Around Christmas, everybody talks about the joy of giving, and for us, it's true. We try to give you the best holiday reading in America and we find that it's fun, a lot like shopping for just the right gifts for an old friend. But there's nothing wrong with admitting the obvious: that we all enjoy the gifts that come to us as well. Throughout the years, the December issue of Playboy has always been one of our biggest sellers. And, frankly, we get a kick out of that. It's like our readers' Christmas present to us. Our only wish is that we could see the smile on your face when you open our package this year. There are pages and pages of luscious color pictorials, fiction by Thomas Berger, Philip K. Dick and Sean O'Faolain, a hot Playboy Interview with George C. Scott and our usual line-up of great articles. In fact, if it isn't too immodest to say so, we have everything your heart could desire.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032--1478), December, 1980, Volume 27, Number 12. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Bldg., 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $48 for 36 issues, $34 for 24 issues, $18 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; Michael Druckman, New York Sales Manager; Richard Atkins, Fashion Advertising Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Chicago 60611, Russ Weller, Associate Advertising Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue; Troy, Michigan 48084, Jess Ballew, Manager, 3001 W. Big Beaver Road; Los Angeles 90010, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Boulevard; San Francisco 94104, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery Street.
"Women Speak About Their Breasts and Their Lives" (Summit Books) is a book by two photographers turned writers. Daphna Ayalah and her husband, Isaac J. Weinstock. It began as a pictorial documentary, but the women they photographed had so much to say about the trials and tribulations of having breasts that Ayalah and Weinstock thought it worth while to record the women's comments while they were photographing them. "Breasts" has become something of a women's cult book. We asked Associate Editor Walter L. Lowe to talk with them about their findings.
Recent magazine advertisements for Rolex watches have featured author John Cheever, looking profoundly thoughtful in a bow tie, vest and jacket. Beneath the tasteful headline ("Rolex. For those who set the measure of the times."), one reads these stirring words: "Detail illuminates John Cheever's writing. Just as detail inspires every Rolex Craftsman...."
Any movie that features Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin is bound to attract plenty of attention. That movie, "Nine to Five," features the three women as secretaries in a large, impersonal office. It opens in December and one of our regular contributors, Lawrence Grobel (who conducted our "Playboy Interviews" with Parton, Barbra Streisand and Marlon Brando, as well as this month's interview with George C. Scott), was on the set during some of the filming. Here's his report:
Less from Elvis: The fans of Elvis Presley tend to be so emotional that they elicit a similar intensity from his detractors. Among musicians, for instance, it remains fashionable to cite Elvis as an example of someone without much talent who made it big thanks to the machinations of the "system." Which is unfair to Elvis. Questions of musical talent and taste are actually irrelevant in his case, as they are in the case of Judy Garland. Fact is, though, the boy had some real talent--and, when he started out, some innate good taste (after all, he was singing blues). He also had a poignant sense of his own limitations, and an ironic, self-deprecating sense of humor that helped him live with himself after Colonel Parker and RCA turned him into a guitar-brandishing Godzilla. That wistfulness is what one is finally left with after listening to the eight LPs of Elvis Aron Presley (RCA), a flawed but fascinating set, containing much material not previously available on LP, that will no doubt be studied closely by future biographers. One hears the 1956 Elvis apologizing for his singing (and unnecessarily so) to a strangely silent Las Vegas audience; the 1961 Elvis, just out of the Army and at the peak of his powers, laughing at the bobby soxers who keep drowning him out (and, unfortunately, jogging the tape); and the 1965 Elvis, trying to record a movie theme that forces him into self-parody but cracking up in loud laughter and protesting, "I sound like a wino!" (the LP devoted to music from the films has quite a few aural snapshots of Elvis kibitzing delightfully with producers and musicians: "Hold the tempo back, you don't get paid any more"). Be forewarned, however, that the compilation is not only skimpy on music but skimpy, period. An entire side is taken up by a dull 13-minute monolog (evidently a canned radio interview with the not-too-probing questions deleted), while another side is devoted entirely to four lachrymose selections--total time: 12 minutes, one second--on which Elvis plays piano. And much of the anthology's musical meat, culled from the stage and TV extravaganzas of the star's declining years, only proves the truth of Chuck Berry's line: "Fame is but a slow decay."
Once you get past the title tune of The Crusaders' Rhapsody and Blues (MCA), an awkward marriage of funk/jazz with light classical music, you are strictly in the land of funk, and in the hands of the guys who invented it. Or rather, the guys who have perpetuated it, as they remind us on Soul Shadows, an unforgettable tribute to the unforgettable jazzmen of the past, with a searing vocal by guest artist Bill Withers.
Reeling and Rocking: The Tubes' Fee Waybill and Vince Welnick have roles in Lou Adler's new movie, All Washed Up. The group will also write some of the songs for the sound track. After Xanadu, there's no place to go but up.... No matter how ticket sales go, the sound-track album from Urban Cowboy has been certified gold and platinum--copies sold have already passed the 1,500,000 mark.
The ladies are having their day in recent movies, and no female doing her thing can do it much better than Gena Rowlands in Gloria (Columbia). As writer-producer-director of his own films, John Cassavetes has given his talented wife some grand parts, and Gena has played them for keeps. She's in top form as a Mobster's moll named Gloria Swenson, a big blonde tart with a heart of gold who never cared much for kids but tries her damnedest to save the seven-year-old son of two friends (Buck Henry, Julie Carmen) who have been rubbed out by Mafia hit men and is himself marked for extinction. Through trashy hotels and streets and subways, Gloria tracks a well-worn lady on the lam in an atmospheric urban fable with a real sense of urgency, plus more sheer excitement per running foot than any Cassavetes movie to date. While Gena triumphs over the Godfather types on her trail, Cassavetes' faults as a writer-director begin to catch up with him rather quickly. Young Juan Adames, the moppet he discovered for Gloria, is an attractive but self-conscious tyke with little of the charm or spontaneity demonstrated by Justin Henry in Kramer vs. Kramer. Worse, the dialog Cassavetes has devised for Juan, a supposedly street-wise New York kid, would sound more convincing delivered by a middle-aged screenwriter lounging beside his pool in Bel Air. [rating]2 bunnies[/rating]
Completing the second cycle of The Shakespeare Plays--all 37 of them slated for presentation in due time by BBC-TV and Time-Life--Hamlet, Prince of Denmark stars England's Derek Jacobi in his definitive interpretation (earlier Jacobi triumphs include I, Claudius and Richard II on TV). Nearly four hours long, as uncut as any Hamlet we're likely to see in our time, the production airing over most PBS outlets November tenth has passion, clarity and piercing intelligence. Students of Shakespeare, or viewers who have previously resisted the Bard's verbal flourishes, may discover here why Hamlet has survived for four centuries.
Side Effects (Random House) is a collection of short humor pieces by Woody Allen, famous film maker and wiseacre. The pieces originally appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic and The Kenyon Review--and they show it. There are the typical time-space-reality jokes: "Man was a creature doomed to exist in 'time,' even though that was not where the action was." Or, "Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak." Or, "According to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought--particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things." That kind of haute routine may knock 'em dead at the New School, but we feel that something is missing. At least in Allen's movies, you usually get to look at Diane Keaton.
Idol Gossip: Raquel Welch has been signed to co-star with Nick Nolte in MGM's Cannery Row, based on the John Steinbeck novel.... Authors as Actors Department: Norman Mailer will play the role of Stanford White in Dino De Laurentiis' production of E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime, directed by Milos Forman. We also hear Forman is thinking of casting Grace Slick as labor activist Emma Goldman.... Jerzy Kosinski has a role in Warren Beatty's magnum opus, Reds. Kosinski and Beatty are longtime friends.... The Empire Strikes Back's Irvin Kershner will direct Zanuck-Brown's production of The Ninja, based on the Eric Van Lustbader best seller.... Playwright David Mamet will write the screenplay for another Zanuck-Brown production. The Verdict. Mamet made his scripting debut with the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.... George Hamilton will have two roles in Mel Simon's send-up Zorro--The Gay Blade. Hamilton will play twins, one of them a homosexual.
My girlfriend would like to switch her method of birth control. We both hate the diaphragm and realize that our reluctance to use it has brought us very close to parenthood too many times. The pill is out and the I.U.D. seems to have more than its share of complications (though my girlfriend's doctor told her that many of the problems with the I.U.D. stemmed from multiple partners, not from the device itself). Several of our feminist friends have recommended something called a cervical cap. What is it?--J. L., New York, New York.
After Sigmund Freud tried cocaine late in the last century, he touted it to friends, relatives and the medical profession as a potential wonder drug. The fictional Sherlock Holmes found that an injected "seven-percent solution" dispelled fatigue and sharpened his mind, over the objections of the prudent Dr. Watson. By the early part of this century, U. S. Government authorities had flatly declared cocaine to be a killer narcotic. Finally, over the past few years, millions of Americans have discovered that everyone was wrong except the South American Indians who have been chewing coca leaves for centuries. Used occasionally and moderately, cocaine can be a mild and relatively benign euphoric.
When you think of George C. Scott, the images that come to mind most quickly are those of the volatile, half-cocked Patton; the impulsive, wise-ass reactionary general, Buck Turgidson, in "Dr. Strangelove"; the menacing loan shark Bert in "The Hustler." In 1977, Scott played a fictional Ernest Hemingway in "Islands in the Stream," a role not surprising for Scott, who himself is a man of Hemingwayesque proportions: a tough, outspoken, fearless, boozing, brawling, menacing, macho man with a weakness for women, a sensitivity for Shakespeare and Arthur Miller and a broad intelligence. He is a man other men tell stories about.
She's been called a sex symbol, a girl scout, an Occidental geisha, a "good girl dressed as a bad woman," "pure sin on sight," the embodiment of a perpetual male erotic fantasy. Her working uniform is arguably the world's most recognized. She was born 20 years ago. She's the Playboy Bunny, and ever since that memorable night in February 1960, she has been the subject of curiosity--then, and now, often manifested in goggle-eyed stares--and controversy. Back in 1960, purse-lipped Mrs. Grundys feared that the mere sight of these shapely young ladies would corrupt the morals of their sons. In 1980, militant feminists, some of them equally grim-visaged, complain that the Bunnies themselves are the victims of some sort of sexist corruption.
When Ellie slammed the front door, he slowed his cup's approach to the coffee table to glance across his shoulder at the clock on the mantelpiece. Six forty-five? Of course. Monday. Her night for bridge, his for the art class. His coffee made a smooth landing. He sank into his armchair, carefully unfolded his evening paper, looked blindly at its headlines for a while, let it fall into his lap. If only! If only! If only they had had a child! All day she had not spoken one word to him since she said at breakfast, "May I have some marmalade, please?" And now she was gone for the night.
Clothes Serve Many Purposes. But there are times when the necessity of covering your hide or the fun of making like a peacock is subordinate to the single need to project an image of authority, power, success and influence. Call it the Walter Cronkite syndrome--or subliminal dressing. (Notice the man, not his clothes.) The guidelines for image dressing are quite simple. First, your clothes should look expensive without being ostentatious. Second, the color range should be subdued; quiet in everything except, perhaps, for your tie, which tradition dictates can let go a little for self-expression. (Still, even here, the Mies van der Rohe rule of thumb "Less is more" applies.) The third point is that dressing for success almost always requires a necktie, even when you're casually attired in a sports coat or blazer for drinks or a game of bridge at the club. For business, a navy pinstripe is your power base, then gray flannel (one with and one without stripes is a good idea). The other acceptable color is brown in solids, stripes and tweeds. Sports coats are more flexible, though leave horse-blanket plaids and Day-Glo blazers for traveling Bible salesmen from Nebraska. Remember, clothes that project the image of power in high places--like old money--whisper instead of shout.
It has surprised me recently to find almost no professional literature discussing why a person becomes sexually excited. There are, of course, innumerable studies that have to do with that tantalizingly vague word "sexuality": ... Statistical studies of the external genitals, foreplay, afterplay, accompanying activity, duration, size, speed, distance, metric weight and nautical miles. Venereal disease, apertures, pregnancy, berdaches, morals, marriage customs, subincision, medical ethics, sexism, racism, feminism, communism and priapism. Sikkim, Sweden, Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Indonesia and all the tribes of Africa and Araby. Buttocks, balls, breasts, blood supplies, nervous supplies, hypothalamic supplies, gross national product, pheromones, implants, plateaus, biting, squeezing, rubbing, swinging. Nude and clothed, here and there, outlets and inlets, large and small, up and down, in and out. But not sexual excitement. Strange.
Good-Looking Girls don't have it easy. It's not so much that people try to take advantage of them; it's more that they're constantly being underestimated. Anyone who underestimates Terri Welles had better duck. She's a scrapper.
Goodness!" gasped the well-bred young lady in the taxicab when her escort's hand slipped under her skirt and between her legs and then moved unhesitatingly up to the heart of her womanhood. "This is certainly one of those nights when feeling is running high!"
If I've Learned Anything in the years I've worn a shield, it's that there are two things that have an irresistible attraction for animals. One is any kind of fad, the sillier the better. The other is breaking the law. I'm Sergeant Vinnie DiFalco of the Animal Crime Squad, N.Y.P.D. My partner is a good-natured slob named Fogarty.
Far from being a drag, the White House ukase on lowering thermostats may herald a great leap forward in conviviality, at least if we take a page from history. Our forebears lived in damp, drafty houses with rudimentary heating systems, yet the rigors of winter held no terrors for them. Those canny types knew the perfect antidote to bleak weather-a lusty, steaming, scented hot drink and a snapping fire. In a pinch, they could forgo the blaze.
Bradley Smith, the well-known art historian and photographer, has devoted much of his life to the study of sex in art. His recent work culminated in a new book, "20th Century Masters of Erotic Art," from which most of this portfolio was selected. In the course of his study, Smith and Henry Miller became good friends. Miller's commentary on page 214 was culled from their many conversations.
Linda Kerridge was only five years old when people began to remark that she bore a striking resemblance to Marilyn Monroe. Even though she was born and raised on the other side of the world-in Wagga Wagga, Australia, to be exact-she grew up enchanted by the Monroe mystique, which by then had spread to every remote outpost of the world, even to Wagga Wagga. As the years passed and the resemblance became more pronounced, Linda became a certified movie buff and a natural mimic. "I've always loved to imitate people," she recalls. "Even as a child, it was especially easy for me to mimic
Ladies come in all sizes, but you don't 'often meet one with a six-inch bust. Then again, some women like strong drink; but rarely do you find one who periodically falls, bare bottom first, into a full champagne glass. In fact, the only place you're likely to encounter such a creature is on the Playboy's Party Jokes page, where an impish nymphet we call our Femlin has teased and amused Playboy readers since she first appeared in the August 1955 issue. She was a bit larger then, a fact that has led some Femlin watchers to contend that she didn't arrive on our pages until July 1956; but in the name of accurate journalism, we have determined that the 1955 date is correct. Except for size, she hasn't changed much since artist LeRoy Neiman translated an idea of Editor-Publisher Hugh Hefner's into living black and white: black hair, black gloves and black stockings. As Hefner conceived of her, she was a female gremlin who lived with a man about town and always tried to compete for his attention with regular-sized women (like the ones on the centerfold). Her methods included sabotage: jumping into drinks, untying shoelaces, hiding cuff links, etc. With input from Hefner and Art Director Arthur Paul, Neiman gradually developed the Femlin into a character who has become nearly as much a symbol of Playboy as the familiar Rabbit Head. She has appeared on eight covers (more than most Playmates, so the little lady really has no reason to be jealous).
If you really want to hear about it, it started ... Christ, when does anything start? No doubt it goes back to birth trauma or some shitty earlier incarnation or one of those. Or maybe that big weekend when I was 16, when I gave Phoebe that red hunting cap and sat watching her on the carrousel in the winter rain. The good old days. And, amazing but true, about 30 years ago now. Time sure does fly when you're having fun. Also when you're not. I remember I bought the hat to cheer myself up after I lost all the goddamned fencing foils on the subway. I can still see them in a pile in an empty car, rattling along toward Queens.
The Jackals are on the loose again. Unprincipled scavengers always start sniffing around when talented amateurs begin to show signs of becoming potential money machines. It's true in every sport, and it's no less so in college basketball. This time, it's the professional players' agents who have discovered a way to legally and profitably undermine the spirit of amateurism by tempting the avarice of unsophisticated high school and college cagers.
Each of Truman Capote's books has generated strong opinion-most (but not all) of it enthusiastic. "Music for Chameleons," his latest, is no exception, so we dispatched syndicated television reporter Nancy Collins to discuss that and other subjects with him at his New York apartment. "He had a terrible cold," she told us, "but that didn't muffle any of his opinions."
Good Evening.... for this, our Christmas show, we're going to open up our format to bring you a group of people who have Undergone Radical plastic surgery to make themselves look like Cartoon characters out of Playboy Funnies.
It's an easy choice: Donate your extra bucks to the IRS or pump them into something tax deductible. And, for most of us, that means a pension plan. But pension managers have the heebie jeebies. For one thing, in 60 years, nearly one in four Americans will be over the age of 65, swooping down on pension funds like vampire bats attacking a herd of Holsteins. And inflation is inexorably shriveling pension dollars into pennies.
It's no secret that pretty women often find it irresistible to linger at the parties held at Playboy Mansion West. But on one recent occasion, things went too far: No fewer than 33 ladies decided to hide overnight. That's how many faces, figures or forms of pretty women the sharp-eyed reader will find hidden in this front view of the Mansion. For the dull-eyed, see answer sketch on page 380.
Santa Claus is comin' to town--bringing with him all those marvelous holiday smells. But after The Christmas Song has ended, the yuletide memory sure to linger the longest for the lady in your life will be the fragrance that wafted from the expensive little bottle of perfume she found awaiting her under the tree. When it comes to dollars and scents, the dictum "You gets what you pays for" definitely applies. One ounce of the perfume Cabochard will get you more kisses under the mistletoe than a gallon of Evening in Schenectady. And the same goes for Chanel No. 5, Opium and L'Air du Temps. Oh, the weather outside may be frightful, but the fire is so delightful and with a good-smelling friend close at hand, all we can say is settle back and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ....
Wearing nought but your birthday suit may still be the most comfortable and sexy way to toddle off to dreamland; but in these days of low thermostats, it's hardly appropriate attire for those easygoing hours of at-home winter entertaining that nestle between board room and bedroom. And since the American male is currently deep in a red-hot affair with romance (as we pointed out in our September issue), we're happy to report that what's making his heartstrings go zing is not only meaningful relationships with the opposite sex but also the nifty accouterments, such as sensuous loungewear, that go along with them. While some of the latest styles obviously have been influenced by such activities as jogging and racquet-ball, the over-all effect is the rebirth of a type of eveningwear that in no way resembles the vintage flannel robes our grandfathers wore. So, guys, when you come in from the cold this winter, try slipping into something a little more comfortable. A cotton hooded nightshirt, perhaps, or a paisley kimono with quilted foulard trim. With soft and easy threads like these, you can bet a bottle of cognac that the lady in your life will be up to see you sometime--soon.
Don't you hate those cowboy-hatted clowns who bust past in some jacked-up gas-guzzling four-wheel-drive macho machine while you sit stuck in snow (or mud or sand)? Well, cheer up, buckaroo, because now a pair of small but aggressive auto makers have provided us with legal, affordable revenge--four-wheel-drive cars; and a super-whammy machine from Germany is on the coming-attractions list. While Detroit's Big Three were pumping out four-wheelers for farmers, forest rangers and asphalt-jungle image seekers, farsighted engineers at Subaru (of Japan) and American Motors were shrinking four-wheel-drive units into pint-sized packages and fitting them neatly under their respective small cars.