We can think of no better month than April, when the earth renews itself, to introduce Norman Mailer's earthy new novel, Ancient Evenings (to be published by Little, Brown). Mailer, who merits the royal title "major American writer," takes his unique perception and intelligence from the 20th Century, where he has paid his dues, to the intrigues and the pleasures of ancient Egypt. In our first of two installments (illustrated by Ivan Punchatz), Mailer introduces us to Menenhetet, a soldier assigned to the nerve-racking job of guarding a 100-woman harem.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), April, 1983, Volume 30, Number 4. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Bldg., 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $54 for 36 issues, $38 for 24 issues, $22 for 12 issues, Canada, $27 for 12 issues. Elsewhere, $38 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 Angels 90010, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Boulevard; San Francisco 94104, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery Street.
In Hollywood, Jeff Bridges, son of Lloyd, brother of Beau, is known as one fine actor. We've seen him in 19 movies over the years, some of them underground classics--"Cutter's Way," "The Last Picture Show," "The Last American Hero," "Fat City." This winter he switched to comedy, playing Sally Field's dullard fiancé in "Kiss Me Goodbye." Claudia Dreifus caught up with him at his Santa Monica home and filed this report: "With Jeff Bridges, what you see is what you get. He's a friendly guy, with a sunny blond smile. He may be Lloyd Bridges' son, but his swimming pool is really no bigger than an overgrown hot tub."
Stunned by the assault of cable and Betamax, aware that "Insatiable" has become more popular than "Too Close for Comfort" on the home screen, the networks and the major independent stations are Xing up their schedules with sexy new shows, spin-offs and sequels featuring people doing things Lucy never heard of. What's in store? David Standish and Jerry Sullivan offer a typical night to come in prime time.
Last December, we invited a reviewer to select the heirs to ace detectives Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade and The Continental Op. He cited Asch, Scudder and Spenser. We tracked down Robert Parker's Spenser, a cross between The Incredible Hulk and Phil Donahue. He's a weight lifter, a feminist and a private eye. Spenser has a friend named Hawk and a girlfriend named Susan and a code of difficult honor. Parker is one of the few mystery writers who give their heroes a continuing present. Spenser has to deal with ongoing relationships and obligations to the past. At the center of all the Spenser books is a tightly plotted, riveting mystery; at the edge is a dialog about sex roles. The blend is addictive. The latest in the series, The Widening Gyre (Delacorte), involves political blackmail, a Senate campaign, drug abuse, sex, the Mafia--in short, it reads like today's headlines. Deft and compelling. There are ten more, in case you get hooked--and you will.
Pompadourable: As hot trends go, revitalized rock-a-billy isn't much of a threat to such true pop sensations as hanging by one's feet, American Gigolo--style, or becoming an autobiographizing anchor woman. But as a trio of baby-faced high school dropouts from Long Island called The Stray Cats are proving, plugging into that nervous, rib-sticking, redneck Fifties rock--and the greasy, strut-happy style that it now inspires--is one sure answer to a lot of people's problems.
The records listed below left should all be in your collection if you tend toward eclecticism, as we do. The others? They should be in your collection if you tend toward self-abuse, depression or congenital deafness.
Hank Williams, Jr., has one of the top country bands working, his kick-ass vocal style is one of a kind and his songwriting isn't half bad, either. So what can we say about his latest, Strong Stuff (Elektra/Curb)? We'd say it's a pretty accurate title.
Reeling and Rocking: Monty Python's Graham Chapman, one of the screen-writers who created the upcoming pirate/adventure comedy Yellowbeard, says the concept for the movie came from Keith Moon, not long before he died.... Bow Wow Wow will be featured in a movie called Scandalous, with Sir John Gielgud, who will play a pensioner punk sporting a Mohawk haircut.... The Mamas and the Papas will be the subject of a film produced by Mama Michelle Phillips.... Joe Jackson has written and recorded the score for Mike's Murder, starring Debra Winger.
Playing The King of Comedy (Fox), Robert De Niro seems almost as crazy as he was in Taxi Driver, also directed by Martin Scorsese. Both virtuoso performances, too, though The King strikes me as flimsy and specious. Paul Zimmerman's screenplay supposes that a no-talent creep with delusions of grandeur--the sort of nerd who hangs around stage doors to shake hands with the high and mighty--kidnaps a famous talk-show host and holds him hostage in exchange for prime time to perform his crude, unfunny stand-up-comedy routine. Does he then make the covers of Time, Life, Newsweek and People, write a best seller in jail and get his very own TV show? Uh-huh. The last few minutes of King of Comedy cover all that, and I guess we're asked to believe it because of the media hype that made superstars of John Dean, G. Gordon Liddy, Charles Manson, even former President Nixon, all richly rewarded for wrongdoing. "Better king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime," burbles De Niro as the asexual schmuck named Rupert Pupkin, whose success as a TV terrorist suggests that the great unwashed American public is made up of gullible jerks. No wonder they're taking this movie to the Cannes festival, where dumb Yanks are de rigueur. The most likable characters here are Jerry Lewis, very solid and convincing as the talk-show star; Diahnne Abbott (Mrs. De Niro, albeit estranged) as a beautiful barmaid Pupkin wants to impress; and Sandra Bernhard as Rupert's partner in crime, a rich, demented TV groupie. She's scary as hell but is stalled in a Scorsese limbo between hilarity and horror. It's a downer. [rating]2 bunnies[/rating]
Idol Gossip: Paramount executives were so thrilled by Saturday Night Live--er Eddie Murphy's performance in 48 HRS. that the studio has signed him to an exclusive multipic pact in which the 21-year-old actor will develop and star in film projects over the next few years. Murphy's first effort for Paramount will be Trading Places (formerly titled Black and White), in which he will co-star with Dan Aykroyd, Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche. A comedy, the flick will be directed by John Landis .... Michael (Heaven's Gate) Cimino will direct Paramount's Footloose, a contemporary drama with music, scripted by Fame lyricist Dean Pitchford. More details as they surface.... Armand (I, the Jury) Assante has been tagged to co-star opposite Dudley Moore and Nastassia Kinski in 20th Century-Fox's Unfaithfully Yours .... Paul McCartney will top-line Give My Regards to Broad Street, a fictionalized account of a day in the ex-Beatle's life. Co-stars include Paul's better half, Linda, and Ringo Starr .... Monty Python's next film is Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life, written, directed, scored by and, of course, starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. What's a film with a title like that about? "It ranges from philosophy to social history to medicine to halibut," says Palin. "Especially halibut." Sounds a bit fishy to us.... One final note: Too bad the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences couldn't nominate Dustin Hoffman for Academy Awards for best actor and best actress.
Every day, it seems, I pick up a magazine with an article declaring that sex is dead. Here's a quote from one: "There's romance instead of lust, courtship in place of seduction. Pushed into the closet by the revolution, virginity has pushed its way back out." Such articles would be laughable except that the woman I am dating seems to believe in them. She is all for romance, not sex. Can you give me any arguments to change her attitude?--B. U., Boston, Massachusetts.
Ever since Sigmund Freud popped the leading question What do women want? people have spent endless hours trying to guess the answer. We're still wondering about it ourselves. So we decided to ask our Playmates.
I would like to announce an invention of such staggering magnitude that I am the only possible winner of the next Noble Piece Prize. It is for the crotch, that very sensitive area of virility, and for the maintenance thereof. This invention will be of the greatest interest to your male readers, your female readers and that vast gray area in between. Yes, I have found the way to keep on keeping on.
There are only a handful of them in the world: men whose expression of intent can bank-roll an entire film production; actors who routinely become multimillionaires every lime they take part in a movie; stars whose presence can cause crowds to gather and strong women to babble. The fact that Paul Newman, at 58, is all of the above--and still manages to squeeze in careers as a race-car driver, as a political activist and now, only half jokingly, as a salad-dressing mogul--seems to be more good fortune than one person should be allowed.
part one while I cannot speak of how the Gardens of the Secluded may look today, a hundred women lived there then, and it was the loveliest part of the palace. Behind its walls were many fine houses, and from each kitchen you could hear much gaiety for many of the little queens loved to eat and were merry when there was food before them. And of course they loved to drink. Each day, after all, was like the one before. The little queens arose long after sounds from the palace beyond their walls had awakened everyone but themselves, and through the morning they would dress one another and hold long conversations over what they would borrow, and tell long tales of what they had lost to one another. For if the Pharaoh happened to visit a little queen while she was wearing a borrowed necklace, it became her own necklace. Since He had seen it on her, there was no question of giving it back. Of course, His gifts were never loaned so lightly. Any adornment that came from Usermare was not to be touched by anyone else. Once, a little queen broke this rule, but she was obliged to pay a fearful penalty. Her small toe was severed from her left foot. As quickly destroy the first column of a temple built by Ramses the Great as lend one of His gifts. Afterward, this little queen did not dance, in fact, she hardly moved, and she ate tidbits, like the candied wings of birds, to restore the ache left by the stump of her little toe, and became so fat that everyone called her Honey-Ball. I was told of her when I first entered the harem.
One of the shadowy figures leaned over the body and, with his right hand, propped himself against the brass bedstead. The cocaine in him rolled his emotions into a tight, focused ball, so that, somehow, the coolness of the brass impressed him to about the same extent as the astonishing amount of blood flooding from Ronald Launius' mangled skull. He didn't feel panic--the coke took care of that. He felt the cool brass and watched the bright-scarlet blood.
Turbo has become the buzz word of the Eighties. Just about every car manufacturer has released a turbo model. There are turbo jeans, turbo pizzas--name it and they market it. Even Johnny Carson got into the act, with Floyd R. Turbo, American. It was only a matter of time before the men who make motorcycles went back to the drawing boards and machine shops. When Honda introduced a 500 Turbo at the Cologne motorcycle show in 1981, the whole world sat up. Early reviews of the turbo bikes followed a similar theme: These were Clark Kent/Superman cycles. You'd be riding along the street on an adequate sports bike. A challenger would pull up next to you. A quick drop of the wrist and your motorcycle would change personalities, blowing that sucker off the road. Some writers compared the change to David Banner's transition to The Incredible Hulk. Twist the throttle, there's a heartbeat lag, and then your heart stops altogether. The turbo kicks in and you suddenly have the horsepower of an 1100-c.c. bike. The acceleration is not linear. You inhale the speed. One second you are doing 40, the next 100--just like that. Pull out to pass a car and, before you know it, you are in the next state. You may run out of road long before you run out of bike. The future is now.
Halfway through breakfast, you remember a quotation from an old Irish wit: The woman has at least a dozen pasts, and they all fit. Christina Ferguson understands the reference. She is an Air Force brat. She is fresh, remarkably wholesome yet worldly. She is 19 years old, but already she has lived in some 15 states. "I've lived in towns as small as Prattville, Alabama, and Lubbock, Texas. I've lived in large cities. Los Angeles. Las Vegas. Now I'm living in Dumfries, Virginia, while my father goes to War College. The town is so small it doesn't even have a video store. Can you believe that?" We discuss the effect of living in so many locations, on such short notice. Christina is remarkably poised. "Every time you move, it's a new lease on life. You can change what went wrong with the last set of goods. You can be mysterious. You know, I used to have a Southern accent. We moved from Las Vegas to Virginia and my sister decided to become a preppie." Christina gives a shrug, as though to say there's no accounting for taste. One has the sense that she has had a lot of fun living the life of a gypsy. "Let's see. What were my favorite places? I liked Alabama. I lived there in my pre-shampoo age, fifth to eighth grade. I had braces. No boyfriends. My mother ran a bar. We had a lot of river-rat friends. Have you ever cooked a pig in the dirt? I liked Las Vegas. It's a big little town. Where else can you see a show or a movie or go skiing? Where else does your high school class hold its graduation at the Aladdin Hotel or its prom at Caesars Palace? I loved dressing up in gowns, being chauffeured around in limousines." And then there were the jobs available in Las Vegas. "I used to lie on a raft in the middle of a swimming pool. It was supposed to encourage the tourists to rent rafts. It was a very popular high school job." Suddenly changing the subject, Christina confesses, "I took my earnings and bet pro football. Boy, was I pissed at the N.F.L. strike! It really cut down my income." Did Las Vegas have any other effect on Christina? "Of course. You grow up quickly in this town. I recall a road trip. My girlfriend and I bought some dirty magazines at the bus terminal. We sat in the back of the bus ... she read the stories and I did the sound effects. I guess you had to be there. Las Vegas is definitely ahead of its time. I visited my relatives in Denver and went to church. I heard some girls talking about Some Kind of Hero. There is this terrific hot scene where Margot Kidder makes love to Richard Pryor. She is on top, making these incredible moves. These girls in church said to each other, 'I didn't even know you could do it that way.' I had to leave the room." Of her own sex life, Christina is discreet. "It was great the first time and I couldn't wait for the second time. Beyond that, if you want to talk sexy, try the bathtub-and-candle scene in A Star Is Born. That is sexy. I've seen that movie six times. It's great foreplay." You want to know about sexy, just follow Christina around for a day. The waitress at breakfast complimented her on her beauty and asked if she had made her dress. The doorman volunteered the comment that she was the best-looking young woman he had seen in weeks. We asked if that were usual. "Do you want me to be honest? Actually, it's a slow day. My girlfriend and I once walked down the Strip in Las Vegas and counted the number of times people honked horns at us--385 times. But you can't take this seriously. The only way to deal with it is not to deal with it. Nowadays, woman is a word that no one seems to be able to define. You can't think that being attractive makes you more or less of a woman. You have to define the word for yourself." Christina is already planning that stage of her life: She is taking investment classes in a program offered by the Small Business Administration. She wants to go into business, perhaps with her mother. The money from being a Playmate will help, but Christina says that she didn't do it for the money. "I did it for a lark. For the test shots, we took a couple of bottles of champagne out into the desert. It didn't matter if the pictures came out." But, as you can see here, they did.
When the summer wind comes blowing in soon, it's going to bring with it the kind of tasteful, well-tailored looks that make good sense in this year of belt tightening and budget watching. Nothing trendy, nothing costumy--just solid styles to invest in at reasonable prices. Part of the fashion picture will consist of classic warm-weather fabrics, such as pin cord, seersucker and poplin, reconstructed in new cuts and colors. The other half of the story, of course, is how to combine individual elements to create an over-all look that's uniquely you. In tailored clothes, the trick is to do die unexpected while avoiding the outrageous--as exemplified in the Calvin Klein outfit (an oatmeal-colored double-breasted sports jacket combined with white-linen slacks) pictured in this feature. For more casual wear, designers have taken a styling cue from various sweat sports and have come up with a whole closetful of new threads that may never see a jogging track or play a back nine. Also be sure to check out summer sweaters in cotton and cotton blends and lightweight-leather looks (both smooth and suede) that are surprisingly comfortable, even on a hot day. All in all, it makes for a long, hot summer of solid styles that have a sense of timelessness.
Alberto Salazar was near death. That sounded a bit melodramatic, even for athletes, whose lives can often seem like B movies. But the rumor persisted as hundreds lingered in the cavernous Prudential Center after last April's Boston Marathon. There was just this morbid buzz, the kind of grim expectancy that follows the classic moments of athletic horror: the scythed matador; the driver flipped on a turn; the fighter who can't be revived; the hitter who takes a 95-mile-an-hour fastball in the ear.
Depressions just aren't what they used to be. As our wise leaders ponder the economic situation, more and more of them agree that the idea of putting some of the nation's 12,000,000 unemployed to work in a new version of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration is virtually irresistible. But when those advocates of a new WPA get specific, they tend to mention such uninspiring jobs as filling potholes and cleaning sewers.
Al McGuire finished his 20 years of college-basketball coaching by leading the Marquette Warriors to the N.C.A.A. championship in 1977. Now, at 54, he's the busiest one-man media conglomerate in sports. In addition to his uniquely colorful courtside philosophizing on NBC's televised college games, he hosts the weekly "Al McGuire OnSports" magazine series on that network, handles a daily syndicated radio show and even moonlights as a sports reporter for "Entertainment Tonight."
You've had this dream in the back of your mind: a tall, dark woman, her face half hidden in the folds of a black-lace mantilla; a mysterious promise in smoldering eyes. But there are several obstacles between you: a stone courtyard wall breached only by a wrought-iron gate, heavily padlocked; a stocky, dour duenna swathed in shapeless black; a stern father who suddenly snatches a gleaming Toledo blade from its sheath....
The Year in Music: In case you thought there was nothing sporting in rock 'n' roll this time around, we wish you could have heard April Wine's If You See Kay, which for the most part was off the radio because of what it spelled phonetically. Actually, last year, you didn't have to listen to the radio to hear the hits. Survivor's number-one tune Eye of the Tiger was the theme from Rocky III. Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes similarly soared with Up Where We Belong, from An Officer and a Gentleman. The Waitresses became a top draw after cutting the theme for CBS-TV's Square Pegs. See what we mean? Another current event: solar recording. Styx went into a solar-powered studio last year. Meanwhile, Ozzy Osbourne did his part to save the whales: He preferred to gnaw on the heads of bats and doves. And A Flock of Seagulls came up with a new hairdo that very closely resembled the doors of the late, lamented DeLorean sports coupe. Really, gag us with a spoon.
You've heard talk of the women of rock, but we think our headline, from Marshall Crenshaw's song, belongs here. After all, if The Who are the kids and Brownsville Station smoked in the boys' room, then the significant troops of hot new female rockers must be girls, huh? Fortunately, like the boys of rock, the girls of rock don't grow up, either. When they do, they talk about retiring. Of course, we'd talk about retiring, too, if our competition were looking and acting this good. From the avant-garde electronic noodling of Laurie Anderson to the chirpy, sock-hop fun of the Go-Go's and Toni Basil, there was nothing the girls hadn't tried this past year. Girlschool and Catholic Girls outheavied the boy heavy-metalists, while Exene, lead singer of X, wrote songs about rubber sheets and marriage. Grace Jones, who's actually a girl, and Prince, who's actually a boy, made fascinating theater out of sexual ambiguity. (Sorry about the picture, Prince--we're confused.) Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth toured last summer with her very pregnant tummy sheathed in a supportive sling. As you can see, traditionalist Wendy O. Williams wowed us with her old-fashioned feminine accessories--clothespins. And Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson of the B-52's are keeping the beehive alive. When we saw The Motels' Martha Davis taking healthy whacks at her Telecaster, we tried to keep in mind that she is the mother of two teenaged girls. Josie Cotton's single Johnny Are You Queer? brought out the pickets against a radio station that played it. Former Playboy Bunny Dale Bozzio emerged as lead singer for Missing Persons. And among all the newer faces, the veterans have been surviving in style: Grace Slick, Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, Pat Benatar and Joni Mitchell. Any day now, a new graffito is going to pop up: Bonnie Raitt is God. But to really put this in perspective, just remember that Big Mama Thornton's was the voice that first gave you Hound Dog. We'd say it's taken a long time for females to get into the male-dominated rock arena, but we're glad they did.
More than anything else, Willie Nelson is a country songster--in singing, in writing and in style. He is white country Gospel, Texas honky-tonk, black rural blues; well, it goes on and on. He and his band have been called healers and dopers and joggers in these pages. He summons up the infamous outlaw period when country music briefly danced away from its origins. He brings to mind the disparate influences his band has wrought to rally the clans, from grandparents to grandchildren, and to nurture the white-collar discovery of Western music. The late, great Lefty Frizzell was at one end of the spectrum, Hoagy Carmichael at the other. Maybe it was his Stardust album that brought Willie up through the ranks from Texas and Nashville to national acclaim, from being a man with a "purty voice" to true stardom, from musical picnics for the faithful to prominence in films. What inspires fans to create a star? Is it loyalty to a band that, despite its ups and downs, keeps going through its paces? Is it loyalty to a performer who, however rarely, will tear a door off its hinges instead of using his God-given key? Maybe it's just that his admirers appreciate that ol' Willie is into a transcendental mood after all these years, that he has had it and now he's doing what he wants to do, what he has to do to keep himself from going down the tubes like so many of his brethren. And there's that communicated sadness over the passage of time that has been the key to Willie's future and his present fortune. We're glad this angel isn't flying too close to the ground. He isn't as wild as people like to think. He's solid. Honk if you love Willie.
Dante had it all wrong. The outer circles of hell are definitely not populated by traitors, cads, bounders or any such curmudgeons. They are, I'm quite certain, staffed by people without backstage passes desperately trying to argue their way through the heavenly gates past the Rent-A-Saint Peters.
It's Spring, and young men's fancies everywhere are turning to thoughts of golf, tennis, jogging, swimming and, of course, lovely ladies in the latest summer styles. And whether you're under par on the back nine, serving a match-point ace or just doing some serious people watching by the pool, Playboy casualwear and accessories can be right there with you. Our emergence as a status brand is no accident, as over the past 30 years, the jaunty Playboy Rabbit Head has become one of the most recognized symbols in the world. More good news: The outfits pictured below are just a smattering of the looks for both men and women that bear the Playboy and Playmate labels. They're available at better stores across the country. Seek, gentlemen and ladies, and ye shall find.
To augment one's basic lighting theme, designers have come out with all manner of jazzy little lights that shine for a variety of purposes. Want to read in bed at three A.M. without waking your sackmate? There's the "Itty Bitty" Book Light, below, that works on A.C. current--or batteries. (The latter, presumably, is for insomniacs who want to plunge into Walden Pond while camping out.) Some tiny beamers utilize a quartz halogen bulb that's coupled with a dimmer. And most can be angled to showcase something special. The pint-sized yet powerful Littlite, for example, is designed for use with a stereo; switch it on to find an LP cut without spoiling the mood. You devil, you.
Linen is a slightly coarse, easily wrinkled fabric that seems to have been created for Southern climes, where ceiling fans and sundowners on the veranda bring a lazy ease to the end of each day. That may account for the fact that linen has never really caught on in this uptight age of air conditioning, high-speed efficiency and wrinkle-free sleekness. Well, settle back and order another round, gentlemen, because the South is about to rise again. In a surge of popularity, linen is showing up in everything from a knitted jogging outfit to the classically wrinkled suit. And with this upsurge in popularity comes a reappreciation of the fabric's versatility and aesthetics. Although it's light and comfortable, linen retains a certain tenacious character that distinguishes it from other materials. We like our linen a little wrinkled--with a tall g & t.