Billy Joel gets testy when his work is criticized. His controversial hit single She's Always a Woman was misinterpreted by critics, says the pugnacious piano man in this month's Playboy Interview: "If you happen to say that a woman is human, that she has moods, then it's a chauvinist song." Even our interviewers, David and Victoria Sheff, weren't big Joel fans at the time they went to visit him for a few days at his Long Island home. "We approached him skeptically," says David. "We were of the school that automatically puts him down as the brat of the business, whose music is formulaic and contrived. But the Billy Joel we expected didn't exist."
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), May, 1982, Volume 29, Number 5. 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: Milt Kaplan, 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.
Twenty-year-old Elizabeth McGovern is very serious about acting. So serious, in fact, that after recently relocating to New York to star in an off-Broadway play, she found herself so preoccupied with the production that she neglected to furnish her apartment. Writer Ed Naha bumped into the young star of "Ragtime" and "Ordinary People" on Manhattan's Upper West Side. In the company of Naha's two star-struck dogs, they had the following chat over coffee.
Not all of our national pastime's greatest moments, performances, records, highlights, dramas and triumphs occur on the field, and not all of its Most Valuable Players wear uniforms. Here is one individual honored for his out-standing achievement, which--though generally overlooked--is, in its own way, integral to the success and popularity of baseball. He's the Most Obnoxious Heckler.
Destri Rides: He hadn't planned on a career in music until a fateful night in 1974, when Jimmy Destri's sister introduced him to her friend Debbie Harry at Manhattan's original modern-rock emporium, C.B.G.B. The blonde Venus of beat sized up the lanky Destri and, as he recalls, "She said something like, 'We need a piano player, and you're about the right height. . . .' "
Wynton Marsalis is a 20-year-old trumpet player originally from New Orleans. His father, Ellis, is a respected pianist who played with Al Hirt, who, in turn, gave Wynton his first horn at the age of six. Already a veteran of the bands of Herbie Hancock and Art Blakey, as well as of numerous classical orchestras, Marsalis formerly studied at Juilliard. His solo debut, Wynton Marsalis (Columbia), is proof positive that a major new jazz force has emerged. He stands squarely in the trumpet tradition that includes Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan and, further back, Louis Armstrong; but, amazingly, for all his prodigious technique, Marsalis already speaks with a highly original voice that's darting, incisive and capable of incredibly subtle shading and inflections. Best of all, he builds on solid mainstream foundations rather than on trendy pop/funk. For instance, on his version of Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)--backed by Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter--the trumpeter starts in a beautifully low-keyed, Milesian tribute, then quickly shifts gears into his own delicate pacing and quick-witted lines. This is brilliant work by a young man who is, in bassist Ron Carter's authoritative words, "the most remarkable musician to appear on the scene in quite some time."
This One Goes Out to Princess Di and all the Girls at the Palace: Prince Charles's comedy album, We Are Not Amused, has gone god in England. What can we say? America produced a Duke and a Count; the Brits have always favored their princes. The record is a compilation of his favorite sketches and includes bits from Monty Python and the Goons. Charles has warned his mum that some of the material is too "blue" for her ears. Profits go to charity. Hit it, Chuck!
Robert Ludlum rides in the lead of the Four Terse Men of the Apocalypse (the others being Ken Follett, Lawrence Sanders and Trevanian); all four nudge their characters through various varieties of undercover overkill and sell more books than McDonald's sells McBurgers. Ludlum, however, has generally done it better than the rest. In The Parsifal Mosaic (Random House), he spins spy Michael Havelock--a confused but terribly earnest shock absorber--through a grand orchestration of plot complication that can lead only to a fiery finale. The problem here is that the finale is a dud; all the elegant shards of Ludlum's Mosaic add up to an insufficient, unsatisfying whole. It's like fitting together 1000 chips of stained glass to make a Farrah poster.
Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart (Columbia/Zoetrope) may become a landmark movie in ways the film maker himself never foresaw. As an exercise in empty technology, it tops a trend started by a generation of precocious film school grads. Too often, the fun they have making movies seems more important than the fun they provide for the people seeing them.
Before network television, there was network radio. On any given Sunday evening, millions of Zeniths and Atwater Kents across the country would be tuned in to the same programs: Fred Allen, Jack Benny, even Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra. The folks at National Public Radio are trying to snare some of that audience back with a five-hour weekly program, The Sunday Show, to be transmitted live from noon to five P.M., Eastern time, each Sunday beginning April fourth. "Art attack," as one resident N.P.R. wit has dubbed it, will run the gamut from punk rock to the Berlin Philharmonic, from Andy Warhol to Andrés Segovia. One previewed episode of Andrés Segovia: Lessons from My Life has the 88-year-old master guitarist telling how, at the age of 19, he was importuned by a professor of violin in Madrid to change instruments and become his protégé at the university. But, recalls Segovia, "I could not be unfaithful to my guitar." Also slated for The Sunday Show: coverage of the Festival of New American Plays in Louisville; all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, in concert performance by such artists as Rudolf Firkusny and Emanuel Ax; "3-D radio," aural experiences to be heard through earphones; and Soundscapes of American cities, with listeners invited to write in and identify the mystery metropolis. Executive producer for the show is David Ossman of the late, lamented Firesign Theatre.
A news release we saw lately referred to the juggling of five situation comedies from one night to another in ABC-TV's time schedule as "the first phase of a multistage programing plan." Now, that's creativity. For most of us, after Hill Street Blues and 60 Minutes, what is there? Or, for PBS-bred Anglophiles, is there life after Brideshead Revisited? The answer is yes, some.
Idol Gossip: Word has it that Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello are putting together a new beach-blanket film. Now in the first-draft stage, The Last Beach Party will top-line Avalon and Funicello, reunite as much of the old cast as possible and feature a new crew of teens. If all goes well--i.e., if a major studio goes for the idea--Avalon and Funicello hope to begin shooting this summer and finish in time for a Christmas '82 release date. . . . Dudley Moore and Mary Steenburgen will co-star in the film adaptation of Bernard Slade's Broadway hit Romantic Comedy. Production is set to begin this June. . . . Twentieth Century-Fox plans to remake Ernst Lubitsch's classic 1942 comedy To Be or Not to Be, the story of a Shakespearean actor's attempt to outsmart the Gestapo by posing as one of its officers in Poland during World War Two. Jack Benny and Carole Lombard starred in the original; Fox plans to feature Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft in the remake. . . . Herb Ross, who is set to direct the film version of Gorky Park, would like Dustin Hoffman to play the role of Arkady. At presstime, nothing definite was decided, but the role seems ideal for Hoffman. . . . Sissy Spacek, her husband, Jack Fisk, and screenwriter-producer William Wittliff, all of whom participated in the making of Raggedy Man, will reunite in Deep Ellum, a story about the murder of a Texas singer just after World War Two. Shooting was originally set to begin in February, but, due to Spacek's pregnancy, the start date has been moved up to this summer.
I've been happily married for two years. My husband and I have always had an open sex life, and until lately, he has had no desire for any other woman. Recently, however, while we were visiting my girlfriend, I went to the store for beer and was gone for about ten minutes and left them alone. I knew my husband wanted to have sex with her, but he had told me he wanted me there to have a threesome. I really didn't want to share him with anyone else, but I figured that would get it out of his system. I got back from the store to find them in bed together. They said they were sorry and I said it was all right. In the meantime, her brother came over, and we were all kind of excited by then, so clothes started flying and we all jumped into bed together. I wanted to enjoy myself but was kind of jealous. I spent most of the evening watching my husband. They were really enjoying themselves, but I could tell it was only lust; there was no feeling involved. When it was all over, my husband and I went home; we talked, cried and made love. Since then, we've been closer than ever. Our sex life is better, too. He's the best man I've ever had in bed--my friend thought so, too. I know he's always been straight with me, so I'm happy. I think he's got it out of his system. What do you think?--Mrs. J. W., Richmond, Virginia.
Last month, we asked the Playmates if they had ever been attracted to a stranger (and, if so, what they'd done about it). We decided to follow up with a query about the importance of physical appearance in a first encounter.
With the righteousness of an Iranian tribunal, the U. S. Supreme Court has upheld a 40-year prison sentence in a case involving nine ounces of marijuana, declaring that the penalty for felony crimes is "purely a matter of legislative prerogative."
Onstage, Tina Turner's incredible body is in constant motion. You wonder how she has enough energy to finish a performance without falling on her wonderful face. She exudes a sexuality that has been attracting huge audiences for two decades. Offstage, she undergoes a personality metamorphosis; she sits quietly, radiating a soulful quality--a study in sensuality and sensitivity. Her laugh is warm, frequent, contagious. Her dark eyes sparkle with good humor; her long legs are still. She appears to be at peace with herself and the world. Altogether, she's one of the loveliest individuals I've ever sketched.
A nation's taste and character are reflected in its four-wheel products. British cars are cultured and pugnacious; Italian machines, macho and romantic. German cars are restrained on the outside, meticulously engineered underneath; while American cars are flashy and feature-filled.
While a lithe young lady in a bikini and high-heeled shoes is just about everybody's summertime vision of loveliness, admittedly those spikes aren't practical footgear for the beach. Conversely, while a guy's street shoes can get by in the sand, he sure as hell looks funny wearing them down beside the sea. Ergo, a whole new wave of male footwear has come ashore--beach shoes. Styles range from updated variations on such classic looks as sandals, espadrilles and boat shoes to minimally constructed moccasins in leather, canvas and cotton. None is designed for nine-to-five city wear, Saturday-afternoon sand-lot baseball or hiking along the old Chisholm Trail. They are, simply put, made for leisure and loafing, and all naturally complement the wide variety of summer outfits currently available. Put your best beach foot forward.
Our Liberal Critics say that if we Cut Government Funding to Family Planning Clinics it will Result in Increased Federal Expenditures on A.D.C. Programs. Its a Vicious Circle! What are we to do About this, Alex?