We have a certain amount of control over two of our three branches of Government. The President and our legislators are elected by us. But the Supreme Court, the final arbiter of right and wrong in this country, is appointed by the President, and approved by the Senate. The system works when the Court has the interests of the people in mind. Unfortunately, the current Court was largely hand-picked by Richard Nixon at the height of his "law and order" frenzy and still reflects a lot of his thinking in its judgments. Just what effect this is having on American justice is surveyed by Robert Sherrill in his article, Injustices of the Burger Court. There's not much you can do about it, but you should know what you're up against.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), April, 1979, Volume 26, Number 4. Published monthly by Playboy, Playboy Bldg., 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $33 for three years, $25 for two years, $14 for one year. Canada, $18 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 Manager; Mark Evens, Associate Advertising Manager, 747 Third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; Chicago, Russ Weller, 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.
Terry Garthwaite does something on her second solo album that a lot of other women have tried and failed to do. She makes feminism sound sexy--and to a disco beat, at that. About time, too. Hand in Glove (Fantasy) is for all you men who like women who "have a mind, too, you know."
Richard Gere has arrived. When he went to England early last year to play the male lead in John Schlesinger's "Yanks," also starring Vanessa Redgrave, the 29-year-old actor was merely a bright, promising new face on the movie landscape. By the time he got back to the U.S.A., critics and public alike knew Gere as the violent Tony who terrorized Diane Keaton in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar"; as the itinerant worker in Terrence Malick's eye-filling "Days of Heaven"; as the New York Italian boy who wants to loosen his roots in "Bloodbrothers." Three major movies with name directors in little more than a year is not just promise, it's wham-bam-pow. Only hours after he jetted from London to New York, Gere was tapped to chat with Gene Shalit on the "Today Show." He was invited to host "Saturday Night Live" but said no. Journalists of every persuasion were ready to stand in line for an exclusive hour or so of his company, and the Richard Gere poster was hot off the presses, needing only his final OK to make him a certified male sex symbol--tight jeans, unbuttoned shirt, a let's-dance look, the whole bit. The phone was ringing incessantly, of course, in Gere's suite at the Sherry Netherland, where Contributing Editor Bruce Williamson caught up with him to find out why he officially deplores interviews. It wasn't necessary to ask.
The cutting edge of John Updike's celebrated short stories about Richard and Joan Maple--a suburban married couple who use sex as a deadly weapon--is kept razor sharp in Too Far to Go, a two-hour dramatic special tentatively scheduled for airing by NBC-TV on Monday evening, March 12. (Check your listings for possible switching to a later date.) Until now, the only satisfying and successful dramatization of Updike was a segment of PBS's American Short Story series last year. Encouraged by that, Short Story producer Robert Geller hired playwright William Hanley to adapt the Maples' miniwars into one more or less continuous tale of marital upheaval, then got Fielder Cook (winner of six Emmy awards) to direct it. Add the inspired casting of Michael Moriarty and Blythe Danner as the embattled mates, and Too Far to Go begins to look like a coup de tube for advocates of adult TV in prime time on a major network.
As inflation and the dollar's poor performance against other currencies worsen, we can get away with fewer and fewer personal fiscal mistakes before becoming ripe for serious trouble. The art of handling your money is seldom taught in school; you're expected to bumble along, making costly faux pas, until, if lucky, you finally wise up. Jane Bryant Quinn's Everyone's Money Book (Delacorte) can help you avoid some of those pitfalls. Quinn, Newsweek's personal-finance columnist, has done a terrific job in organizing her material and setting it all down in a lucid and simple, though not condescending, manner. This book can save you a lot of money; it takes you through the motions of buying life insurance, a house, investments, everything that touches on how you spend your income.
Idol Gossip: Jack Lemmon will star in the screen version of Tribute, the Bernard Slade play that was on Broadway for months and will tour in May. Slade will also pen the script.... Actor Raymond St. Jacques has reportedly been interviewing survivors of the Guyana horror for a possible film, the tentative title of which is Choice? Murder or Suicide (Martyrdom in Guyana). Word has it that Tobe Hooper, the man who brought us The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, is also developing a film project about Guyana.... Despite recent career setbacks, Martin Mull is busy mulling over new projects. He's presently writing and hopes to star in a film titled The Martin Mull Story, Part I for Orion. He's also just signed with Elektra/Asylum and plans to put out a new album soon, to be called, natch, Martin Becomes Elektra. Mull was supposed to have had a one-man show on Broadway, but the project was apparently too expensive to produce and thus canceled. Word has it that Martin is also planning a film project with Norman Lear, possibly co-starring Fred Willard .... Irving Wallace's new novel, The Pigeon Project, ought to be hitting the racks soon. It's a thriller about the discovery, in a remote part of Russia, of a substance that will dramatically extend the life span of every human on earth. The big question is: Who will control it, the forces of good or the forces of evil?
For the past few years, my hair has been thinning out. I suffer what doctors call male-pattern baldness. They say that one out of every three men loses some of his hair in this fashion, but that is small comfort. I have become very self-conscious. My social life and my sex life are in ruins. I feel that I am no longer attractive to women. Do you have any recommendations?--A. A., New Orleans, Louisiana.
The adoption by at least three states and the serious study by several more of a new method of execution could signal the start of a "death march" in this country the likes of which Americans have never seen.
No one capable of reading newspapers can have any doubt that, in addition to the Oil Lobby, the Gun Lobby, the Farm Lobby, and so on, there must also be a Nut Lobby vigorously and often effectively representing that heretofore undefined special-interest group. Of course, the N.L. isn't registered under that name, but we can infer its existence from the kinds of men who get elected to public office and from the kinds of legislation they propose. A good example of this lobby's work is contained in the following report by Dan Sheridan, a writer and former New Jersey newspaper editor now working in Chicago.
We've all Known all along that disco was sexy. The light show, the blaring music, the bass beat that could clear intestinal blockage--all of those combine to create a very exciting atmosphere. Add to it a seething mass of otherwise sensible adults pantomiming various, and sometimes down-right unhygienic, sexual practices on the dance floor and you see what we mean. But a new, though thoroughly predictable, wrinkle has come on the scene. A crop of lady disco singers, who have till now found their greatest fame in Europe, is invading the United States not only with songs but with suggestive stage presence. The ladies--among them (clockwise from top left) Madleen Kane, Grace Jones, Amanda Lear and Flower--have expanded the sexiness of the disco into another direction, and while we're not sure what brand of sexuality they're pushing, a lot of people are being pushed along. What follows, then, is a toe-tapping session of show and tell.
Like Most People with four-wheel-drive vehicles, I bought mine not because I frequent trackless Central American jungles or live a Spartan life above the timber line and need huge gouts of traction for my monthly trek to the trading post for supplies. Oh, I've had use for it during severe blizzards this winter, defiantly busting through snowdrifts that would've totally consumed a Volkswagen Rabbit, and it has been fun impressing the farmer next door, miring down to the axles in his newly planted cornfield, then winching myself out with the 9000-pound Hickey Side-winder winch that obtrudes impressively in front of my grille on its own armored bumper platform--scraping the bark off his lone shade tree in the process.
In 1977, after 30 years in show business, George Kirby had one of the most easily recognizable faces in America. The only problem was that too few people attached a name to the face. He was, "uh, you know, the black comic who does impressions of James Cagney and Mae West. You know, the fat guy who sings and dances. Oh, what's his name?" But 1977 should have changed all that. The goddess of the big time who elevated Redd Foxx from the category of "black comic" to a prime-time institution finally flirted with Kirby. A television pilot was in the works and he'd been offered his first major film role, in Neil Simon's The Cheap Detective. Kirby would have been a dawning superstar in 1977, moving at last into the ranks of Pryor, Foxx and Cosby. But something happened.
Missy Cleveland likes to keep up with the times. She starts each day with coffee and the morning newspaper; every evening she watches the national news on television. About a year ago, she happened to catch Playmate Promotions Director Miki Garcia on the local news in San Diego announcing the Great Playmate Hunt, the search for the ladies who would grace the gatefolds of our 25th Anniversary year. Missy's mother happened to catch the same newscast. She encouraged her daughter to "go for it." Thanks, Mom. Missy showed up at the hotel in San Diego just as a TV news crew arrived to film the proceedings. She was struck speechless, but then, so were we. Our first impressions were of a wholesome, somewhat shy young girl, who, having just spent a day at Black's Beach, San Diego's famous stretch of liberated ocean front, seemed to be sunburned in the most unusual places. Her shyness was just audition jitters. Over the next few weeks, we discovered Missy to be a bundle of congenial energy, with a Southern accent that definitely was not Southern Californian. She had just completed a cross-country trek from Jackson, Mississippi, with a side stop in Denver. ("I lasted a week in Denver. Then it snowed. My dog wouldn't go out in the snow, so I packed up and kept going till I reached California.") At least she made the trip in a car. As we learned more about our Miss April, we discovered that she was a diminutive daredevil. When she was a high school senior, she took off with a boyfriend for a two-wheeled tour of the South. "We took turns driving the motorcycle. Sometimes he needed a rest, so I would take over, riding along in my bikini, trying to get a tan. He didn't mind." Neither, we imagine, did the other drivers in Florida. "When it was my turn to ride in back, I'd read, or keep notes in my journal of the things I liked. There was one night when we were down in the Keys, on a dark highway with water on both sides--it was magic." Missy brings some of that wide-eyed innocence to California. She roller-skates every day on the boardwalk by the beach in San Diego. She has visited Las Vegas and won at blackjack ("It's easy to double your money, just smile at the dealer"). She has driven a Rolls-Royce and visited Hef's Playboy Mansion West. "I was so excited. The Jacuzzi, the game room. You couldn't chain me down." We wouldn't try.
When the formal private briefing of the attractive new teacher by the vice-principal was finished, the latter took a few puffs on his pipe and said, "I have an informal piece of advice for you as well, Miss Bell. There's only one way you can get along in this school without submitting to the sexual advances of the principal."
April Showers may bring the flowers, but all those raindrops falling on your head and bod are no fun--especially when the coat you're wearing to keep dry looks as though Sir Walter Raleigh just plucked it from a puddle. Utilitarian apparel, such as rainwear, no longer needs to be strictly functional--it also can be fun. So why be drab in a drizzle or dull in a downpour? Think short or long or soft or slick when you're shopping for a handsome way to beat the blahs of spring's bad manners.
If you're ever invited to a sauna in Finland, don't be startled by ropes of limp sausages hanging from the rafters. It may seem like a shtick from a Marx Brothers film at first, but it's an old Finnish custom. When man and sausage are thoroughly steamed, both emerge from the sauna and the former gobbles the latter, sluicing it down with beer or cold schnapps.
Two Remain. One is the patriarch of his craft and a national hero. He lives in baronial seclusion in a small northern Italian city, where the multiple dramas of his life have unfolded. The other, 30 years his junior, is at the height of his powers in a field of endeavor that soon will leave him the only pure, classically complete automobile manufacturer on the face of the earth.
She is Debra Jo Fondren, Playboy's 24-year-old Playmate of the Year. He is J. Frederick Smith, 61 years old and one of the country's best-known glamor photographers. When they met at Smith's New York studio, the rapport was instant. Debra Jo had been traveling hard during the past year, being photographed by amateurs and professionals a thousand times and taking part in hundreds of Playboy promotions. "It's been an extraordinary year for me," Debra told us. "I've learned a lot and I think it's prepared me well for the future. It's been an education trying to make do in strange cities, meeting people, running for planes. I'll really hate to give up my title." We hate to see her go, too. That's why we arranged one final pictorial salute during her reign. And Smith was the logical choice to do the honors.
Tom Brown was one of the most noted of the Grub Street hacks in 17th Century London. This was the first group of writers who lived by authorship alone--and they lived perilously by writing scandalous journalism, satires, polemics, verses and translations. Brown was a reckless man, debt-ridden, heavy-drinking, sometimes jailed, yet he was one of the best-known translators of his day, doing Latin, French and Spanish works into English--among them the Colloquies of Erasmus and Cervantes' Don Quixote.
The Biggest Problem you face after you've bought a truly top-flight stereo system is where you are going to put all the equipment. Because receivers, amps, preamps, tape decks, tuners, and so forth, have to breathe, you can't just stack those mothers on top of one another. The alternative, of course, is to put them next to one another on a shelf, but when you're talking about as much equipment as we are, that can eat up an enormous amount of space. Besides, one of the joys of top-of-the-line equipment is to have total access to all the wiring all the time, to tinker with the hookups and modify the arrangements. Now for the good news: Hi-fi manufacturers have come up with a solution that recording studios and radio stations have enjoyed for years and made it available to the general public. By stacking the equipment and having the housing on casters, the devoted hi-fi buff can have the most amount of stuff in the least amount of stuff in the least amount of space. Unfortunately, these stacking racks can accommodate only equipment manufactured by the rack's maker, so in order to enjoy this innovation, you may have to change your present system. But that may not be so bad, considering what's being offered here. Also, check out the new crop of stereo speakers. Designers have offered more options in speaker sizes to help you out on space. The new thin-line speakers can deliver an enormous amount of sound while occupying only a few inches of depth. Some now even stack. Some can vaporize your neighbors.
All Sailors have at one time or another thought that, on the whole, sinking is probably the best thing that can happen to a boat. Only while still afloat can it drive ordinary people insane, and maim and kill. It is difficult to love a boat that leaks all over your bunk when it rains or that diverts the ship's sewage into the food lockers. Boats have been known to do those things and worse. This is not a true romance. It is not romantic to be running before the wind into a nasty, unfamiliar harbor at night, in fog and against a foul tide, surrounded by oil tankers, with an engine that has just died and a mainsail stuck halfway up the mast. Some people would say that the feeling you get, once you've made it inside the harbor and are safely anchored, might be described as romantic, but it is not; it is just simple relief, magnified a million times over. Most sailors would agree that one of the best things about sailing is when it stops and you find you're still there. But it is by no means the best thing.
The Sealed Guitar Case, Please: On the occasion of rock's 25th birthday, we proudly announce our first (and last) annual Chuck Awards. For almost singlehandedly inventing guitar rock, the Gold Chuck goes to Chuck himself. Black-vinyl Chucks (made of recycled Sgt. Pepper sound-track returns) for distinguished service over the long haul go to these other bedrock originals: Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Lloyd Price, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ronnie Hawkins, Carl Perkins, James Brown, Otis Blackwell, Hank Ballard, Bill Haley, the Everly Brothers, Lieber and Stoller, Brenda Lee, Ike and Tina Turner and Ray Charles. And spiritual Chucks to those scattered troops who used to be the Chords, Clovers, Charms, El Dorados, Nutmegs, Teen Queens, Cadets, Magnificents, Del Vikings, Cheers, Crows, Penguins, Orioles, Ravens, Cadillacs, Edsels, Fleet-woods, Heartbeats, Coasters, Monotones, Platters, Gladiolas, Capris, Shirelles, Drifters, Spiders, Bees, Jive Bombers, Jive Five, Robins, Jesters, Jewels, Five Keys, Videos, Skyliners, Silhouettes, Rays, Cuff Links, Charts, Dubs, Dells, Shields, Harptones, Jaguars, Fiestas, Flamingos, Spaniels.
Bring on the Clones: We're in the final stretch of the Me Decade, right? We want it all. Just because they're dead doesn't mean they can't perform for us live. This year, add to the swarm of Elvis androids one burnin' hunk o' six-year-old and a woman who had plastic surgery the better to resemble the King. Also under the knife for art were verisimilitude devotees who emerged as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Jim Croce--on tour with two Elvises as Rock & Roll Heaven.
1. Darkness at the Edge of Town, by Bruce Springsteen. 2. Running on Empty, by Jackson Browne. 3. Little Criminals, by Randy Newman. 4. Excitable Boy, by Warren Zevon. 5. Heaven Tonight, by Cheap Trick.
It is to be Presumed that when cloning becomes a marketable process, the hustlers and hucksters of that vast Darwinian wasteland we call The Music Business will be among the first to take advantage of it. Imagine, for instance, the revenues that a dozen Ted Nugents or Eric Claptons, touring simultaneously, could generate for themselves and their sponsors. Cynics might argue that, artistically speaking, cloning has always been the standard procedure, that the vast majority of records sold today--in numbers that stagger the imagination and at prices that clean out the billfold--are the products of imitative rather than creative minds. Minds that figure, if something is selling, copy it; that's the type of thinking responsible for the endless reams of rock and disco music, played by studio musicians clonelike in their anonymity, that seem (text continued on page 188) to get sawed up and sold in three- and ten-minute segments, respectively.
Inflation is not going away. If you believe the politicians who tell you that now they're really going to stop it, don't read any further. Call me immediately about some fabulous beach-front property in Arizona. The only way to beat inflation is to have more money. But how do you accomplish that, you ask? You get on the waves of inflation and ride them, instead of getting buried by them. While you are relatively young, you can do much better financially than at any other time in your life. That's because your income will probably rise more dramatically during the period from the age of 25 to the age of 40 than at any other time in your life. It's during those years that you should get your plan started.
When home video-cassette recorders hit the market in 1975, manufacturers expected consumers to purchase those sophisticated and expensive gadgets to record programs for future viewing. Companies that sold prerecorded video cassettes struggled to gain a foothold in the infant market; and companies that produced programs for the home VCR owners were unheard of. But in the past year, as the number of owners of video-cassette recorders has grown impressively, the number of companies offering prerecorded programs to home VCR owners has multiplied dramatically.
Laziness and a disdain for the ordinary are two reasons to have your next party catered. A third reason is the human experience as it relates to the giving of parties. Most gatherings are conceived by a host who envisions no more than "having a few people over for drinks and a snack." Most gatherings end with the same host, shell-shocked, staring at rooms full of half-empty glasses and dirty dishes. As if his injury needed further insult, the stunned partygiver often realizes that he has spent more money than planned--or was required--for the festivities. On the spot, he swears that his next bash will be given with the aid and counsel of outside help. That resolution explains the existence of catering firms.
It was logical that the first Saab automobile, a 1946 prototype, looked like an airplane wing with a little passenger bubble on top and four skinny wheels at its rounded corners, logical because the Swedish airplane manufacturer then had only a group of wing designers available to tackle the proposed car project.
"The Private Life of Marilyn Monroe"--From the forthcoming book by the woman who, for the last six years of MM's life, was her closest confidante, the most intimate look yet at the Sex Goddess' Life and Loves--by Lena Pepitone and William Stadiem