When the late Georgia Mafia moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue four years ago, all the old-line politicos suddenly became outsiders. But, you say, that's par for the course with a new Administration. True enough. But the difference with the Carter White House was that even some of the new insiders were outsiders. One person with a particularly good perspective on why that was the case--and what effect it had on the Administration's performance--was Hodding Carter III (no kin), assistant secretary of state for public affairs during the Jimmy Carter/Cyrus Vance era. This month, in an unusually candid memoir, Hodding recounts the perils of Life Inside the Carter State Department. To provide an appropriate visual accompaniment, we chose illustrator Arnold Roth.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), February, 1981, Volume 28, Number 2. 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.
Aries (March 21 to April 19) A year of grudging fulfillment. In July, your first trip to a nude beach is cut short as soon as others there realize the rhythmic pounding they hear is you and not the surf. Your novel ideas about contraception--especially the ones involving the mousetrap and the old Iron Butterfly record--plunge you into the regional spotlight. Keep an eye on your fly in February.
Remember The Rutles? The Monty Python ersatz Beatles? Well, forget them. Utopia's new Deface the Music (Bearsville) is now the definitive parody/savaging/homage to/of the Fab Four. The arrangements, playing and vocals are a lot more solid, for three things. The level of satire/rip-off is also higher, so the songs--a chronological history from the early I Just Want to Touch You to the final Lennonesque Everybody Else Is Wrong--are generally so right on (as we said during the White Album period) that often you have to listen twice to be sure it's not just the real Beatles at their dopiest. A fine party record for cynics of all ages.
Newsbreaks: Last summer, CBS released, for radio airplay only, an interview with Paul McCartney conducted by journalist Vic Garbarini for Musician, Player & Listener magazine. Now you, too, can have it. CBS has pressed a limited edition for the public.... On a visit to Washington, D.C., technicians who work with the rock group Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has been performing at various antinuke concerts around the country, discovered, while out playing tourist, that mineral exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution were emitting potentially dangerous levels of radioactivity. That's what happens when you let rock bands go out in the daytime. After officials with the real Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirmed this, the Smithsonian had leaded glass installed around the displays.... Linda Ronstadt is reportedly considering another major role in a Broadway musical, Brecht and Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins, after Pirates is over.... Marty Balin is putting together a video disc of his rock opera Rock Justice, which tells the sad story of a lead singer in a band who falls asleep in the recording studio and dreams he is put on trial by members of his own group for not producing a hit record. The disc should be available right now.... At last! Liverpool recognizes her famous native sons by naming a block of apartments for the elderly after The Beatles. Now we have the answer to "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" ... Speaking of the Fab Four, for the first time ever, their records will go on sale in the discount bins.... Gary Rowe of Rowe's Rare Records, 54 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose, California 95113, sells a price guide for rare 45s. So if you've got Elvis'Rockin' Tonight on the Sun label, it's worth up to $270 in mint condition. Or if you've got the promo copy of Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind, it's worth $40. Check your golden oldies; you might be sitting on gold.
One of the ironies of our new high-tech society is that we don't even know the words for the things we are afraid of. It's only when our complex systems fail that we learn such esoteric terms as brownout and gridlock. In March of 1979, our common vocabulary took a quantum leap with the addition of a new frightening term, meltdown. In his book Three Mile Island (Random House), Mark Stephens gives us a painstakingly detailed definition of the word and its dire implications. His step-by-step, minute-by-minute account of the near tragedy at T.M.I. will give the "nonukers" plenty of ammunition for their crusade. And that's a pity, because Stephens' careful examination of the facts reveals that neither nuclear technology nor the possibility of a meltdown will be the death of us. Indeed, there are very old words for what we should fear most in the new age. They are ignorance and incompetence.
Paul Le Mat and Jason Robards portray Melvin Dummar and Howard Hughes in the eccentric, irresistible opening scene of Melvin and Howard (Universal). History was made, or possibly fabricated, back in 1967, when Dummar--a blue-collar Jack-of-all-trades--picked up the stranded tycoon on a remote stretch of highway, lent him a bit of small change and later came into possession of a will naming him heir to one 16th of the vast Hughes estate. Dummar's case was ruled out by a Utah court in 1978, two years after Hughes's death. It was natural to hope that Melvin and Howard would either shed new light on the facts or develop the relationship between the two men into a charming film fable. Writer Bo Goldman and director Jonathan Demme took a different tack, and not an especially sharp one. Robards, as Hughes, disappears just as the movie's getting started. The rest of it is a slightly patronizing, fitful kitchen comedy about the dishwater-dull life of Dummar, who writes terrible songs (Santa's Souped-up Sleigh, for one--and the film's fun is at its best when he forces Hughes to sing it). Melvin wins the Milkman of the Month title, nudges his first wife onto an L.A. game show called Easy Street and proves himself to be a reckless big spender who dreams in the shadow of the repo man.
John Steinbeck's East of Eden will take up several nights and at least seven prime-time hours as an ABC Novel for Television, to be scheduled for late January or February (watch your local listings; there'll be plenty of advance ballyhoo). The 1955 movie version directed by Elia Kazan made James Dean a legend, but this one won't do much for Sam Bottoms, who substitutes simple competence for Dean's stunning charisma. Shorn of the Steinbeck prose, Eden plays like rich, trashy melodrama, a sweeping American saga of sibling rivalry and sin. The sons of Cyrus Trask (Warren Oates) are Charles (Bruce Boxleitner) and Adam (Timothy Bottoms), who start their Cain-and-Abel conflict in rural Connecticut circa 1865. By the time of World War One, Adam has moved to Salinas, California, to raise his two sons (Tim's brother Sam in the Dean role as Cal, with Hart Bochner as unlucky Aron). Lloyd Bridges and Anne Baxter are outstanding in lesser roles, but Eden's, moving spirit is Adam's wife, the diabolical Cathy, who leaves her sons and husband to run a Monterey whorehouse--that's after she has burned up her mother and father, screwed Adam's brother Charles on her wedding night, tried to abort her unborn sons with a knitting needle and shot her husband. She's a demon incarnate, and England's exquisite Jane Seymour plays her with relish, though she looks more like a lady born to nibble water-cress sandwiches. Raymond Massey played Adam powerfully on film back in 1955, while Jo Van Fleet won an Oscar as his wife, and that's the sort of difference that makes TV seem to be kid stuff. Richard Shapiro's teleplay and Harvey Hart's direction goose East of Eden into existence as a viable pop drama with plenty of heart but very little art.
Idol Gossip: The irrepressible Chuck Barris is at it again, gearing up for another circus of the airwaves, this one to be called The Million-Dollar Talent Show. Set for a September 1981 release on syndicated TV, the hour-long weekly show to be hosted by Barris will be taped in Los Angeles. Contestants can be either amateur or professional but must be relatively unknown; ten judges will be picked at random from the audience. As for the payoff--weekly winners will receive $10,000 and go to the semifinals, where a total of 40 winners will compete for the ultimate prize of 1,000,000 smackers .... Faye Dunaway will play Eva Perón and James Farentino hubby Juan in the TV version of Evita .... Steve Martin ought to be a busy fellow this year, with starring roles in two feature films. The first will be MGM's Pennies from Heaven, with Herb Ross directing. Next stop is Universal, with Carl Reiner directing The Three Faces of Steve .... John (The Elephant Man) Hurt will play the role of Jesus Christ in Mel Brooks's The History of the World Part I. Filming was recently completed on the Last Supper scene in which Brooks plays--who else?--the waiter .... Actor Stuart Whitman will produce and star in a remake of the Kipling classic Gunga Din. The original, filmed in 1939, starred Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Victor McLaglen, with Sam Jaffe, later the frizzle-topped, avuncular medic on Ben Casey, as the titular Indian water boy.
I do a lot of raving about so-called alternate accommodations--vacation retreats that are anything other than a conventional hotel room. The genre includes every sort of holiday hideaway, from a midtown apartment rental to a beachside villa; but by far the most accessible--and economical--is the resort condominium apartment.
My girlfriend and I recently got into a discussion of sex roles. I claim that man is still the initiator of sex in a relationship, that for all of women's liberation and such, we still have to do most of the work. She claims that in most ongoing relationships, a woman is just as likely as a man to want and initiate sex. Are there any studies that shed light on this subject?--J. L., Houston, Texas.
Throughout his 25-year career in broadcast journalism, Tom Snyder has developed a reputation for on-air brashness and controversy, and continues to be the subject of industry gossip--whether it be that he might take over the "Today" show as host, replace Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" if and when he leaves or become NBC's anchor newsman on the "Nightly News" when John Chancellor steps down. Snyder's "happy-talk" approach to news, his opinionated opening comments and frequent attacks upon his own network's executives on the "Tomorrow" show, plus his introduction of often bizarre guests to the American TV public on his latenight talk fest, have made him a man few people are neutral about.
O thought I had finally found a poor person in Japan. A beggarwoman working the streets of the Ginza during Tokyo's evening rush hour, she was so artfully done up in rags and tags that I couldn't resist dropping a copper into her peasant-style bonnet. A copper! I didn't know then but I do now why she looked at me so funny. One doesn't give copper in Japan, even if it is a ten-yen piece worth almost a nickel. That woman, I found out later, is a regular and successful fixture in the lucrative Ginza, one of the world's fanciest shopping districts--Tokyo's Fifth Avenue. She is said to do quite well at her theatrical little trade. No wonder she looked askance at my coin. In the Ginza, you pay two dollars for a cup of coffee. My paltry alms simply confirmed for her what the Japanese have believed all along--that Westerners are barbarians not to be understood in civilized terms.
Every Sunday, they flock to Akihabara, the subway stop in north Tokyo that is elevated above the world's largest electronics market. All the great brands, plus dozens you've never heard of, are stacked to the ceiling and brazenly discounted in open-front, air-conditioned stereo stores that stores that surpass even the crazed American audiophile's wildest imagination. Akihabara, a latter-day labyrinthine street bazaar that extends for blocks away from the subway line, is the world capital of gadgets.
David Bailey is a photographer whose personal life has become as famous as his pictures. His association with Catherine Deneuve (whom he married), Penelope Tree and Jean Shrimpton guaranteed that. Since his first assignment for British Vogue in 1959 (when he was 21 years old), he has demonstrated an idiosyncratic sense of fashion photography that placed beautiful women and designer clothes in bizarre situations. It was the perfect conceit for the Sixties. Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up was based loosely on Bailey's style and career. You remember, a photographer crawling around on seamless background paper with a couple of lissome would-be models? Well, times have changed. That's not to say that Bailey has relinquished his considerable stature as one of Europe's most gifted photographers. It's just that now he seems to be concentrating on pictures of his wife, model Marie Helvin. (They are shown together at left.) So much so that he decided--with some encouragement from us--to create a portfolio, being published by Rizzoli--simultaneously published in England by Thames and Hudson as David Bailey's Trouble and Strife.
April may be the cruelest month, but February is invariably the dreariest. Freshly fallen snow has become ugly slush and there's nary a hint of spring in sight. The best way to cure a case of the midwinter blahs is to get out of town to someplace wet and warm, toting an escape artist's collection of easygoing clothes that aren't going to break your bank balance. Travel light is still the first rule to observe when making your fast getaway. Your vacation wardrobe should give you a lift--not turn you into a beast of burden. Naturally, that means packing wearables that are versatile. A tweedy, neutral sports jacket can be worn informally--or dressed up with a shirt and tie for snazzier occasions. It's also a good idea to take along several cotton sweaters for chilly evenings and as beach cover-ups. White slacks are a tropical classic; they look great with practically everything--even when they're rolled up for an evening wade along the water's edge. But don't neglect to include a few other pastel tones; slacks take up relatively little room in a suitcase and a variety of shades increases your wardrobe versatility immensely.
It's always refreshing to meet a woman who isn't a slave to fashion. After all, the things that make a woman attractive over the long run are those invisible qualities that come from the heart. So permit us to introduce Vicki Lasseter, a proud nonconformist from deep in the heart of Texas. Haltom City, to be precise (population 28,000), just five miles northeast of Fort Worth and 50 miles from Dallas. Vicki never liked disco and she's less than enthusiastic about the trendy Western look. "I never owned a pair of cowboy boots or a cowboy hat," she says, "until Contributing Photographer Arny Freytag gave me some to wear for the pictorial. I guess I look nice in them, but I probably won't wear them a lot. I can't speak for all Texans, but the ones I know think the cowboy 'look'--particularly when it consists of rhinestone suits and $1000 belt buckles--is silly. Real cowboys are hard, rough, dirty guys who work in their outfits, and they don't wear rhinestones." One of Vicki's older brothers tried rodeo bull riding for a while, but Vicki isn't much of a rodeo fan. ("I hate the thought of seeing people get injured.") She doesn't much cotton to country-and-western music, either. "It's so laid back, it almost puts me to sleep. I listen to it on the radio when I'm in traffic jams, because it tranquilizes me, but ordinarily I'm into rock 'n' roll." Most of her boyfriends, as it happens, have been rock musicians, and she confesses to having a penchant for bass (text continued on page 113) guitarists. Vicki has lived in Haltom City all her 21 years (her birthday's this month). She attended Haltom High School and for the past two years has been a full-time student at the local Tarrant County Junior College. A solid B student, she plans to continue her education at the University of Texas in Austin as a psychology major. Her interest in paychology began after her father died when she was 17. "Before that, I was pretty wild. I hung around with some really rotten kids, a real bad crowd," she says, "but when dad died, it jolted me out of the kind of life I was headed into. I suddenly wanted to learn more about (text concluded on page 207)
Five years ago, no one dreamed that people of all ages would spend more than one billion dollars a year on gadgets that simply beep, buzz, flash and keep score. The electronic-games industry suddenly blossomed in 1978 with the instant success of the few products then available. Sold out signs adorned empty store shelves from coast to coast. Ever since, the increasing demand for more sophisticated games has been driving companies to create products employing the very limits of affordable state-of-the-art electronics. (text continued on page 164) The Sky's The Limit (continued from page 120) And if the futurists are correct in their predictions that we will be spending more time at home--alone or with friends--with the car in the garage, then our appetite for these electronic diversions is, as yet, far from sated.
It was the only car I saw on the MGM lot in Culver City that could stop a conversation just by cruising by. When he bought it, he had the engine rebuilt, but he wasn't satisfied with the way it ran, so he had it rebuilt again. He also had the body redone and now it looked as if it had just rolled off the showroom floor. It was a fire-engine-yellow 1967 Ferrari 330GTS with a Pinin Farina body, and with the top down, it looked like a special effect from The Empire Strikes Back, skimming effortlessly across your field of vision, a compact, featherweight sculpture of kinetic energy.
For Years, the mid-size motorcycle (400 c.c. to 600 c.c.) was the neglected child of the American market place. Not large enough to be called super-cycles, too large to be sold to most beginners, the bikes went through a variety of styling changes. For the past few years, it seems that the strategy has been to try to pass the bikes off as mini-choppers. They came with low-rider seats, ape-hanger handle bars and chrome everything. The bikes were impressive, as long as they were on their kick-stands. When it came to handling, all of those "big bike" touches added up to a less than coherent whole. The riding position was ridiculous. It felt as though you were sliding into a corner on your ass, spikes high. But the manufacturers probably figured that the guys who were buying their bikes (concluded on page 175) Middle-Size Sexy (continued from page 128) did so for the looks and not the handling. What the hell. The bikes sold.
When we first heard that three of our favorite Playmates--Sondra Theodore, Candy Loving and Terri Welles--were sharing an apartment in Los Angeles, we knew it was something worth looking into. Maybe they needed a houseboy. Maybe there was an apartment available in their building. For years we've extolled the beauty of the girl next door, but this was too good to be true. Surely, there was a zoning ordinance against such a congregation of comely young women. The arrangement sounded like a television spin-off of Three's Company and Charlie's Angels. When we sat down with this unique set of roommates, we discovered that truth is frequently more fascinating than TV programing. For one thing, it's live, and infinitely lovelier in person. How did it happen? Well, in the beginning, there was Sondra, a former Sunday-school teacher from San Bernardino, who arrived in Los Angeles (text concluded on page 198) (continued from page 133) in the summer of 1976 with aspirations of establishing a career in show business. She met Hugh Hefner at a party at Playboy Mansion West that summer and decided to try out for Playmate of the Month. She became Hef's constant companion soon after he and longtime girlfriend Barbi Benton parted. The rest is history, and inspired a couple of paragraphs in People magazine, where she was originally identified as singer Donna Theodore and, more recently, pictured celebrating the fourth anniversary of their romance with an enthusiastic kiss for a male stripper at Chippendale's. A glance at the story that accompanied Sondra's July 1977 Playmate pictorial reveals that the diamond necklace she wore--spelling the enigmatic words Baby Blue--refers to the name of a Barry White tune that was being played the first time she danced with Hef. Several small parts in films and television followed Sondra's Playmate appearance and she decided to rent an unfurnished five-room apartment off Sunset Boulevard, near the sprawling UCLA campus, and conveniently close to the Mansion. She loved the fireplace in the living room--and all the space that the five rooms afforded her--but she knew she needed a roommate. "I was never there," she confesses. "I would come home and the place just wouldn't feel lived in. I needed someone to water my plants, to confide in and hang out with when I wasn't away on a Playmate promotion or doing a movie [she spent most of the summer of 1977 in St. Louis, shooting Stingray] or spending time with Hef."
Society's periodic schizophrenia about sex--is it good clean fun or something to be hushed up?--really busted loose in 1980. Sexual imagery in advertising virtually took over the commercial breaks on America's television screens, with suggestive poses and slogans promoting everything from lingerie to that hitherto prosaic wardrobe staple, the pair of blue jeans. Simultaneously, the hucksters of born-again Christianity were striving to politicize the faithful, launching "morality" crusades that were basically antisex. And while housewives, secretaries and even grandmothers shed their inhibitions watching men shed their clothes in ever-increasing numbers of male strip joints across the country, platoons of their grimmer sisters staged protests decrying any display of female nudity. "Exploitation," cried Women Against Pornography. "Terrific," chorused the male strippers' audiences, responding in joyous abandon to the lure of beefcake on the hoof.
Gay Gorden, space ace, Cocksman of the cosmos and Peacock of the Planets, steps forth from his crumpled rocket to the surface of the Planet schlong-o after making a forced landing.... (Landing like this doesn't come easy, you have to forceit!
Japan may be the best thing that's happened to Detroit since Henry Ford. He breathed industrial life into the city with his first assembly lines and low prices 70 years ago. But by mid-1980, Detroit had become a symbol of all that was wrong with America and right with Japan. As many as 300,000 U.S. auto workers were laid off, a dozen plants were closed, 1400 dealerships had gone out of business.
Let's tell the truth: How come Japanese and German car makers aren't encumbered with affirmative-action quotas? I'll put it bluntly: When Toyota, Datsun, Volkswagen and the rest hire ten percent black and ten percent Hispanic employees to work in their plants back home, then--and only then--should we allow their products to be distributed here in the U.S.!
New Age Business: Tomorrow's Good Investments Today
Futurist Alvin Toffler suggests in his latest book, The Third Wave, that we're entering an age when many of the values that seemed idealistic in the Sixties and the Seventies will become the "real world" as the youth of those years become the establishment. If Toffler is right (and indications are that he is), it means, of course, that it's going to be harder than ever to be rich and still have friends. But beyond that, if such Sixties ideals as ecologically safe technology, holistic preventive medicine and truth in packaging prevail, it will be easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an entrepreneur to get past the EPA and the FDA, much less into heaven.
At a recent Playmate photo session, our boys in the prop department were having some fun and got more than a little carried away. See if you can spot not only what's wrong with this picture but what's weird in it, too. We counted 30 oddities (answers overleaf); if your eyes have been trained on Playboy, you may do even better.
Forty years ago, khaki was synonymous with muddy foxholes, C rations and other horrors of war. Sure, the stuff wore like iron, but if you were seen on the street with a khaki bag, it probably meant you were A.W.O.L. Now manufacturers have re-established a khaki beachhead; the cloth's durability and relatively low cost (it's twilled cotton with no petroleum by-products) make it a uniform winner. Aside from bush jackets, shirts, shorts, slacks, etc., khaki has also been put to other non-military uses as a classic covering for weekend bags and suitcases and inspired khaki-look belts and watch straps. Carry on, men.
The long-forgotten foot is being rediscovered. Straighter and more tapered trouser bottoms partially account for the re-emergence of socks, but we also like to think that today's males are more hip to all elements of an outfit. Plain black or brown hosiery adds a pretty dull finishing touch to a layered sportswear look. And active-sportswear manufacturers are even getting their act more coordinated by picking up the trim on, say, a tennis outfit and adding it to the top of a sock. For street wear, you don't want to match your socks with anything specific; simply use color and pattern to create an over-all look that's harmonious yet unique. The same goes for business wear--subtlety, of course, still being the order of the day. (Sport socks definitely don't belong in the board room.) You won't have any problems if you just think of socks as sweaters for your feet.