Depending on how you look at it, risk taking separates either the men from the boys or the foolhardy from the sensible. Thus, Craig Vetter is either a real man or a first-class bonehead. He is, after all, Playboy's risk taker par excellence, having distilled the essence of every acrophobe's nightmares in his legendary five-part series Pushed to the Edge in 1978. (In case you don't remember, Craig walked on the wing of an airplane, climbed an ice cliff, ski-jumped from an unholy height, sky-dived and almost but not quite jumped from one of Acapulco's famous high-dive cliffs.) His latest experiment in terror is rock-climbing, as you'll read in Climbers (illustrated by Don Ivan Punchatz), his profile of men whose goal in life is to be human flies. After reading it, you decide whether or not this is a sport for a rational human being. What do we think? We think Craig and his rock-climbing buddies are the kinds of guys you want at your side when the only way out of a bad situation is up. Joan Rivers, the subject of this month's Playboy Interview, is a risk taker of a different sort. Anyone in show business who invokes the wrath of Johnny Carson, as she did in signing up to host her own late-night talk show, is flirting with professional suicide. But, then, Joan, as our interviewer, Nancy Collins, has known for a long time, is used to taking professional risks. Collins, who has interviewed Rivers several times over the years, says that Miss "Can We Talk?" isn't hesitant to help others take chances, too, particularly in matters of romance. "She's a great matchmaker," says Collins, "and every time I've interviewed her, she has fixed me up with several doctors. She knows a lot of them because she likes to take good care of herself. This time, true to form, she called up the doctor who had done her suction vacuuming and set up a date for me. I said to her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, 'You know, I feel as if I've dated every part of Joan's body.' " And what did Collins think of Joan's doctors? "They were all great guys. She has great taste in men." A great guy is one thing, but a dude is another. To be a real dude means you've mastered the art of cool all the way to the freezing point. Read Mel Green'sDudes and maybe you, too, can become verrry chilly. We can tell you one thing that a cool dude knows: which man-to-man matchups can determine the result of a pro football game. In The Ones to Watch,Kevin "Cool Keed" Cook prepares you to be a low-Fahrenheit football fan.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1986, Volume 33, Number 11. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $56 for 36 issues, $38 for 24 issues, $24 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 55230, Boulder, Colorado 80323-5230, and allow 45 days for change. Circulation: Jack Bernstein, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: New York, Elaine Hershman, New York Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017. Chicago: Michael Carr, Manager, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Katie Marin, Manager, 8560 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 90069.
Last August, we told you about the Yuppie/feminist chain letter that promised big bucks from an initial investment of one dollar. Now we've discovered another female-perpetrated chain letter that aims to reap the coin of a different realm, so to speak. It reads, "This letter was started by a woman like you in hopes of bringing relief to other tired and discontented women. Unlike most chain letters, this one won't cost you anything. Just send a copy of the letter to five of your equally tired and discontented friends. Then bundle up your husband or boyfriend and send him to the woman whose name appears at the top of the list. When your name tops the list, you will receive 16,877 men."
Look at us--a generation of men raised to be sensitive, kind, intelligent and communicative. And now, who loves ya, baby? The rules have changed. What you want to be is macho. But it's not just the same old, same old macho. Even guys like Bogart or John Wayne couldn't cut it now. For one thing, they talked too much. Now, Rambo or The Terminator--these are New Macho guys: men of no words, men capable of violence in their sleep. That's the ticket. And now you, too, can be that macho guy. For a bold new beginning, just follow these helpful tips. You'll be biting the heads off snakes in no time.
Pake Mc Entire is making noise on the country charts with the droll shitkicker singles from his first album, "Too Old to Grow Up Now" (RCA). He says, "Tell 'em I'm no drugstore cowboy." Here's Pake on another original, David Lee Roth, and his debut solo LP, "Eat 'Em and Smile":
Pretty Cheeky Department: A Cecil Beaton painting of Mick Jagger's bare buns was auctioned off to a dedicated fan for a bundle in England this past summer. Mick probably didn't pose; it's believed that someone snapped a photo and Sir Cecil painted from it.
Antidrug Crusaders would be wise to cite Sid and Nancy (Goldwyn) as a powerful propaganda tool. A flaming hit at the Cannes festival last May, the story of Sid Vicious and his groupie girlfriend Nancy Spungen is an elegy for the hard-rock Romeo and junkie Juliet whose deaths gave the punk movement some bizarre dramatic stature. Strung out on heroin while holed up in Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel in 1978, Sid stabbed Nancy and was free on bail, charged with her murder, when a lethal dose of smack closed his case forever. The infamous Sex Pistols, energized by Vicious and Johnny Rotten, had already disbanded after their meteoric success at banging out bad manners and worse music for the slam-dance set. But who the hell was Sid Vicious, and why bother making a movie about him? "He embodies the dementia of a nihilistic generation," notes one wry wiseacre. Sid's and Nancy's brains are fried when they first meet in London, and it's downhill the rest of the way, from fix to fix, from shrill highs to suicidal despair. Always hopeless and harrowing--nauseatingly so, at times-- the movie is redeemed to a great extent by director Alex Cox, whose first feature was Repo Man, already a cult classic. Here, Cox's snakily fascinating screenplay (written with Abbe Wool) has bits of macabre comic relief, socked across by performers who more than meet the challenge of seeming simultaneously vulgar, wasted and vulnerable. In the title roles, screen newcomers Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb soar out of anonymity, with effective backup by Drew Schofield as Rotten. Designed as much to be endured as enjoyed, Sid and Nancy is not a pretty picture and isn't meant to be--this perverse, brilliant subculture graffito thrusts the decline of Western civilization right under our noses. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
"Erotic Drawings" (Rizzoli), by Andrew Tilly, has 32 pages of color illustrations of the works of Picasso, Egon Schiele, Rodin, Aubrey Beardsley, Modigliani and David Hockney, among others. The pictures study men and women alone, together and with others of their own sex. It's a beautiful and provocative book.
Despite all of the excitement being stirred up these days for America's impassioned but parochial fans of football and baseball, I feel it's my duty to point out that the biggest sporting event of 1986 has already taken place; and, frankly, my spirits are still soaring from watching on television this past summer as the riffraff of 24 nations had so much rollicking good fun at the Copa Mundial, the World Cup of soccer futbol, in Mexico.
I thought it was a crank call at first, possibly one of my friends setting me up for a joke. "You can call me Jean," the woman said. "I read your column every month and I want to talk with you. You're missing something. You're putting women in a very narrow category, and I'm tired of it. Can we talk?"
This is a serious question, so please do not laugh it off. My husband has just had braces put on his teeth. During oral sex, he has told me, he nearly drowns from my secretions. Can you please tell us if those secretions will discolor the metal in his braces or in any other way damage them? For example, will their acidity break down or corrode the metal despite good oral hygiene? These braces are costing us $3500, so, obviously, we can't afford a second set--plus, we both are very shy and we would absolutely die if the orthodontist could look at the braces and tell what we do in the privacy of our home. Please answer if you can.--Mrs. L. M., Portland, Oregon.
And now for a lesson in sexual McCarthyism: political science. First, take a natural anxiety, such as our concern for children. Then blow it out of proportion until it becomes fear. And then play upon that fear and wrap it around your own misguided agenda.
I think that although women want pornography very much, the climate for it right now is absolutely repressive. It's ironic, but I think feminists have helped create that climate. Look at Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon. I think they're fools. The legislation they're proposing [that would define pornography as "the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women, whether in pictures or in words"] is absurd. I regard my writing of pornography to be a real moral cause. And I don't want a bunch of fascist, reactionary feminists kicking in the door of my consciousness with their jack boots and telling me that sadomasochism isn't politically correct.
With a trained eye for absurdity, political cartoonists across America have declared open season on the Meese commission and the Supreme Court. Here is some of their best work, reprinted with permission.
This is dedicated to Dudes--the followers of Dudeism. Dudeism is the philosophy of those who live in harmony with the great universal cool; from which all things flow and to which they return once they have cruised around their groove in the world.
you've got your jan hammers and your sledge hammers. you've got your bad boys, your nasty boys, your cowboys and your Pet Shop Boys. You've got your American Girls and your Mary Jane girls. And now you've got to make some choices. Time again to join the annual revel that we call the Playboy Music Poll. We provide the ballot. You do the work. On the first part of the ballot, write in your choices for the best. On the second part, write in your Hall of Fame selection. For the rest, use the numbers provided--or, if you choose, write in nominees on that part also. Simple. Then just pop your ballot in the mail to us. Only official ballots count, and they must be postmarked before midnight, November 1, 1986. For results, see our April 1987 issue.
The route to the top isn't easy. When the crew of Star Search came to Chicago, every model in town turned out for the audition. Devin DeVasquez, Playboy's June 1985 Playmate, was one of the last in line. "I got to the door just in time to hear the producer say, 'I'm sick of seeing girls!' I poked my head around the door and said, 'Just one more.' They called me back to compete, but I was busy doing the Playmate Play-offs show for The Playboy Channel. I sent flowers to the producer and asked him to think of me in the future. Apparently he did. One of the other girls they had chosen dropped out, so I got a call late in the season, went on--and won."
The nicked, lead-colored barrel of Will's rifle protruding over the jeep's front seat seemed covered with tiny, silvery wings in the blazing sun. Jorge and the dog were sitting in the back. The dog was a German shepherd named Ana. Jorge put out his hand to touch Ana's dense winter coat, and it felt dry and even hotter than the air. Incredible, he thought, that only a few days before, he'd still been over there, on the other side of the world, training with the dog, marching for hours over the broken snow of a rock-hard landscape and fording a swift, nearly frozen river.
Your stomach is as washboard tight as Dolph Lundgren's (well, almost), and your wardrobe is the best of Miami Vice. It's not that you're so vain; you've just realized that competition, whether for love or for money, has heated up, and there's no reason to neglect what literally stares the prospective amour or boss in the face: the skin. Well, skin is skin, so the requirements for its care are essentially the same whether it's male or female. You don't have to buy an arsenal of products or waste a lot of time fussing. Consistency is the byword when it comes to maintenance. The ladies pay attention to your skin: Why not provide them with a healthier eyeful?
According to Donna Edmondson--Miss November and newly licensed real-estate agent--the difference between a house and a home is simple: "The home is what everyone dreams of having," she says, "and the house is what everyone dreads buying." Is that an old saying? we ask. "Nah," laughs Donna. "I think I just made it up."
When corporate layoffs cost him his job as a company pilot, the middle-aged aviator applied for a job with a major airline. After filling out a psychological-evaluation questionnaire, he was told to wait until the psychologist could see him.
Consumer advocate David Horowitz' nine Emmys, nationally syndicated show, "Fight Back! With David Horowitz," best-selling book, "Fight Back! And Don't Get Ripped Off," and plentiful honors from consumer, civic and religious groups make him an imposing combatant in an interview. But Contributing Editor David Rensin found him unpretentious, though fervent; witty and inexhaustible. Said Rensin later, "I'm going to give him a call before I make any major purchases."
Even before Attorney General Edwin Meese's famous porn commission had published a single word, Meese warned that pornography was "available at home to anyone, regardless of age, at the mere touch of a button." He added, "We are dealing with a general tendency that is pervading our entire culture, including the culture known to very young children." His commission has since reinforced his early prejudices about the availability of erotic material. Still, despite all the rhetoric, we're a country of individuals. The best recent example of that was the Maine referendum in which voters defeated by a margin of 72 percent to 28 percent a proposition that would make selling or promoting obscene material a criminal offense. We wanted to get behind the politics and prejudice and find out what is really going on in the privacy of American homes. According to Lester Baker, president of the Adult Film Association of America, 65,000,000 Americans rented or purchased X-rated video cassettes in 1984. Given that figure, we decided to focus our inquiry into the home use of X-rated movies not on fast-lane New York or L.A. but on the Midwest, where God-fearing, hard-working average citizens presumably reside and go quietly about their business. Are these "normal" Middle Americans responsible, sane viewers, or do they turn into violent werewolves at the touch of the VCR button, as Meese and company would have us believe?
Sometime back before the first white man laid eyes on Yosemite Valley, probably in spring, with the falls spilling the high country melt in roaring plumes and pretty ribbons over the tall granite rims, Columbia Rock let go of a boulder the size of a farmhouse and dropped it 1000 feet into a grove of cedar and pine, as if to mark the spot as dead center in the world for those who were going to love to climb rocks.
Screen Moguls, who pride themselves on being able to spot trends, must be having nightmares trying to figure out what's been going on in America's popcorn palaces this year. In an increasingly prudish social and political climate suggesting to some the dawn of a new ice age, has sex--once prized as an audience lure--actually become box-office poison? The answer, seemingly, is yes--and no. On the one hand, 9-1/2 Weeks--by any standard, one of the most unabashedly erotic movies of 1986--met with a tepid response from the filmgoing public. Blasted by the majority of critics, Adrian (Flash-dance) Lyne's stylish but decidedly skin-deep version of an autobiographical novel by Elizabeth McNeill (Playboy published an excerpt in April 1978) costarred Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke as a couple edging into the sadomasochistic games people play. Controversial from the start, Lyne's film was dumped by one uneasy distributor, was cut and recut, debated and delayed. What finally came out under MGM's label ultimately became as celebrated for the sizzling footage taken out of it as it was for the hot stuff left in. Audiences could only guess at what was missing that gave the European release greater box-office clout. In Italy alone, 9-1/2 Weeks racked up record-breaking grosses with little added beyond (text continued on page 132) two key scenes that seemed nastier, but not much naughtier, than the rest. In one, Rourke forces Basinger to crawl across the floor, picking up paper money. In the other, he challenges her to a possibly deadly game of pill swallowing. The U.S. version, after pruning, shaped up as a fairly elementary course in bondage, with some stunning compensations: Basinger in a striptease sequence to make your tail bone tingle; the cooled-out love scene when Rourke caresses her torso with an ice cube; Kim blindfolded while Mickey pops gooey delicacies between those gorgeous lips; etc. All with merely minimal nudity, understand. This is a swank Yuppie fantasy, not a skin flick, and will probably achieve its greatest success as a videocassette classic for horny homebodies. Or semihorny homebodies; MGM/UA Home Video's cassette attempts to walk the line between the U.S. and international release prints by including some, but not all, of the controversial footage.
This month's rendition of Batgirl is by the late Alberto Vargas, whose work spanned and chronicled six decades of American history. Born in 1896 in Arequipa, Peru, Vargas emigrated to New York in 1916 and three years later began to make a name for himself painting lush, lifelike water-color and airbrush portraits of girls in the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1932, when Hollywood had become America's dreamland, Vargas moved there and worked for motion-picture studios, painting promotional posters and portraits of movie stars, including Alice Faye, Marlene Dietrich and even Shirley Temple. His fame in Hollywood caught the notice of the editors of Esquire and, in 1939, he signed a multiyear contract with that magazine to paint monthly pinup girls, the forerunners of the latter-day gatefold girls. His exposure in Esquire (which temporarily renamed him Varga) brought Vargas national attention; and soon his girls, with their classic combination of sensuousness and innocence, were reproduced on calendars and playing cards and in advertisements for swimsuits and cosmetics. In 1959, having departed Esquire when he was refused a raise in salary, Vargas was enlisted by Hugh Hefner (who, six years before, had quit his job at Esquire for the same reason) to contribute his extraordinary talents to Playboy. That association continued until the late Seventies. For the first time since his death, Vargas' original works have been offered for sale to the public, and the response of the art world has been overwhelming. A Vargas retrospective exhibit in 1985 garnered international reviews, and an exhibit last summer at the San Francisco Art Exchange attracted collectors from around the world. Two of his paintings sold for a total of $550,000, a sum beyond the reach of most of us; all the more reason for Playboy to share its collection of Vargas originals with you, our readers. We'll be publishing more in the future, so be on the lookout for them. The lady on the flip side is precisely the kind of woman Vargas would have painted if he'd known her. She's Paulina Porizkova, one of the world's most popular and highly recognized fashion models. Paulina, who often appears under her first name alone, has been photographed by such star lensmen as Richard Avedon, Francesco Scavullo and, in this particular shot, E. J. Camp. She has graced the cover of nearly every fashion magazine, including Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and was the star of the 1984 and 1985 swimsuit issues of Sports Illustrated. You may also remember her as the focal point of the Cars' angst in the video of their 1984 pop hit Drive, directed by Timothy Hutton.
This is the sound of noses breaking, of cleats digging frozen turf, of taped hands tearing face masks, of shoulder pads battering ribs. It is the sound of Butkus hitting Grabowski, Kramer drilling a hole for Starr, Tatum and Atkinson blind-siding Stall-worth and Swann, Nitschke's teeth gnashing as Sayers disappears; and it echoes when today's greatest players collide. It is the sound of the crowd shrieking hate or approbation. This is another way of looking at the game. This is a look at the matchups that the people who know the game best--the N.F.L.'s players and coaches--will be watching this year, collisions on which games and seasons will hinge. These are the pivotal gridiron battles of 1986.
"Foreign Body" (see "Movies," page 22) is a romantic comedy about a young man from India who seeks prosperity and sexual awakening in London. What you see here is not an actress from the movie but its scriptwriter. How did she come to pose for Playboy? She's a writer. We'll let her tell the story.
Many products are called for display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, yet few are chosen to appear in Playboy, because we just don't have the space. So what are our criteria for picking the eight pieces of audio and video equipment pictured on these pages? Some perform smart multifunctions, some are technologically unique and some just look as if they'd be so much fun to own that we couldn't resist featuring them. About $10,000 buys the lot. Put it on American Express.
Sick of nice-guy comedy? Meet Sam Kinison, 32, a comedian angry enough to make Qaddafi seem like a Rotarian. Kinison virtually stole a recent HBO young-comedians special when he picked up imaginary sand and began to scream at an imaginary starving Ethiopian. "See this?" he asked. "It's sand. One hundred years from now, it will still be sand. We have deserts in America; we just don't live in them. Why don't you live where the food is?" It's edgy stuff--especially for a preacher's son. Even David Letterman has mimicked the opening of his act, in which Kinison finds some hapless audience member who is thinking of getting married. Kinison leans close to him and tells him, "Remember this face." He then breaks into a scream so tortured that, as Jay Leno has said, "You know this guy has been married."
"Politics is like boxing," claims David Doak, 38. "You've got to keep your opponent off guard and make your next move before he has a chance to hit you back." And Doak should know, since Democratic Party insiders consider him to be the savviest political consultant currently working the smoke-filled rooms.
"I don't think of myself as an idol maker," says record producer/arranger Nile Rodgers, 34, shrugging. "It's not as if I work with an artist and his career suddenly happens." However, one can easily forgive confused record-company executives for thinking otherwise after they consider Rodgers' platinum-selling encounters with the likes of Madonna, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, the Thompson Twins, Duran Duran and Grace Jones, not to mention his own success during the disco boom as a founder of Chic. One record-company honcho goes as far as to call Rodgers "an insurance policy" that virtually guarantees a hit album.
Toro, the Minneapolis company whose name is synonymous with the two dreaded suburban chores of lawn mowing and snow blowing, has muscled its way into the workout-machine market with the Isopower, an electronic machine designed to exercise 17 major muscle groups of the upper and lower body. The heart of the Isopower is an electronic control module that's as easy to use as a pocket calculator. You punch in your resistance level and the control module does the rest; there are no weights to change, and five sets of snap-on attachments are part of the package. A complete workout involves ten setups. Hey, you pumping-electronic-iron man! It's time to mow the lawn.