When Howard Hughes died, he left a legacy of documentary evidence about his financial, political and personal life. Much of it was immediately destroyed by his aides while he was being flown by air ambulance from his Acapulco hideout--but the Mexican government seized the rest. Our intrepid Hughes watchers, Senior Articles Editor Laurence Gonzales and free-lance writer Larry DuBois, managed to obtain a large portion of these files--nearly 3500 pages--and they've boiled them down to the good parts in Howard Hughes: Inside His Secret Files, from his use of drugs to his bizarre lifestyle to his missing will.
Playboy, April, 1977, Volume 24, Number 4, Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In The United States, its possessions and Canada, $30 for three years, $22 for two years, $12 for one year. Elsewhere $25 per year. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new address to Playboy, P.O. Box 2420, Boulder, Colorado 80302, and allow 30 days for change. Marketing: Nelson Futch, Marketing Manager: Lee Gottlieb, Director of Public Relations; Michael J. Murphy, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: Henry W. Marks, Advertising Director; Harold Duchin, National Sales Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Sherman Keats, Associate Advertising Manager; John Thompson, Central Regional 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.
Her lot doesn't sound vacant to us. The Victoria, Texas, Armadillo Confab and Exposition, an annual gala of unusual events--greased-body sliding, belch-offs, beer-can smashing--first chronicled in these pages in November 1973, offers participants the chance to compete for the title of Miss Vacant Lot. This year's winner, a 5'5", 215-pound beautician, managed to stuff 200 pop-top tabs down her size-36EEE bikini while warbling. "Keep your fingers out of it, it don't belong to you."
Voted in for his contribution to the exciting field of diagnosing portraits of dead people: a Japanese heart specialist who claims that the Mona Lisa may have suffered from high cholesterol. A slight touch of yellow in the corner of her eye indicates, says the doctor, that she probably overindulged in fatty foods.
In the combustible amalgam of talents that was the Beatles, it was always clear that Paul McCartney was the moptop with the commercial instincts that struck for the jugular. In the early days, it was Paul who pushed them into coordinated jackets and, predictably, it is Paul who has achieved the greatest commercial post-Beatle success. With the release of Wings Over America (Capitol), a three-record document of the Wings show that sold out in every city it played last year, the reason for that success is put into a clear perspective. Wings exudes the concept of professional entertainment that has characterized McCartney from the beginning, and its playing here is perfect for the silly love songs with which Paul tickles our fancy.
It takes a hell of a lot of chutzpah to name a novel after the book used in the liturgy of the Church of England. Even more when there doesn't seem to be a good reason for it. That's not the only enigma you'll confront in Joan Didion's long-awaited new novel, A Book of Common Prayer (Simon & Schuster). In her third book of fiction, Didion weaves an account of a contemporary phenomenon--rich daughter turned radical--with the saga of a woman who seems to be going mad. The story takes place in a mythical Central American country, Boca Grande, which is undergoing a government change-over. As in Didion's finely honed Play It as It Lays, this work is about dying, loss, the mind's obsessions, illusions. Maria Wyeth in Play It had her highways to provide occupation and escape; Charlotte Douglas in Common Prayer has airports to which she goes constantly for no apparent reason. The novel reads like a mystery--we're given snatches of information, faint sketches of people (many who don't play any apparent part in the plot), allusions to events past. But in the end, the entire book itself is the mystery. Didion, on purpose, leaves all the ends loose.
An all-star, $6,000,000 suspense drama dwindles into a feeble Polish joke in The Cassandra Crossing, the end result of a misalliance between England's Sir Lew Grade and Italy's Carlo Ponti--two jolly green movie giants throwing their weight behind one rather small pea. Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Ava Gardner, O. J. Simpson, Martin Sheen and Lee Strasberg are among the passengers aboard a Geneva-to-Stockholm express train ("hurtling across Europe," in a phrase coined by hopeful tub thumpers for the movie) that has space for several dozen subplots plus a fugitive terrorist infected with a virulent bacillus. While everyone's coping with the plague en route, Ingrid Thulin and Burt Lancaster conduct a nonstop debate back at International Health Organization headquarters in Geneva; she's a serious doctor who suspects that Burt, as an amoral American military man, has some ulterior motive in wanting to sidetrack any publicity about U.S. experiments with lethal bacteria. He also wants to divert the plague-ridden train, with its cargo of untouchables, to Poland, of all places--to an isolation facility in a remote village, on the far side of a condemned railway bridge known as the Cassandra Crossing (named for the goddess of dire predictions). Well, the Poles claim the bridge is in swell shape, which seems to be the Polish equivalent of an SOS. Director George Pan Cosmatos, with two collaborators, must have concocted this drivel while he was running a fever.
Porno identified as Made in U.S.A., formerly a hot ticket at the Cannes Film Festival, has become slightly passé since the French got into the act with their own home-grown hard-core. Now that they're giving as good as they get, Candy's Candy ought to satisfy the sweet tooth and hungry eye of Stateside voyeurs with a taste for Gallic sexports that run to pretty people, heavy action and plenty of girl-girl interludes. "A bunch of exhibitionists" is an apt description of Candy's cast provided by the lady publisher of a sex magazine, who invites everyone out to her country house for a lusty weekend. The slender threads of plot barely cover the publisher's comely kid sister, Candy, an ever-ready teenager who is more or less lost in the shuffle as the sexual revelry develops. It's a fast shuffle, to be sure, with frequent changing of partners. Even the sighs and moans of ecstasy are dubbed into seductively accented English, retaining only an occasional "Oui, oui" or "Ah, c'est bon" for Continental flavor.
The outraged critics called it scandalous when "Oh! Calcutta!," fresh from London, emerged on a New York stage in 1969 with dancers and actors appearing in various X-rated scenes without so much as a G string or a codpiece. The panting public, on the other hand, flocked to the bawdy, sometimes hilarious off-Broadway revue, paying scalper's prices for the $25 first-row seats and using binoculars from the standing-room section in the rear. The innovative show, described as "elegant erotica" by its creator, erudite English writer/criticKenneth Tynan,eventually ran for three years in Manhattan and recently completed its seventh successful year in London, where it is now competing with its own sequel, an erotic pastiche titled "Carte Blanche" that opened last September at the 1500-seat Phoenix Theater. Once again, Tynan was the driving force behind what adherents regard as a new landmark in sexual expression and detractors dismiss as illegitimate theater. (Form your own opinion: See our pictorial on page 133.) To learn more about "Carte Blanche," Playboy contributor Richard Warren Lewis met with Tynan in Santa Monica, California, where he's taken a year's absence from the mother country to work on a film and other projects.
My old man and I enjoy fantasizing about sex. I tell him detailed stories, true or false, of the sexiest things my evil mind can dream up. The more decadent the better. He loves it. When we were just married, he was as straight with sex as I was crooked. I was his first. In no time, he began loosening up and even started to reveal his desires to me. I wasn't shocked. A little surprised, maybe. His requests were pure porn. Great porn. Now, I tease him with stories about twosomes with other chicks, orgies, cunning ways to seduce others, anything I can dream up. It's great to be mentally free, but he won't allow me actually to try any of these fantasies (with the possible exception of the lesbian tryst). I'd love to do it with an extra guy or two, but I'm afraid to approach the subject. He's a biker, and I don't need to tell you about how a biker feels toward his woman. He owns me. Nobody else gets any. How can I satisfy my fantasy without risking a broken neck?--Miss F. S., Nashville, Tennessee.
Will there ever be a genuine aphrodisiac, one glorious chemical that will stimulate you sexually whenever you want? Or, perhaps, a pill that will stimulate your partner? (Here, want a taste of something fine?) No doubt, the wonderful folks who brought you aspirin (Not tonight, dear, I have a headache Here, take this.) are already toiling away in their laboratories, searching for the miraculous substance. But just stop for a second. Suppose the perfect love drug were already here--a genuine, medically approved, safe, legal, cheap and nonfattening aphrodisiac. Sold over the counter at any drug-store. What would it do? What would you want it to do? After all, there is an incredible variety of sexual sensations, parts and proclivities that we might wish such a drug to affect. What would most people want an aphrodisiac to do for themselves and for their lovers? That is what we decided to find out.
Part One of this report appeared in the September 1976 issue of Playboy. It outlined the complicated relationships among Howard Hughes, Richard Nixon and the Central Intelligence Agency, relationships that went back at least to the Fifties and significantly influenced events leading up to the Watergate break-in. The publication of Part One prompted a flood of sources to come forth with new leads. People from government, the intelligence community and the Hughes organization contacted Playboy. But the most important development since Part One was gaining access to what the authors have come to call the Mexican Files.
"The secret of life is in art," said Oscar Wilde, and Phoenix-based Bunny Jennifer Edl has parlayed cottontailing and creative ceramic sculpting into a lifestyle that's too good to be kept secret. The small nude sculptures you see here were to be part of a one-woman exhibition of her work at a gallery in nearby Scottsdale. "This bondage series has more whimsy than others I've done--like my series based on Marvel Comics characters. "And does the subject matter reflect the artist's inner person? "There are," she says with a hint of mystery, "a lot of people who don't admit that such a thing exists." Jennifer, a six-year veteran of the Phoenix Club (readers got an early view of her charms in our October feature "Bunnies of '76"), also admits to passions for creative cookery ("I gain ten pounds every Christmas") and sewing soft sculptures--she once did a life-size nude that was shown in a gallery. How does an aspiring artist like Jennifer end up in the sunny Southwest? "It was just a fluke," she says. "I'd started out as a Bunny at Lake Geneva and felt I needed an adventure in my life. The artistic community in Phoenix is growing and there are lots of good artists in Arizona." Jennifer got her fine-arts degree from Arizona State after majoring in drawing, painting, water color and, finally, design. "Artists usually don't make it until they're 30," she says. "I'm just starting out, but I sold quite a few pieces last winter. What I'd like to do," adds the 5'10-1/2" sculptress, "is help take ceramics out of the crafts category and put it into fine arts. "And although she is normally even-tempered, her blue eyes flash when she talks about the future. "I've always wanted to be a famous artist," she says firmly. "I don't care about financial success, but I'd like to have one paragraph about me in an art-history book." We'd bet that one picture of her would cause quite a stir.
For better or worse, the era of big-dollar sports contracts for superstars promises to continue. Football players are now free to play out their options without suffering from the inhibitions of the Rozelle rule; baseball players for the first time have the same rights because of an arbitrator's ruling; hence, sports clubs will be paying more money to keep or attract the top talent. Another certainty is the complicated, arcane input of lawyers and accountants working with clubs and players' agents to embellish contracts.
Can a Woman a little less than a mile high find happiness with a little white mouse? Over and over again, through all the changes of season, I have asked myself that question. And each day, and each year, and each new region of the earth's anatomy gives a different answer.
If you've been reading Playboy regularly like a good fellow, then you already know Lisa Sohm. In February, she appeared in our Playmate Preview pictorial, which gave an early look at some of the girls in contention for Playmatehood. That she made it comes as no surprise to us--Lisa's a very, very ambitious young lady. She wants to be a fashion model, a high-fashion model, a desire probably fostered by her mother, who herself was a professional model and fashion coordinator employed by several modeling schools. Just to give you an idea of Lisa's goal--when we asked her who in the whole world she admired most, her answer was Lauren Hutton. Already a familiar face in San Diego, where she's done some local commercials, Lisa just moved to the Big Apple, the big time as far as professional modeling goes. "It's exhilarating to be in New York," she says. "Why? Because it's the most exciting place in the world. You can feel it in the air, in the pace, in the people. It is New York, you know?" Sounds a bit like Miss Deeds Goes to Town, doesn't it? But Lisa's no stranger to Gotham--she's already modeled in New York and London, two trips that gave rise to another of Lisa's abiding passions--travel. One of her aims is to make enough money to travel. "I'm not going to spend it all on clothes or this and that," she says. "I'm going to invest in land and maybe go on an African safari or bum around Europe." These are not idle pipe dreams, either--Lisa's no dreamer. By her own admission, she's levelheaded, strong, ambitious and independent. So independent, in fact, that there's no man in her life at the moment. She just doesn't have the time. "My career comes first," she says. "I'm independent and want to stay that way for a while. Sooner or later, I'll need a close relationship with a man who's ambitious, someone I can depend on and share things with. If the right man comes along--fine. But I'm not actively searching for one at present." Guess we'll just have to take a rain check.
From the outset, the blind date was a fiasco and it was intensified by the fact that the fellow was too insensitive and ego-ridden to realize it. The moment of truth came in the supper club as he clutched the girl's thigh and whispered, "Baby, how's about our cutting out to my pad so I can slip you nine inches?"
"I Masturbate with my fingers on my clitoris, and other fingers pinching, pulling, scratching across the surface of my nipples. It is necessary to maintain moisture on the clitoris. Sometimes I rub up and down, sometimes in circles. And my legs are sometimes together and sometimes apart. It is especially exciting to hold my hand still and get the friction by movement of the body against the stationary finger. I also like to see and feel my breasts in motion. Usually I stand in front of a full-length mirror."
Kenneth (Oh! Calcutta!) Tynan has done it again: put together a ballet-in-the buff extravaganza called Carte Blanche. This one, which opened last fall at London's Phoenix Theater, is likely to follow its predecessor on the showboat to America. (For Tynan's comments on the production, see Theater in Playboy After Hours.)
In Haiti, by day or by night, I could never escape the sound of voodoo drums. At Sandstone, by day or by night, I could never escape the sound of people having flashy orgasms. Having been to both places and heard both sounds, I am here to tell you that the drums were neither as prevalent nor as noisy as the orgasms.
Are you Ready, Gentlemen? We're about to reveal the best-kept secret in sexual America. Which is: Southern women are more liberal, more relaxed, more, uh, willing. Behind that mythic facade of the untouchable Southern belle, the crinolined china doll on the pedestal of chivalry, the virginal child bride, are the real women of the New South--the freest and friendliest females this side of Marina del Rey.
Teeth of the Stars....It'll never be the same, somehow, to see Richie Havens sing without framing his voice in those shining empty gums, but in '76 he got himself a complete set of dentures. And the big Tooth News from across the Atlantic was that Keith Richard would never again display his pointy black wonders--he had 'em capped. It would have been a banner year for oral hygiene but for Dylan. If you can hear us, Bob: Get them cleaned.
This one's going out to all you rock-'n'-rollers across the country. To those who cringe at the sound of disco--and can no longer stand being trapped in vast stadium crowds while fans above throw cherry bombs on fans below, even if those tiny superstars up there onstage are The Rolling Stones.
Well, It came and Went--1976, that is--without one rock-'n'-roll version of the American Revolution. In a stunning exhibition of mass forbearance, the music industry passed up the opportunity to pair Barry White and Barry Manilow for a contrapuntal reading of The Federalist Papers (over an uplifting disco track, of course), and missed out on the inevitable big Bicentennial bucks. Which, however, shouldn't be taken as an indication that the record companies have lost their grip on the bottom line. Quite the contrary: The industry celebrated the Bicentennial in the best way it knows how--by making money.
In spite of "Saturday Night's" handsome offer of $3200--and another one promising $50,000,000 for a one-night stand--the Beatles stayed apart last year. But by electing Ringo, our readers have managed a reunion of sorts--in our Hall of Fame. The rest of the Fab Four got here first, but that seems appropriate, since Ringo, though the oldest, was the last one to become a Beatle. It's probably no accident that Ringo's first post-Beatle gold single was "It Don't Come Easy." As a kid, he was so sickly and had so many operations that it seemed uncertain whether he'd live to see 13. As a Beatle, he was early on the fave-rave of the American fans, partly because at first the other three all looked alike to us--but he also took the most lumps from technically minded critics. And as an ex-Beatle, his solo career got the slowest start--though it now includes three gold singles, two gold albums, parts in several movies and his own record label. So Ringo's "beaucoups of blues" seems to be over. Maybe he hasn't pursued Faustian heights like some of his mates, but maybe he got somewhere else a long time ago and sang us the message on "Sgt. Pepper" in that bittersweet puppy-dog baritone..."I get by with a little help from my friends...."
Almost seven years ago, Virginia Knauer, advisor for consumer affairs to the President, criticized the tape-recorder industry for spawning formats that she claimed were confusing the public. The lady implied that unless the industry did something to simplify matters, the Government might step in. The most eloquent comment on this salvo that I could elicit at the time from any responsible industry VIP came from the head of Super-scope, Joe Tushinsky: "I don't think she knows what she's talking about."
The popular wisdom has it that liqueurs were contrived by little old alchemists, slaving away over hot alembics in medieval monasteries, pursuing the secret of life. Actually, Columbus and his cohorts had as much to do with triggering the golden age of liqueurs as any friar. It was their voyages of discovery that brought cheap sugar and a world of fragrant botanicals to the monks--who put these new ingredients to good use. In any case, both groups were part of a broader upheaval known as the Renaissance, which also sparked the Reformation and the industrial revolution.
This is Annie! I'm a Singer, Wanda! I'm going to a recording studio, where I'm supposed to make one of those Disco records...You know...Like that Seventeen-Minute Donna summer Love record--That's funny. I'm Dancing to it right Now. Gotta go! Call you later! We're (Uhh) into the (Gasp) Seventeenth Minute--Stop and eject, hon. I'm ready for the flip side.Baby, when you're in my Arms--
Ed Sullivan would have called Sega Enterprises' eye-boggling home-projection TV process a "really big shew." And it's probably true that after one evening of watching your favorite shows appear almost larger than life on Sega-vision's 44- or 50-diagonal-inch screen, the old boob tube will never be the same. All three Sega-visions shown in our montage below stand five to six feet high; to operate, the front of each hand-crafted cabinet pulls forward to reveal a projection system that's hooked up to a Trinitron Plus or Toshiba single-gun TV system. (We've taken editorial license and photographed the sets with their fronts closed.) The Model DCR-530, below left, is Sega's flagship; it features a roll-top cabinet of solid oak that covers the 50-diagonal-inch screen when it's not in use (that's 8.9 square feet of viewing area, friends) and a remote channel selector. Furthermore, each time you adjust the volume or switch channels, the time and channel momentarily appear in a corner of the screen. The price: $2395 (think big, chaps). At center is Sega's "compact" model, the C-401, offering a 44-diagonal-inch screen, $1495. And last but, as they say, not least is Sega's handsome Model CR-511. With a 50-diagonal-inch screen and remote-control unit, it's similar to the DCR-530, yet the price is a trifling $1895. Why, that's only a little more than $200 a square foot.
Executive collar." "Businessman's collar." No, those aren't shirt-collar styles--they are euphemisms for the blotchy and bumpy necks that plague many men. They blame the condition on the obligatory office dress shirt and uptight tie. Neck rashes, however, aren't confined to the white-collar set. While starched collars can be chafing, the real cause of this irritating situation is more likely traceable to shaving. And dewhiskering twice daily can compound the aggravation.
Diesel--the thudding, purposeful sound of that word fits perfectly the device it designates: a prosaic behemoth that has been the traditional motivating force for tugboats, bulldozers, small power plants and dirigibles. Of course, diesels have been a presence on the highways, too, as the basic power sources for most buses and big trucks, but their use in automobiles has been limited. Feeble performance, coupled with relatively high initial price, excessive noise, vibration and evil-smelling exhaust fumes have restricted the appeal of diesels to a select, mildly perverse clientele interested in low fuel costs, regardless of the attendant inconvenience and aggravation.