Some People get better-looking with age and some don't. In this issue, we offer examples of both. In the category of "greatly improved," we have Suzanne Somers, who seems to be a late bloomer. If you saw our February 1980 photos taken when she tested to become a Playmate in 1970 (before she became famous as an actress and comedienne), you probably noticed that the early Suzanne had a bit of baby fat--distributed nicely, of course, but baby fat nonetheless. A few of our readers, accustomed to seeing a more svelte Somers on the tube in Three's Company, wrote to us to say they thought the 1980 version looked a lot better than the 1970 version. Well, wait till you check out the 1984 version: This is a woman. And, as the ad says, it just doesn't get any better than this. Contributing Photographer Richard Fegley is the lucky lensman who drew the assignment of capturing Suzanne on film. On the other side of the ledger (those who get worse-looking with age), there is Howard Hughes, the late billionaire whose megalomaniacal meanderings are reported by Michael Drosnin in part two of Citizen Hughes, from the book to be published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), December, 1984, Volume 32, Number 12. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscription: In The United States and its possessions, $54 for 36 issues, $36 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 80322. And allow 45 days for change. Marketing: 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 Mangers, 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 West 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.
Frankiephilia: Every so often, English music sprouts a Beatles or a Sex Pistols, a band with a reputation so huge at home that a spillover to the United States is inevitable. This year's crop has yielded Frankie Goes to Hollywood, five boys from Liverpool (honest!) who have breached even the most conservative domestic strongholds with but two singles, Relax and Two Tribes. The first, interpreted as a paean to homosexual love, was accompanied by publicity photos of Frankie Goes to Hollywood in full leather drag. It earned the group a BBC ban and the dogged admiration of at least half the British public, who kept it at the top of music-trade charts for nearly a year. Ascending in its tracks was Two Tribes, an equally controversial dance groove that contemplated U.S.-Soviet war.
Revolution Number Ten: "I've never felt more out of sync with my own country than I do now. There's this horror show going on all around us, and we're in this cocoon. I don't feel the horror out there, the sense of imminent disaster coming that I feel inside me. It feels like the Fifties--'don't bother me, just let me keep what I have and who cares what happens beyond our borders?' That's very scary to me. There's never been more information available than there is now--I want people to look at it."
News and Sports: Huey Lewis is not the kind of guy who takes a called third strike. After a 1980 debut album that didn't get out of the infield, Huey Lewis and the News produced their second effort themselves and came out slugging on the third, Sports. At last count, four singles from Sports were in the stands.
Hey, if all these English flock-of-haircut bands make you want to nuke the New Wave, and if heavy-metal exhortations to get your dick hard leave you limp, here's the record for you: Frontier Days (EMI-America), by The Del-Lords. Named after the director of The Three Stooges' movies, the D.-L.s pay traditional rock 'n' roll--somewhere between the early Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival--but with terrific new songs by leader Scott Kempner, whose concerns range from being in love with his wife(!) to having fun when he's broke. No clichés, no obscurities to prove how artistic he is and no tunes you can't happily hum along with. He and co-guitarist Eric Ambel play their Fenders where they were meant to be played: low on the neck. And the rhythm section of Manny Caiati (bass) and Frank Funaro (drums) could make the collective membership of the D.A.R. throw their panties onstage.
Close Shave: Gillette approached ZZ Top and offered big bucks for Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill to remove their beards for a TV ad. No soap. Gibbons refused, saying that he was too ugly to do it and the band was too ugly, too.
More than a decade after our first romp with Isadora Zelda White Stollerman Wing, the sexy itinerant poetess of Fear of Flying, author Erica Jong straps her earth-loving protagonist with a small child, a big house, loads of dough and a sleazy accountant--and sends her headlong into the Eighties. The Isadora of Parachutes & Kisses (NAL Books) is 39 and finishing her third marriage. Between her struggles with writer's block and the vagaries of nannies, she enjoys the favors of "a drugged-out disc jockey...a cuddly Jewish banker...a blue-eyed Southern writer...a Swedish real-estate developer...a lapsed rabbi...a well-hung 26-year-old...." Sound like fun? Well, it is, in a way, for Isadora and for us. Jong writes rowdy, juicy, delicious sex--sometimes funny, sometimes agonizing, never, never, never boring. But, like this mature Isadora, we need more than a good schtup to stay tuned. And Jong is unable or unwilling to let Isadora wrestle with much more than the bed sheets.
Director Norman Jewison's A Soldier's Story (Columbia) is a riveting screen adaptation by Charles Fuller of his own Pulitzer Prize--winning A Soldier's Play. There are still signs of stagy contrivance in the film's flashbacks, each triggered by cat-and-mouse interrogations about a murder. Howard E. Rollins, Jr. (he was Coalhouse Walker in Ragtime), is the sober investigating attorney, a black Army captain sent to find out who killed Technical Sergeant Vernon Waters (Adolph Caesar) on an isolated road outside a Louisiana Army camp. The time is 1944, when the U.S. Armed Forces were still segregated, and Soldier's Story seethes with complex social implications in its subtext--trickier because the murder victim was black, albeit an arrogant, light-skinned toady who played the white man's game. Virtually stealing the show in a reprise of the role he created onstage, Caesar is dynamic as the deceased Waters--a paranoid, tortured racist who showed no mercy to his "ignorant" black brethren and might logically have been marked for death by men of any race, creed or Klan.
Idol Gossip: 20th Century-Fox is keeping details of Ron Howard's new film, Cocoon, in, well, a cocoon of secrecy. Starring Steve Guttenberg, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapleton, Wilford Brimley, Don Ameche, Tyrone Power, Jr., and Gwen Verdon, the film is billed as a "science-fantasy/adventure," with elaborate special effects, courtesy of George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, costing in the vicinity of $17,000,000. It's director Howard's most ambitious project to date. Due for a Christmas 1985 release, Cocoon also marks the screen debut of Raquel Welch's daughter, Tahnee. ... Ex-Charlie's Angel Jaclyn Smith has been signed to play the lead in NBC-TV's three-hour biopic of Florence Nightingale. ... The long-awaited sequel to Chinatown, titled The Two Jakes, is set to begin production soon, with Jack Nicholson reprising his famous shamus role and Bob Towne directing from his own script.... Michael Caine, Anthony Andrews and Victoria Tennant will top-line the film version of Robert Ludlum's best-selling thriller The Holcroft Covenant.
"I Understood why they were stealing," Swanee said. "Korea was poor as hell and the country had been occupied for years by different armies. But that didn't make my job any easier. We called the Korean men who stole for a living 'slicky boys.' It was an unwritten policy that it was our responsibility to stop them from robbing us blind."
Thinking about life by breaking it into decades is probably the sign of a mind too perfectly attached to the fingers and toes, I know, but it's a natural impulse to want to mark certain moments as if a corner had been turned, because otherwise, life is just too damn continuous to be any fun. The only trouble is that decades don't seem to start in the zero years the way they're supposed to. What we call the Sixties didn't begin till its third or fourth year, and the same thing happened in the Seventies. If that kind of slippage is still in effect, it means that when we get together this New Year's Eve, what we'll be looking back on is the year that kicked off what we'll think of later as the Eighties. And if we look for auguries, if we lay out the entrails of 1984 carefully enough, we ought to be able to get at least some sketchy notions of what we're in for over the next ten years or so.
I'm writing to request some advice on a subject on which you are an expert: erotic movies. My problem is that my wife and I bought a VCR last Christmas and ever since then, I've been trying to rent a movie that will be a turn-on for both of us. She looks for films in which the following qualities are present: eroticism, sensuousness, tenderness, sharing and love. Turn-offs for her are manipulative people, denigration of women, violence and rape, sex and sexuality without love and genital close-ups.
Are there any circumstances under which you'd sacrifice an old friend for a new lover? This month, we ask our Playmate advisors to consider that tricky etiquette question. In a battle between lust and loyalty, who wins?
Harry Franken, a writer for the Columbus, Ohio, Citizen-Journal, occasionally runs across stories to which he can't quite do justice in a family newspaper, and he's good enough to pass them on to us. The following case of sexual harassment, for example.
Once, back in the mists of the Sixties, there was a partnership that, in addition to being the heart of a legendary performing group, turned out an incredible number of pop standards during a short, unparalleled burst of creativity. Both partners went on to further work and success, but it was their public spats and private tensions, their love and hate, the dynamics that shaped their work during those few years that became the grist for countless articles and books, gossip and, ultimately, mythology.
What a difference a few years can make. The last time Suzanne Somers starred on these pages--back in February 1980--her show, Three's Company, was a certified hit and Suzanne herself had been crowned the jiggle queen of television. Suddenly, she was everywhere, from magazine covers to talk shows, as the public clamored to get a look at Hollywood's newest, prettiest face.
After a moment, Eitel's eyes adjusted to the darkness and the glare of the clashing, crisscrossing spotlights. But he didn't need his eyes to tell him what sort of bizarre zoo he had walked into. His sensitive nostrils picked up the whole astonishing olfactory blast at once: a weird hodgepodge of extraterrestrial body odors, off-world pheromones, transgalactic cosmetics, the ozone radiation of personal-protection screens, minute quantities of unearthly atmospheres leaking out of breathing devices.
Spirited Spiced Wines, traditionally warmed with the business end of a hot poker, are among our oldest holiday potions. The Pilgrims were partial to them for their "therapeutic effects"--or so they claimed--felicitously referring to them as "comforters, hearteners and chill chasers." And if anyone needs a chill chaser, it's jolly old Saint Nick. In the past few decades, mulled libations have taken a firm hold at winter resorts, serving a dual function--thawing icy extremities and abetting conviviality. There's nothing like a mug of hot cheer to welcome visitors on a cold night--or to warm a frigid friend. And, really, nothing could be simpler. As with any game, however, it helps to know the ground rules before you begin to play. So here are the A B Cs of the proper construction of mulled concoctions.
Early last summer, the good folks at Playboy approached me with the idea of covering the Democratic Convention in San Francisco. At first, I was a bit skeptical. Just what did they have in mind? Political analysis? The Girls of the Iowa Delegation? No, I was assured, something more personal.
Karen Velez had been in Los Angeles only a short time, but she had already found the Bodhi Tree Bookstore. The Bodhi Tree is stocked to the rafters with metaphysical tomes. Eastern philosophies, sorcery, ESP--anything with a "psycho" in front or an "ology" in back that can alter one's perception of reality.
Have your eyeballs been getting sore lately? It's a condition called half-court-offense optic-paralysis syndrome (HOOPS), and it threatens to become an epidemic if the current glut of televised college basketball games gets gluttier. And it will.
After A Political Season full of weighty issues, we hate to hit you with another one. But, frankly, we feel duty-bound to confront you with this before it's too late. It's an issue more volatile than arms control, more universal than religion, more insidious than FBI entrapment. At stake are the very hearts and minds of America. We're talking about celebrity worship, that peculiar collective neurosis that has made People magazine the news weekly of record and created a career called Talk Show Guest. Celebrity worship is the new opium of the people, and it could well undermine the strength and individuality that made this country great. We ask you: Do they act like this in Japan? We think you know the answer. With that in mind, we offer the following as a public service.
I never asked to be called a "celebrity." It is, however, how some people refer to guys like me, so if I use the term while referring to myself, don't think I'm self-centered--which, of course, I am, since I believe it would be impractical to be centered anywhere else. I looked up celebrity in the dictionary and found the definition to be dull and uninteresting, probably written by a bunch of isolated lexicographers who wouldn't know a celebrity if a certain film maker walked up to them on the street with neon arrows pointing to his head flashing, Woody, Woody, Woody.
It's one of the sillier myths of our time that all celebrities are intrinsically fascinating. Sure, there are still people who have earned the respect of the public through their talent and achievements. Unfortunately, they're wildly outnumbered by the "personalities" who are famous without benefit of either talent or achievement. In any case, the cast has grown too big for any of us to deal with on our own. We can't care about everyone and still have time left for ourselves. What we need are priorities, and that's where the chart on this page comes in. You stargazers will find it a handy timesaving guide to just who really sparkles in the celebrity universe and who's bound for oblivion.
This is a column about some of the deals I'm in, and it's tricky. If I write it wrong, you'll think I'm rich. Nobody likes the rich. Or you'll think I'm poor. A poor financial writer is like a dermatologist with acne. Or you'll think I'm bragging. A couple of the deals have worked out. Or you'll think I'm bitter. Me? Bitter?
Some say that clothes make the man, but a woman definitely makes her underwear. Which is to say that Raquel Welch can do a lot more for a black garter belt than can Shelley Winters. Or, put more simply, behind every great-looking negligee is a greater-looking lady. That's why we bring you eight pages of beautiful underthings worn by beautiful women. We want you to pay attention. It's Christmastime, and there's no more intimate gift for your favorite female than a set of gorgeous undies Why? Because sexy women love wearing sexy underwear. Why? We don't know. But it's true. Take our word for it. Long after you've lost your voice in admiration of her, her sweet nothings will keep right on whispering for you, "You're beautiful."
Editor's Note: When the spirit of John Belushi first approached us with the idea of writing a biography of Bob Woodward, we responded warily. For one thing, as far as we knew, Belushi had had no formal training in journalism; for another, he'd been dead for more than two years. But the comic brushed aside both of our reservations with a jaunty grin, a knowing chuckle and a karate chop that splintered a $600 vase.
Science-Fiction Flick of yesteryear filled our imagination with mechanical monsters snatching unsuspecting earthlings off to the wind-swept seas of Venus. Elsewhere, armies of androids assumed the guise of our neighbors and slowly infiltrated our ranks with the hope of enslaving the human race. There are, indeed, armies of robots out there, but they're not quite so menacing...at least, not yet. They're the inventions of anything-but-mad scientists who believe that incorporating today's high technology into robots for the home may relieve us of some of the physical drudgery that devours our free moments. Other robots are designed in a lighter vein, behaving more like entertainers at parties and capable of scooting around a corner to scare the hell out of a guest. They're just toys now, but they are doing things that may revolutionize the way housework is done in the future. Let's see just who--or what--is gently rapping, so mechanically tapping at our chamber door.
Arms outstretched, she spread her legs wide. He stood there, chest heaving. The girl grasped the short, firm pole caringly, longingly, then shared it with the other girl. Buttocks taut, hewrithed, twisting from side to side, eager to cram every possible excitement into the moments that would never be the same again....
Betsy, you know you don't really want that fruitcake. You're just eating it because you're unhappy. Instead of dealing with your problems, you go out and buy cake.mom sent me this cake for the holidays. It's not my fault it's here.
Way Back when all this started--back there in the late Seventies--there were the doubters. Videotape recorders for the home? Nah. They were just too big, too expensive and too unproved. Early on, there was some truth in that. The first commercial VCR, made by Ampex in 1956, was about the size of the average living room and cost around $50,000--a little steep for a weekend rental of Emmanuelle.
There's a new freedom in video now that may well change the way we all think about home-entertainment systems. Take JVC's Video Movie (shown on the Guide cover, $1595) as a perfect example. It weighs a mere 4.3 pounds, but it's a real powerhouse. It needs no cords or wires to record on a miniature 20-minute cassette and can play back from the camcorder unit itself directly to your television. With small, simple units like this, in addition to remote VCRs, you can now create your own video programing anywhere, any time. And with anyone.
It's been said that Johnny Carson's monologs have been the prelude to more lovemaking than all the sonnets ever written. And this year, thanks to the wonders of modern electronics, Johnny's jokes will be more seductive than ever. Carson, you see, is going stereo. According to NBC, The Tonight Show will be one of the first network programs to be broadcast using the recently approved BTSC (Zenith/dbx) multiplex stereo broadcasting technique. Don't be confused by the alphabet soup. Just take note: Stereo TV is one hell of an improvement over standard mono, and not just because Ed McMahon's laughter from stage right will be heard in the proper spatial perspective. The frequency range and dynamics of stereo TV can be as good as those of a high-quality FM radio broadcast, provided your TV set is equipped with a multiplex decoder.
Out in the arcades, the ice screams are coming from the vicinity of Chexx, a bubble-domed rod-action hockey game (including a boo button, no less) that pits the United States against Russia. But back home, the serious slap-shot enthusiast is putting his money ($900) on Table Hockey, a 24"x55" acrylic rink that's built like Gordie Howe and features slick-sliding stainless-steel rods and springs that whip the puck like Wayne Gretzky. The game is the child of New Yorker Rick Benej, who said, "Puck it" to his job as a graphic artist/designer in favor of hand-crafting Table Hockeys. Judging from the way fans have been slapping down their money, we'd say he's got the market iced.
Sure, candy is dandy and diamonds are a girl's best friend, but what a foxy lady really wants come Christmas morn is a little token of your personal esteem that says she's something special. To get you in a buying mood, we've done some early-bird shopping and have come up with a sleighful of largess. Our selections range from a punk-look stereo radio/cassette recorder (it goes well with stiletto heels and visor shades) to a Paloma Picasso perfume that we're sure she'll want to dab on all those young, familiar places. And if you're a liquor-is-quicker kind of guy, there's even Delamain cognac in a crystal bottle that will look great on her bar long after the holiday hoopla is over.