The Box of aromatic Romeo y Julieta cigars is inscribed To Barry Golson and complains of the "tortures" inflicted on the subject of this month's Playboy Interview (see photograph in the introduction). The signature is one Executive Editor Golson will treasure long after the cigars are gone: Fidel Castro. The Cuban premier's inscription, obviously written with tongue in cheek, contains a grain of truth nonetheless. Our distinguished team of interviewers, North Carolina Central University associate professor of political science Dr. Jeffrey M. Elliot and California Democratic Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally, spent six hours each night interviewing Castro, in sessions that usually started at 11 p.m. and didn't end until four or five A.M. Yet Castro would be at his desk in the presidential palace (where he works but doesn't live) at nine a.m. each day. "While we were there," says Elliot, "he got no more than three hours of sleep a night. Yet, as the Interview progressed, he became stronger, more animated, more exuberant. For a man his age to have that kind of vitality after 23 years in office is extraordinary." Castro's tremendous energy and intelligence seem actually to have increased since Playboy first interviewed him, 18 years ago; so has his confidence. Although in all previous interviews he had insisted that the questions be directed to Castro the revolutionary (he abhors the cult of personality), he decided, in this Interview, to answer Elliot and Dymally's questions about Castro the man: what motivates him, his reading tastes, his criteria for selecting friends and his recreational passions. No doubt Castro's relationship with Dymally, a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the president of the Caribbean-American Research Institute, contributed to the relaxed Interview atmosphere. The result is a conversation that Castro's admirers and detractors alike will find fascinating and revealing.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032--1478), August, 1985, Volume 32, Number 8, Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $54 for 36 issues, $36 for 24 issues, $22 for 12 issues, Canada, $35 for 12 issues, elsewhere, $35 (U.S. Currency) 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; Joe Mangione, Advertising Promotion 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 Avenue, New York, New York, 10017; Linda Malanga, Chicago 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.
By now, everyone in the country has played some form of question-and-answer game that gauges our knowledge of the insignificant and the forgettable. And, frankly, we're all getting a little tired of it. Why bother testing one another on all this silly information? Why not just blab the information the way we used to do at cocktail parties? That's what Ed Bluestone thought, and here are some carefully selected little-known facts.
Having such a good time that you couldn't resist showing your fellow revelers just how to do the gator? Are you beginning to think you really are the life of the party? If you plan to drive home afterward, do yourself--and everybody else--a favor. Be Sure, a 99-cent Breathalyzer test, calibrated to the Smith & Wesson one the police use, will tell you if you're legally drunk. If the granules inside the tube turn darker, have someone call you a cab. OK, so you're a cab. No, but really, don't hard-party without it.
It has the same title as Shakespeare's classic, but Henry IV (Orion Classics) is a relatively modern drama about a madman who appears to believe he's an 11th Century German emperor. Luigi Pirandello wrote the play in 1922, and Marco Bellocchio's freely adapted film version stars Marcello Mastroianni opposite ever-exquisite Claudia Cardinale, as the aristocratic beauty he loves and loses. That may be all you need to know about the plot, a typically Pirandellian conundrum debating the nature of truth, madness, logic and reality. The consummate screen actor, Mastroianni exudes charisma even while he talks--and talks--reams of subtitled Italian. An arresting musical score by Astor Piazzolla backs up the lengthier passages of a literate, ambitious, beautifully made movie, seemingly made for moviegoers with endless patience, plus a Ph.D. in modern European drama. [rating]2 bunnies[/rating]
Idol Gossip: Nick Nolte, Bette Midler and Richard Dreyfuss will star in Disney's Jerry Saved from Drowning, based on Jean Renoir's 1932 classic Boudu Saved from Drowning. Directed by Paul Mazursky, the film is about a transient (Nolte) who alters the lives of a Beverly Hills couple (Midler and Dreyfuss).... Director Hugh Hudson has chosen Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland and Nastassja Kinski to top-line his $19,000,000 Colonial epic, Revolution 1776 .... John Candy, Karen(Night Court)Austin and Richard Crenna have been cast in Paramount's Summer Rental, a comedy in which Candy plays a harried air-traffic controller seeking peace and tranquillity but getting neither in a beach house leased for the summer.... Peter Ustinov will reprise his role as Hercule Poirot in CBS' made-for-TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's13 at Dinner.Faye Dunaway, playing dual roles, co-stars.... Robert Altman has been set to direct the screen version of Ernest Hemingway'sAcross the River and into the Trees, starring Roy Scheider and Julie Christie. ... Chuck Norris' next cinematic venture will be Invasion USA, in which CIA agent Matt Hunter foils a terrorist attack on the United States.... Detective Joe Friday will return, this time to the big screen, in Universal's spoof of the old Dragnet series. Dan Aykroyd has written the script and will star as the hard-boiled cop.
When the slings and uncertainties of trying to make a living writing begin getting tome, I start dreaming of better ways to live. And out of so many so easily named, I generally come up with a sunny used-book store in a handsome old building on the square of some forgotten small town, where, ideally, I would have no customers and would spend peaceful days among the books with just a fat, lazy cat as company--when I wasn't gone fishing, that is.
Do yourself a favor. Take a tour of America, circa 1800, with Uncle William, an expert botanist, and his young, naïve nephew Sammy. These two innocents, the stars of James Howard Kunstler's energetic novel An Embarrassment of Riches (Dial), are commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to find the North American giant ground sloth. Their eventful quest takes them into the wilds of America, where they encounter charlatans, thieves, savages and pirates. Their story is a grand adventure and a wonderful comedy. Don't miss it.
The Butthole Surfers/...Another Man's Sac (Touch and Go): Like Vladimir Horowitz, The Butthole Surfers are virtuosos. Unlike Horowitz, they specialize in the domain of cheap special effects, free-associating over lots of drone and throb punctuated by strange noises. It used to be that you could understand a lot of what lyricist Gibby Haynes was free-associating, and that was the band's main appeal, because the most amazing stuff falls out of that boy's mouth. Now recording technique has improved to the point where you can't understand him most of the time--dementia unsullied by verbalization--and guitarist Paul Leary has developed a highly original style mingling psychedelic groove and feedback with a dash of thrash. The drum section, King and his sister Teresa (no last name), consists of floor toms and cymbals and is guaranteed to induce undulations in your orgones. In concert, the Buttholes have always delivered on their name, and now they're preserved for the ages.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers/Southern Accents (MCA): Five years ago, when Petty's mainstream rock was flanked by fading singer-songwriters and insurgent New Wave fluff, Damn the Torpedoes seemed bolder and tougher than it had a mind to be. Today, in a scene dominated by mainstream American rockers of a similar stripe, Petty's limitations are inescapable. He remains a shallow songwriter: Southern Accents wants to say something about displaced Rebel rockers, but what? If anything bails him out, it's the Heart-breakers, at least when the band is used right. But while guitarist Mike Campbell was off with Don Henley writing a great song, The Boys of Summer, Petty was concocting mock psychedelia and soft soul with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. The result is music that collapses against its own lack of a center.
Hüsker Dü/ New Day Rising (SST): Although only neophytes dare try to distinguish one brutally fast hard-core song from the next, the tracks that rise from the rush are enoughto make normal fans hold on to their hopes for second-generation punk. After a debut album aptly titled Land Speed Record, Hüsker Dü's Metal Circus and Zen Arcade provedBob Mould to be not only a world-class noise guitarist but a sporadically melodic songwriter who thinks for himself as well. The band's latest is hard-core that any old Clash (and maybe Byrds) fan can hum. Such Mould songs as I Apologize and Celebrated Summer reject adolescent rage without settling for cheap acceptance, and drummer Grant Hart pays tuneful tribute to two identifiably human women. Yet if you turn the album up loud enough to clear the dust balls out of the anti-audiophile mix, you'll still be accused of violating your lease. Otherwise, what would be the point?
Luther Vandross/The Night I Fell in Love (Epic): What Sam Cooke was to the early Sixties and Al Green to the early Seventies, Luther Vandross is to right now. He is simply the pre-eminent male vocalist of his era. When Daryl Hall claimed to be the best singer around today, he obviously hadn't yet heard Vandross work through the swirling melodies of Stevie Wonder's Creepin' or caress the words of Brenda Russell's classic love song If Only for One Night or, finally, glide over the Marvin Gaye--inspired groove of the title cut.
How far is far enough? NRBQ, a band known for its--well--satiric look at the culture, is doing it again: It's exploding Cabbage Patch dolls in concert. When asked what happens to all the destroyed dolls, guitarist Al Anderson said, "These are the first Cabbage Patch dolls to receive death certificates. We're opening a cemetery for them. If anyone has a dead Cabbage Patch doll (accidental or not), send it, along with $15, to Box 311, Saugerties, New York 12477. We'll issue a death certificate and give it a decent burial, complete with headstone." And you thought things were weird already.
Cosmetic Featuring Jamaaladeen Tacuma/So Tranquilizin' (Gramavision): Tacuma, an Ornette Coleman protégé, deserves his reputation as the Jimi Hendrix of electric bassists, but here his prodigious talents are wasted. You don't need a Ph.D. in funk to play dance music.
It hasn't made much difference--the streets are still swarming with joggers, as far as I can determine--but August fifth marks the one-year anniversary of my favorite incident in all of sports: that moment when Gabriela Andersen-Scheiss, the lady marathoner, stumbled into the Los Angeles Coliseum at the Olympics and did her imitation of every dopehead I ever knew in Austin, Texas, when Austin made Berkeley look like Swan Lake.
You're in your 30s, a professional man with an accelerating career. You're married. You have a couple of young children and a life that appears to be successful. You own your own home--well, the bank owns it, but your name is on the door--and the patterns of your daily life are meaningful to you. On weekends, you barbecue in the back yard, talk with your neighbors, watch baseball on TV, take the kids to the park, trim the hedge and cut the lawn. Home is often where your heart is.
I keep looking at him, at the elegant curve of his jaw, the luxurious curling of his black lashes framing sea-foam eyes, the sensuous yet chiseled mouth, the perfect teeth, the flawless cheekbones, the long, lean body. And it keeps occurring to me that I am a nitwit. Any girl who could even consider giving up this man has to be a fool.
There's a sort of low moan that goes up periodically from the English departments at colleges and universities across the country over the fact that most students, even the good ones, can't write a lick--not a love letter or a suicide note, much less an essay or a term paper. It's nothing new, but according to the teachers who have to read this crap for a living, the further we get into the computer era the worse it's becoming. So at places like Harvard and Yale and Brown, they're holding faculty conferences to hash the problem through; they're designing bonehead writing courses and setting up special peer-group tutoring programs in an all-out, last-ditch effort to ensure that their graduates will at least be able to fill out applications for day labor without embarrassing themselves.
My wife and I are working on our third year of a beautiful marriage. There's only one problem: She does not give me head unless I ask her to, and then sometimes she refuses. Before we were married, she initiated oral sex as if it were something she craved, but now it's a forgotten urge, no matter how desirable I make my body smell, taste and feel. I've asked her several times if it's just me, or did she not like to give head to her previous lovers? She told me that she usually gave head the first few times to impress her lovers but soon quit on them, too. How do I get her to really like it? Half of the turn-on is having your lover do her thing of her own volition.--C. D., Seattle, Washington.
I have not been to the Black Wall in Washington, but I am told, by articles and photographs, that there are sizable contingents of men who lurk and literally live there at the monument. I have seen pictures of them in worn fatigues, touching the wall, leaning into it as though somewhere in their fingers they might bring the life back to a name blasted into the rock. Apparently, there are flowers left continuously, men sitting under the stars, through wind and rain, seemingly lost in the silence created by this black V in the earth.
Washington, D.C.--April 1, 1987--In an early-morning Rose Garden news conference, President Reagan and Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger today announced the sale to Home Box Office, Inc., of all present and future rights to broadcast footage of the so-called Star Wars space-based defense systems.
During half time, the furious football coach entered the subdued locker room carrying a live alligator. Glaring at his bumbling players, he dropped his pants, whereupon the reptile clamped its jaws onto his penis. Finally, after enduring several moments in its grip, the coach poked the beast in the eye and it dropped off and scuttled under a locker.
The sport is road racing, in which every hairpin turn is a heartbeat skipped. The cars are Sports Car Club of America showroom stock, essentially unchanged since they rolled off the assembly line. The series of six races being run from March 30 to September 29 at six tracks across the country is the Playboy United States Endurance Cup, with $800,000 in prize money at stake. Pictured here is the March 30 opening race, at Riverside Raceway, near Los Angeles. All makes of cars can compete, from Porsches to Escorts. Drivers will race in four classes, with equal payoffs for each class, and the winners stand to be kissed by co-host Playmates Marlene Janssen and Kym Malin. Playboy U.S. Endurance Cup promoter/organizer/competitor Gary Mathewson promises full fields, celebrity drivers and surprises at every event. "If you're thinking performance," he says, "this is the kind of racing you should be watching." Why do drivers do such things? For the money. For the glory. And for the sheer crazy fun of it Let's go racing.
"Cops"The writer of the best-selling 'Nam took to the streets to interview more than 100 of our boys in (and out of) blue. The Result: Gritty, Touching, Hilarious first-person accounts by guys who see themselves as nature's garbage men. Don't miss the Paddy-Wagon Chase, the Kentucky fried stake-out or the assault of the Gypsy Mother's milk--by Mark Baker