This Year Marks the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Yet, to this day, there is still as much mystery clouding the events in L.A.'s Ambassador Hotel as there is surrounding Jack Kennedy's death five years earlier. Sirhan B. Sirhan, the convicted assassin, never once admitted full competence in the commission of the murder and recently requested leave from prison to visit the crime site, allegedly to "jog his memory." Now we have Carmen Falzone, former cellmate and professed confidant of Sirhan. Falzone, a convicted burglar, claims to have discussed the assassination with Sirhan, gaining new insights into his motivation and uncovering a bizarre terrorist scheme involving the theft of nuclear arms. James McKinley, author of our comprehensive 1976 series Playboy's History of Assassination in America, was dispatched to do some digging into Falzone's story. His investigative report is titled Inside Sirhan.
Playboy, April, 1978, Volume 25, Number 4. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the united States and its possessions, $33 for three years, $25 for two years, $14 for one year. Canada, $15 per year. Elsewhere, $25 per year. Allow 45 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of Address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, Post Office Box 2420, Boulder, Colorado 80302, and allow 45 days for change. Marketing: Ed Condon, Director / Direct Marketing; Michael J. Murphy, Circulation promotion Director. Advertising: Henry W. Marks, Advertising Director; Harold Duchin, National Sales Associate Advertising Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave.; 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.
Have you heard the one about ... ? Jimmy Carter got in plenty of hot water domestically when he admitted, in his November 1976 Playboy Interview, having "looked on a lot of women with lust." Now, thanks to an inept translation from English to Polish, the Presidential sex drives have set off a minor international incident. What Carter thought he was telling the citizens of Warsaw on a visit there was "I have come ... to learn your opinions and understand your desires for the future." What his listeners heard in their native tongue was "I desire the Poles carnally." Has Carter now become a Polish joke?
We all remember Vince Lombardi's immortal words: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Except that they weren't his. That comment was actually made by Henry "Red" Sanders while UCLA football coach in the early Fifties. Lombardi later expressed some similar sentiments, but, realizing the value of a good legend, never bothered to correct the record. So he got the line as part of a great tradition in which public figures are awarded words better than any they ever came up with as a bonus for their renown. To wit:
Jay Cronley is a columnist for The Tulsa Tribune and a frequent contributor to Playboy. He won second place in the Best Humor category of Playboy's annual awards for writing last year, which should tip you right off about one thing: He's funny. So is his first novel, Fall Guy (Doubleday), the story of how an 18-year-old graduating high school senior football star gets "drafted" by the college talent hounds. The competition among colleges that want him on their teams is so vicious—with bribery, wire tapping and sexual seductions—that the process looks like the 1972 Presidential election, as written by someone who should be in a strait jacket. And in the end, even when you realize that Fall Guy is funnier than Semi-Tough, you still can't help wondering if maybe there isn't a kernel of truth in it.
Sorry, Kipling: What you said about East is East, etc., just isn't true anymore, at least not in the gay community. The twain do meet—dramatically—at Manhattan's Twilight, 1463 Third Avenue. You may see slender Thai youths, clustered at the bar's Western end, vamping a bearded British art dealer; a Japanese hairdresser leading an American claims adjuster into a mirror-walled alcove for some disco cavorting. Linguistically, the place is pure Tower of Babel moderne—walk from one end to the other and you'll overhear conversations held in Korean, Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines), Thai, Japanese, Indian and more Chinese dialects than you knew existed. The decor remains nationalistically neutral. We are, after all, not in Bangkok—not in Somerset Maugham territory at all—but on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in a relatively conservative night spot whose owners would no more dream of installing rice-paper screens or rattan chairs than its conventionally clad customers would consider wearing kimonos or pigtails. You'll find no revival of The Mikado at the Twilight. What you will find is something unique in New York's ongoing explosion of specialized sex scenes: a gay bar for Orientals—and Caucasians who dig Orientals.
Like every other review section, we were going to do the "clever" thing and review together the new solo albums by ex-Band members Levon Helm and Rick Danko. What might they reveal about the inner mysteries, etc., n.b., ibid., op. cit.? The trouble is, what they reveal is not much, and Danko's Rick Danko (Arista) bears as much relation to Eric Clapton's latest, Slowhand (RSO), as it does to Levon Helm and The RCO All-Stars (ABC). That is true partly because practically everyone on these albums played together at The Last Waltz, The Band's beautiful farewell to touring together, and they trade off here like teenage country cousins after the lights go out. Drummer Helm has quietly put together something of a supergroup, with the beating heart of Booker T. & the M.G.'s (Booker T., Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn), as well as Dr. John and Paul Butterfield. You might expect some heavy-duty swamp-water blues from that bunch, but the album is curiously ... jaunty. Even on a weeper such as Rain Down Tears, everybody sounds quite cheery. Much of the album is smooth son-of-Memphis R&B, but given the high-powered crowd assembled, little was delivered—and what goes on under Havana Moon is best quickly forgotten. That, in fact, is what all three albums share most: In spite of flawless musicianship, production, etc., they just aren't very interesting. The chief villain in each case is the same: uninspired tunes, written by the stars/band members/girlfriends/cats/astral voices/whatever. Yes, we all have a song in our hearts, but some are much better than others. Clapton can be such a fine interpreter of other people's music that he should be enjoined from writing his own, particularly when it's as lame as it is on Slowhand. The best cut on it is J. J. Cale's Cocaine, followed by Don Williams' We're All the Way, which could be a single out of Nashville. But Peaches and Diesel is a long, dull road with flat ennui for a view on both sides, not a wistful vista in sight; and Next Time You See Her, the semicelebrated autobiography in which Clapton at last lets out his anger about losing his girl, sounds musically in spots like a limp cop from Rick Nelson's Garden Party, right down to the vocals, with such lines as "I couldn't be the last love, so how could you be the first?" One bonus for those who prize economy is that side two seems to be well over an hour long. We'll take Rick—Danko, that is. He wins the Self-Indulgence Follies by having at least a hand in writing every cut on Rick Danko (could the title be a giveaway?), but at least he's managed to generate a couple that are beyond marginal. Best is Brainwash, which echoes back in sparks and psychic splinters to the nervously surreal, Dylan-touched days when Danko was The Band's voice for the metaphysical jitters, which it suffered so often so well. And since his all-pro sideman line-up features Robbie Robertson, Clapton, Doug Sahm and Ronnie Wood, there's actually more hot-shit guitar on Rick Danko than on Slowhand. Given the prices these days, you might do better to pass on all three and wait for the triple live LP of The Last Waltz, which will feature most of these guys and more doing real material instead of auditions for The Ego Game.
Actor Clint Eastwood has always been a man of comparatively few words—in real life as well as in his onscreen portrayals of such individualists as the laconic Man with No Name of Sergio Leone spaghetti-Western fame. Time magazine, in a recent cover story on Eastwood and his fellow box-office bankable Burt Reynolds, managed to come up with some eight quotes from Clint. Senior Editor Gretchen McNeese, reading the Time piece one evening, thought five of them sounded suspiciously familiar. She checked them against the February 1974 "Playboy Interview" she and Arthur Knight had conducted with Eastwood; the results appear below. It's nice to know that Time recognizes a good source when it sees one.
There are loads of cheap laughs in The Choirboys, adapted by Christopher Knopf from Joseph Wambaugh's bestselling novel. The squad of L.A. policemen on exhibition are confirmed racists, drunks, punks, sexual samurai or practicing sadomasochists in their off-duty hours, which are mostly devoted to juvenile bacchanalian revels they call choir practice. Consorting with whores, shooting at ducks in MacArthur Park or handcuffing one of their bare-assed buddies to a tree until a cruising faggot spots him—these are typical diversions for L.A.'s finest in this knockabout comedy of police corruption. Robert Aldrich directed, and author Wambaugh—alter his own first attempt at a screenplay was trashed—found the project so sleazy that he filed a $2,500,000 lawsuit against Lorimar Productions and took out an ad in Variety to air his indignation. However the legal hassles are resolved, and setting aesthetic questions aside for a moment, Choirboys will probably make a bundle at the box office because it is guilty as charged—a lowest-common-denominator crowd pleaser that's sure to enrage critics and Wambaugh (a former cop turned serious novelist) while delighting indiscriminate Saturday-night fun seekers who look for the same things in a movie that they seek in a raunchy after-hours strip joint. The Choirboys has it all, twice as crude and twice as lewd as Slap Shot, for example, with Perry King, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Charles Durning (as a character nicknamed Spermwhale) heading a company of macho pigs whose misbehavin' ought to delight every cop hater in every blighted inner city from coast to coast. The actors are far superior to their material, yet they chew the scenery and spew the script's four-letter profanities with apparent relish. Wambaugh must have had his head in the sand if he was expecting sensitivity from Aldrich, a director whose hallmark is the hard-hat rowdiness of The Dirty Dozen and The Longest Yard.
Constance Money, Annette Haven, Lesllie Bovee, Suzanne McBain, Jenny Baxter and C. J. Laing support busty Gloria Leonard in her title role as Maraschino Cherry, madam of an elegant high-rise Manhattan whorehouse where male sex fantasies are catered to in style. Director Henry Paris, we all know, is actually Radley Metzger, whose erotic excursions (most recently, The Opening of Misty Beethoven and Barbara Broadcast) have begun to dispense with plot in order to emphasize suggestive music, smooth photography and smashing girls serviced by handsome studs. Cherry boasts a cast of lust goddesses who are virtually the Ziegfeld Girls of today's porn scene, and each appears in at least one steamy specialty act—Constance as a callgirl who dresses up in bullfighter's regalia to please her client or excites another John by wading to meet him with The Wet Look in Central Park Lake; Annette as a bored, hot-blooded housewife getting it off atop a tinkling grand piano in a cocktail lounge; Lesllie as Madam Cherry's private secretary, whose skills don't stop at shorthand. Hard-core action gives way to broad humor when Madam, on the stroke of three, casually wields her whip for three strokes across a harlot's back to help everyone keep track of the time—or when her kid sister (Jenny Baxter), studying the business because she wants to open "a middle-income whorehouse" back home in the sticks, intently studies a plump middle-aged client afflicted with an allergy that makes him come every time he sneezes. "What do you take for that?" she asks. "Ragweed," says he. The whole show is a surreal sexual circus as loosely organized as Laugh-In, with cunts and clowns and cocks and cum shots flowing together to illustrate Maraschino Cherry's simple, straightforward thesis: "Man is judged by the pleasures he keeps." If healthy voyeurism happens to be your pleasure, here's your best bet so far in 1978.
Rosewatergate? Author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., is busy working on a novel that he says is about "an old guy, a radical, who has just served time in jail for Watergate-related crimes committed during his tenure as a minor Nixon official. Trying to put his life back together, he runs into an old girlfriend from the Thirties and reminisces about his past career in Government." Though the book isn't meant to be satiric, Vonnegut says it is funny in parts and that characters from his past novels haven't appeared in this one so far, "but they might barge in at any time." Vonnegut hopes to finish the book by June.
Syndicated columnist, author and Playboy contributor Art Buchwald recently wrote this as a column for his many readers in "family newspapers" throughout the country. Art suggested we publish it when it became clear that the American family wouldn't be thrilled by this particular effort. Glad to oblige, Art.
This problem may not be unique, but as far as I'm concerned, it might as well be. I'm disturbed by the fact that it takes me an inordinate amount of time to achieve orgasm when my wife and I have intercourse. What's more, save for one time (I neglected to jot down the date, time and atmospheric conditions), I have never been able to achieve orgasm from oral sex. And this is The Age of the Blow Job! What disturbs me most about this condition is that it takes me almost no time at all to achieve orgasm when I masturbate. Is this problem physical or psychological? What can I do about it? It would be nice if I could climax within a reasonable time.—C. M., Nashville, Tennessee.
The Botany and Ecology of Cannabis: Finally, a college biology student has talked his supervising professor into letting him do his thesis on the botany, taxonomy, morphology, embryology, etc., of the killer weed in all its world-wide species. And this 66-page illustrated scholarly work, by Robert Connell Clarke (University of California at Santa Cruz), is now available for four dollars, plus 30 cents postage and 24 cents sales tax in California, from Pods Press, Box 1158, Ben Lomond, California 95005. Academic, for sure.
Last spring, David Frost managed to accomplish what even the U.S. Congress had been unable to do: confront former President Richard M. Nixon on Watergate and other controversial aspects of his Administration. In a five-part series of taped television interviews that he also conceived and produced, Frost doggedly but politely pursued Nixon on everything from Cambodia to cover-ups—and, in the process, England's dapper man about media once again proved he is one of TV's most able interviewers.
In the summer of 1976, David Frost's editorial team in Washington—Bob Zelnick, I and, later, for a time, free-lancer Phil Stanford—was hoping to come up with a scoop. This meant plowing over ground that had been worked not only by the Rodino and Ervin committees but also by some 200 journalists in Washington for more than two years. The prospect did not seem encouraging to me, but I was wrong.
This investigation began as a routine follow-up on a tip given to Playboy. As it grew into a major project, James McKinley, our assassinations expert, was put on the case. He completed the research and field work with assistance from a Playboy investigative team and wrote the following article.
This is What Paris is supposed to be about. The girls are stunningly beautiful. The show they put on at the Crazy Horse Saloon is full of the gaiety and excitement with which Paris is traditionally synonymous. But the precision mechanics going on backstage could lead you to believe you were watching the assembly of a Mercedes-Benz, rather than what connoisseurs of the genre regard as the most artistically exciting nude show in the world.
A parachute jump was to be my third rush, my third try at something that would scare the bejesus out of me if I did it right and maybe kill me if I did it wrong. To the editors, the beauty of the assignment is that they get a story either way, the only difference being in who writes it—a difference that may be small potatoes to most people but is the whole crop to me.
Are you sick and tired of trying one torturous diet after another? Are you ill at the sight of a low-cal wafer? Does liquid protein make you want to puke? Do you feel that if you drink one more glass of plain water you'll wind up on a map next to Lake Superior? Do you have the urge to strangle your trim friends because they're slobbering over an eight-course meal while you're trying to make an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert out of a piece of parsley? Despair no more, overweight one! Playboy once again will come to your rescue, a voice of hope in a sea of hunger. If you've tried all those other diets to no appreciable avail, if you've fasted and meditated, been hypnotized and heard the rumblings of your stomach as it greets a lone white diet pill, it's time to subscribe to Playboy's Quickie Weight Loss Diets (our motto: A girl or two a day keeps the flab away!). Yes, you poor blimp, you, it's true—sex, and lots of it, will keep you slim and trim. If you need proof, simply ask yourself this question: When was the last time I saw a fat person in the pages of Playboy? Gotcha! So turn the page and try our sex diets—there's something to suit every—er—taste.
Just yesterday hi-fi buffs were toasting automatic equipment that let LP platters drop neatly (sometimes not so neatly) to a turntable, or cassettes that flipped over on their own to play the other side, or tapes that reversed themselves when the Mylar began to run out. Today, however, truly automatic fidelity gear that once seemed unattainable is off the drawing boards and into stores at prices well within just about everyone's reach. Take Audio Dynamics' Accutrac +6 changer turntable, for example. The style name +6 is their way of saying that up to six records can be stacked on the machine's spindle and the cuts on each played—in any order you choose—via a hand-held remote-control device that's similar to a TV tuner. Furthermore, after all six records have been lowered, the turntable will gently raise them at your command to the original stacked position for replay—should you elect not to change the selection. Another unit that's geared for marathon runs is Sharp's RT-3388 cassette deck, the industry's first microprocessor-controlled cassette deck. This means that you can set it to seek out any selection you want to hear on a cassette and the unit will find it, reading the tape either forward or in reverse. Or you can program the unit to replay endlessly whatever section of a tape turns you on. With all this going on, you may never again get off the couch or out of bed.
Those of You with eagle eyes and elephant memories will recognize Pamela Jean Bryant as one of the coeds featured in our September 1977 pictorial Girls of the Big Ten. She almost didn't make it: The story of how Miss April came to our attention demonstrates the truth of the old adage that some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you. Relates Pamela: "I have never regarded myself as particularly beautiful. I didn't think anyone else did, either. Only a few days before Playboy Photographer David Chan showed up on the campus of Indiana University, in fact, I had applied for a modeling job in a local fashion show and had been turned down. But I refuse to let setbacks get to me, so I responded to the ad David had put in the student newspaper, asking for girls to try out for a Girls of the Big Ten feature. I was very surprised when, during our interview, he suggested that I was Playmate material."
A fellow and his date were playing two-handed strip poker and the girl finally had to remove her bra. "I hope you don't think I've been bluffing you," she sighed, as she shed the heavily padded garment.
Synopsis: After Kalki, the self-proclaimed messiah, apparently has been murdered on television, he reappears according to plan. It turns out that an actor who resembles Kalki has been killed as part of an intricate plot hatched by the messiah's own cult. Kalki returns to carry out his mission—to end the world on April third.
It's a question of economics. Large bikes now cost what small cars used to cost. Large cars cost what small homes used to cost. Consequently, the nation is in an energy crisis—not only of fossil fuels but of psychic energy. Your soul is endangered. At the rate we're going, it's soon going to be against the law to have fun. Private transportation will be outlawed—and gas will be rationed in terms of maximum passenger miles per gallon. How many people do you know who can get off on public transportation?
The First Time we were in bed together, he held my hands pinned down above my head. I liked it. I liked him. He was moody in a way that struck me as romantic; he was funny bright, interesting to talk to; and he gave me pleasure.
Have you ever had to make up your mind between sisters? Thought you had found the best of all possible worlds in the older one until you met the younger, or vice versa? And late at night, when you're alone, do you wonder if they're talking about you? Have we got some girls for you! Five pairs of beautiful sisters and one fetching trio, in exclusive photographs by Richard Fegley, Robert Scott Hooper and Nicholas De Sciose.
Now that everyone—except a few gin diehards and the outreachers who are into white rum or tequila—is drinking vodka, whiskey is passé, right? Don't you believe it. The U.S. has been a whiskey-drinking country almost since its inception. Bourbon makers often remind us that their product was "born with the Constitution," in 1789. The fledgling nation's first full-scale insurrection, the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, was fought over an excise tax on distilled spirits imposed by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Of course, there's been a tremendous increase in the consumption of vodka and other relatively bland alcoholic beverages in the past two decades—especially by women and young people. But sophisticated bibbers, those who look for taste as well as effect, have never abandoned whiskey.
The Beach boys get it up: In spite of rumors that Brian was actually a big cahunga as a surfer and is saner than you or I, The Beach Boys have been making so much spiritual progress—through the help of the Maharishi and, we hope, Rhonda—that they've had one of their meditation rooms padded on all six of its surfaces. Why? They must have been boy scouts, because they're Prepared. The padding is in case of sudden levitation. Is Transcendental Wrestling next?
One point of fashion among young people has always been to scare the old folks shitless and say as directly as possible, we're different from you. Well, look around you. This is fairly direct. They've done it again, and this time it wasn't easy, since the trippy-dippy freedom of the Sixties made it OK to wear anything. Didn't it? These people are at a punk fashion show held, naturally, in Los Angeles, out there on the rim in so many things. And they've taken the idea of anything and given it a little ... shove. The operative aesthetic theory seems to be quite literally to wear your psychosis—and/or the contents of your wastebasket—on your sleeve. We think it's a great success. The styles convey no old-fashioned notions of peace or love; and the only dope they suggest is horse tranquilizers. So the long-awaited breakthrough has been made and we've put the Sixties behind us at last, thank God. Would you pass the chains, please?
The Year in Music, 1977. A year of financial superlatives in the music industry. Over-all sales up ten percent above 1976, topping three billion dollars for the first time in history. Record divisions of the biggies—CBS, Warner Communications, Inc., RCA, EMI—consistently reporting quarterly sales increases of 20, 25, 30 percent over last year. The well-shaved jowls of entertainment-industry stock analysts and brokers glow with fulfillment. Doughty little Arista Records, Clive Davis, Prop., increases its first-quarter earnings by 123 percent. Stockholders' meetings are disrupted by spontaneous cheering as gruff but kindly board chairmen bend down to receive the tremulous blessings of widows and orphans.
Old Man Winter may have just about breathed his icy last, but there are still plenty of cold, drizzly days awaiting us. One of the best ways to stay warm when walking in the wet is to lay on several layers of clothes under a lightweight outercoat. One problem: Most of the tailored coat styles of the past few years weren't cut out for multiple layers—and those that were fit like pup tents. Above, we have the solution: a Castelbajac-designed full-cut caped-back raincoat, from Ultimo, about $300, rakishly topped off with a Kevin McAndrew felt hat, $45. In it, even Quasimodo would look like Ronald Colman.
I always thought I could handle anything, max. In '68 I dropped enough acid to melt down a small Truck. In 1970 I caught shrapnel in my neck. I was in a V.A. Hospital for eleven months. I took it all in stride.
At the Water Cooler, snaveley is never at a loss for words when the Topic of Conversation turns toward the Human Reproductive Function.So then I get her on the couch-Biggest set of knockers You ever saw! I just take my hand and I slip it under her Dress, see. Then I casually reach into her panties, and....
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker man, bake a cake as fast as you can.... And some beef Stroganoff. And a little onion soup with dumplings. And while you're at it, baker man, we'll take our dry martini now, because once you've popped dinner into a microwave oven, everything's going to be ready to serve quicker than you can say Jack Sprat. In fact, microwaves work so fast, they can throw a fledgling cook's timing off. Wine scampi, for example, can be ready to serve in seven minutes; two minutes to cook and five minutes to cool. The latest crop of microwaves also have such nifty features as memory recall, automatic on-off and a self-turning device built right in. Now you're cooking.
As you already know from reading the fashion pages of Playboy each month, there's a European-inspired trend afoot to looser, more flowing male garb. This shift to fuller styles wasn't lost on Al Arden, an enterprising young American importer of European menswear. As so often happens to people in this line of work, Arden was bitten by the designer bug. He chose to scratch the ensuing itch by creating his own line of tunic-type tops and casual slacks. Arden's label, Forward Gear, aptly sums up the type of avant thinking that's gone into his own designs. To the untutored eye, there are elements of Arden's new line that seem a little disconcerting. The materials he uses in his oversized tops, for example, at first seem to be better suited for furniture, draperies or even flour sacks. Arden likes open, airy weaves that look especially great unbuttoned with the sleeves pushed up. And some of his detailing, such as lace-up wide sleeves, might seem to have been added for effect rather than function. Yet, once you get used to Arden's innovative design changes, you realize that there's a tremendous amount of sophistication in the styles he has created. In fact, we're betting that as the public's fashion tastes become more educated to the new, looser looks, Arden will increasingly be recognized for his creativity. In the past, the clothing of the American male has traditionally reflected the somewhat pragmatic nature of our culture. Clothes were chosen for their function rather than form. Jeans were rugged to deal with a lifestyle that was rough and tumble; a business suit and tie created a neat, orderly image that said the wearer was a man you could trust. Now, in this post-Vietnam era, there is a new appreciation for what could justifiably be called the art of dressing. With the help of such talents as Al Arden, it looks as though we're in for greater style and pleasure in clothes.
Come spring and, aside from the obvious, a young man's fancy also turns to thoughts of what he'd like to be wheeling on a long stretch of open road. One of the dream machines pictured below, the Panther 6 (it has six wheels—get it?) can be special-ordered from its British manufacturer for about $96,000; it boasts an 8.2-liter turbocharged mid-mounted engine that theoretically delivers a top speed of over 200 mph. The other car, BMW's new 733i, is just off the boat and more readily available—providing you can come up with about $20,000 for it. Both cars can be drooled over at the Auto Expo show in Manhattan, April 24 to May 2, and the one in L.A., April 28 to May 7. Go!