There are those who watch television only for 60 Minutes. There are those who read Playboy only for the Interview. Our March issue is dedicated to all six of you. We had always been curious about what went on behind the scenes of America's most popular TV news magazine. It seemed only natural that the Playboy Interview finally go mano a mano with the other guys. Morgan Strong sat for days and weeks with the Mount Rushmore visages of Sunday-night TV--Ed Bradley, Diane Sawyer, Morley Safer, Harry Reasoner, producer Don Hewitt and Mike Wallace. We can hear the stop watch ticking. . . .
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), March, 1985, Volume 32, Number 3, Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60511. Subscriptions: 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; Jeffrey Kleinman, Craig Vander Ploeg, Senior Associate Managers; Jay Remer, National Alcoholic Beverages Marketing Manager; Brian Van Mols, National Automotive Marketing Manager, 747 third Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017; Linda Malanga, Chicago Manager, 919 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60511; 3001 West Big Beaver Rd., Troy, Mich. 48084; Los Angeles 90010, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Blvo.; San Francisco 94104, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
Boy Talk: Boy George, flanked by his plain-faced Culture Club ensemble, Mikey Craig, Jon Moss and Roy Hey, recently met the press at one of Chicago's generic hotels usually reserved for trade shows and traveling evangelists.
We still don't think that Linda Ronstadt is the greatest jazz singer who ever lived, but Lush Life (Elektra/Asylum) is so much better than her first outing with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra that we're ready to reconsider some of the nasty things we said when What's New came out. First of all, Ronstadt's voice seems in finer fettle these days--more control, more refinement. And her phrasing is interesting and effective. Her version of Skylark is light and wonderful. It's lovely to see a woman age gracefully, with her sexuality and intelligence intact.
Reeling and Rocking: B. B. King has recorded three songs for the new John Landis movie, Into the Night: the title cut, a tribute to B.B.'s guitar, Lucille, and Wilson Pickett'sMidnight Hour. Landis also supervised the making of videos of the three. . . . Absolute Beginners, the Keith Richards/Ray Davies movie, has finally gone before the cameras, six months behind schedule. David Bowie, Elvis Costello and the Stones are set to contribute new material to the sound track. . . .Prince is planning the Purple Rain sequel for 1986. . . . On Eddie Murphy's schedule is a movie called Groupie, about a rock star who turns the tables on a fan and starts to pursue her. . . . Duran Duron is making a video feature film co-starring actor Milo O'Shea, who portrayed the character in Barbarella that inspired the group's name. . . . Blame It on the Night, the movie co-written by Mick Jagger, hasn't gotten very good reviews from either The Hollywood Reporter or Daily Variety. Can Mick take the rejection?
Tough guys don't do divorce work. It's part of the code of the hard-boiled detective--perhaps because it hits too close to home, since most mystery-story heroes are single, with heartache and potholes on memory lane. Stephen Greenleaf, who is no slouch at crafting detective fiction (his Tanner series is first-rate), has finally tackled the forbidden. The hero of The Ditto List (Villard) is a divorce lawyer named D.T. (which stands for anything from delirium tremens to detumescent). Here he slogs his way through three messy divorce cases, and the results are heroic.
Last November's Harper's featured a symposium titled "The Place of Pornography," in which various pundits discussed the state of American porn. It was a generally sensible discussion, but there were a few surprising moments.
Many Provocative questions, none subject to easy answers, burn like hot fuses through The Falcon and the Snowman (Orion), director John Schlesinger's searching, factual suspense drama based on the book by Robert Lindsey. How--and why--did two misguided members of the baby-boomer generation, both former altar boys from reasonably affluent families in Palo Alto, California, become traitors to their country? A movie can probe only so far, yet Steven Zaillian's adaptation tantalizingly worms its way into the explosive relationship between Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee--Boyce an employee with top security clearance in the defense industry, his colleague a self-destructive cokehead and drug dealer. In 1977, both were tried and convicted of selling U.S. intelligence secrets to Soviet agents in Mexico.
Idol Gossip: Hollywood's recent rediscovery of the Western continues to gather steam with the announcement of two more cowboy epics currently in production. The first, described as a "large-scale Western," is Columbia's Silverado, co-written and directed by Lawrence (The Big Chill) Kasdan and starring Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Linda Hunt, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover and Rosanna Arquette. The other, titled Uphill All the Way, is a $3,500,000 chase comedy set in Texas in 1917, top-lining Mel Tillis, Roy Clark and Trish Van Devere. That brings the total number of Westerns in production to five, a fair investment considering the fact that Hollywood doesn't really know if the moviegoing public will be interested. . . . Robert Redford and Meryl Streep will team up for the first time in Sydney Pollack'sOut of Africa, based on books by Isak Dinesen. . . . Woody Allen's next film will be called Hannah and Her Sisters. Woody will star along with Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Barbara Hershey, Julie Kavner, Maureen O'Sullivan, Tony Roberts, Dan Stern, Max von Sydow and Dianne Wiest. Naturally, plot details are under wraps.
Recently, I told a friend that I'd rather be forced to discuss California cuisine with a precious waiter in San Francisco than go skiing again. That's because I tried to learn how to ski in the days when a new pair of Bogners left a purple ring around my waist (and still looked baggy), when lacing up my boots required the help of a crane operator and two heavy-duty movers, when the Head Standards were almost as long as the highway from Fort Worth to Waco and when every instructor on the slopes looked as if he had just stepped out of the prisoner's dock at Nuremberg.
Just say the word Texas and two adjectives jump into your head: big and rich. Two Texas cities, in particular--Dallas and Houston--serve as America's best definition of everything that's larger than life. There, even the local jokes center on the larger, the more luxurious--and, especially, the more expensive. So it stands to reason that those two cities have become the sites of a lusty competition to see who can construct the most opulent hostelries--which means that you, fellow travelers, can also live like the filthy rich for a night or two.
The Headline caught my eye: "Study: Boys' Fantasies More Outlandish Than Girls'." Oh, no, I said to myself. If the world figures out that we men are in reverie much of the time, that fantasy is as central to our lives as breathing, what secrets will we have left?
What constitutes loss of virginity in a male? A couple of friends and I were talking about sex recently, and we came up with this question: How does a male lose his virginity in a homosexual relationship? Would both partners lose their virginity in the same act or would they have to switch positions? Or do they have to have sex with a female to lose it?--C. S., De Kalb, Illinois.
On Tuesday, September 24, 1968, 16 television seasons ago, CBS broadcast yet another documentary type of program. Of that first show, the reviewer for Daily Variety later wrote: "If it had been a newspaper, it would not have sold many copies. The stories were dated and the magazine format, lifted from print, pretentious. There were too many producers with too little imagination." The program was "60 Minutes," and before it was moved to a Sunday-evening time slot, it threatened to become just another well-intentioned CBS News program. Instead, it became a national institution.
Politics is largely a matter of what gets noticed. Its practitioners exert themselves to make us place certain considerations in the foreground and others in the background. That is what lobbyists and political-action committees are for. Representatives of the American Medical Association or the Conservative Caucus, for instance, are, doubtless, estimable people who would like everybody to be happy; but when all is said and done, what they most want is for their clients to get more attention than the rest of us.
Imagine yourself a part-time tree-naper out in a remote corner of Alaska's Juneau forest region at five A.M., halfway through sectioning up the giant spruce tree you've just felled with your trusty chain saw. Suddenly, you hear footsteps behind you, the ominous splat of a wad of chewing tobacco hitting the snow and a voice saying, "OK, buddy, you'll have to clear out. You know these trees aren't supposed to be cut down." And imagine turning around to confront the forest ranger: She's 5'7", has curly dark hair and a 34-23-35 figure and is accompanied by a Husky whose jaws have no safety switch. Of course, you are armed with a rifle (as is nearly everyone in this territory, where the bears are large enough to play Frisbee with your body), but you don't dare go for it. You're caught and you know it. And--what the hell--you probably don't mind, since the ranger is the prettiest damn thing you've ever seen in the woods at five A.M.
It is not my place, as a slow white person with mongrel dogs and an old Plymouth Horizon, to tell a supersonic black person with a virgin-white Samoyed and a new BMW how to repackage himself. But I am going to. Everyone else may be willing to let the world's most famous active athlete go on being eerily boring, but I think the man has potential.
It looks like an architect's model for a cluster of ultramodern buildings with ramps, terraces and towers thrusting skyward. Then someone presses a button and the whole thing comes alive with incredible sound. you are in the presence of a new kind of sonic greatness, and size, complexity and cost just don't mean a thing. What counts is performance--with the fringe ends of the audible spectrum given as much meticulous attention as the main sonic body. Obviously, this system is not for everyone. Aside from its size, the setup costs a cool $45,000--and that's only for the speakers and an equalizer. Rounding out the full stereo stable with suitably matched turntable, arm, cartridge, tape deck, tuner and amplifiers ups the ante to about $90,000. This particular speaker setup is the custom-built contribution to high-end audio by David A. Wilson, the owner of Wilson Audio Specialties of Novato, California, a designer who makes his 1650-pound speakers available in more than 100 fine wood finishes. Give him about 14 weeks to deliver the system once you order it. The full name is the Wilson Audio Modular Monitor, but you can call it WAMM. If you can't wait for a WAMM to be built and $32,000 is burning a hole in your pocket, there's the Infinity Systems Reference Standard Series III speakers, which, at 7'6", suggest a scale model of a high-rise. They weigh in at a mere 1200 pounds and house a dozen 12" woofers and 72 tweeters in the four modules. As of right now, the WAMM and the Infinity III are probably the world's most expensive and elaborate sound boxes. Just looking at them can inspire awe. Who'd have (concluded on page 190) High-end Hi-Fi (continued from page 82) dinky little cranked-cylinder gadget would come to this? It's all for real, however, and is actually a new overground area in stereo hi-fi that includes other types of components, each of which crowds or tops the $10,000 mark. This heady realm is populated by a new breed of hi-fi buff known as a high-ender. For this dedicated fidelity devotee, audio could become more important than eating. He is turned on not only by the unmatched sound of such equipment but also by its exquisitely detailed construction, the attention lavished by its manufacturers on every aspect of the product, from its painstakingly engineered innards to the visual appeal of its housing and the sexy compliance of its controls. Using such equipment becomes an immersion in a special kind of experience that is almost tactile and visceral as well as audiological.
The chief said that the first mistake was letting Rita operate without any interference in the Monaco Estates. "I knew it and I said it," he said mournfully. "I said we should get a warrant and go tear the place apart. Cameras and everything, go in and grab the broad. Arrest whoever's hiring her, tie him up and beat him with the chains and whips, and put her out of business. Make it clear that we won't stand for this. And then I sit here like a twerp and let you say we shouldn't. I am losing my damned grip. I deserve this crap."
Donna Smith sat crackling like a campfire in her boyfriend's Burbank living room. In a loping narrative, she was recounting, with almost no regrets, the unusual series of events that had brought her to where she is now. Often, she exploded. Sparks flying in all directions, she'd leap from her chair and take the center of the room as though there was just too much to say sitting down. And there was.
A horny young attorney dropped into a singles bar on the prowl. The first girl whom he invited to his pad responded ruefully that she hadn't yet been fitted with her new diaphragm. A second confessed that she had broken her contraceptivepill chain. Coming on to a third lovely, the fellow asked delicately, "Have you taken pleasure precautions, my dear?"
Aaron had a nagging urge to be a of the personal-computer frenzy. It was springtime in the computer age and free enterprise was in bloom. Each day, it seemed, a newer, faster, more powerful, more up-to-date computer would come onto the market. Or go off the market. For a dedicated consumer like Aaron, these were times that made your palms sweat. He longed to plunge into the fray.
Bob Giraldi may be the busiest film maker in America. He's considered the Cecil B. De Mille of music videos, the Steven Spielberg of television commercials. Having worked with Michael Jackson on the now-classic, award-winning "Beat It" video, he is credited with setting the standard for that medium. Consequently, such heavyweights as Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Kenny Rogers and Pat Benatar have sought him out for their own videos. As for TV commercials, Giraldi could easily be the highest-paid director in the business, if not the most visible. In addition to making the infamous Pepsi spot in which Jackson's hair caught fire, he has directed the majority of the hilarious Lite Beer All-Star ads for Miller, a campaign that has been recognized as the most successful in history. Bill Zehme caught up with Giraldi in New York. He reports: "I asked Giraldi if he'd like to take the Pepsi Challenge. He said he'd rather not, though he swears he'd pass--he just hates that ad campaign. During our conversations, he drank ice water, took a call from Olivia Newton-John, looked at rushes of a Jermaine Jackson video and made fun of dancing lesbians."
Lois Lane and Lana Lang weren't cuties for nothing. Was there ever a red-blooded boy who didn't imagine Lois stripped of her color-dot jump suit, ready for a nude embrace with Superman--or, better yet, Mr. Mxyzptlk? (Let's leave the Bizarros out of this.) Well, we weren't just little perverts projecting our fantasies onto the page. Maurice Horn's new book Sex in the Comics proves that sex was there all along--put there by graphic artists who knew what made our little hearts go pitapat. Lois and Lana were cuties for us!
The Midnight Snack is as much a part of American folklore as Paul Bunyan, Wyatt Earp, Annie Oakley and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Yet, for some reason, this innocent indulgence has often been linked with a guilt trip. Remember the movies, TV sitcoms and comic strips in which a hulk somewhat larger than Mr. T is nabbed in the act of sneaking forbidden rations from a bulging refrigerator? Shame! Shame! We say the hell with old hang-ups and Puritanical inhibitions. Up the midnight snack! The best midnight munch is a turkey sandwich--after the Thanksgiving guests have gone and it's just the two of you again in the blessed quiet. Halve a couple of crusty rolls; slather one side with Thousand Island dressing, the other with pan juices or gravy. Now heap on the white meat, dark meat and turkey dressing--the right amount is just a little too much. If you like, add a layer of thinly sliced onion and a dish of ripe olives or gherkins.
On Friday, the first day of February, it took a long time to get out of bed. I checked the morning and found we had gone back to chill, so I put on an old sky-blue-wool shirt, stretch denims, wool socks and the gray running shoes. I looked at myself in the mirror and said aloud, "Tell me the truth, old buddy. Are you getting old? Have you lost a lot more than a half step getting to second?"
The Word lingerie is derived from the Latin linum, linen. Pretty prosaic. The words Playmate of the Year date back to 1960, when Ellen Stratton became the first to win that appellation. Pretty straightforward. Put the terms together, though, and you've got Playmates of the Year in lingerie--a phrase that's worth studying in depth. Playmates of the Year Barbara Edwards (1984), Marianne Gravatte (1983), Shannon Tweed (1982) and Monique St. Pierre (1979) are dazzling on the street, of course. In intimate surroundings, they've been known to cause temporary blindness. You definitely won't be underwhelmed.
The light turns green and they're off. The smell of burning rubber is all that's left at the start line. The Corvette is in the lead. But wait: Here comes the Mustang GT and, yes, the Dodge Shelby Charger is closing in fast!
Many Moons Ago, someone slipped a piece of paper into the suggestion box at Honda: Why not make a motorized tricycle? We can think of 100 reasons not to, but that's why we're American. The Japanese went ahead and created an entire new industry of fat-tired all-terrain vehicles, perfectly suited for running errands around the farm and for falling off at high speeds. But that's part of the fun. The latest innovation is an extra wheel. This year's A.T.V.s have four of them. You can choose from utility models, flat-out racers or middle-of-the-off-road riots. Here, we feature some of the best of the batch.
You think Knight Rider's souped-up Trans Am is hot? You like the Millennium Falcon? They're heaps. With the Etak Navigator, you can turn any junker into a motorized mind. How? The Navigator displays your position and destination on a view screen by means of a compass, a computer and a memory full of maps. As you drive, your position on the screen--marked by a triangle--remains constant. The map moves past you, ensuring that whatever streets lie ahead through the windshield appear on the screen. Zoom in for a close-up; zoom out for a God's-eye view. Then say goodbye to maps that never fold back up. With a copilot like the Navigator, all you do is drive, baby, drive.
"Confessions of a cult sex king: cafe flesh and me"--The Author of the postnuclear x classic reports on its fallout, including his Discovery that everyman's dream is to bank-roll a Porn Flick-by Jerry Stahl