Welcome to one of the most star-packed issues we've ever published. For openers, we have the memoirs of Larry King--host of radio's nationally syndicated Larry King Show--who has talked with just about everybody who's anybody over the past three decades. Tell It to the King, written by King with Peter Occhiogrosso and illustrated by Herb Davidson, is an excerpt from the forthcoming book by the same title to be published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, and it offers an amazing collection of on- and off-the-air anecdotes about entertainment, political and sports legends such as Marlon Brando, Lenny Bruce, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, John F. Kennedy, Don Shula, Muhammad Ali and Laurence Olivier. If you like spicy celebrity gossip, you'll find it as difficult to stop reading King as it is to eat just one potato chip.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), April 1988, Volume 35, Number 4. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $24 for 12 issues U.S. Canada, $35 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $35 U.S. Currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy Subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0222. Please allow 6--8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0222, 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.
For those who thought Heart was kaput, there was 1986's multiplatinum self-titled comeback album. And for those who thought that was a one-shot, there is the current multiplatinum "Bad Animals." Heart leaders Nancy and Ann Wilson chose to review the comeback LP, "Cloud Nine" (Dark Horse), of one of their lifelong heroes, George Harrison. Here is their joint assessment.
Buddhist Monk Rock Department: If you thought raisins singing rock were the last frontier in music, think again. Paul Revere and the Raiders visited a Buddhist monastery in the Korean mountains, where one of the monks said to Paul, "You a rock star? I see you on Solid Gold."
Grand Opera enters the music-video era in Aria (Miramax), an explosion of talent, melody and tantalizing imagery that will probably attract more classicists than MTV addicts. Producer Don Boyd's brain storm was to give ten directors carte blanche with an operatic aria of their choice, going as far out as inspiration or irreverence might lead them. Typically, director Julien Temple uses Verdi's Rigoletto as background music for a here-and-now sex farce about a married couple (Buck Henry and Anita Morris) who keep just missing each other while shacking up at a kinky motel with their respective amours (Beverly D'Angelo in animal skins plays Buck's doe). While real opera stars, living and dead, keep the sound track swollen with song, the performers on screen for the most part do without dialog. There's no place for talk, anyway, when director Nicolas Roeg also has a go at Verdi, with Theresa Russell (Mrs. Roeg off screen) in male drag as a Middle European king named Zog--or when Robert Altman hokes up Rameau's Les Boreades as a musical soiree in a madhouse, with Julie Hagerty among the demented revelers. France's Jean-Luc Godard spoofs Lully's Armide with a bevy of nude bimbettes ogling muscle men in a gym. Not all the ideas are so facetious. Directors Bruce Beresford, Ken Russell and Franc Roddam play it straight, or with darker ideas. And Aria's most visually stunning episode is the Roddam treatment of Tristan und Isolde--the famous Wagnerian music used to set the mood for a suicidal young couple (Bridget Fonda--Peter's daughter and Jane's niece--and James Mathers) making passionate love before they end it all in a glitzy Las Vegas hotel. Plainly, there's a consistent thread of eroticism here. Some of it works, some of it seems obscure or arbitrary. But Aria is consistently lavish, ambitious and unlike any other movie you're apt to see this year. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Tony Hendra's Going Too Far (Doubleday) is the former National Lampoon editor's sprawling, gossipy account of, in his subtitle's words, "The Rise and Demise of Sick, Gross, Black, Sophomoric, Weirdo, Pinko, Anarchist, Underground, Anti-Establishment Humor." Hendra's history of "Boomer" humor begins 30 years ago, a decade before the postwar "Baby Boom" generation had advanced from underwear jokes to Mad magazine with Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce; its demise more or less coincides with John Belushi's. Hendra's main contention--that America's sense of humor escalated from the gentle, genteel wit of The Saturday Evening Post to the scathing and gut-busting satire of Saturday Night Live--cannot be gainsaid, and it's also woefully obvious that the pendulum has lately taken a long swing back to the mild-mannered and warmhearted. While Hendra's history of dark humor is somewhat skewed to reflect the high points of his own career, that doesn't amount to a large distortion, since he has always lived close to the snarling source of satire and even today is a force behind the last genuine comedy show with teeth, the British TV series Spitting Image. As becomes the work of a great satirist, Hendra's book could not be timelier, since the question it poses--whether Boomer humor did actually go too far--is a critical 1988 case before the Supreme Court (Jerry Falwell vs. Larry Flynt). One doesn't have to think Flynt's gross-out techniques are funny to feel a friendly interest in his case: Satire may not be lively at the present moment, but theoretically, it's still possible. If Falwell wins, satirists of all sorts will have to consider other employment opportunities.
Consider the succulent taste of a charcoal-broiled steak, the refreshing aroma of a brook trout grilled over a mesquite fire, the sensuousness of strawberries and whipped cream. There are incredible delicacies in life, aren't there? But could you list any greater delicacy than the exhilarating and provocative one that has no publicly acceptable name?
Am I the only person on earth who doesn't love Marilyn Monroe? I know I'm supposed to, because she's dead and was beautiful and tragic. But she was the embodiment (sorry) of everything I hate about how men regard women.
I never thought it would happen to me, but after an exciting six-year courtship, including a ten-month engagement, my fiancée says she's not ready to get married. She wants to postpone our wedding one year. The reason she gives is the two-month love affair I had during our only breakup, and that was two years ago. She is still haunted by that and fears that it might happen again. I wonder if time will heal her wound, and should I commit another year to finding out?--D. M., Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The description, in Reverend Donald Wildmon's own words, sounds harmless enough. "The N.F.D. is a Christian organization promoting the Biblical ethic of decency in American society, with primary emphasis on TV and other media." But make no mistake: The National Federation for Decency is a fanatical organization capable of much pernicious influence.
Why Reverend Wildmon Wants to Ban what You Watch, Hear and Play
The Reverend Donald Wildmon is the quintessential advocate of the "If it affects anyone, ban it for everyone" school of regulation. The National Federation for Decency criticized the USA network for airing Friday the 13th: Part III, because an 11-year-old in Madison, Wisconsin, hanged himself, allegedly trying to duplicate a stunt in the film. Similarly, the N.F.D. blamed the producers of Rambo, because Anthony James Jenkins went on a sniping spree in Mississippi shortly after he saw the film. Wildmon regularly blames the game Dungeons and Dragons for assorted teenage murders and reports on every suicide of heavy-metal fans who might have been influenced by AC/DC or Ozzy Osbourne songs.
The Reverend Donald Wildmon is a man obsessed and his obsession does not discriminate; it cuts across all forms of entertainment: rock 'n' roll, comic books, magazines, television shows, movies and bubble-gum cards.
Clive M. Davis wants us to get our priorities straight. He is a professor of psychology at Syracuse University and a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. Davis feels that sex research is maligned as a science and ignored by grant-giving Government agencies:
The Playboy Forum editorials on Shere Hite's book Women and Love, "A Cultural Revolution in Progress" (February), correctly note a new trend in male bashing by the publishing industry. The trend is easy to chart in the popular press as well. Women constitute 90 percent of the "Lifestyle" editors of newspapers. Indeed, such departments used to be called the "Women's" section. It is here that women purportedly turn to get front-line reports on the relationships between the sexes. In these pages, the only good man is one who asks a woman to marry him.
Ronald Reagan reads his novels, then invites him to the White House. Cap Weinberger reviews his newest book and gives it a rave. The Secretary of the Navy debriefs him. Our top war colleges cede him the lectern. The CIA has him over for lunch for a "chat." From the Pentagon to the Kremlin, men in uniforms hung heavy with brass ask one another, Who is this author who's selling millions of books by popularizing the technosecrets of modern warfare ? More than that, they want to know, who is his source? Who's feeding him the latest dope on both sides' subs, satellites, tanks and lasers? Isn't that stuff supposed to be ... classified?
This is a story of two Warsaw youths--Zeinvel and Shmerl, both of them workers in a tailor shop. Shmerl was short, chubby and had a round face and brown eyes that expressed naïveté and goodness. He was always nibbling on candy and cookies. He often smiled and burst out laughing for no reason at all.
In our Sex Stars of 1979, we predicted big things for Canadian model D. D. Winters. It took a while, but eventually, she proved our point. As alter ego Vanity, she snagged a stint as Prince's paramour and as the sultry siren of Vanity 6, a trio whose self-titled album spawned the smash hit Nasty Girl. Then came two solo Motown LPs--Wild Animal and Skin on Skin--and movies such as 52 Pick-Up and Berry Gordy's fiery The Last Dragon, in which she played a video jock with an eye for singles. "People are always saying to me, 'Don't move around so much, just stand still,' " she says. "But I have a lot of energy."
Which one is Michael Jordan?" the businesswoman asked in a hushed voice. She was shuffling through a tour of the Multiplex, a private sports club that doubles as the practice ground for the Chicago Bulls. Jordan lounged against the wall, wearing a white sweater with black polka dots, listening to coach Doug Collins discuss game strategy. When the tour guide pointed him out, she squealed, "Oh, he looks so small!"
Every day of my life, from Monday to Friday, I get to meet the most interesting people in the world--writers, politicians, film directors, historians, surgeons, lawyers, professional athletes, comedians, singers, psychiatrists--and ask them anything I want. And I get paid for it. On top of that, I get to talk to callers from all over the country and tell them what I think about any issue from the Middle East to the major leagues. Between radio and television, I've probably interviewed more than 30,000 people and The Guinness Book of World Records has determined that I've probably logged more hours than any other talk-show host in the history of radio. It's my world and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
The child bride of 1973 had no idea she would be sitting in a chic Beverly Hills restaurant in 1988. "When I got married, at 15, I still had braces on my teeth," Eloise Broady recalls. The marriage didn't work; the divorce left her peering at an ex-housewife in the mirror. "It wasn't until then that I realized I was pretty," she says. "I thought, Maybe it's time to listen to all those people saying 'You ought to be a model' or 'You ought to be an actress.' " She went to a "cattle call" in Austin, two hours' drive from her native Houston, and won a part in the Kris Kristofferson-Willie Nelson film Songwriter. Next came a gig as Kim Basinger's double in Nadine. A year ago, Eloise took her ten-year-old son--her older son attends a prep school in Alabama--and went west to Los Angeles. That was step one. Step two begins now. This yellow-haired rose of Texas wants to make her mark on her adopted home and make the folks back home proud of her. "I have been a wife and a mother," she says, watching Merv Griffin shop in a tony haberdashery adjoining the restaurant where she sips cappuccino. "Now it's time for a little adventure." She steers clear of the fast lane--"No craziness for Eloise"--and keeps her sights set on her dream destination: Oscar night, 1993. "I know it's a lot to hope that a Texas girl could pack up and go west and one day win an Oscar," she says, "but you've got to have a dream, don't you?" This dream exacts a price. "I was flying over L.A. the other day," she says, a Lone Star lilt in her voice, "and it was beautiful--it seemed to go on forever. But I had an overwhelming sense of missing Texas--all the land, the wide sky, even the cows. Once a Texan, always a Texan, I guess." Eloise's Texas two-step continues--in Hollywood.
The flesh remembers. Long after the mind has put the fear away, some small, visceral trigger--like cinching a seat belt across your lap--can bring it all back: the murderous roaring, the smell of burning rubber, the nasty taste of the fireproof hood where it's bunched up into your mouth under your helmet, the sweat in your eyes and, most vivid of all, the awful worry just under your harness buckle that in a few seconds, when all galloping hell cuts loose, you are going to forget some crucial little piece of business and be dead.
Once asked whether or not people said he reminded them of Gary Cooper, Harrison Ford replied with a grin, "Nope." He is a laconic guy with a legend all his own, a Chicago-born former carpenter who has starred in five of the ten top-grossing films in history. He is Han Solo, galactic Galahad. He is Indiana Jones, bullwhip enthusiast. Besides the radiations of the "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" oeuvres, his films include "Blade Runner," "Witness," "The Mosquito Coast" and his current movie, "Frantic," a Roman Polanski homage to the Hitchcockian thriller, played breathlessly against a Parisian backdrop.
So you still think pizza is a simple ethnic snack dispensed at neon-lit storefront eateries? Have we got a delicious surprise for you. The fact is, some very classy chefs have been bending their vaunted creative talents to the cause of pizza--devising audacious new toppings for the plebeian tomato-and-cheese pie. In the process, they've altered the nature of this lusty peasant nosh and given it haute dimensions. For instance, at his esteemed Quilted Giraffe restaurant in Manhattan, chef-owner Barry Wine serves a savory wasabi pizza topped with tuna sashimi. Alice Waters, who may have initiated the New Wave pizza school, dishes up a pizza topped with caramelized onions, gorgonzola and chopped rosemary at her legendary Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Yet another noted chef-entrepreneur, Wolfgang Puck of Spago fame in Los Angeles, lays it on with smoked salmon, golden caviar and crème fraîche.
Last year, someone somewhere decided it was time to re-examine rock 'n' roll. How else to explain brisk record sales not only for the Grateful Dead but for such rebounders as George Harrison, Robbie Robertson and Smokey Robinson? Add to that the high drama of CD releases by the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix and the best rock movie of the year--Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock'N' Roll, with sound track produced by his fan Keith Richards. Remakes of old hits made the rounds on our turntables: the Supremes' You Keep Me Hangin' On, now sung by Kim Wilde, plus two Tommy James & the Shondells hits from the Sixties, Mony Mony, now by Billy idol, and I Think We're Alone Now, covered by Tiffany, the 16-year-old who polished her act performing at Southern California shopping malls. Tiffany marks yet another trend--the Invasion of the Madonna-Wanna-Be's, such as Stacy Q, Debbie Gibson, Elisa Fiorillo (the vocal on Jellybean's Who Found Who), Jody Watley and Pepsi & Shirlie. Judging from Madonna's phenomenal success on record, on tour and now in our Hall of Fame, frankly, can you blame them? Meanwhile, the real Madonna was busy continuing the new tradition of rocking for charity by helping raise millions for AIDS research with benefit concerts in New York, London and Paris. And Huey Lewis donated $225,000 to train doctors in treating AIDS patients, while Cyndi Lauper, Elton John and numerous others worked in various capacities to raise AIDS money. Good going, gang. For more about the year in music and the results of the Playboy Music Poll, read on.
No question whom the readers voted big winner this year--Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston and Whitney Houston. This pop diva wins top honors in three categories. Meanwhile, Bono and Phil Collins tally heavy pop/rock numbers and Sting's ensemble snags the jazz-group prize. Alas, dear readers, Sting says he's not very interested in jazz. This is what he gets for hiring such high-grade jazzmen as Branford Marsalis and Omar Hakim. Congratulations to Sting and all of our winners, in pop, R&B, country and jazz, too.
On this, the write-in part of the Music Poll, the choices are subjective and the field of candidates seems endless. But, eventually, the wisdom of the majority emerges. This year's wise choices are listed below. Thanks for your votes.
Once, in a back street in Calcutta, a wheezing Bengali snatched my arm and said, "You want Chinese girl?" I had been hurrying to get a train ticket at Howrah. I had promised to meet someone after that. It was midday, and the humid heat of the Hooghly River penetrated the crowded city and made it stink. I had wanted to get everything done--my ticket, my shopping, my appointments--and then head out of there. The Bengali had caught me just as I had set off on what I expected to be a busy day, in which I had no time to spare.
I get tired of seeing stories on TV about how women are being abused and discriminated against--or how they're evolving. Men have been evolving, too," insists Bob Berkowitz, 37, the Today show's male-issues correspondent. "We've been opening up, giving up power, but that never seems to get discussed." Berkowitz, however, discusses it relentlessly. "On TV, you still see a lot of male bashing." The prime basher, he says, is Phil Donahue. "Phil puts down men in a way you'd never dream of putting down women or blacks," says Berkowitz, who once called Donahue "the Benedict Arnold of our gender" to his face and dismisses gender traitors as "Uncle Phils." "We're not touchy-feely animals, men," he says. "We rarely stop and say, 'What's great about being a man?' I think we need to." At home, Berkowitz cooks for his wife, combs the country for man-interest stories, fights Philism wherever it rears its hoary head and still finds time to watch his beloved New York Mets. "I still dream of playing in the major leagues," he says. Mets insiders rate Berkowitz a long shot but say Donahue swings like a girl.
"When I need something to help me unwind/I find a six-foot baby with a one-track mind/Smart guys are nowhere, they make demands/Give me a moron with talented hands." "Women really love that song," says comedienne turned singer-songwriter Julie Brown, 28. Titled, appropriately enough, I Like 'em Big and Stupid, the song is one of the ten trenchantly funny tunes on Brown's much-talked-about album, Trapped in the Body of a White Girl. Another offbeat song, Earth Girls Are Easy, began as a parody of a National Enquirer item but has taken on a life of its own and now threatens to become a movie starring Jeff Goldblum and, of course, Brown herself. Off stage, Brown leads a normal "June Cleaver" type of life. "The weirdest thing I do is read," she says, admitting that Hollywood Wives is one of her favorites. "If you put this stuff in your brain, a lot of times, it will cough itself up at some point."
In this age of highly synthesized sound, nobody relies on just the human voice, and that's one of the things that make the Nylons, and their ever-increasing success, unusual. They're an a cappella group, but one with a hint of controversy, as tenor Claude Morrison readily admits. "We're not so much a cappella as rockappella," he says. "Some purists might argue that it's no longer a cappella, because we use drums. But where do you draw the line between finger snapping and percussion? There are no tonal instruments, no piano, no bass; there's just us." "Us" is Morrison, Paul Cooper, Arnold Robinson and Marc Connors. Their sound would amaze old doo-wop acts such as the Chords with its technical sophistication. "We're using technology that wasn't available back in the Fifties," explains Morrison. "Now we can use echoes and twist our voices. But the human voice hasn't changed and never will. People can relate to our music, because it's human."
Life was not always good for comedian Louie Anderson, 35. Once, the deft, deadpan and decidedly portly comic played a room full of Hell's Angels, "I thought I was in big trouble, but I did really well," he recalls with a touch of whimsy Of course, he admits to having made some minor alterations in his act. "I did leave out all my kill-the-bikers stuff," he says with a smile. Since then, his career has taken off, with numerous Tonight Show appearances, a Showtime special and a co-starring role in The Wrong Guys, a movie centering on a cub-scouts reunion. "We get in trouble with a murderer, and at the end, our moms all save us," he explains. Anderson was the tenth of 11 children of an alcoholic father. "I would say that 90 percent of my family is crazy and the other ten percent is missing." He does, however, see a bright side to his past. "If I'd had a normal childhood, maybe now I'd be asking, 'Did you want fries with that, sir?'"
The raincoat. Timeless, here, in silhouette, it stirs memories of Bogey in Casablanca. But even the toughest trench coat can become a drench coat if the fabric isn't water-repellent--and it's the fabrics that make these raincoats special. One is made of "mud silk," in which mud is applied to wet silk and sun-baked, waterproofing the coat and creating the texture of the cloth. Linen can be treated to withstand the elements, and rubberized cotton chases the night away with dazzling colors. A travel trench coat in crinkled nylon can be packed and still stay true to its personality. Making your slicker slicker goes far beyond the utilitarian. It's great to have fun and stay dry.
Woods of Windsor in Garden City, New York, is a toiletries company with a line of products featuring a scent that's derived from the peau d'Espagne--an arresting aroma originally used in conjunction with leather tanning. Above are three veddy masculine products, including Woods of Windsor talcum, $6, bath-and-shower gel, $6, and after-shave, $9.50. Other great-smelling products for men, including scented drawer liners, are available.