Nearly four years ago, we assigned David Sheff to interview the reclusive ex-Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono. Sheff turned in his interview at the end of September 1980, and on December eighth, Lennon was assassinated. The Interview, which appeared in our January 1981 issue, took on new meaning: It was Lennon's last for publication.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), March, 1984, Volume 31, Number 3. 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, $35 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: Walter Joyce, Divisional Promotion Director; Ed Condon, Director/Direct Marketing; Jack Bernstein, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: Charles M. Stentiford, Advertising Director; Michael Druckman, Jeffrey Kleinman, Craig Vander Ploeg, Senior Associate Managers; Jay Remer, National Alcoholic Beverages Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Russ Weller, Midwest Advertising Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611; 3001 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan 48084; Los Angeles 90010. Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Boulevard; San Francisco 94104, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery Street.
Unfair as it may seem, history tends to judge a person by one deed—or misdeed. Thus, Marco Polo is remembered only as the man who went to China, ignoring his substantial work in camel dentistry; Albert Einstein will be forever linked to his theory of relativity, even though his theory of spooky space monsters is well worth considering. Nowhere is this more evident than with the world's great inventors, whose lesser-known inventions have never shared the limelight. Until now:
While Genesis always sounds more synthetic than Phil Collins does alone, Genesis (Atlantic) is fine—another good performance by Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. Strange, though, that all the good cuts are on side one and all the bad ones are on side two—for this record, you won't need autoreverse on the cassette deck. That's All and Home by the Sea make for excellent Genesis: tricky, unexpected melodies and compact, contrapuntal lyrics. But Illegal Alien, which opens side two, trivializes its subject throughout ("It's no fun being an illegal alien") with phony Mexican accents in both the music and the vocals. Genesis should not attempt the Tijuana sound.
Quote of the Month: We asked Ivan Dorpschuk of Men Without Hats his opinion of the older generation: "God, I hope I'm not doing what they're doing 15 years on. Take Jagger and McCartney...they have millions and billions of people listening to them. They have such impact, and they're saying nothing. McCartney's just singing silly love songs, and Jagger's trying to make us believe he's still 25. He's going to be the Mae West of rock 'n' roll."
Veteran Director Stanley Donen has managed to beat the odds against recycled cinema. He took a bland, all-but-forgotten French comedy titled One Wild Moment (by Claude Berri), commissioned a sprightly new screenplay by Charlie Peters and Larry Gelbart—Gelbart's laundry list of credits includes Tootsie—and came up with a winner in Blame It on Rio (Fox). This glib, Americanized high comedy about marital and parental transgressions is validated at every weak point by Michael Caine's finely frazzled performance as a vacationing businessman who's seduced by his best friend's daughter. Joseph Bologna runs a strong second as the anxious friend, a joker sweating out his divorce settlement during a Brazilian holiday. And movie newcomer Michelle Johnson—not yet a seasoned actress but a voluptuous screen presence on a par with Brooke Shields—does better than all right as Bologna's daughter, a precocious teenaged temptress with a crush on Caine. Demi Moore plays Caine's daughter (who goes hang gliding, which struck me as far more worrisome than her merely being interested in sex), while Valerie Harper pops in a few surprises as his disenchanted wife. Among the juicier comic bits is the happy consternation of Caine and Bologna as they tiptoe through a sea of bare breasts on Rio's famed Copacabana beach. "I hope I don't step on anything," says Caine. The enticingly erotic atmosphere of Rio itself is intrinsic to the movie's sex appeal as an emancipated ode to middle-aged amorality. Contrived and imperfect, to be sure, but more fun if you don't fight it. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
The "hero" of God's Pocket (Random House), Pete Dexter's fine first novel, is the corpse of a jabbering psychopath named Leon Hubbard, whose life ends as the story begins. The attempt to dispose of Leon's body triggers a rollicking chain of events that seems bound to undo everyone who comes in contact with the corpse—the cops, the reporters, the Mobsters, the barflies and the relatives who hang, like bats, from Leon's family tree. These are the people of God's Pocket, a tough Philadelphia neighborhood that comes to life in these pages just as surely as Leon passes away. Dexter has a bone-deep feel for the street and an ear for the voices you hear there. Despite his popular column in the Philadelphia Daily News, Dexter is one of the best-kept secrets on the literary scene. God's Pocket should blow his cover.
Idol Gossip: Eddie Murphy and Dudley Moore have been set to team in Paramount's Best Defense, a comedy based on Robert Grossbach's novel Easy and Hard Ways Out. Moore plays a down-and-out industrial engineer developing the Army's newest war machine; Murphy portrays an Army lieutenant who, when assigned to field-test the weapon, stumbles upon an international incident.... Woody Allen has decided not to star in his next film, The Purple Rose of Cairo, but he will direct and has, of course, written the script. So far, Mia Farrow and Danny Aiello have been cast. As usual, no plot details are available.... Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone have been signed to co-star in 20th Century-Fox's Rhinestone, a romantic comedy with songs. Parton plays a singer who bets her boss she can make a country-and-western singer out of anybody; Stallone plays the anybody (a New York cabby).... David Keith, Drew Barrymore, George C. Scott, Martin Sheen, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher and Heather Locklear make up the star-studded cast of Universal's Firestarter, based on the Stephen King best seller.... Director John Huston will bring to the screen adaptations of two great novels—Anatole France'sThe Revolt of the Angels and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez'The Autumn of the Patriarch.... John (Return of the Secaucus Seven) Sayles will write the screenplays for Universal's film versions of both of Jean M. Auel's bestselling novels, The Clan of the Cave Bear and The Valley of Horses.... Burt Reynolds will star in and direct Universal's Stick, based on Elmore Leonard's novel about an ex-con who inadvertently gets hooked up with the Mob. George Segal, Candice Bergen, Charles Durning and José Perez co-star.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of boxing with my father. I was about five years old when we started doing that. I remember that the gloves were brown and smelled like new leather. They were too large for my hands, and they were hot and heavy to tote around the living room. "Come on, Ace," my father would say as we circled each other. Jab, jab, jab, light punches into my face, nose-stinging, scary. There was no way I could reach him, but I tried. "That-a-boy, come on."
I'm sitting here praying he doesn't come in. Wherever he is, whatever he's doing, please, God, let him do it for just a few minutes longer. A couple of hours, say. All right, an hour will do, even half. Just a couple more minutes and I'll be fine.
I read Playboy monthly and enjoy its many fine articles, including The Playboy Advisor. I would like to call your attention to this situation: I have been married for three years now and am very much in love with my wife. She has a fantasy of my giving head to another guy while she watches. She claims that by doing that, she would be able to tell what I wanted her to do to me (she figures that I would know what I was doing, I guess). There isn't anything I wouldn't do for her, not even give a blow job if that's what she wanted. The problem is getting the other person. I have asked two very close friends of ours. One said no flat-out and the other said OK, but not with her watching. I told him no way. Do you have any suggestions on how we can get a consenting third party? I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.—R. A., Utica, New York.
We know a lot of women who've gone out with married men—by accident. Maybe it was where they met or the way they met. Maybe the man didn't wear a ring. That can create one set of problems in a less-than-honest situation. But how about the other possibility, that the woman knows he's married right from the start? We checked in with our Playmates to get the straight stuff.
Just when American parents were adjusting to the idea that their teenaged daughters probably wouldn't survive both the sexual revolution and the Age of Permissiveness without getting knocked up, we received this disconcerting news: The birth rate for girls aged 15 to 19 has actually fallen by 45 percent since 1957. Put another way, the female children cresting puberty this side of the sexual revolution are about half as likely to end up accidental moms as were their own moms.
Think about pro basketball's brightest stars for a moment and you'll probably picture oversize athletes endowed with astonishing grace. Julius Erving soars into the air and then rides a current before coming down with a slam dunk; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's incomparable sky hook is the most beautiful basketball shot ever invented; Larry Bird, a stoic genius, obviously can achieve whatever he can conceive; and then there's the Magic show, in which one Earvin Johnson uncorks passes that seem impossible only until you realize that he can see out of his ears. Ever wonder what would happen if this land of sporting Nureyevs were attacked by Darth Vader? No need to ponder it further, for it has already happened. Unfortunately for his fellow pros, the invader is even tougher than Darth. We're referring, of course, to Moses Malone; and last year, the public finally picked up on something his colleagues had known for some time: Moses is numero uno in the National Basketball Association. The Man. The Force.
Listen," my mother has said to me, "you know why men are useful? It's that little inside pocket in their jackets. They can carry a passport. Maybe a pack of Chesterfields for you. It's very convenient."
Peter Paul Rubens was a great Flemish painter of the 17th Century. He liked plump women. He liked to paint them and he liked to hang out with them, for they were the standard of beauty in his day. What you might call the Peter Paul Mounds—his models' soft, round curves—were in those days thought by all to be indescribably delicious.
Although Julia Child, Paul Bocuse and other epicures might raise an eyebrow at the notion, "gourmet" popcorn has burst upon us. In popcorn land, this refers to vividly colored kernels in such unlikely flavors as watermelon, bubble gum, root beer, shrimp cocktail, bacon and egg, New York rye bread and dozens more. It's nouvelle popcorn, all right—and even amateurs are giving it a go. You might have problems reprising the likes of shrimp cocktail or bubble gum, even if you wanted to, but you can achieve taco, barbecue, chocolate and Kahlúa popcorn with no strain—as you'll see farther on. Flavored popcorn is not entirely new. Cheese and caramel have been around for ages, and a Chicago venture called Krazy Korn had a brief whirl with multiflavored popcorn 30 years ago. The concept languished until 1978, when Charlie Bird, an entrepreneurial Dallas gent, opened his Corn Popper shop. Somehow, he divined the time was ripe for new popcorn flavors; his first offering was chocolate. At a customer's suggestion, he added jalapeño-pepper-flavored corn. It took off like Secretariat—and so did old Charlie. Corn Poppers are now franchised in about 40 states, and there are 60 flavors, marketed selectively. Clam chowder and maple, for example, are designated for Boston, while jambalaya and praline go to New Orleans. Like Willy Loman, Charlie knows his territory.
Cancun is Really just an island, about nine miles long and only a quarter of a mile wide. Not much room to hide in if you're a bank robber on the lam. But if you're a hardworking model and all you want to duck are the F.T.D. man and the incessant ring of the telephone, Cancun is a haven where an attractive woman can forget the rat-race. Indeed, by the time she left Las Vegas after a recent modeling/public-relations assignment, Dona Speir had just about had it with the predatory urge of some uncouth men. She has just turned 21, but several years ago, puberty had been generous to her, giving her a woman's body from which to view Saturday-morning cartoons. She had a 12-speed, supercharged, armor-plated juggernaut of a body when she wasn't even old enough to get a driver's license. In the warm half of California where she grew up, however, there is a driving instructor on every corner. In the twinkling of a hor mone, Dona became quarry.
Pregnant as the result of having been caught up in an orgy at a Texas Aggies fraternity house, the girl gave birth to the child in due course, then took legal steps to have all the chapter brothers present on the occasion joined in a paternity suit. For his part, the presiding judge ordered the defendants to submit to blood tests. "How do you think you made out?" one of the Aggies asked another as they left the testing laboratory.
Everybody Knows that trench coats and private eyes go together like Nick and Nora Charles and Bogey and Bacall. Columbo practically slept in a battered Burberry (or whatever brand it was) and we don't even want to think about what Mike Hammer might have done in his. Pierce Brosnan, the man of the TV detective series Remington Steele, brings a more tailored image to the tattered trench. Can you imagine him squiring his gorgeous gumshoe boss, Laura Holt, played by Stephanie Zimbalist, around town in something that resembles a belted dog blanket? Brosnan's classy good looks and sexy, unaffected style are the perfect complements to the downpour of water-repellent togs that have flooded the men's fashion market. Rubberized trenches, for example, in a variety of cutsand colors, have whetted everyone's interest; styles range from a reversible treated-cotton and black-ribbed-rubber model to a white military-style coal of water-repellent cotton. White, incidentally, is great to wear while walking in the wet, as it bounces light up into your face, improving your complexion and making you more visible on rainy nights. Other foul-weather tips to the wise: Wear dark to medium-dark trousers on a wet day, as they tend to show raindrops less. Keep your raincoat shade conservative, but jazz up your image with a bright umbrella, sweater or tie. And swap your leather attaché for a water-repellent rubber or treated-metal one. Rubber is the new fashion status material that has just slid into the stores. Let's hear it for Akron!
The way to be very, very wealthy, someone wrote, is to be very, very, very rich. Short of that—far short—there are investment books and the business press and annual reports and investment letters and the Financial News Network. And there is Olumba Olumba Obu. But the first place the novice might turn to get rich is to a pro. A broker. For us, getting rich is merely a desire. For him, it is a calling.
Dana Cannon sits on her couch in her Huntington Beach, California, apartment, looking like any other extremely pretty young college student. She talks about the typical college woes: the pain of computer registration at California State University at Long Beach, her problems with chemistry—a crucial class, since she's a premed student—and the discipline necessary to tackle the enormous amount of homework assigned.
Returns with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when cars were cars and men were men and boxes were something you put your groceries in. For a good while there, it was starting to look as if the days of our youth were gone forever—the happy days when cars offered good performance and great styling, the days when your car would impress your friends and maybe even lure the ladies. The days of the sexy car seemed lost to more practical concerns such as fuel efficiency and kids with long legs.
We know one guy who has a houseful of Ducatis. Obviously, he owns his house. Another person we know has been smuggling old Nortons, piece by piece, past the doorman of his high-rise to put in his living room. People who love bikes never let them go, and people who love bikes and have a lot of money tend to end up with garages full of motorcycles. The right tool for the right job, they say. If we had the money, these would be the bikes we would buy this year to keep for the rest of our lives. Gentlemen, start your wallets.
There is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is that getting decent sound in a moving car is no easy matter. The good news is that auto-sound makers seem to have solved many of the existing problems. Even getting good, clear FM stereo reception in a car—the difficulty of which caused many of us to switch to cassettes as our primary mobile music source—is now possible thanks to some innovative engineering.
Remember when any bonehead could understand a car? You turned the key to start the engine, which was located up front, like its predecessor, the horse. You put the car in gear, stepped on the gas and it moved. You stepped on it harder, it moved faster.
It's not really fair to call them clocks. These time machines are to ordinary clocks what the space shuttle is to a Frisbee. They tell the time, true, but with such elegant tech that your old gold watch is turning green with envy. One tubular timepiece uses the vernacular "a quarter past eleven," etc., to let you know in the king's English what digital readouts have been beaming at us since the invention of the microchip. Another uses rotating optics to segment a beam of light to indicate hour, minute and second. What next? Nuclear-powered sundials? And while time is money, most of these clocks are surprisingly reasonable in price. A word to the clockwise is sufficient.
The man in the Armani suit glides into your visitor's chair and gleams a white smile as he assures you that your words will not go beyond the confines of your office. Even through the cloud of Eau Sauvage, you smell a rat. "Speak freely," says the man. "Confidentiality is my middle name." You pause and cordially offer, "Won't you have a cigar first? I'm having one." He declines and insists, "Trust me." As you reach for your favorite smoke, you chuckle—now you know you've caught not only a rodent but a bug as well: Your desktop humidor has beamed its discreet red light, informing you that an electronic eavesdropping device is close by. The rat is bugging you. Without further ado, you boot him out of your office and enjoy your stogie in privacy—your humidor bug detector has seen to that. Sound like a spy novel? While the setting is fictional, the rest is true. This is 1984, and we are on the crest of a tidal wave of exotic high-tech security and espionage gadgetry. At last count, the market place for spy gear eclipsed $600,000,000 annually—and that doesn't include the Government's spending. Why is this equipment selling? With a James Bondian arsenal of defensive gear in your home or office, you—and your secrets—are bound to be that much safer. Better yet, the stuff is fun! Anyone weaned on Dr. No and Thunderball isn't about to light up his Morland specials from a packet of matches with Draw Me! on the cover when he can flick a lighter/camera that will take as many as 36 photos in about the time it takes to say Ernst Stavro Blofeld. What's pictured here is just the tip of the industrial security/espionage iceberg. For a more complete look, there's the softcover guide The Complete Spy, which contains enough sneaky stuff to intrigue even M.