The dog days of summer are upon us. We suggest that you take it very easy and while you wait for a cool breeze--or any breeze--pick up this month's Playboy to sense a different kind of heat. Who is Mike Tyson, really? Is he the guy the media have both lionized and vilified? Or is he someone else? To find out, read our excerpt from José Torres' book Fire and Fear (published by Warner Books in the U.S. and Star Books in the British Commonwealth). Our illustration is by Aaron Hicks. Torres was a boxer before he became a journalist, and his is a compelling account of life in and out of the ring. The real story, devoid of the superficial glitz you may have read elsewhere, makes you feel for Tyson, even though he has some serious problems.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), August 1989, Volume 36, Number 8. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $26 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $39 for 12 issues. All other Foreign, $39 U.S. currency only for new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007 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 51537-4007, and allow 45 days for change. 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.
In the tradition of Lenny Bruce and Buddy Hackett, comic Robert Schimmel explores love dolls, gerbil fetishes and other daring subjects. Under Rodney Dangerfield's sweaty wing, the former stereo salesman has made many cable appearances since his debut on amateur night at L.A.'s Improv. Now he's becoming a hot property with his upcoming cable special, a live LP and his "triple-X-rated" nightclub gig. We asked Schimmel to describe his work.
Spike Lee's daring, deeply personal Do the Right Thing (Universal) could be seen as a comedy aimed at bolstering black pride. It could also be viewed as an incitement to riot. Lee, jauntily sporting four hats as writer, producer, director and star, lets you have it both ways, because that's the way he wants his challenging third film--his best by a city mile--to be. Most of it happens in or around an Italian pizza parlor on a street corner in Brooklyn's volatile Bed-ford-Stuyvesant section. But this is no conventional slum saga. Bed-Stuy's streets are brightly painted, as if for a street fair, crowded with troublemakers, tarts, winners, losers, kids playing stickball, a guy called Radio (Bill Nunn), whose ghetto blaster keeps the rhythm, plus a trio of profane sidewalk people watchers who function almost as a Greek chorus. Lee plays Mookie, who works when he feels like it for Sal the pizza man (commandingly played by Danny Aiello). John Turturro and Richard Edson, as Sal's contentious sons, and Giancarlo Esposito, as a colorful cat called Buggin Out, head a motley crew of performers, including Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, John Savage and Rosie Perez. For a while, their petty squabbles seem amiably bittersweet and ordinary--Our Town with an Afro-American slant. Then the undercurrents of anger and racial enmity erupt in sudden, brutal violence, and that's where Right Thing leaves you--shaken up and sent home to ponder a couple of contradictory closing quotes from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Spike Lee's both disturbing and disorganized, but he hereby earns points as a militant moviemaker who brightens his harangues with the soul of a born showman.
He may have been born Greg Pead, but his name now really isYahoo Serious. At 35, he's a pop idol down under, an Australian showbiz phenomenon unmatched since "Crocodile" Dundee. Cause of all the hoopla is Young Einstein, a madcap pseudobiographical comedy stating the proposition "In 1905 he discovered relativity. In 1906 he invented rock and roll." Serious got the idea while traveling "in the upper reaches of the Amazon. I saw this Brazilian native carrying some beers and wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Albert Einstein on it, and it just went whammo." Several years later, with Yahoo as co-author, producer and titular star, the movie opened in Australia and made mincemeat of such megahits as Star Wars and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Outgrossing Roger Rabbit particularly pleases the avid surfer and former art student (expelled "because I wrote jokes on canvases and hung them up"), who cites Woody Allen, Andy Warhol and David Lean as major sources of inspiration--second only to Bugs Bunny cartoons. "That comic-strip reality showed me how to make a movie about a guy who splits the atom and lives." Re his kinky moniker: "It just struck me as a very funny name.... Even my dad calls me Yahoo now. The director part of me is Mr. Serious." Do Serious movies contain a message for our time? "There's a whole lot of messages. It's like a supermarket--you just take off the shelf what you want." While waiting to see how Young Einstein fares Stateside, Yahoo compares his sudden success to Beatlemania. "I get these letters from girls, and people want me to do commercials. As a role model, they say. But I don't do commercials. That's Paul Hogan's bag."
When it comes to choosing videos, Katey Sagal is not exactly the bubblehead she plays on the TV hit Married ... with Children. The daughter of film director Boris Sagal and veteran of 13 years on the road as a rock singer, Sagal has decidedly varied tastes. "Alfred Hitchcock is my number-one fave for VCR viewing--especially Vertigo and Notorious. But I'm also a trash queen, so I've rented Valley of the Dolls, with Patty Duke, more than once. My big rental tip is an obscure gem called Simon, with Alan Arkin. And Carnal Knowledge is an amazing film." Anything on video that sparks the songstress in Sagal? "Elvis movies! My dad actually directed Girl Happy."
The Conversation: Except for The Godfather and its stunning sequel, the best film ever by Francis Ford Coppola, with Gene Hackman at his peak as a surveillance expert who develops qualms about his dirty work. Watch for Harrison Ford and Robert Duvall amid the high-tech hardware.
Mondo Combo: TVs with built-in VCRs are fast becoming the industry's hottest item. Panasonic has a 13-inch combo (PV-M1328) aimed at bedroom or kitchen and a 20-inch unit (PV-M2028) for the family room. Others joining the market include Quasar, Symphonic, Emerson and Goldstar, with models ranging between $500 and $1100. And our spies tell us of a combo coming from Sharp that's, well, pretty sharp.
Stupidest Video Title:Hot Bagels: The Hole Story;Favorite Do-It-Yourself Video:Building a Bomber;Best Hey-Don't-Sugar-Coat-It Video:Auto Repair for Dummies;Silliest Children's Video Title:Spunky and Tadpole;Silliest Children's Video Title in Spanish:Spunky y Tadpole;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:Dry Wood;Best It's-a-Living Video:Aerial Photo Interpretation of Geological Resources.
With each new album, Mojo Nixon just gets, well, weirder. Things can't get much weirder than "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child," a track from his latest LP, "Root Hog or Die." Mojo was destined to review the Debster's latest, "Electric Youth."
I'm Mad as Hell and I'm not Going to Take it Anymore Department: We hear that a hot topic at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers convention this year was an effort by retailers to pressure record companies for alternative album covers. What does that mean to you? Record stores want to precensor covers that they anticipate will cause controversy. Let the buyer beware!
All-star break time is the perfect pause to check out this latest crop of sports books top-heavy with tales from the dugout. There's lots of instant replay, a bellyful of braggadocio, some thoughtful nostalgia and even a whiff of sweaty poetry.
The world was closing in on Both Hands Benson of the Swamp River Gerbils. The rumors, the allegations, the unsubstantiated reports in the papers, they were all affecting his decisions as a manager and causing trouble at home. That's why he called the press conference.
You'd never know it from the slickness of the paper and the professionalism of the illustration, but being involved with the production of this Men column every month can sometimes seem like a battle in the trenches. There are a lot of people at Playboy who worry about what I will say and how I will say it, and the situation can get pretty tense at times.
I am an attractive 20-year-old female. I have a 23-year-old boyfriend who isn't willing to try new things when we make love. I always ask him to try new things and he says OK but then never follows through. My fantasy is fairly simple: I want to wear lingerie in front of him and have him slowly undress me. I just don't know how to go about it, or if he would enjoy it, because he insists on my being naked before I get into bed. What should I do?--Miss C. W, Los Angeles, California.
If convicted mass murderer Ted Bundy had said that watching Bill Cosby reruns motivated his awful crimes, he would have been dismissed as a deranged sociopath. Instead, Bundy proclaimed that pornography made him do it--which many people treated as the conclusions of a thoughtful social scientist. Why?
When the Ayatollah Khomeini decided that the book The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, was offensive to Islamic values, he called for the author's murder. In the U.S., responses ranged from First Amendment champions' calling for sanctions against Iran to a joke hotline's noting that Rushdie should write a sequel called Buddha, You Fat Fuck. While it's comfortable to rail against rag-head repression, our home-grown version is no joke. We refer, of course, to the Tupelo ayatollah, the Reverend Donald E. Wildmon. It would be more appropriate for Rushdie's next book to be called Wildmon, You Dumb Fuck.
"We are hearing more and more these days about what I call the New Obscenity. It's not a four-letter word but an oft-repeated statement that strikes at the very core of our humanity. The four words are 'I can't help myself.'
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. Even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."--Thomas Jefferson
"In 1650, young Samuel Terry of Springfield, Massachusetts, distressed his neighbors when, during the Sabbath sermon, he stood outside the meeting house 'chafing his yard to provoak lust.' Several lashes on the back may have dissuaded him from masturbating in public again, but in 1661, Samuel Terry endured another punishment for sexual misconduct. Now married, his bride of five months gave birth to their first child, clear evidence that the pair had indulged in premarital intercourse. A four-pound fine was not the last Terry would pay for defying the moral standards of his community. In 1673, the court fined Terry and eight other men who had performed an 'immodest and beastly' play. Despite this history of sexual offenses, however, a sinner like Samuel Terry could command respect among his peers. Terry not only served as a town constable but, in addition, the court entrusted him with the custody of another man's infant son. In short, as long as he accepted punishment for his transgressions, Samuel Terry remained a citizen in good standing."--from Intimate Matters, "A History of Sexuality in America," by John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman.
Would you believe that an unmarried heterosexual man was sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in consensual oral sex with a woman in the privacy of her bedroom? Believe it. It happened in Maryland last year.
As rock and roll slouches through its fourth decade, John Cougar Mellencamp remains hell-bent on riding the beast where he wants it to go, as opposed to where the entertainment conglomerates want it taken. His destination? He would call it "the main event," a heavyweight bout between his appetites and his sense of responsibility. The fact that this fight takes place in his own soul gives his songs power. The fact that he also perceives the conflict on a grander scale gives his songs political resonance. If the hero is someone who can face up to his own contradictions, Mellencamp is a true rock-and-roll hero.
One of Mike Tyson's earliest memories is of being in the hospital in Brooklyn at the age of three or four: "My godmother brought me a toy gun and a doll one day, and I broke the gun by accident right away, and I started to cry. I was so pissed off that I pulled the doll's head off"
The people in our pictures are, of course, playing decadent aristocrats of the court of Louis XVI, the 18th Century equivalent of today's rich and famous, with different outfits and much more exciting sex lives. Marie Antoinette (here portrayed by Marina Baker, Miss March 1987) had the biggest hair in France, purchased wholesale from the hunchback in the bell tower of Notre Dame cathedral. At the time, nobody in France realized that Notre Dame would one day have a great football team. But it was the queen's fateful riposte "Let them eat me!" when orgygoers complained of a shortage of female talent that made the merde hit the fan. It was an era of the most appalling behavior, but, luckily for civilization, France survived and went on to invent naughty underwear, the double-entendre and Napoleon, who gave his name to a heck of a gâteau.
When Eric Dickerson goes to work, he wears a white polycarbonate helmet, a royal-blue jersey and white knee-length nylon/Spandex pants above white socks and low-cut spatted shoes. As a fashion statement, the look has a certain glamor, Dickerson admits, though it's really designed to enable him to do what he does best--function as a fearsome running back for the Indianapolis Colts.
Have you tried Sex on the Beach lately? Maybe you've felt like an Absolut Wreck or examined a Fuzzy Navel. No? Well, then, fasten your seat belt and get set for an adventure in tastemanship, because all the foregoing are mixed drinks, and there's a lot more where they come from--new-era clubs, cafés, pubs, discos, sports bars and similar temples of gusto. Many are the handiwork of talented young bartenders, counterparts of the innovative chefs who are revolutionizing our restaurants from Manhattan to Venice, California.
<p>Femininity has nothing to do with what you wear or don't wear," says Gianna Amore. "It's a state of mind." Femininity comes as naturally to Miss August as does the lust for life she inherited from her Mediterranean ancestors. She grew up in a "super-Italian" household, taking femininity lessons from six older sisters. "I was the baby, the li'l prize." When her sisters took her aside to explain the nuts and bolts of the birds and the bees, she recalls, "I cried. It seemed awful." Gianna recovered. She soon learned to like being looked at by men, many of whom think of birds, bees, nuts and bolts the moment they see her. "I blossomed," she says. Gianna chafed at the discipline demanded of students at her Narragansett, Rhode Island, Catholic junior high. "They had a lot of silly rules. Having fun was wrong. I once got suspended for wearing the wrong-color pants." After high school, she fled South to Florida, where the climate better suited her Italian blood. She tended bar in a jai-alai frontón by night and played on the beach by day but soon felt "stifled. I didn't want to spend my life as a bartender." A modeling firm offered a seven-day trip to the West Coast. On the first day, she gawked. "They put me up at the Century Plaza, where the Reagans stay," she recalls. In no time, Gianna loved L.A. "I was born to be an actress," she says, sitting at a sidewalk table, watching the stream of Benzes and BMWs on Sunset Boulevard, "and now's my chance." She appears in Universal's Screwball Hotel ("A painless but overly familiar sex comedy"--Variety), typecast as a beach beauty, and hopes subsequent roles will feature her inner talents. A beach beauty who writes poetry while listening to classical music, Gianna is ready to blossom as an actress. No Streep yet but a starlet on the rise, she signs autographs for sharp-eyed speculators. Savvy Angeleno autograph hunters obviously recognize a good thing when they see one. "My sister Bethany is five years older than I am," Gianna says. "When we were kids, I was her secretary. I had to go up and talk to the boys she wanted to go out with." Gianna, her sisters' "li'l prize," has graduated from secretary to sex symbol. Less than a year ago, new in town, she showed up at Playboy's West Coast offices in search of a modeling assignment. "I never thought of myself as a Playmate of the Month--Playmates are gorgeous," she says. "But while I was signing in at the front desk, Kim Mizuno took one look and said, 'You should be a Playmate.' I guess he was right." Bethany's old boyfriends will most definitely be impressed. Her strict Catholic schooling, Gianna says, made her a late bloomer. "There were rumors at school," she says, dark eyes agleam. "You know what they say about some girls, that they're 'fast'? I remember my aunt Margie going to my mom and telling her there were rumors going around about me--that I was slow! Mom liked that." Making up for her late start, Gianna became a passionate woman. "Growing up in a small town, a little sheltered, I didn't have an outlet for my passion," she says. "Now I feel beautiful, very sexy, excited--I want to show everyone what I'm capable of." We're glad to be of assistance.</p>
Choosing an attaché is like purchasing a fine piece of luggage. First and foremost, it must be constructed well. It should also reflect the personality of its owner. Case in point: Why tote a nondescript box when you can break ranks and opt for a metal attaché that's as sleek as the Concorde, or a leather portfolio richer and more supple than most leather coats? When it comes to attachés, the case is never closed.
I Remember Riverview. This vast amusement park was located on Chicago's North Side. It was magnificent, dangerous and thrilling. There were freak shows; there was the renowned Bobs roller coaster, built as the fastest in the world; there was the Rotor, a room-sized cylinder in which one stood back against the wall and was spun around, while the floor dropped away; there was the parachute jump, the symbol of Riverview and visible for miles.
Just Over 21 years ago, about the time when those now coming of legal drinking age were born, there was not a single woman member on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Muriel Siebert, among others, thought that was ridiculous, but Mickie, as she is known, believes in action rather than complaint. She had the half-million dollars; she demanded a seat. The old fogeys of the exchange, including chairman Gus Levy, thought hers was an idea only slightly less subversive than turning the entire operation over to the Bolsheviks. "We don't want her," Levy told an investment banker who had had the temerity to recommend her. And then Levy came up with the excuse that became an industrywide cause célèbre: "We have no ladies' room on the floor."
When the comedy series "SCTV" hit the airwaves in 1976, audiences immediately gravitated toward the funniest and friendliest member of the cast, John Candy. His eclectic collection of offbeat characters (Johnny Larue, Dr. Tongue, Yosh Shmenge, Harry--"the guy with the snake on his face") attracted a large and loyal following that has stayed with him through the hits ("Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," "Splash") and misses ("Armed and Dangerous," "Who's Harry Crumb?") of a film career that promises its best work is yet to come. Candy believes his latest film, "Uncle Buck," due out this month, is a new direction into seriocomic roles. Robert Crane caught up with Candy aboard Air Canada's L.A.--Toronto afternoon flight. Crane reports: "Candy is an energy source contained in clothes. In addition to his nonstop moviemaking, he tapes a weekly radio show, 'Radio Kandy,' he will host a Saturday-morning kids' show, 'Camp Candy,' and he is involved in three HBO comedy specials. There is even talk of putting his name on a line of clothing. A guy that nice shouldn't have to work that hard."
Here we are, in midsummer of an odd-numbered year. For more than a decade, that has meant that it's time for the release of another James Bond film. Not one to disappoint the millions of the fictional British secret agent's fans--nor to neglect his private cinematic gold mine--movie mogul Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli has dished up his 16th Bond movie, Licence to Kill, which should be arriving at your local moviehouse about now. Licence to Kill is a first for Broccoli, in that its title is not taken directly from any of the James Bond stories by the late Ian Fleming. Its screenwriters, Michael G. Wilson and Richard Maibaum, did utilize elements of several Fleming works, including the novella The Hildebrand Rarity, which appeared in Playboy in March 1960. In the scenario they created, Bond--played for the second time by Timothy Dalton--is ousted from the British Secret Service and operates as a free-lance avenger. But for Playboy readers, Licence to Kill is even more notable for another first: It features a Playboy Playmate. Not only does Diana Lee, Miss May 1988, play an undercover narcotics agent from Hong Kong who is trained in the martial arts, she dances in the film's exciting title sequence as well. Licence to Kill is the first movie job for the graceful gatefold girl, who is a professional dancer and a graduate student in dance at the University of Utah. "Playboy's modeling agency in Los Angeles sent me to audition for the film," Diana says, "but I was really surprised when I got the part." The job came with its travel perks: location filming in Mexico and, later, a trip to England for the title shooting. Plus, of course, the chance to work with Dalton, whom she describes as "great. He's really an intense actor, very much into the Bond role. But what I especially enjoyed was doing the stunts. My strong background in movement really helped. Paul Weston, the stunt supervisor--he also doubles for Bond--coached me, and I was able to do all of my own stunts, except for the one in which my character jumps off a building. I'd never studied martial arts, either, but now I'm taking kung-fu lessons." Chuck Norris, look to your laurels. Diana's on a roll.
Heeding the Sixties directive to make love, not war, former Senator John Tower, his executive secretary Colonel Robert Moser and various Marines, bureaucrats, secretaries and members of the K.G.B. apparently made a rollicking party of their nuciear-arms talks four years ago in Geneva. This chart and the drawings on the next two pages are based entirely on secret Government documents obtained by Playboy. We thought it would be fun for you to see your tax dollars and Government servants at work, especially in the high-pressure, high-prestige realm of those who would preserve our world from nuclear destruction.
Until recently, the only way to recall how central the cuff link was to a man's wardrobe was to watch a vintage flick starring Adolphe Menjou on The Late Show. This fall, however, the cuff link is returning as a way to make a personal fashion statement--and there are plenty of French-cuffed shirts to choose from. (It's sort of like wearing your psyche on your sleeve.) Just remember to tailor your selection to your wardrobe; a tweed suit, for example, calls for an antique look, while your power business threads command more contemporary hardware. But whatever you choose, remember that your finely turned French cuffs will say more about your savoir-faire than a legion of old movies.
"An Ounce of Luck"--The lure of good fortune prompts a shrewd businessman to buy a bagful of kismet from a mysterious nigerian prince. Unfortunately, he forgets an ancient adage: Caveat Emptor--fiction by Walter Lowe, Jr.