnant and made Rodney a household word. Mia Farrow dropped out as Allison to marry Frank Sinatra. Barbara collected the wages of sin to the bitter end. Everyone knows that, and anyone who managed to miss her on TV's first prime-time adult soap opera probably remembers her movie debut as the high-fashion heroine of Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls.
For a long time, I'd been wondering what had happened to Adriano Panatta and Paolo Bertolucci, Italy's two best tennis players. I'd met them in Rome several years ago at my tennis club, when Adriano was ranked among the top ten in the world and he and Paolo had begun beating everyone in sight in doubles; but since coming back to the States a year ago, I hadn't seen or heard much about them. I gathered they'd reverted to their old style of play, both on and off the court. Then, while glancing through the sports (continued on page 94) Tennis Con Amore (continued from page 91) pages one day last fall, I came across a story about a big tournament in Madrid. Panatta had made the finals, putting out Guillermo Vilas 6-3, 6-4 and Björn Borg in three sets to get there. The next day, he lost to Jan Kodes in a bitterly contested match.
Nobody knows when the term home movies became dirty words, but one gets the impression that body odor and belching at dinner parties are now more acceptable than "Hey, wanna see my films?" Given the once-upon-a-time limitations of 8mm movie equipment, such a notion is not entirely unfounded. But a new day is upon us. While the stereotype of the somnolent living-room audience is not necessarily a thing of the past, neither is it an inevitability. The wonders of technology have made the top super-8 cameras the most flexible and capable motion-picture-recording instruments ever made. The things they can do may even exceed the present roamings of most people's imaginations, but little matter--live with them awhile and they're bound to spark something. They can make you eloquent in the visual language of cinema and put you in command of the most elaborate techniques; they let you film the unfilmable and capture sights such as you've never before seen. How do you do it? Just aim and shoot.
The Best-Kept Secret in the Caribbean, or, Thrills and Romance in the Leewards and Windwards
The Secret, of course, is that they are wonderful in the summertime. And empty. And cheap. That is because a Grand Old Travel Myth-- the one that goes, Only mad dogs and schoolteachers voluntarily aim for the tropics in summer--continues to live on. Subthemes are that the islands, so close to the equator, must be 140 in the shade in July; and, when you're melting in an oven called Chicago, why pay to fly into a frying pan on Barbados?
Genuine saints are quite rare in Los Angeles, California, but I used to know one and Hector Martinez was his name. He worked for the S.P. railroad and lived all alone in a tumble-down shack behind Gutierrez house with no woman of his own or anybody else's, either, happily sharing his pay checks with friends and needy neighbors. And on our street, where scandal was king, its long dirty fingernails never once scratched Hector. If there was any (continued on page 142)Goldilocks(continued from page 103) little vanity in his life, it was the watch he bought when he first came to the U.S.A. It was solid gold like Hector himself and would run for a week.
You probably remember Patricia Margot McClain as our November 1975 cover girl. She was shown sitting in a movie theater holding--uh--a box of popcorn on her thigh. Saucy, sexy and outspoken, Patricia has a Mae Westian sense of humor and, as a liberated half-Apache female, is a proud member of two embattled groups. She was discovered by Playboy Editor-Publisher Hugh M. Hefner. "I was in a little night club, where you'd never expect him to show up," she recalls, "but he came in, with about five people, get to meet me and invited me to his house. We've been good friends ever since." Patricia attracted a great deal of attention with her cover appearance: At presstime, she was being considered for a part in a special based on the life of John Barrymore, Sr. And other offers have been coming in. It's kind of a surprise route to success for a young lady who won awards for her dramatic ability at both Pasadena City College and UCLA (she has also studied broadcasting and gets a kick out of taping make-believe radio shows). But then, a lot of things about her are unlikely. Born on a ship off the California coast 22 years ago, Patricia is the daughter of an admiral in the U.S. Navy and an Indian lady who spent her early years on a reservation in New Mexico ("I visited there once; the people were so poor, it was pathetic") but now lives in the San Bernardino Mountains. Patricia left home at 17 ("I was raised under my father's thumb; he's very strong and, as a triple Taurus, I'm very rebellious") and worked for a while in a boutique. Thanks, however, to a trust fund set up by her father and her grandfather, she's been able to do more studying than working. In fact, she admits that next to becoming a Shakespearean actress, her fondest ambition was always "to grow up and have nothing to do." But, as a result of her cover shot, it looks as if she'll get lots of work. Somehow we don't think she'll mind.
Shotgun in hand, the rural father flung open the rear doors of the parked truck to find the driver mounted on his daughter and pumping rhythmically. "I suppose," yelled the aggrieved parent, "that you fancy yourself a pretty good trucker!"
Synopsis: London lay under a blanket of snow on the morning of March 1,1895, when an eccentric-looking bearded man appeared at the Baker Street lodgings of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The caller, as it was soon revealed, was the Saturday's Review's critic, Mr. Bernard Shaw. He had come to request Holmes to investigate the murder of a fellow critic, the feared and hated Jonathan McCarthy.
With Ronald McDonald and his enterprising buddies taking over the world, the future generations will never know the taste of a real, honest-to-griddled hamburger. Not that we're knocking McDonald's or competitive franchises. They offer a reasonably nutritious package--no extenders, no binders, moderate fat content--at a fair price. And fast There's only one drawback--it just doesn't taste! like a hamburger. McDonald's tacitly concedes this point. They're most reluctant to sell a burger without its designated garnish, sauce or lubricant. Every Big Mac, for instance, comes with an obligatory lathering of Big Mac Sauce--a sweetish, pickle-flecked (continued on page 158) Hauteburger (continued from page 119) mayonnaise-type spread, the constituents of which McDonald's mercifully shrouds in secrecy.
Ever since we first set eyes on British photographer Suze Randall, we've toyed with the idea of featuring her on the other side of the camera. After all, it's not every day you run into a professional photographer who also happens to have been a model, and a gorgeous one at that. "I was working as a nurse in a London hospital," Suze tells us, "and got into modeling on the side to bring in some extra money. The next logical step was photography." Often, in those early days, she would shoot herself, using a cable release and mirrors behind the camera. Which is precisely how she took the photographs on the following pages. And now ... Suze presents Suze!
Well, My Dears, I often think a procuress--a bawd, that is--lives like a spider. She spins her web and waits patiently all day for the foolish insect to entangle itself. And then she sucks the gold of a man's purse as the spider sucks the blood of the fly.