Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), January 1986, Volume 33, Number 1. 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: Joe Mangione, Advertising Promotion Director; Jay Remer, National Alcoholic Beverages Marketing Manager; Brain Van Mols, National Automotive Marketing Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Linda Malanga, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611; 3001 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan 48084; Los Angeles 90010, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Blvd.; San Francisco 94104, Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
Americans love to buy new-and-improved products. In the old days, products were improved by adding some harmless inert substance that was lying around the lab and giving it a fancy name, as in "Now with Floro-Dust!" Nowadays, people don't fall for that kind of cheap trick--today's Yuppie consumers live streamlined lives, and they want streamlined products. The result has been the proliferation of goods that give you everything you could ask for from life, only less. Here are just a few of the leaner, lighter, smaller, blander or otherwise emasculated products you'll soon find on store shelves.
Reeling and Rocking: Look for David Bowie in Absolute Beginners, also featuring Ray Davies and Sade.... Rodney Dangerfield has asked David Lee Roth to record a song for his upcoming film, Back to School. In return, Roth asked Dangerfield to appear in Crazy from the Heat, his film project.... Are you ready? The Fat Boys are making a movie, The Fat Boys on the Road, and they are also doing Swatch Watches commercials.... Bob Geldof will star in The Fantasist; he'll play a murderer.... Brad Fiedel, who scored The Terminator, Fright Night and Compromising Positions, is working on the score of Desert Bloom, which stars Jon Voight, JoBeth Williams and Ellen Barkin.... Tom Waits is co-starring in Jim Jarmusch's follow-up to Stranger than Paradise, called Down by Law.
Moviemakers, even at their peak, rarely match the grandeur of great theater in probing the awesome dimensions of mankind's vanity, cruelty, treachery and lust for power. You go to Shakespeare for that, and the Bard's King Lear is the source of Ran (Orion Classics), an overpowering work by Akira Kurosawa, the Japanese director who already owns a black belt for sheer brilliance dating back to the 1951 Rashomon and beyond. In his recycled Lear, Kurosawa is more samurai than Shakespearean. He has set the action among the feuding nobles of 16th Century Japan, and his Lear (now Lord Hidetora, played with towering passion by Tatsuya Nakadai) bequeaths his kingdom not to three daughters but to three ambitious, quarrelsome sons whose sibling rivalry reduces an empire to ashes. Like many Japanese films, Ran ("chaos") gets off to a slow start, which is simply Kurosawa's meticulous preparation for a long banquet of blood-and-thunder drama that fills the mind and soul with something far more substantial than the cinematic sushi normally produced by fast-food merchants of moviedom from Hollywood to Hong Kong.
Before you make your holiday list, check it twice with help from our annual selection of gift books. Traditionally, Harry N. Abrams publishes coffee-table books in the "don't miss" category, and this year is no exception. In the American West, by Richard Avedon, is a collection of his photographs, along with his essay on portrait photography; Festival of India in the United States 1985-86, with a foreword by Pupul Jayakar, brings together text and illustrations about exhibitions from the 40 American museums that organized the current festival tour.
To my knowledge, there has never been a poll in sports to determine the best sports poll of the year. Also, there has never been a year-end roundup that didn't ignore the best professional athlete on drugs or include a silly result, like who won something contested on ice.
The guerrillas had been active all night, bombing power stations around San Salvador and cutting off electricity to the city. The sound of demolitions and automatic-weapons fire kept me awake in my hotel room.
The realization hit me heavily, like a .44 Magnum smashing into my skull. My heart started beating with a quick dread and my blood froze in my veins. My stomach did back flips; I had to race to the bathroom to avoid a major incident. The ordeal I was about to face was one of the most frightening, grisly, macabre and chilling experiences known to woman:
One of the special punishments of working for a monthly magazine is that you have to suffer the holiday season not once but twice a year, and since the deadlines fall 90 days ahead of the cover dates, you have to start thinking about Christmas and New Year's at the end of September, when you ought to be enjoying the witless stupor that takes three months to earn in the hot, short rays of the summer sun.
I am a 50-year-old professor at a large Northeastern university. I have a problem that everyone my age should have. A situation has developed that has increased my consciousness, my zest for life--and has turned what had been a latent sex life into one that borders on miraculous. About three years ago, a very lovely young lady registered for a course I teach. She earned a B and I didn't see her again for about a year, when she again showed up in my office to talk. Now, mind you, she is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill student; she is very intelligent, extraordinarily attractive (a runner-up in a state beauty contest a few years ago, for what that's worth) and, by her own admission, turns down several offers every week for dates from men her own age. I was aware that she was infatuated with me and that talking with me was an excuse for her to be in my presence. One thing led to another, and before long, we had occasion to travel out of town together. This precipitated a torrid affair that has lasted for two years.
"Hello, I'm Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Our program is called 'Sexually Speaking.' My producer is Susan Brown, my engineer Fred Zeller. The other engineer helping us is Walter Ryan, and the executive producer is Morris Tudick. Our telephone number, toll-free, nationwide is 1-800-635-5483.... And you are on the air-r-r!"
That afternoon when we got home, we found an enormous sea serpent nailed by its neck to the doorframe. It was black and phosphorescent and, with its still-living eyes and saw-toothed, wide-open jaws, it looked like a gypsy curse. I was nine at the time, and so intense was my terror at the apparition that I lost my voice. My brother, who was two years younger than I, dropped the oxygen tanks, the masks and the fins and ran off screaming. Miss Forbes heard him from the twisting stone stairway that wound up the rocks from the dock to the house. When she reached us, she was pale and gasping for breath; but as soon as she saw the creature crucified on the door, she knew the cause of our horror. She always said that two children together are both to blame for what each does separately, so she reprimanded the two of us for my brother's shouts and went on scolding us for our lack of self-control. She spoke in German, not in the English her contract as governess called for, perhaps because she was frightened, too, and didn't want to admit it. However, as soon as she regained her breath, she switched to her stony English and pedagogical obsession.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the tuxedo, named after Tuxedo Park, New York, where revolutionaries eschewed white tie and cutaway in favor of something slightly more casual. The look caught on. And now the tuxedo and its accessories are moving toward a new dandyism: Rhett Butler vests, velvet smoking jackets, striped trousers and dark, jeweled tones mixed in with the black-and-white shiny fabrics. This new air of elegance gives dressing up more flair and takes the onus off the black-tie penguin look.
In its original incarnation, schnapps was a rank, fiery, clear spirit. A product of bleak climates and primitive times, it was favored in northerly European latitudes where winter lasts until May. Vikings thrived on the stuff. After a lusty session of murder, rape and pillage to work up a thirst, they'd settle down to some serious schnapps drinking. By all accounts, it took viking determination to get the vile liquor down. Over the years, schnapps was refined and retooled, becoming aquavit, vodka and gin in the process; then some shrewdies hit on the idea of reviving schnapps by making it appealing to young, contemporary palates. Starting with a clean white spirit, they took the proof down to more reasonable levels, added a measure of sweetness for balance and mint for snap. Peppermint schnapps, the breakthrough product, was a smash hit--stimulating a burst of similar items in a range of flavors. Mints still get the biggest play, but apple and peach are inching up, and you can find any number of savory nips on liquor-store shelves: assorted berries, (continued on page 232)Cold Schnapps(continued from page 86) cherry, pear, apricot, orange among the fruits; various mints, including spearmint, menthol mint, wintergreen and chocolate mint; spicy cinnamon and ginger; plus a few wild ones such as watermelon, root beer and nutcracker amaretto. Currently, there are upwards of 80 labels and 25 distinct schnapps flavors on the market--with more coming out every week. Are you ready for butterscotch, classic cola, blue-grass mint julep and coastal cranberry? They're coming. With its eruption of tastes and hues and its contemporary brio, this newest group of spirits is the most exuberant in the alcoholic-beverage field.
Yes. That's who you think it is. And, yes, there he is again. We've known Don Johnson a long time--since 1976, to be exact. He and his then-wife, Melanie Griffith, posed for a Playboy pictorial--one of a series of couples shootings--titled Fast Starter. We didn't have room to run all the photos then. Besides, pictures from the past have always had a place in our hearts--and on our pages. If the reason for the reprise is that he's gone on to the white-hot big time, hell, that's one for the girls. Always told you we don't discriminate. Don and Melanie have since gone their separate ways, Melanie to the movies and a new husband, actor Steven (Thief of Hearts) Bauer, Don to parenthood with actress Patti D'Arbanville and the lead in that show that comes on Friday-night TV. You know: We're talking heat. Last summer, more than 10,000 fans turned out at a Chicago department store to meet Don and the other stars of Miami Vice. When the Cubs aren't in a pennant race, these things happen. The man has charisma, charm and fashion sense. Some people argue that clothes make the man, that those fancy Italian threads he's wearing in the opening photo are responsible for the success of Miami Vice. We know better. For one thing, TV reception at our house is so bad, you can hardly tell what kind of clothes Don Johnson is wearing. The other thing is that we knew from these pictures that clothes didn't make this man. When they were taken, Melanie, then 19, was usually identified in parentheses: (Tippi Hedren's daughter). She had recently finished Night Moves with Gene Hackman and was about to film The Drowning Pool with Paul Newman. Don Johnson was best known as her husband. He was a nice guy who serenaded her with songs on an acoustic guitar. They had started dating when she was 14 and he was 22--while he was filming The Harrad Experiment with her mother. Photographer Richard Fegley flew them to a little place south of Puerto Vallarta. They traveled by boat to a tiny village. Fegley remembers, "It was isolated, overgrown. We had to watch where we walked. There were scorpions everywhere. Fortunately, Don and Melanie were willing to try anything for the camera; that water was freezing. We had to wait hours for the sun to come through a clearing in the jungle and hit the pool. They were at a good time in their lives--in love, romantic." It is interesting to play archaeologist, to see if you can glimpse the future in such innocent faces. There is a touch of the devilish rogue in Don Johnson's face. He looks hot.
Those who write of automobiles habitually go into full drone about twisty roads, five-speed gearboxes and how all cars ought to feel like sports cars. Rarely do they give sufficient thought to cross-country cruising, an undertaking that's undeniably all-American and a pastime that--to be properly enjoyed--requires the proper equipment. On the interstate system, the siren attractions of low-slung, buzzy sportsters and small, space-efficient economy sedans dwindle. The stock of large, powerful sedans--machines in which four people may travel confidently from New York to New Orleans without risking lower-back damage--soars to new highs. We've assembled 12 of these freeway fliers, chosen with only one real criterion (continued on page 188) Long-Distance Runner (continued from page 117) in mind: the demand that each of them serve the needs of the person who enjoys cross-country travel at speed and with style. Here, in alphabetical order and with brief impressions of each, our long-distance runners.
Let's talk about the guy in the top bunk--the one who always borrowed your bike without permission and who embarrassed the hell out of you the first time you brought a girl home. You know, the kid who always insisted that it was his turn to get that last piece of chocolate cake.
Sherry Arnett called and asked if we'd like to meet her on her lunch break at Chicago's McCormick Place exposition center. She said she was working a booth at the International Marine Trade Show and Exhibit, but she forgot to tell us which one. We wandered around McCormick Place, which is approximately the size of a small planet, for an hour until we noticed an aisle congested with gentlemen in blue blazers and white deck shoes. We figured we'd found her. Sherry and two other St. Louis models, Kelli Insani and Christine Gardner, were signing posters showing them posed in bikinis around three cans of Awlgrip paint. As the other women leaned over the cardboard table where they unrolled and signed a poster a minute, we noticed that their white shorts carried the words Our Bottoms Are As Good As Our Tops Across the derrière. "No, it doesn't bother me," Sherry said later over tuna sandwiches, "because it's really not vulgar. The shorts are long walking shorts, and the slogan makes sense. We're promoting a new protective paint for boats that will prevent crustaceans from sticking to the hulls. That means the boat has less resistance in the water and gets better gas mileage. If they'd asked me to come out here in the bikini I wore in the poster shot, that would have been different. I don't get into that cheesecake stuff." We coughed. "Well, I mean except for you guys at Playboy. If you could call that cheesecake." Sherry's a serious woman. A hard-working woman. A very beautiful woman. The kind of woman who can have a mouth full of tuna, a dollop of mayonnaise on her lip and a straw in her mouth and still look gorgeous. She was born in Sterling, Illinois, but spent (text concluded on page 214)
It Was, Yes, S/M Pride Day. Along Fifth Avenue they came--goose-stepping, duck-walking, frog-marching, hobbling, crawling--3000 or so by police count, past Tiffany & Co., led by grand marshal Leon F. Christ, crucified on his own fiberglass cross, set tall in the back of a Ford pickup truck. You could hear them far off. Tink-clunk of shackle against chastity belt against spur. Paddles on flesh made a butcher-shop noise. And atonal, irregular yelping. Several hundred dominatrices, each in exquisite, sweatless leather despite the late-spring sun. Slave people behind, nipple and navel and even an occasional ear lobe pierced. Then floats, built with the care that fetishism alone can stimulate in this era of cheesy workmanship. Torquemada scene. Turkish prison. Nero. Witches burning perpetually to bottled propane. Apache initiation, Lubyanka, Eton. Black women for sale (proceeds to the Negro College Fund) on a flat-bed truck. Some gotten-up Marquis de Sade waving from his Lincoln convertible. Men on all fours, so aroused by submission that they were practically on all fives. It wound, weird, toward sheep Meadow in Central Park. Like a half-time show at the Pain Bowl.
Harry Zimmerman was an advertising copy writer for Batten & Finch in New York. One day when he got home from work, he found a plain white envelope in the middle of a small desk in his living room, where it had no business being.
Somewhere in the darkness outside, a big cat roared. The air was cool and still. Photographer Peter Beard was nervous. It wasn't the lions that bothered him, since Beard is on speaking terms with several big cats. It was the impending thunderstorm and the 60-mile-per-hour gusts that would hurtle across the Loingalani plain, threatening to topple the tents or, at the very least, fill them with icy rain. And when the storm finally broke, somewhere between Nairobi and Samburu, it was more ferocious than Beard had feared. He couldn't get to sleep. Iman, by contrast, welcomed the winds like an old friend. She was, after all, home. Ten years as a famous fashion model in New York hadn't erased her familiarity with this land's cold, windy nights and infernally hot days. Indeed, despite Kenya's inhospitable weather, Iman found it a very humane place compared with New York City, where she lives with her husband, pro basketball star Spencer Haywood. "Manhattan," she says, "is not a place to live. But if you want high-voltage energy, it is the best place. Still, if you live there long, you will get old before your time. The stresses will hit you. Everything is too fast."
Food has always rated very high on the list of things people like to eat. You would think, therefore, that in this plentiful country of ours, food would be in evidence on almost every dinner table. Sadly, this is no longer true. The fact is, there are now only two days out of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we can be assured of seeing food on a dinner table--and that's because our grandmothers have stubbornly held the line and manage to serve food on these holidays in bitter opposition to Duane, Colin, Trevor, Randall and America's other precious chefs who plan to stamp out food by the year 1990. This being the case, I look forward more than ever to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, because I know I can count on something to eat: a nice roasted turkey without kiwi, dressing without radicchio, giblet gravy without prawns, mashed potatoes without grapes and green beans cooked in salt pork instead of Giorgio perfume. Real food, in other words. Food, hold the fag.
<p>Jay Leno is the Mort Sahl of the "Gilligan's Island" generation. Through his monthly guest appearances on NBC-TV's "Late Night with David Letterman," he has forged a reputation as Letterman's most accomplished foil. Letterman has even confessed that he borrowed Leno's wry comic stance when both were embryonic stand-ups working the California club circuit in the Seventies. In addition to having the most prominent jaw line in show business, Leno maintains a dizzying travel schedule that keeps him away from his home in Hollywood ten months a year.</p>
Six years ago, Richard Thalheimer was a lawyer, hustling digital stop watches to joggers by mail. Today, that side line has grown into The Sharper Image, the company behind 3,000,000 distinctive, glossy monthly mail-order catalogs and 14 stores stuffed with an assortment of high-tech, executive tools and toys that make Thalheimer the perfect Yuppie Santa Claus.
Although there will be only 1000 cases of Norman Anderson's 1985 Lundstrom Vineyards Chardonnay released later this year, that relatively small amount will mark a significant milestone--it's the first wine from California's first black wine maker.