It's showers-and-flowers time again, and that means it's time for our annual Year in Music issue. And what better way to kick it off than with a Playboy Interview with Linda Ronstadt, America's first lady of country-soul music and (according to the ever-present rumors) a possible candidate for First Lady period. Speaking of rumors, Linda's conversations with her old friend Jean Vallely dispel a few and confirm a few. After you finish the interview, turn to Playboy Music '80, written by Carl Philip Snyder, Contributing Editor David Standish and Assistant Editor Kate Nolan. The whole package, designed by Associate Art Director Skip Williamson, includes the results of the latest Playboy Music Poll.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), April, 1980, Volume 27, Number 4. Published monthly by Playboy, Playboy Bldg., 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago Ill. 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $39 for 36 issues, $28 for 24 issues, $16 for 12 issues. Canada, $24 for 12 issues. Elsewhere, $31 for 12 issues. 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; Richard Atkins, Fashion Advertising Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Chicago, Russ Weller, Associate Advertising Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue; Troy, Michigan, Jess Ballew, Manager, 3001 W. Big Beaver Road; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard; San Francisco, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery Street.
Spring-fever sufferers complain alternately of pain in the heart, ants in the pants and fire in the blood. But just because Blue Cross doesn't pay off spring-fever claims, don't jump to the conclusion that it's all in your head.
Does sex sell magazines? Don't ask us, ask Esquire. The venerable but rocky men's magazine promised its readers it would cover every area of male interest except sex and nudity--you know, that marginal stuff. In two recent issues, Esquire gave its readers a hot look at Hugh Hefner's private life in excerpts of Thy Neighbor's Wife, Gay Talese's forthcoming study of sex in America. We'll refrain, dear Esquire, from pounding the sexual ironies into the ground, but we'd like to know: Was it good for you guys, too?
Madness: Cross-cultural permutations are nothing new in pop music, but a British skinhead playing the dread-lock music of Jamaica? The knuckle-heads who call themselves Madness play an early variation of reggae called ska, a horn-happy, jump-tempoed dance music that is the fave of the moment in Britain. And when Madness cakewalked onto the stage at Hurrah, one of New York's influential New Wave discos, the place lit up like a spliff. Roots music can sometimes taste like forbidden fruit, but Madness comes on like the Bowery Boys in Trenchtown. With the momentum from a new album released by Sire and a recent American tour, Madness is committed to drive us "one step beyond." If it succeeds, we'll start either sporting crew-cuts or digging out those old porkpie hats.
On first seeing Wazmo Nariz, it seems perfectly natural that the man is wearing two neckties. You know something's wrong, but you don't know what it is. Unlike fine wines and Beethoven, Wazmo is not an acquired taste--you either like him or you don't. Coming out of Chicago's North Side New Wave clubs, Nariz has that rare ability to get half of a room up on its collective feet to whistle and cheer, while the other half takes to its collective feet and storms out the door. In his debut album, Things Aren't Right (I.R.S.), Wazmo jerks and shakes his voice up and down scales heretofore frequented only by the late Minnie Riperton and Yma Sumac, all the while being backed with the infectious beat of the Wazband. As for us, we'll take Wazmo Nariz over Montrachet any time.
Random rumors: Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly department: Britain's Royal Air Force has come up with a unique way to frighten stubborn birds off the runways of one of its airfields. The birds are subjected to a weekly hit of the U.K.'s top 20 pop songs. As soon as the birds hear the music, they fly away... . Even if the United Nations fails to book the Beatles in a reunion concert, big-name musicians will be performing on behalf of the Cambodian refugees... . We heard that Arlo Guthrie outdrew Dylan in Tucson, which made Guthrie feel funny. "I'd kind of like to go over there myself and see what he's up to. The ... thing is, you'll hear more old Dylan songs here than you would at his show."
We're sure there's a logical progression here somewhere. Reay Tannahill's first book was Food in History. Her next was Flesh and Blood: A History of the Cannibal Complex. Now she has tackled Sex in History (Stein and Day). The menu ... uh, the table of contents is delightful, and definitely to our taste. Tannahill's cross-cultural analysis of the traditional beggar's banquet is fascinating: We learn that in the Seventh Century, the Cummean Penitential required people who engaged in fellatio to perform a penance of four years (habitual offenders, seven years). Inserting the penis between the thighs of a passive partner (Interfemoral Connection) required a penance of two years, or 100 days for the first offense and one year for the second. Honest, Officer, we were sure it was all the way in. Ahem. In comparison, a 13th Century Chinese moral calorie count rated "Spur of the Moment Passion" 200 demerits in the case of a married woman, only 100 if she was a servant's wife, 500 for a widow or a virgin, 1000 for a nun, 100 for a prostitute. Boasting about these sins earned a Chinese gentleman 50 demerits if his partner was a married woman, 100 if a widow or a virgin, 200 if a nun, five if a prostitute. Keeping erotic pictures on the shelf got ten demerits per picture. Ah, Miss July. This book sounds like an early version of Richard Smith's The Dieter's Guide to Weight Loss During Sex. It's the kind of thing that's required reading if you want to be the Playboy Advisor--or just a charming dinner guest.
We are tearing through the rainy murk of an equatorial African night, six of us stuffed into a steamy Fiat safari wagon. The vehicle's straining suspension slams again and again onto the slick, rutted road, jarring whole sections of our bodies loose from their intended positions. A team of aggressively nonchalant Italian mechanics fills the front seat, two shouting instructions at the third, who is driving and who cannot possibly see ten yards beyond the hood. The wagon's rear spaces are crammed with spare auto parts, sausage remnants, empty Tusker Beer bottles and some journalists who are wondering aloud if this nighttime kamikaze flight represents the best way to see Kenya.
All the ingredients of a standard star-is-born biography are present in Coal Miner's Daughter, yet the surprising, poignant movie based on the book about country-music queen Loretta Lynn is something pretty special. First, Sissy Spacek makes a quantum leap to major stardom as an actress and a singer, for she performs a big batch of Loretta's own songs--many of them recorded live in a strong down-home style that sounds exactly right without sounding like an imitation and should help revive interest in pure country music. Sissy also portrays Loretta, from her early teens to maturity, with total conviction and fantastic range--a gal from the Kentucky hills who starts out virtually as a child bride and has four children before her hustling husband perceives that she's got a voice destined for better things than singin' while she mops kitchen floors. As Doo-little Lynn, the husband who creates a star so big he can hardly handle the hype surrounding her, Tommy Lee Jones has the strongest part of his screen career, and plays it with strength and subtlety--well enough to dim my memories of his head-on collisions with such tripe as The Betsy. Equally fine in a brief but significant role is Beverly D'Angelo as country star Patsy Cline, who died in a plane crash but had enormous influence on Loretta's taste in everything. D'Angelo also handles her own singing chores in the film, for a stunning follow-up to her success as the well-bred heroine of Hair.
All That Jazz In a brilliant but overdone showbiz saga about a guy pretty much like himself, director Bob Fosse has his heart attack set to music for Roy Scheider and les girls. Ergot rhythm, or is it Broadway biofeed-back? [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Idol gossip: At presstime, publicists at 20th Century-Fox were describing the film Nine to Five as "the story of three secretaries and their misadventures with a tyrannical boss," but other sources tell me that the Jane Fonda--Lily Tomlin--Dolly Parton starrer has a somewhat harder feminist punch to it. Apparently, the so-called tyrannical boss is the type who demands certain extracurricular favors from his female employees and, in response, the three secretaries kidnap him... . Actors Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall will reunite in United Artists' True Confessions, based on the book by John Gregory Dunne. The two actors (De Niro plays the priest, Duvall the cop) haven't co-starred in a film since Godfather II. ... Peter Bogdanovich will write, produce and direct They All Laughed, starring Ben Gazzara, Audrey Hepburn and John Ritter. The film concerns three detectives on a weird assignment in the Big Apple... . Dustin Hoffman will play a New York actor in the contemporary comedy Tootsie, scripted by Murray Schisgal. ... Yet another comic strip will probably be finding its way to the big screen. Word has it a $15,000,000 production of Brenda Starr, starring Bo Derek, is in the works... . Michael Cimino's next planned film, Proud Dreamer, is shaping up to be even bigger than his Oscar-winning The Deer Hunter and possibly bigger than the soon-to-be-released Heaven's Gate, which cost in the vicinity of $30,000,000. Dreamer will cover four decades in American life.
Shopping is no idle undertaking for travelers, as anyone who has ever tried to stuff six bursting shopping bags under an airline seat will ruefully attest. Otherwise sane citizens suddenly find themselves wholly out of control in the face of a bonanza of foreign-made merchandise, and it's not at all uncommon to observe a crazed consumer stumbling down Rome's Via Condotti, eyes glazed, numbly murmuring, "Gucci! Gucci!"
As a single woman, I've grown tired of the inevitable late-evening wrestling match on a first date--especially the question "Your place or mine?" Is there an advantage to home court? Is there a nice way to tell a guy that you'd like to see him again but that you are not interested in doing it that night?--Miss M. T., New York, New York.
Earl Henry "Smokey" Burris, 66, took his stand in the grand manner of frontier individualism and dared the state of Arizona to stop him from growing and smoking his own marijuana. Arizona accepted the dare and locked him up in prison for three to five years. The case is an embarrassment for both Arizona lawmakers and Arizona law enforcers. In the name of protecting citizens from themselves and from drugs and teaching them respect for the law, they may have passed a death sentence on a harmless elderly eccentric in failing health. Steve Daniels, who has been covering the story as a bureau chief of The Arizona Republic, sends us this report:
Thursday is talent night at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood. Young girl after young girl (and some not so young) makes her way to the small stage, clutches the mike, takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and sings: "Desperado," "Love Has No Pride," "Blue Bayou," "When Will I Be Loved," "You're No Good." They all sing her songs precisely--every lick, each tiny inflection--just the way she does. These girls have hooked their dreams onto her music. And it's likely the same thing is happening at talent nights and hootenannies from Seattle to Boston.
It was a fantasy come alive, a daydream you could touch. On one of the hottest days of a Los Angeles September, the most elite sorority in the world gathered at Playboy Mansion West for a first-time-ever meeting. There were women in tank tops, in disco pants, in short-shorts, in slit skirts, in see-through dresses, in tailored suits. Some were self-assured, others nervous. Most were stunning; none was less than attractive. They came in all sizes but only one basic shape, because what all these women had in common was that each had reached a pinnacle of popular culture: Each had been a Playboy Playmate.
Overthrow of Castro is possible," Bobby Kennedy told Richard Helms amid the controlled chaos of his fifth-floor office at the Justice Department. An aide to the CIA clandestine services' Helms wrote rapidly to keep up with the Attorney General's staccato cadence. "A solution to the Cuban problem today carried top priority in U. S. Government. No time, money, effort--or manpower--is to be spared. Yesterday ... the President had indicated to him that the final chapter had not been written--it's got to be done and will be done."
A Revolution in turntables may be an easy pun, but it aptly describes what is happening (and what is about to happen) in a major area of home entertainment. The innovation, which is still waiting in the wings but threatens to come onstage at its own cue, is digital sound. Why the fuss? According to Sony, which has been working on digital-audio-disc systems since 1976 and whose latest version--the model DAD-1X--is shown here, digital audio represents such an advance in the quality of recorded and reproduced sound over existing analog sound that its development is tantamount to bringing present-day audio "out of the Stone Age."
Join Chuck Barris and see the Weird is what the ad campaign says, and the finger of Barris, as Uncle Sam, is pointing at you. No longer just a daytime television producer with a couple of game shows to his credit, Barris has become a significant packager of American popular culture, and his specialty is that part of the culture that has traditionally been kept hidden: bawdy sex, lowbrow comedy, side-show freaks and downright lunatic crazies.
When Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Chicago, he should have felt right at home--you don't have to go to Poland to find beautiful Polish women. Chicago is said to have a Polish population second only to Warsaw's; and Chicago is beautiful, Polish Liz Glazowski's home town. Remember when we scoured the country for our 25th Anniversary Playmate? Liz is one of our bonuses from that venture. "I'm impulsive. I heard about the Great Playmate Hunt, thought I'd make a good Playmate and went to the Mansion for an interview." She came, we saw, we concurred. Liz was an ace secretary before trading in her steno pad for a model's portfolio. That's not all she does well: Miss April was a top basketball player at her high school. "I'm athletic; I loved playing basketball--now it's tennis. I want to stay in shape. When there's a 50th Playmate Reunion, you'll still be able to recognize me." We've always believed a girl's genes have something to do with how she'll look in her jeans when the 21st Century gets here, so we checked out Liz's mom. Not to worry: She's tiny and trim. And, by the way, Liz adores her. She surprised us by being very traditional about some things ... for example, her Catholicism. "I'd never take Communion from a woman. Nuns who want to be priests should leave the Church." What about celibacy? What if priests could marry? "If it's OK with the Pope, it's OK with me. But I've never met a priest I was particularly attracted to." Who is she attracted to? "For some reason, I like Jewish guys." Liz is like that: She says things you just don't expect. But whenever she says something really outrageous, there's an irrepressible laugh sure to follow. Liz is headed for L.A., where she hopes to "get an offer I can't refuse" in films. Who's her choice for leading man? "John Travolta, of course." Before you go, Liz, say something sexy in Polish. "Nothing is sexy in Polish. But ja kocham ciebie means I love you." It sounds sexy when you say it, Liz.
Playing her cards carefully, the scheming new girl in the office finally landed a dinner invitation from the handsome and macho sales manager. "Do you have a particular hobby, Brenda?" he asked her in the course of making small talk over liqueurs in the restaurant.
I know a young man who claims he can judge the fuckability of a woman by her shoes (e.g., a high-heeled, naked-looking sling-back connotes readier availability than a clog); and while this method of assessing female willingness is not to be guaranteed for its infallibility, it has at least the distinction of being the most amusing thing I've heard about sex in a long time.
Fashion is a lot like music these days: No one style dominates. And in the same way that many are stocking their record libraries with a cross section of music modes, it makes sense to think about stocking your wardrobe with a cross section of styles. Why should a taste for the classics preclude an appreciation of jazz, pop, rock, reggae or any other type you care to name? It will doubtless be to the despair of some if this turns out to be the eclectic Eighties (fads and trends become so much harder to predict and capitalize upon), but from our point of view, it is encouraging evidence of fashion sophistication. Ever since the so-called peacock revolution of the late Sixties, we have heralded the movement away from uniformity and championed individualism in dress. It seems to us that now there is a more mature attitude than rejecting the old (as in the aforementioned times when not just natural-shoulder but all suits were eschewed in favor of jeans) for the latest, new uniform. Today, more men are refusing to be typed by peer pressure or designer dictates. Rather, there is an open-minded willingness to examine and select styles from the multitude of directions that abound. Whether it's the natural-shoulder stylings of an Alexander Julian or a Jeffrey Banks or the more squared-off "European" suitings of a Macintosh or a Cardin, today's man is willing to consider them all for the mix of his wardrobe. In fact, if you take a close look at the seven outfits we've selected for our forecast, you will note that while the items range widely in levels of formality and attitude, there are an incredible number of outfits possible by interchanging their elements. And that is the key to men's fashion today: From a relatively small wardrobe (and the styles here could practically make up an entire summer selection), a much larger number of handsome looks can easily be put together. No more Johnny One Note.
I have made the point many times that baseball and, for that matter, any professional sport is 60 to 80 percent mental. This doesn't mean that a man can play with 75 percent of a full deck and survive, though it happens all the time. What this means is that when you get to the professional level, the only thing that separates a winner from a joke is something like emotion or pride or guts or heart or determination, something you can't see.
Is your idea of the enlisted woman that of a sort of Florence Nightingale in uniform? We put that myth to rest last November, when Army Specialist Four Colleen Donovan posed for us in not much more than her name, rank and serial number. Believe us, things have changed. Back in World War Two, the reigning pinup was Betty Grable--in the men's barracks, natch. Now you'll find Burt Reynolds and Sly Stallone hanging proudly beside a petite pair of skivvies in almost any women's barracks. That's not all that's changed. After you've seen the pictures on the following pages, you'll agree that these charming representatives of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard make us almost doubt that war is hell.
Francois Boucher (1703--1770) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732--1806) provocatively embellished the lusty atmosphere of 18th Century France with what may be the first examples of cheesecake. Until the French Revolution put an end to the Rococo era, the prevailing style at the French court was sophisticated (though lacking individuality) and frilly, due to the influence of women's tastes within the royal circle. In that atmosphere, Boucher and Fragonard distinguished themselves as masters with a passion for painting the nude. Boucher was first to paint scenes of erotic love affairs among the gods for private palace apartments. Fragonard followed by painting the pleasures of sex in delicious boudoir scenes with titles such as The Kiss on the Neck, The Useless Resistance and The Desired Moment. The nude nymphs of Boucher and Fragonard are coy, naughty, sensuous and exuberant, with dimpled, pinchable derrières and soft, rose-petal-pink flesh. These pastel sketches, drawn from various works of the two great masters, are my way of paying homage to them.
B**Tlemania: The B**tles are winners in several categories this time around: for breaking their previous record of eight years by not getting together again for the ninth year in a row--thereby remaining in contention for the elusive decade mark. They take our Lawsuit of the Year Award for their $60,000,000 slap at the producers of B**tlemania for improper use of the B**tles name (we're not taking any chances ourself). And there are separate awards in the increasingly competitive Mogul Division: to ex-B**tle John Lennon for financially homesteading his way through New York's exclusive Dakota; and to ex-B**tle Paul McCartney for his efforts to corner the publishing rights to just about every song you've ever heard, including Stormy Weather and that anthem of Saturday-afternoon fever, On Wisconsin.
During a 1966 tour, keith moon found himself trapped in his room at the sunset hyatt--without a drink! But, using only his teeth, in less than 15 minutes he had completely eaten through a wall and was having a beer with his mates.
The music biz entered 1979 as confident as Goliath, despite a sales slump in the last six weeks of the previous year--a time when it normally does 33 to 40 percent of its annual business. It had much empirical justification for its hubris, having grown steadily fatter for 15 glorious, flamboyant, wasteful years. Its annual growth rate had averaged over 20 percent since 1975, and in 1978, led by the fantastic 42,000,000 sales rung up internationally by two high-priced releases--the sound tracks from Grease and Saturday Night Fever--it had matured into a 4.2-billion-dollar juggernaut of an industry that could brag of being bigger than the movies and all spectator sports combined.
Bruce Springsteen is arguably the greatest rock-'n'-roll performer of his time. Live, in a club or small concert hall, he and the E-Street Band take possession of the stage as though it were their home turf and enlist the audience as celebrants of the true joys of rock 'n' roll. The mixture of his passionate adolescent epics with deeply felt versions of rock-'n'-roll classics has made Springsteen's marathon two-hour performances legendary since the mid-Seventies. Curiously, that early popularity almost proved to be his undoing. The recorded versions of such high-spirited rockers as "Blinded by the Light," "Spirit in the Night," "Rosalita," "The E Street Shuffle" and "Kitty's Back" couldn't begin to capture the exuberance and total involvement Springsteen puts into the tunes in his live show. Add to that the great hype of 1975, an almost terminal misunderstanding that sharply divided the rock world into Those Who Had Seen Him and Those Who Hadn't, and you've got some seriously muddied waters. Calling Springsteen a creation of CBS and media publicity made as much sense as the world accusing the National Weather Service of hyping a tropical storm into Hurricane David. Springsteen is the poet of the small-town escape, a romantic street rocker possessed by rock 'n' roll--all of it--which is why he can follow "Thunder Road," say, with a monolog about hassling with his dad that becomes a five-minute intro to The Animals' "It's My Life," and pull it off. He's the Boss.
Fifty years ago, when a pool hall burned down, a newspaper could dramatize the tragedy by reporting that 5000 men were homeless. While that would still be an exaggeration today, the game of pool has been enjoying a vigorous revival. A 1979 survey of participant sports taken by the A. C. Nielsen Company revealed the surprising fact that there are more male pool players in America than there are male bowlers, skiers, golfers or tennis players. Eight ball, thanks to the proliferation of the coin-operated bar table, has probably become the most often played game in the land. Tavern leagues are sprouting everywhere and are growing at a rate too fast to follow. St. Petersburg, Florida, for example, boasts 1500 players on eight-ball teams (one third of the players are women) and is the scene of an annual banquet for 1300 players and guests with prizes totaling about $25,000. Generally, the larger the city, the larger the numbers. In 1978, New Orleans had 4500 men and women competing in a business-sponsored eight-ball tournament. Skill at pool is no longer evidence of a misspent youth--it is a social necessity.
A visit to a custom tailor is a long way from the sort of supermarket operations that dominate modern retailing. Given plenty of time--and money--a good tailor can make you a suit, a sports jacket or a shirt that will fit better and, consequently, look better than any ready-made garment.
Where can you find 25 disemvoweled movie titles? On the marquee de Sade, naturally. To cruelly tease you, we've taken some titles of Hollywood's finest, cut out the vowels and punctuation and spliced the rest together. Pretty much what they'd look like if they'd been edited for TV. Guess, if you can, these tantalizingly stripped-down titles.
Oversized tennis rackets have been on the market several years and, judging from the number of court appearances they've made at clubs we frequent, it's certain that the concept is rapidly making net gains on traditional styles. The advantages are obvious: Aside from an increased hitting surface, a bigger racket gives a player extra power, better control and a larger-sized sweet spot for that killer shot. The ball's in your court, Bjorn. Game! Set! Match!
With the continuing popularity of the boat shoe and the fact that the price of leather footwear has skyrocketed, more and more designers are creating shoes that go equally well with suits and jeans. Fabric shoes in natural shades, perhaps, have the most versatility. But there are other treatments previously thought of as strictly for casualwear (especially looks in nontraditional colors) that, in today's less rigid fashion mood, work just as well in a multipurpose role. Some have crepe soles and heels, others are perforated models and there's even a pair of modified Western boots. And about those perennial boat shoes: Watch for yet another lease on life as they begin appearing in even hotter colors.
Bare walls do not lend an air of homeyness to living quarters. And what with the price of Rembrandts and Rauschenbergs going through the roof, more affordable, if not more modest, wall decorations must be found. Photographs--yours or others--may be the answer. In the hands of a professional photo-lab technician, an original image can be cropped or photographically enhanced to create a special effect and, from it, a custom print can be made to your specifications. Because they stock photographic paper in 40-inch and 52-inch widths, many color labs can produce murals or superwide shots and the seams can be matched when installed, just like wallpaper. Experts recommend that the original image be taken from at least 35mm film; two-and-a-quarter-inch format or large sheet film is better yet. You can shop around for a local color lab, but good old Eastman Kodak is already one jump ahead of you, as it has assembled a brochure listing, in Zip Code sequence, 182 professional color labs that specialize in processing outsized photos. To obtain it, write to Eastman Kodak, Department 412L-533, 343 State Street, Rochester, New York 14650. Once you pick a lab, the fun really begins. Your walls will thank you for the memories.
"The Islam Connection"--as head of America's largest Moslem group, Wallace Muhammad is the main link between the middle eastern followers of Islam and U. S. blacks. what he does may affect you. A profile by Bruce Michael Gans and Walter L. Lowe