How do you feel about having lots of money? We're not talking a measly 50 or 60 grand a year here, but filthy rich. Impossible? Aha! It's your attitude toward making money that determines whether or not you can do it--or, at least, that's the uplifting word from the "success" salesmen on late-night cable television. Jerry Stahl, whose article Financial Evangelists profiles these fiduciary fakirs, now has a closetful of tips to make him rich, if not famous: "The key is perfectly parted Anso-nylon hair and a swell-fitting polyester suit. I've laid in a dozen of them in various shades of green, and I'm being fitted for a success toupee even as we speak." While we're on the subject of unabashed hucksterism, it's nowhere more blatant than on the TV shopathons Bill Zehme watched while researching his Home Shopping. Reports a bleary-eyed Zehme, "I've since begun to price cubic zirconia everywhere I go. But the question is, What is cubic zirconia and why does America want to buy it?" Both Stahl's and Zehme's very funny reports, as well as a look at the new "videologs"--catalogs on VCR--can be found in Prime Time for Sellevision.
Two stars in one orbit (above): Hef and Eddie Murphy. Below, from left, Brigitte Nielsen, Kelly Sangher, Paul Guilfoyle and Murphy. At bottom, Miss June 1986, Rebecca Ferratti, Dena Tenkay, Julie Simone and Peggy Sands surround happy co-star Judge Reinhold. Dena and Peggy are Playboy models.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), June 1987, Volume 34, Number 6. 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 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Perkins, Fox & Perkins, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
Another bold step in the post-Rambo phase of national soul searching about Vietnam, The Hanoi Hilton (Cannon) is dynamic drama, a kind of angst-laden epilog to Platoon. Applauding Oliver Stone's definitive battle epic was easy for antiwar activists and liberals, who may feel stiffly challenged by writer-director Lionel Chetwynd's poignant homage to U.S. prisoners of war. The movie borrows its title from the infamous Hoa Lo prison, where many were entombed for nearly a decade. Perceiving themselves as forgotten men, shaken by news from Stateside about rising protests against an endless, un-winnable war, they were tortured, broken in body and spirit. Many confessed to their "crimes." How some died and some survived with a saving scrap of dignity is Chetwynd's story, distilled from interviews with more than 100 former POWs.
Anyone who knows anything about baseball knows Keith Hernandez of the New York Mets. He played a key role in the Mets' 1986 world-series victory and has won the Gold Glove Award nine years in a row. Understandably, he's known as the premier fielding first baseman. We asked him if the Beastie Boys got to first base with their first effort, "Licensed to Ill."
Reeling and Rocking: Look for Ted Nugent to make his feature-film debut in State Park. Nugent plays himself and sings Love Is Like a Chain Saw, which he describes as "a moving love song for these times."... Screenwriter Joe Eszterhaus, who wrote Jagged Edge, is writing a sequel to Nashville. ... Tina's hit song Private Dancer, written by Mark Knopfler, is being developed as a movie by the producers of Flashdance,Peter Guber and Jon Peters .... Billy Joel and Bette Midler are providing the voices for an animated Disney film of Oliver Twist. ... Diane Keaton plans to direct a music video for Belinda Carlisle.
Welcome to the year of the castration complex. You may not have noticed it in yourself, or even in your friends, but judging from many of this year's comedy albums, men have little else on their minds other than an overwhelming concern about their equipment and the supposed threats posed to it by--gasp!--the dreaded female enemy.
Philip Caputo's novel Indian Country (Bantam) is about a Vietnam veteran who, years after the fact, cannot come home from the war. Christian Starkmann lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He drinks too much, picks fights and often ignores June, the good woman who wants to help him. As he finds himself tortured by increasingly realistic flashbacks ("some part of him had been in another dimension where terms such as past and present had no meaning"), his mental condition deteriorates. Writing with depth and authority, Caputo shows the complexity of post-traumatic-stress disorder in small gestures as well as large ones: "He tossed a bottle of salad dressing like a hand grenade." A lot of veterans will nod in immediate understanding. Indian Country does a fine job of describing the terrors of P.T.S.D. and the healing that can overcome it.
It's been said that no sport is really worth while unless it has a literature. I've always thought the person who said this first was probably thinking about whale fishing and Moby Dick rather than football, baseball, boxing, horse racing and golf, which are the sports that have the most literature. Personally, I think every sport is worth while to one group or another. It's just that certain sports have a more obscure literature than others.
Ah, yes, June. The bridal month. Hearts and flowers. White veils. Wedding music. Who could have known June would be the month The Greek panicked? He got married last June, and he's been on the phone to me ever since.
I've been writing on a word processor for about six months now, and it's all right. Makes me feel kind of modern, kind of like, "Kill the pigeons, Edith; we're going to be using this telephone thing from now on." It's a racy little machine, and if it makes me feel like I think too slowly, what the hell. I've always believed that, so there's no change there. And it hasn't changed my writing style, either. A lot of people told me it would make my sentences longer. It hasn't.
This may sound a bit odd to you, but my girlfriend and I have a balloon fetish. We love making love on them. It started when we were messing around in the bedroom after a birthday party. When her back was turned, I decided to sit on a balloon to see her reaction when it popped. Well, it didn't, and when she saw what I was doing, she came over to help me by sitting on top of me while I was on it. When it still hadn't popped after a couple of tries, I had an idea. It was one of the most pleasurable times we've had, and we've been using balloons ever since. The thing we like about them is that we can use them in just about any position we desire--the elevation is fantastic, they create an added bounce and feel soooo nice and soft when we're sitting on them. They do have a tendency to pop every now and then, but that's really fun, too! We blow up a couple of extras just in case that happens. Does this sound strange to you, or do you know of anyone else who does this? It is a wonderful feeling and has inflated (no pun intended) our sex life considerably.--D. C., Avon, Colorado.
Television networks will not broadcast advertisements for contraceptives until "men have babies, a woman runs a network or the president of a network gets AIDS." --Linda Ellerbee, host and writer for ABC-TV's Our World
The Civil War, or so we learned in high school, was fought over the issue of slavery. Our teacher, Miss Velma Johnson, whose understanding of American history was based entirely on the same textbooks we were reading, also told us as a fact that the Civil War ended in 1865. But lately it has dawned on me that Miss Johnson was wrong on both counts.
It's a safe bet that anyone even near a TV set, movie theater or magazine during the past three years has on more than one occasion seen a black female face, topped by a dread-locked coif, staring back with a streetwise grin and wondered, Who or what is a Whoopi Goldberg?
As usual, the telephone rang at dinnertime. From their places around the table, Polly and the kids gave McGruder pleading looks that meant "Please don't answer it--for once, just let the damned thing ring."
Her first boyfriend, a Valley hunk with a weakness for beauty-pageant contestants, dumped her for Miss Northridge. "I sulked for two months," says Jenilee Harrison. "Then I decided he was going to regret it." Today, somewhere, he does. Jenilee, determined to outshine Miss Northridge, became a beauty queen herself, winning titles that ranged from Miss San Fernando Valley to Miss Young America. Beauty-pageant laurels led to TV commercials and a stint with the Embraceable Ewes (now more prosaically known as the L.A. Rams cheerleaders). Next came several seasons as "clumsy Cindy" on the hit sitcom Three's Company--Jenilee replaced Suzanne Somers after Somers' bitter contract dispute with the show's producers. Next came a role as a hooker with a golden heart in the James Garner vehicle Tank. Next came South Fork. Jenilee's performance on Dallas as the smart, tough oil girl Jamie Ewing Barnes made her something of a star. Now comes Jenilee Harrison, 27, formerly Miss Young America, formerly the most embraceable Ewe of all, formerly clumsy Cindy and tough Jamie. Currently successful, sensational, happy--and all on her own terms. When Jenilee sets her mind to something, something definitely happens.
Ralph Kramden, a bus driver from Brooklyn, was the father of TV home shopping. He called it Better Living Through Television and hatched a portentous scheme from which an unstoppable movement has followed. For $200, he had acquired 2000 Handy Housewife Helpers, gizmos that could core apples, open cans, pop corks, cut glass, remove corns, scale fish and double as screwdrivers. Certain that he could liquidate them at one dollar apiece, he blustered his way onto live television as the self-proclaimed Chef of the Future and, abetted by a sewer-worker friend, attempted to demonstrate--zip, zip, zip--the item's miraculous versatility. Viewers were (continued overleaf)home shopping...... entreated to place orders immediately. "The phone number to call in New York is BEnsonhurst 5-6832!" urged the sewer worker. "Hurry, hurry. Don't get shut out!" Presumably, after the Chef of the Future had hacked his fingers to fleshy nubs, sales were spotty at best. Still, there was an admirable sort of earnest innocence in the presentation.
Pity the purists. They punched Top Gun into the VCR and couched back to watch the world's best-trained combat pilots fly the world's best interceptor aircraft. Then, out of the blue, as it were, came a commercial for Diet Pepsi. Tsk. Those caught off guard just hadn't been watching their market-place radar. Paramount and Pepsi had ballyhooed the cassette of Top Gun, 1986's box-office champ, in ads and promotions on an unprecedented scale--about $8,000,000 worth of publicity.
Sorry, guys, we lied to you. Last January, when Playboy published a pictorial on Maxine Legroom, our Playmate of the Minute, we allowed that she was a computer-generated image, a fantasy mate for the very popular Max Headroom. The pictures had an unreal quality; we were willing to believe that no one on earth possessed such a perfect body--until Sandy Greenberg sat down in our office and announced that she was, in fact, Maxine Legroom. She had just returned from the West Coast, where she had filmed a Maxine Legroom rock video and comedy spots for The Playboy Channel. Before our very eyes, she transformed herself into a slightly spacy child of the future, lecturing on condoms. "Have you ever wondered why they are called condoms? Sounds like something you buy when you can't afford a house. And why are they called rubbers? You aren't going out into the slush. I prefer to call them love gloves." Sandy is animated and very funny--and as gorgeous in real life as Maxine is in fantasy. She described a day in the life of her alter ego. "They spent eight hours putting on make-up. I wore white contacts over each entire eye, blue contacts over those. It was like looking through a light bulb. I had on an outfit that looked like something Bamm Bamm on The Flintstones would wear. Halfway through the shooting, I asked the camera crew to turn on some music. I just started to dance, they filmed it and then asked me to dance again. They took clips and made a video where Maxine gives advice. Her answer to every problem is 'Dance!'" What does the real-life lady do for fun? "I ride. I have five BMW motorcycles in the garage: a white R65LS, an orange 650, an old 6/2, a 1000 boxer with a full fairing, a K100 with an EML sidecar. I just got back from 12 days and 3600 miles through Canada by way of Door County, past Niagara Falls and back to St. Louis. Last summer, I toured the Northwest, from Lake Tahoe to Grants Pass, Oregon. It's the perfect way to travel. There's none of the verbal stuff--no arguing, no back-seat driving, none of the stuff that gets in the way of a good time." Motorcycles, apart from being a passion, have been a good career move for Sandy. "I had this R65LS, called Freddie. There was one other like it in St. Louis, in a shop window. One day it was gone, and I asked the owner what had happened. He said a photographer was using it in a shooting. He was looking for a girl to hang off the bike. I auditioned, and the rest is visual history. I do a lot of body modeling. My portfolio is filled with weird little shots of ankles, wrists, hands. Half of the fun of this shooting is that I get to see what I look like." As you can observe, she looks very good. When she's not working on a shoot, you can find her doing supercircuits at the local health club or running in the park. The difference between a computer-generated fantasy and real flesh may be sweat and hard work. Or passion. Vive la différence!
A huge, Rambolike fellow walked into a tavern and took a seat at the middle of the bar. After downing a whiskey in one gulp, he glared at the six men to his right and said, "You're all no-good motherfuckers. Anyone have a problem with that?"
Have you been longing for dappled sunlight shimmering through island palms? For jagged white peaks soaring against an alpine blue sky? For smart boulevard cafés where people watching is an art? Ah, the restless spirit! But be warned: The word travel has a sobering etymology. It derives from the Middle English travailen, meaning to toil. Worse, it is rooted in the Latin trip&x0101;lium, an instrument for inflicting pain. Travel can be travail when a rental car shudders and dies in some sun-steamed jungle outback or when that "deluxe" suite aboard a Nile cruise ship turns out to be a closet next to the paddle wheel. But then there's that siren song once more, singing of sunshine and warm blue seas, of heady aromas in ancient bazaars, of sophisticated babble in smart European nighteries--and off you go again. Here, then, are tips for travelers who heed that call to adventure and romance, compiled from interviews with travel agents, tour companies, State Department officers and veteran globe-trotters. "Strong and content I travel the open road," said Walt Whitman. We couldn't have said it better.
Once upon a time, a pretty lady from a smallish Southern city posed for some sexy pictures in a men's magazine. And before she knew what was happening, she found that she'd become a Very Important Person. Donna Edmondson's rise from old-fashioned country girl to Playmate of the Month to Playmate of the Year reads like--you guessed it--a fairy tale, only better. Suddenly transformed from plain ol' beautiful to Playboy beautiful, Donna has sailed on through a string of successes so magical that one gets the impression that had Cinderella had the chance, she would have bypassed the ball and thumbed a ride to North Carolina to take a few lessons. "I never imagined it would go this far," said Donna from her home in Greensboro. "I didn't think I was pretty enough to test for Playboy, let alone be Playmate of the Month. Now I'm Playmate of the Year! This has really been a dream come true."
As if the high ratings of his TV show, "Family Ties," the box-office haul of his movies "Back to the Future" and "Teen Wolf" and the anticipation of his next two films--"Light of Day" and "The Secret of My Success"--didn't create enough pandemonium in the life of actor Michael J. Fox, now the 26-year-old Canadian transplant must wake up each morning to the jarring symphony of a construction team erecting a wall around his Los Angeles home. Says Fox, who has also added rooms and a new driveway, "It's a little something to keep the fans at bay. Sometimes I've come home to find them sitting in my back yard, waiting for me." We asked Contributing Editor David Rensin to get a hard-hat and pick his way through the plaster and paint. Said Rensin, "At 9:30 a.m., Fox was unkempt and unshaven--and completely unpretentious about it. He drank V8 juice. It was too early for beer."
In Hollywood, film students talk about Phil Joanou with hushed reverence. It seems like only yesterday that he was one of the gang, just another kid taking cinema classes at USC. Then, suddenly, he graduated to being one of the most-talked-about directors--yet another Wunderkind. Joanou's good fortune began when his student film caught the eye of Steven Spielberg. "We met and talked for about an hour," Joanou recalls. "He wanted to know everything about the film." Apparently, Joanou had the right answers, because, fresh out of school, he found himself hired by Spielberg to direct two episodes of Amazing Stories. One of those shows earned its star, John Lithgow, an Emmy, and the actor credited his director in his acceptance speech. Now, at 25, Joanou has graduated again, this time to a feature film called 3 O'Clock High. "Spielberg found the script," he explains. "It's like he's my big brother. He knows what I'm going through now, because he started at 23, too." Joanou's fairy-tale leap from school to studio has not been without some trauma. "You might think it's glitzy, but when you get here, it's all work. No one tells you in school, 'This has to be done in an hour--or else.' That's the big difference between the classroom and the real world."
Bob Goldthwait, 24, is the kind of guy you'd cross the street to avoid. On stage, where he's known as Bobcat, Goldthwait's even jumpier--spastic and sputtering, stealing a nervous twitch or two from comic madmen Andy Kaufman and Brother Theodore, Goldthwait approximates a punk-rock approach to comedy--sort of The Sex Pistols Meet Soupy Sales. Goldthwait claims that his edgy antics--which include showering on stage, appearing as an overweight, overwrought Prince on the MTV Awards and having his "father" stand in for a hoop-jumping dog--are the result of playing it natural. "When I'm on stage, I'm usually very nerve-racked, really emotionally strung out," he confesses. "I got tired of audiences' getting the better of me, so I began telling them how uncomfortable I felt." The strategy worked, as evidenced by his own HBO special and several film roles. It figures that someone with a slash-and-burn approach to humor isn't going to care much for more conventional funnymen. "I don't care about some guy who has problems meeting girls and driving on the freeway. Fuck those guys with sweaters."
When you start your acting career at the age of nine, you've learned a few things by the age of 23, and Helen Hunt figured she'd been through just about every conceivable audition. Cocky? Hardly. She had wowed Francis Coppola to snag a part in Peggy Sue Got Married and had turned a guest-star stint on St. Elsewhere into a running character that lasted three years. But then she found herself up for the female lead in Project X. Naturally, she did a few scenes for the director and co-star Matthew Broderick. Then came a reading with the other co-star--a chimp? "Everyone wanted to make sure that Willy didn't freak out," explains Hunt, who plays a researcher who teaches the chimp sign language. Professional that she is, she won the chimp's favor. "If he hadn't liked me, I never would have gotten the part. I think they cast the film with Matthew first, then Willy and then me." Well, that's monkey biz.
To really get a sense of what singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith is all about, try imagining a novel by Eudora Welty or Carson McCullers set to music. "Writing for me is making very common things and very everyday people--just average Americans--interesting," explains the 33-year-old Texan. That gift for poetic, homespun lyrics is finally paying off for Griffith. After ten years as a folk singer playing bars and coffeehouses, she recently moved to Nashville and immediately hit it big. Kathy Mattea recorded Griffith's Love at the Five & Dime, which spent the past summer roosting in Billboard's country top ten, and Griffith released Lone Star State of Mind, her first album on a major label. But neither her success nor the crossover to country should alarm her old folk fans. "Now my music is classified as country," she says, "but it's always been somewhere between folk music and hillbilly. I consider it to be folk-a-billy." One critic dubbed her "a literary song poet," and Griffith thinks that the boredom of growing up in the Southwest helped foster her talent. "Texas is not the most interesting place to look at," she explains, "so you have to develop an imagination early in life."
There's scientific market research and then there's gut instinct, and Lee Abrams, 34, knows about both. His Atlanta-based consulting firm specializes in second-guessing the 18-to-34-year-old market, and Abrams has used his skills to reprogram more than 175 radio stations, to remold such artists as Steve Winwood, Yes, Asia and The Pointer Sisters and to update both MTV and Rolling Stone. He claims to be keenly aware of the limits of traditional social-science techniques. "They tell you what's been done and what works," he says, "whereas the real loose, unscientific ones give you a handle on what people are ready for next." Once, in order to help reformat a radio station in a strange town, Abrams hitchhiked around to see which songs made drivers change stations on their car radios. He is now telling clients that he thinks three radio formats will soon dominate the airwaves: the basic all-teen, heavy-metal station, the progressive rock station that plays groups such as Simple Minds and INXS and, as a new entry, a boom in programing featuring modern jazz and New Age music, aimed at soothing the shattered nerves of stressed-out Yuppies. "Radio stations have overdone the research," Abrams admits. "Now we're trying to persuade them to be a bit more eccentric, a little more showbiz. They have to change, because, in most cases, the audiences are hipper than the media."
Now that digital compact discs (CDs) have eliminated the click, pop and scratch of vinyl-LP recordings, the audio gurus of the Orient and Europe have turned their attention to cassette tapes and those two inherent evils--hiss and flutter. Sometime next fall, your local hi-fi store will offer you the latest twist on the digital angle: digital audio tape, or DAT. Currently on store shelves in Japan, DAT is to the CD what the cassette is to the LP. You'll be able to buy prerecorded digital audio tapes or roll your own. To bring you up to date on the technology, digital audio starts in the studio, where a digital recorder samples live sound more than 40,000 times per second. Then the machine converts those samples to an enormous series of ones and zeros, which go onto the master tape. As long as the numbers stay in the right sequence (ensured by sophisticated error-correction techniques), the original sound is always intact, never degraded in the mixing-and-editing process. Those ones and zeros also go onto the surfaces of CDs (as microscopic pits) and onto digital tape. Pop a tape into a DAT deck and the machine reconverts the ones and zeros to their pristine sound.
"Night Life in the age of Aids"--Eavesdropping in singles bars and other watering holes from coast to coast, our reporter tells it like it is. How much has panic affected sexual behavior? Tune in with David Seeley