The fantasies you have seen on the movie screen, ladies and gentlemen, about superslick hit men zapping one another in a transcontinental death game played on behalf of invisible organizations are unfortunately true. And as you read David B. Tinnin's The Wrath of God---which focuses, in chilling detail, on the efforts of Israeli avengers to track down and destroy one of the Black September agents responsible for the slaughter of their athletes at Munich---you may think you're perusing a script for a Hollywood thriller. An associate editor of Time, Tinnin has written 35 of its cover stories, the most recent one covering the death of Howard Hughes, who was also the subject of Tinnin's first book, published in 1973. His next will be a longer version of this article, titled Hit Team, written with Dag Christensen and set for release this fall by Little, Brown (and by publishers in several other languages and countries). A box accompanying the article tells how Tinnin got his story.
Playboy, August, 1976, Volume 23, Number 8. 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 $25 per year. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, P.O. Box 2420, Boulder, Colorado 80302 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; Jules Kase, Eastern Regional Director and Associate Advertising Manager, 747 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; Sherman Keats, Western Regional Director and Associate Advertising Manager, John Thompson, Central Regional Director and Associate Advertising Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611; Atlanta, Richard Christiansen, Manager, 3340 Peachtree Rd., N.E.; Detroit, William F. Moore, Manager, 818 Fisher Bldg.; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Blvd.; San Francisco, Robert E. Stephens, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
An 18-year-old English chambermaid claims that she was saved from falling down a 16-foot drainage shaft by her 42-inch bust. Cleaning a room in the hotel in which she works, she inadvertently fell into the hole, but, as she says, "my bust stopped me from going right down. I was stuck fast until two men hauled me out."
After the title and subtitle Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or, "Sitting Bull's History Lesson," a legend in old-timy script flashes on the screen, announcing Robert Altman's absolute original & heroic enterprise of inimitable luster. There is, indeed, fierce humor and a wagonload of vintage atmosphere in this audacious tragicomedy (to learn more, see the Playboy Interview with Altman beginning on page 53), which pretends to deal with the genesis of show business as we presently know it and offers Paul Newman as Buffalo Bill Cody, the first all-American superstar. Everything occurs within spittin' distance of the arena where Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show replays scenes from frontier history, more or less as they were invented by a Western storyteller and image maker, Ned Buntline---a real-life character, vividly portrayed by Burt Lancaster---whose credo seems to be: "Truth is whatever gets the most applause." The Wild West Show treats history entirely as a banal sawdust saga about innocent white women and children being saved from Injun savagery by the one and only Buffalo Bill, offstage a handsome, hard-drinking nobody who has begun to believe his own press clippings and spends much of his free time trying to prove his manhood with a series of buxom sopranos. The plot, freely adapted by Altman and Alan Rudolph from Arthur Kopit's Broadway play, is a typically loose Altman construction with plenty of room in the margins for wry satirical asides; it concerns Cody's efforts to sign up the defeated Chief Sitting Bull for a humiliating public charade. Sitting Bull and his interpreter are played, respectively and eloquently, by Frank Kaquitts and Will Sampson (the Indian giant of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). The performers and ballyhooers in Bill's entourage are a mad crew led by Kevin McCarthy, as a pioneer public-relations hack who speaks almost exclusively in alliterative bombast; Joel Grey, as the show's producer, a bantam prototype of the Madison Avenue man hooked on trade jargon; Harvey Keitel, as Bill's fawning nephew; Geraldine Chaplin, as a mousy Annie Oakley; and John Considine, hilarious as Annie's manager, Frank Butler, who's the target for her trick shooting and lives in constant fear that his infidelities will trigger a direct hit. Cutting a wildly ridiculous figure above this exuberant cast of tintypes is Newman, an antihero lacquered with shallow vanity who brilliantly mocks his own superstar image and gnashes through a drunken, hazy monolog at the end of the picture as if he were playing King Lear---written by Zane Grey.
During this Bicentennial year, Washington, D.C., is covered with a virtual pox of American flags, one of which hangs outside the Shoreham Americana Hotel, where the nation's funniest political satirist, Mark Russell, twice nightly dumps all over the electoral spectrum. The Shoreham, as the convention center of the city, has a built-in audience and some of those Shriners from Duluth and aunts and uncles from Toledo claim Russell's show defames the flag and what it flies for. Not so, says Russell: "I don't have to wear an enameled flag pin in my lapel to show I care."
John McLaughlin, founder and former lead guitarist of the defunct Mahavishnu Orchestra, is now playing a curiously constructed acoustic guitar in an otherwise all-Indian band called Shakti. It has something to do, he explains, with Ganesa, the god Siva's elephant-faced son.
In the past few years, the women's movement has resembled, at its worst, a chaotic macramé wall hanging. There it is, in full view, the product of many different strands coming together, all in knots, some coherent, some not, a series of mish-mashed patterns. So it's refreshing to read Betty Friedan's enlightening collection of essays, It Changed My Life (Random House), which includes pieces from the Sixties and a vivid, incisive explanation of the muddled events of the 1975 International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City.
There is hardly a hobo, hippie, sailor, Marine or red-blooded gringo male at large, however superannuated, who can't tell you a lurid tale of old Tijuana: stories of the groin-tickling siren calls of unhinged sex, the mystical tug of heavy dope heists, cheap abortions, instant divorces, armies of grinding nudes, maryjane fields, fuck bars. When the U.S. Navy, during the Forties, operated a free prophylactic station at the border, some 5000 men used its services during any given weekend.
One day last January, Lieutenant General James F. "Holly" Hollingsworth, commander of the U.S. South Korea First Corps Group, gazed out across the DMZ from his guard post on hill 229 and sniffed the winter air; icy, as he thought, with approaching enemy soldiers.
I know this saxophone player who is as good as any I've ever heard. He also sings like an angel. He does both for a living. Recently, I asked him to go hunting with me and he said, "I'm no good at that. I just can't get the hang of wing shooting. I score about four in skeet shooting. Don't have the eye for it or something." Fine. Can't be good at everything. He didn't feel inadequate, he didn't sit home reading The Joys of Wing Shooting in order to become a great skeet shooter. He just ignored it.
A woman wearing stockings really turns me on. I like all types of hosiery on women and I regularly peruse magazines that feature lingerie ads. I am happily married, but my wife thinks I am crazy regarding this hosiery thing. She refuses to wear stockings to bed, though she is "considering" the matter. Certainly, my interest is not that far off base. I've noticed that many of your models wear stockings---in particular, Ann Pennington in the March issue is stunningly stockinged. What do I tell my wife to convince her to indulge my fantasy?---I. G., Salem, Massachusetts.
What is patently offensive? ... Frankly, I had to kind of apply my own standard, which I believe corresponds with the standards of the community. And the standard probably, simply stated and boiled down, is the same one that was taught to me by my mother from the day I was a small child. If there was something of which I would not want her to know, then don't do it. Pretty simple.
With "Buffalo Bill and the Indians"---his ninth movie since 1970, when "M*A*S*H" became the most successful antiwar comedy in film history---Robert Altman seems virtually certain to rekindle the controversy that raged after "Nashville." Sparked by Paul Newman's startling performance in the title role, "Buffalo Bill" is also apt to be hailed as another myth-shattering masterwork when the more vehement Altman addicts take the floor. All the stylistic hallmarks that make an Altman film unique are there in abundance: the spontaneous, seemingly improvised acting; the breezy, ballsy throwaway humor; the indifference toward traditional storytelling structure; and the eight-track overlapping sound, judged either inaudible or boldly innovative, depending on where one stands in that debate.
Neither Side ever officially admitted that the war was in progress. But the time of its outbreak can be precisely determined: It was 4:30 in the morning of September 5, 1972, when eight members of a Palestinian terrorist organization known as Black September slipped into the Olympic Village in Munich, killed two Israeli athletes and took nine hostage.
A new fad was "in": Everyone was mutilating himself. There were famous actors who had actually removed their ears or eyes. Executives had cut deep scars into their faces. Plastic surgeons on Wilshire or Sunset---for their usual high prices---were turning teenaged girls into monsters: both eyes on one side of the nose, say, or lips severed from the mouth, or the skin drawn like awful cellophane down the cheek and neck. Those who could afford such alterations were envied most.
The Radio is playing a song by the Amazing Rhythm Aces. Something about a Low Rent Rendezvous. Your young friend is bored. She is unimpressed by the literary shrines of Key West, Florida. Who cares if Papa passed out here? You try again to convince her of the importance of your travels. You are writing a novel. "Why the camera?" Historical research. Nixon had his tape recorder. You have your Polaroid. You are searching for America. You don't have far to look. You find America in the first motel you check into. Family units. TV. A complete line of bait. (Yes, even that kind.) You study your companion. She could pass for the girl who stars in the X-rated version of Alice in Wonderland, Kristine De Bell. Lewis Carroll liked little girls, too. You suspect that the manager suspects. You continue to look for America and check into another motel, a few blocks down the road. The car is too hot for travel. The seat cover is mildly adhesive, dryly passionate. It clings to the thighs of your companion like a high school kiss. You invent a new alias. You cannot keep names straight. What is this motel called? The Come Right Inn? The Forbidden View Court? No. As a rule, you avoid a motel that calls itself court. The word makes you a bit nervous.
Angie was far too wonderful-looking to hate, even if she had consented to carnally console Brian, my live-in lover, during our latest short-lived estrangement. She was a winsome combination of geisha girl and heart-slaying Southern belle: delicate little nose and mouth, cloud-soft luminous white skin and deep-brown eyes surrounded by a fringe of black lashes as perfect as those on the lids of rubber dolls. I broke the covet commandment every time I looked at her, but I liked her too much to hold her beauty against her. Angie was often quiet, but when she did speak, it was in a soft Southern drawl that frequently erupted into contagious schoolgirl giggles. We shared a rather droll sense of humor that we cherished in each other, in the traditional narcissistic manner of soul mates.
Life begins at 3000 rpm. At more modest revs, lumping through traffic with the rest of the proles, your Porsche Turbo Carrera behaves like any one of a million ordinary automobiles; but once that threshold of 3000 revolutions per minute is reached, hang on and pay attention. Suddenly, with a (text continued on page 90) turbinelike surge and whine, the Turbo Carrera transforms itself from a docile, friendly puppy into a growling, fuming greyhound packed with enough power to blow all but a handful of the fastest cars on earth clean into the weeds. Here is this regular Porsche coupe---the same rather bulbous, broad-beamed little body that the legendary Stuttgart auto manufacturer has been producing in quantity for over a decade---with the power and speed to make a new Corvette seem like a Checker cab by comparison. Yes, America's sacred sports car, its teeth admittedly filed smooth by a variety of Government regulations, is still perceived as a fast car by most citizens; but against a Turbo Carrera, it is a doddering stumblebum---as these performance figures attest:
Newcomers to Los Angeles soon learn that, in the City of Angels, everybody is somebody, or claims to be. One afternoon, Linda Beatty stopped for a sandwich in a deli on Pico Boulevard. A balding man in beat-up blue jeans started clearing her table, sweeping the crumbs into his hand, then putting them into his mouth. "Whaddaya want? Whaddaya want?" Linda asked to see a menu. "Menu, schmenu." Obviously, the guy was out for a big tip. Finally, a waitress came to Linda's rescue. "Don't let him bother you. That's Mel Brooks." "Sure," replied Linda, "and I'm Cinderella." But it was Mel Brooks. Someone has to be Mel Brooks, right? Either that or the group of writers who arrived and began to hold a conference at Linda's table were pretending to be writers working for an ersatz Mel Brooks. "He tried to hustle me for a date, not for himself but for one of his writers. Apparently they needed all the help they could get." It was not the first time that Linda had failed to recognize a favorite celebrity. On a cross-country flight, a white-haired man in the seat next to her introduced himself as Bucky. "I thought he was a lettuce farmer, but it turned out that he was Buckminster Fuller. I had read all of his books, but I had never seen his picture. We spent the whole flight talking about domes and energy." We've all had the same problem; we see a movie but don't know what the director looks like. "Fuller looks like his ideas---basic, alive. He's very convincing." Linda has never stopped reading. She graduated from a small-town high school in western Kentucky when she was 16 and went on to attend the University of Kentucky and New College in Sarasota, Florida, on art scholarships. When she learned she could make a living and support her artistic endeavors as a high-fashion model, she dropped out of college. Now that she lives in L.A., people sometimes mistake her for a celebrity. "When my agent sent some of my photographs to the casting director of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, and a few days later I received a message congratulating me for landing one of the few female roles, I called up and said, 'I'm sorry, but you must have the wrong person.' But they really wanted me." Linda plays, of all things, a Playmate who entertains the troops at a U.S.O. show emceed by Wolfman Jack. Art follows life. If you ever bump into Linda and she tells you she's a Playmate, believe her.
With a few drinks under her belt, the amazon in the tavern was expounding on the women's liberation movement and about how she could get along very nicely without the male sex. After he had listened to her harangue for a while, the quiet sipper a few barstools down suddenly interrupted. "OK, Miss Smartass," he rumbled, "if your vibrator can do anything a man can do, let's see it pay for the next round of drinks!"
If You Swallow the party line emanating from Reims and other capitals of the bubbly, you'll be missing out on one of summer's urbane pleasures---the sparkling wine cooler. The Champenois would have you believe it's sacrilegious to mix or modify their precious effervescent in any way! The fact is, sparkling long drinks, cocktails and punches are particular favorites in regions that produce these exhilarating beverages. Privately, not even the image-conscious champagne growers are such absolute sticklers. There is, for example, the neat trick of swirling a tulip glass with 1/4 oz. fragrant raspberry brandy, then adding chilled champagne and a plump, ripe berry. Smashing!
Advances in medicine and genetics progressed so rapidly toward the end of the 20th Century that a new classification was needed for the world's highly bred athletes. It's 2004 and the TV networks have decided to carry the Olympics as part of the Wild Kingdom of Sports, with Jim McKay and Marlin Perkins. Olympic dorms have been transformed into cages with signs reading Please do not feed the athletes. On these two pages are candid shots of the Olympic anomalies in their special events.
The battle of the bedroom has been won, the territory secured. Now the sexual revolution moves to another front, the American wilderness. Make love on the edge of time, high above the Colorado River along the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Or ... ... discover the stillness of the desert in Death Valley, California. The world is reduced to simple elements. Sky and sand. Man and Woman. The desert yields its secret: It is not still but in motion. The wind shapes the sand into curves, one grain at a time. You caress her body, one cell at a time. In the arid, ageless landscape, she is an oasis. Henry David Thoreau once observed, "The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools but the gentle touches of air and water, working at their leisure, with a liberal allowance of time." Here you have all the time in the world. Unconfined, her cries reach out toward the horizon. The moment evaporates.
If you were a young buck of the 1830s---a guardsman, a barrister, a medical student or even a peer---after the theater, you might end the evening at the Cider Cellars in Maiden Lane or the Fielding's Head near Convent Garden. Along with your deviled turkey and punch, you would get entertainment in the form of bawdy ballads roared out by a singer accompanied on a battered piano. It might be Oh, Miss Tabitha Ticklecock! or Peggy and the Ball Cock or The Essence of Lanky-Doodle or My Woman Is a Rummy Whore! The end of this jovial song tradition came when the music halls began to admit women and the entertainment had to be modified for female ears.
Tuesday, August 22, 1972.... As historical footnotes go, it was the summer night America watched Sammy Davis Jr. Plant a kiss on Richard Nixon, the most spontaneous moment all evening on the telecast of the G.O.P. renominating convention in Miami. Up in New York, however, folks were getting cops-'n'-robbers suspense when reports of a stick-up in progress at a Chase Manhattan Bank periodically flashed on the tube, even in the middle of the President's acceptance speech.
It's no accident that William Morgan lives in a wildly original, highly functional and inescapably beautiful house. None of that was left to chance; he designed it himself. Not that we recommend that course of action indiscriminately: Morgan happens to be a much-honored architect---Harvard grad, former Fulbright scholar---who also teaches in a university and serves as a consultant to an urban-planning firm. It wasn't an easy task; the house spent two years on the drawing board, and Morgan admits that he almost turned the job over to someone else. After trying ten different approaches, however, he came up with this multilevel edifice that blends admirably into its rugged setting on the Florida coast, just minutes from Morgan's office in downtown Jacksonville, and does an equally fine job of catering to his many interests, which include sailing, surfing, hunting and fishing---and giving parties ("Impromptu festivities seem to take place all the time," says a Playboy staffer who spent several days as Morgan's guest). The shape of the house was determined by its site, a long sand dune sloping down to the sea; to Morgan, this suggested a descending staircase with platforms on either side. The roof is tilted at a 45-degree angle to protect against gale-force winds (which also inspired the diagonally laid siding and the predominant use of rough wood). The part of the house that you enter from the land side---which is one of four levels---contains the kitchen, dining and living-room areas and is remarkable open, thanks to its no-wall design, its sliding doors that open onto the sea and the overhead expanse afforded by the 30-feet high ceiling, which gives the visitor as sense of being in something akin to a chatedral (and provides nice acoustics for Morgan's classical records). Bedrooms and study areas are located on the balcony above and also on the lower levels, where boats and other maritime accouterments are stored (the idea comes from the ancient Roman (concluded on page 149) On the Beach (continued from page 133) city of Herculaneum, which had upper and lower levels relating to urban and maritime activities, respectively). They key to the house, in fact, is the way it interacts with its marine setting---not fighting it but not giving in to it, either. Of couse, there's no denying the ocean. You can feel its presence when you're driving up to the house. It dominates your sensibility when you're in the living room. And the capriciousness of the weather there suggest a flexibility of lifestyle that is, in fact, provided for by the house. For instance, Morgan and his guests can dine in any of several places---on the balconies that are reached through the sliding doors, on the terraced oasis between the house and the sea, or, when the weather's inclement or the meal requires more complicated facilities, in the dining area adjacent to the kitchen. There's also the option of enjoying the semicommunal life of the third terrace---there are no walls separating the kitchen, dining and living-rooms areas---or the privacy afforded by the other rooms. As a result, alot of spontaneity is possible---and, as a guest of Morgan's put it after an impromptu beach party at which the host served quail (of his own shooting) and a neighbor brought a salmon that he'd caught: "Nothing ever seems to be complicate."
The Fever Spots in pro football this year are Tampa. Florida, and Seattle, Washington, where frenetic efforts are being made to fashion viable football teams from a motley assemblage of castoffs and rookies. All winter, the scene in the headquarters of both new clubs was much the same: file cabinets and desks crowded into cramped temporary quarters, secretaries and ticket clerks tripping over telephone installers and furniture movers, corridors lined with job seekers and has-been players looking for another chance with a new team, all-night crash sessions of coaches and scouts.
Believe it or not, the state of Florida is still hassling a Vietnam-war protester who said "goddamn" at a peace rally over six years ago. He is 47-year-old Robert Benjamin Canney, a former University of Florida instructor and political activist. His case provides a good Bicentennial reminder that even a government founded on the principles of free speech and due process of law too often equates dissent with disloyalty and uses its police powers to deny the very rights it was created to protect.
Do you realize what pollution is doing to the world? It's ruining the grass courts!I'll tell you how to achieve detente! ... Let Brezhnev and ford play a few sets!Inflation is ruining the country!--what I had to pay for tennis Rackets!Dummy! You bought snow--shoes!I prefer to play on grass, especially Colombia red.I've been into the rackets all my life.A heavy breakfast simply chokes my overhand smash!Last night, I dreamed I had the perfect serve.Good serve, waiter, only put some more bourbon into my "Tie Breaker."(Sigh) At least you're not eating, sleeping and drinking tennis, mister Lob, but I don't think it would be very polite to fondle my chest.What a Fantastic pair you have, miss Fanny! Such firmness and Bounce! ... May I fondle them?... Chest? ... It's your autographed graphite Yamaguchi rackets I want to fondle, not your chest!