Life Shifts in September. Summer ends and there's the first snap of fall in the air. A lot of us go from full-time play to full-time work. Transition is in the pages of Playboy this month, too. We're proud to bring you what we hear is the last in John Updike's wonderful series of Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom books, Rabbit at Rest (to be published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., in the United States and by Andre Deutsch, Ltd., in the United Kingdom). Our excerpt, illustrated by Pat Andrea, puts Rabbit on the first tee, where, even with faulty vision, he sees a world full of possibility.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), September 1990, Volume 37, Number 9. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, 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 and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Perkins, Fox & Perkins, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
It took a man with an angelic name, two hoop earrings and a highly developed sense of rage to create the first controversial media trend of the Nineties. When Malcolm Forbes died, Michelangelo Signorile, the features editor of a gay news magazine called OutWeek, published in New York City, wrote a cover story titled "The Secret Gay Life of Malcolm Forbes." It wasn't news, exactly. Forbes was hardly an anonymous figure in New York--any world-famous 70-year-old billionaire who haunted gay clubs on a motorcycle was bound to be noticed. Gossip stuck to Forbes like Velcro, but it remained gossip. While journalists may get feisty about the sex lives of the rich and famous (Donald Trump, meet Gary Hart), the press is unusually polite when it comes to homosexuality. Even in the gay press, there has been an understanding that famous gays could hang out in the closet as long as they wanted, provided they didn't literally force coverage by getting busted on sex charges or dying of AIDS.
Since the debut LP "Talking Heads '77," Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison has picked up both producer and soloist credits, most recently on his own album, "Walk on Water," recorded with Casual Gods. But Harrison remains a fan at heart. Right now, he's hot for Faith No More.
Idol Tees Off Department: Listen, we know golf's in. We also know rock stars have been showing up at celebrity golf tournaments. But Billy Idol? The guy who sneers for a living? Our golf spies say that Billy played in the L.A. Police Department celebrity tournament with guys like Telly Savalas and Chuck Norris.
Only One American GI was ever convicted and hanged by British civil authorities during World War Two. That wartime case, a headline sensation back in 1944, is recapped with some verve in Chicago Joe and the Showgirl(New Line). Although a legend on screen asserts that no names have been changed, no events altered, director Bernard Rose (with a screenplay by David Yallop) appears to take quite a few liberties in this moody vintage blend of harsh reality and a shopgirl's imagined dreams of glory. Kiefer Sutherland and England's brash blonde Emily Lloyd portray the murderous soldier and the Cockney thrill seeker who call themselves, respectively, Ricky and Georgina. They are models of amoral youth on the rampage, he pretending to be a Chicago Mobster loyal to Al Capone, she claiming to be a future starlet. Their frenzied, six-day relationship results in thieving, senseless beatings and the brutal murder of a taxi driver, all in fun. Patsy Kensit plays the pleasant middle-class girl wooed by Ricky when he's not practicing shock tactics with Georgina. Lloyd and Sutherland are a Bonnie and Clyde on the loose in London, without the same headlong cinematic style. Even so, Chicago Joe is a chilling picture that would be foolish to invent. The detailed, awful truth compensates, in part, for the film's lack of feeling.[rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
After a bout of cross-country telephone tag, busy John Turturro woke from a nap in his temporary West Coast digs to discuss why he has been named one of the hottest actors extant (by consensus, and by Rolling Stone last May). Soon to be seen in State of Grace, Turturro flew west to play the title role in Barton Fink ("I'm a Broadway writer going to Hollywood back in the Thirties") for the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel. In the Coens' imminent gangland drama, Miller's Crossing, he fires up the screen as a craven but cunning bookie who begs on his knees not to be shot. He first got noticed as a sleazy comic emcee in Desperately Seeking Susan, then as an ex-con in Five Corners and as Danny Aiello's racist son in Do the Right Thing for Spike Lee. He's also in Mo' Better Blues and will be "one of the principals" in Spike's upcoming Jungle Fever. Meanwhile, Turturro, 33, has played an updated Macbeth in a film called Men of Respect opposite his wife, actress Katherine Borowitz. "I'm also collaborating with Brandon Cole on a screenplay I want to direct called Mac--about a working man, sort of based on my own father." Somewhere between gigs and a needed rest, the Queens-born New Yorker, who has appeared in more than 100 plays, plans to go back on stage in the Hitleresque title role of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Turturro scoffs when anyone describes him as "an ethnic type." "I can't help it if I don't have a pug nose. I don't want to be a movie icon. I just want to express myself . . . I'm an actor." Not much doubt about that.
It's no surprise that when Bill Gates--the boy-wonder C.E.O. of the Microsoft computer corporation--began collecting videos, he did it logically: "First, I bought every Best Picture Oscar winner--there are only about three you can't get on tape. I came across some incredible movies following that path, such as An American in Paris and All About Eve. Then the side paths pulled me along; for example, after I saw Roman Holiday--which got Audrey Hepburn her Oscar--I bought all of her other films." Gates guesstimates his vid haul to be 250-plus flicks, including "everything with Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and Robert Mitchum." What you won't find in his collection are horror films ("They're not based on reality, so they don't increase one's understanding of anything") and--surprise!--computer movies. "Tron did some very good things with computers, but you'd grasp it only if you were familiar with them. Let's face it, computers don't have a big future as film stars. Basically, they just sit there."
Best Just-What-We-Need Video:More Nuclear Power Stations;Best Really Special-Interest Video:Bow-Hunting for Russian Boar in Eastern Tennessee;Smelliest Video:Garlic's Pungent Presence;Favorite Video Couple:Barbie and Snakewoman;Second-Favorite Video Couple:Bed and Sofa;Dumbest Video Title:Making Womb for Baby;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:Coleslaw;Best It's-a-Living Video:Wildlife Decoy Carvers of the Illinois Flyway.
Big Cover-up: Ever been outside with a camcorder when a sudden downpour ruins your shooting--not to mention your equipment? Well, check it out: Beaver Park. Products has a camcorder field cover--a flexible hood that starts near your eye and extends beyond the lens. Safe shooting for $24.95.
A few months ago, Kurt Vonnegut wrote an essay for the New York Times Book Review about why American humorists ceased to be funny as they grew older and cited himself as an example of this phenomenon. Happily, his funny new novel, Hocus Pocus (Putnam's), proves him wrong.
As ironies go--and I have actually sailed one as Far as I have a plate of nouvelle cuisine--none is more baffling to the grizzled sportswriter than the alarming number of Literary People who think of baseball as not just a game but an intellectual pursuit. This seems to be so even though a majority of Literary People do not generally use the word cunt in polite conversation, which is something baseball players do as regularly as they fondle their nuts in public.
There is a famous horror story about a man who awakens in excruciating pain to discover that an insect has crawled into his ear and is boring its way through his skull. After causing weeks of agony, the insect makes its way out. The doctor tells the patient the good news first: The insect is gone. Then he tells the bad news: The insect was female--and it laid eggs. The terrible brood will hatch soon.
Good Housekeeping named the Nineties The Decency Decade, a decade in which traditional values will regain their status and provide the moral foundation for a "more decent America." Also exhorting "New Traditionalism" is The National Chastity Association, a dating service for celibate singles seeking the same. Membership buys an index of individuals from all over the country who agree with the Nineteen Desires--a list that rivals the Ten Commandments in stringency but stops short of resurrecting scarlet letters.
"Now that the fear of nuclear war has diminished, the fear of art--and the change the best art promotes--has increased. Locked in a self-protective mode as the world order reconstitutes itself, America convinces itself it's on the move by carrying a big stick into two campaigns: a drug war it cannot win and a war against the free expression of ideas when they threaten the status quo . . . and our mythical existence as a kinder, gentler nation.
When some California hoteliers objected to providing guests with safe-sex kits containing condoms, the national Freedom from Religion Foundation stepped in. According to an F.F.R.F. spokesman, the innkeepers "were offended by the presence of condoms, and we thought. What could be more offensive than the presence of Bibles?" Its mission--to get rid of the Bibles, which are stocked in an estimated 95 percent of the nation's 2,500,000 hotel and motel rooms. To that end, the F.F.R.F. sent letters to more than a dozen major hotel chains, insisting that customers be given the option of Bible-free rooms. The foundation argued that the Bible contains much "pornographic and bloodthirsty language," makes "gruesome, unsavory bedtime reading" and is often used to justify atrocities against heathens by God-fearing Christians. "If someone truly cannot survive without a daily dose of Scriptures," said the spokesman, "we feel sure they will take precautions to travel with their Bibles."
They say the debate is about Government funding: Should the Government pay for things that some citizens find obscene, offensive or blasphemous? Of course it should. It paid for the Meese commission, nuclear weapons and part of Pat Robertson's campaign for President. That is the nature of pluralism.
Live long enough and you may get to write about a guy who starts out crusading against hotpants and ends up at the center of the biggest financial scandal in history. Charles H. Keating, Jr., has had exactly that career. How he found time to rule on other people's sex lives and still satisfy his own inordinate lust for money is a wonder.
Ever since he hit the big leagues, outfielder Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics has thrilled his fans--and dismayed his detractors--with his audacious base running and blazing speed. This season, he broke Ty Cobb's lifetime record of 892 stolen bases and, barring injury, could well top Lou Brock's all-time record of 938.
Harry Angstrom tries to imagine the world seen through his granddaughter's clear green eyes, every little thing vivid and sharp and radiantly new, packed full of itself like a satin valentine. His own vision feels fogged no matter which glasses he puts on, for reading or far vision. He wears the latter only for movies and night driving, and refuses to get bifocals; glasses worn for more than an hour at a time hurt his ears. And the lenses are always dusty and the things he looks at all seem tired; he's seen them too many times before. A kind of drought has settled over the world, a bleaching such as overtakes old color prints, even the ones kept in a drawer.
I Magine the super Bowl, the World Series and the N.C.A.A. finals rolled into a ball. Bounce the ball across five continents and onto nearly a billion TV screens. That's soccer's World Cup--the championship of a game the rest of the world considers "real" football. To salute this year's tourney, we jetted our own team--11 international beauties--to Italy, the 1990 cup's host country. At Castello di Montegufoni, a Tuscan castle once frequented by a Pope, they sun-bathed, partied, talked soccer in nine languages and even staged a Foosball tourney, the World Cup Women's World Cup. "Beneath naked cherubs, for centuries playing games on the ceilings," reports our breathless observer, "they spun little plastic players--painted in their national colors--against the white ball. People hearing their cries of delight might well have thought that these beauties devoted themselves, like the cherubs above, to the game of love." Miss Holland won. But, judging by his cries of delight, our Tuscany correspondent loved each player. Here's hoping that you, like him and "the many sexually mature Italian youngsters" he saw every night "crowded around the castle's crumbling walls to gel a glimpse," find our World Cup Women a kick in the head.
When he Awoke before dawn in his small room aboard the U.S.S. Oriskany, Al Stafford was having trouble breathing. He lay in his bunk for a few minutes, with his eyes open, telling himself that it was all right, that the tear that gripped him like a fist was nothing to worry about.
It's that time of year again when thoughts return to school--and how to look good. Which should be a special pleasure this fall. Smart collegians will be wearing clothes that are both classy and casual, comfortable but sexy. That's right, the hot fabric will be good old denim. Those same great-feeling blue jeans that you've been living in all summer should pull down top fashion grades this fall. (For a guide to the ins and outs of jeans, check our August Style page.) Other denim that scores high will appear in stadium jackets and work shirts. In fact, the only way to flunk the denim look is to wear the fabric from head to toe. Instead, mix a denim shirt with a pair of khakis, black jeans or corduroy pants. (A funky tie held by an offbeat tie clip works well.) With blue jeans, wear a message T-shirt or a sweater or pick a printed shirt. Denim outerwear, especially the longer-length stadium coats, often features warm fleece linings and toggle closures. Some coats even have hoods, but if yours doesn't, buy a hooded sweat shirt and wear it with the hood over the outside of your collar. Then pull on some high-top sneakers, cowboy boots or funky hiking shoes and win one for the Gipper.
The day after my first bungee jumps, I was sitting with the crazy Kockelman brothers, trying to describe the fright that had ambushed me as I stood looking down, thinking about the swan dive I was supposed to make from the rail of a 110-foot bridge somewhere in the Sierras. You'd think by now I'd know better than to go naming the tiger Chuckles before I had my head all the way down its throat, but I just hadn't expected this particular foolishness to scare me as much as it finally did.
Tour the Apartment Kerri Kendall shares with her mother and you meet the members of Kern's animal kingdom. "That's Ulysses S. Grunt and Ulinda S. Grunt," she says, pointing to the pair of fluffy pink pigs--stuffed-animal variety--splayed atop the sofa. "They used to just date, but they're married now." On a shelf above the Grunts' soft snouts, clumped carelessly around the trophies Kerri won in local bikini contests, is a cloth menagerie of rabbits, bears and, yes, more pigs ("I just love pigs--aren't they adorable?" asks the svelte San Diegan). In a bookcase in the breakfast nook are three tiny green ceramic inchworms, molded, baked and painted by Kerri herself. "Morris, Jill and Wendell," she says proudly. "They're a family." The introductions continue, with a few uncertainties ("This is Jennifer," she says, plucking another clay creature from a shelf. "I don't know what she is"), until the tall, tanned California girl collapses onto the couch with a giggle and says, "I know I have a lot of weird things around here, because I know I'm weird!" Imaginative, maybe. Definitely creative. But weird? Not on your life. The levelheaded, down-to-earth Miss September, 20 years old this month, grew up in a quiet neighborhood north of downtown San Diego with a mother she now calls her best friend and an older brother who looked out for her. She romped around the nearby canyons, "hanging out and acting tough" with her brother and his friends, then went to work after high school as a part-time model and full-time receptionist in an out-patient emergency clinic. "The funny thing about that job," she says, "is that I have a phobia about doctors' offices. The first time I had to go in while the doctor was with a patient, I just started swooning. You know that kind of sterilized, alcohol, people--in--Gumby--suits smell? It reminded me of when I was little and had to get vaccinations. I used to scream and hide under a counter for hours." But Kerri decided to hang in there with the job, because "I have the best boss in the world," she says. He knows his gorgeous receptionist is headed for bigger things, and he understands. When he heard that Kerri was picked to be a Playmate, he said, "Take whatever time off you need. Have fun." And she has, such as the day she visited Playboy Mansion West and heard a motorcycle roar up the driveway. "I went outside and saw the most beautiful bike I'd ever seen--it was midnight purple, with leather fringe. Beautiful! I said, 'Whose bike is this?' And someone said, 'That's Jimmy's.' I said, Jimmy?' 'Jimmy--James Caan.' I said, James Caan? Naaah.'" While she busied herself taking pictures of the bike "from every angle," out strolled the star himself. It was a thrill, but nothing Kerri couldn't handle. "People are just people to me," she says. "I don't judge them by how important they're supposed to be or how famous they are. I judge them by their attitude." And she doesn't cotton to money talk. "Some guys try to impress you by telling you they have this big old house or all these cars." Kerri shakes her pretty head at the thought. "When they do that, I just think, Well, that does me a lot of good! What do you want? A brownie button?" For now, Kerri is taking life one day at a time--she doesn't know if she wants a career or kids or both, and she's in no hurry to move away from her best friend, her mom. "I used to get nervous wondering about the future, but I don't bother with getting nervous anymore. Whatever happens, I know that I'll have some laughs."
When he could squeeze in the time, the Pope made arrangements to play nine holes of golf. At the seventh hole, a 175-yard par-three to an island green, he prudently decided to tee up an old ball. Suddenly, a thunderous voice boomed from above, "Tee up a new ball."
I took it as a sign of friendship when Charlie Sheen allowed me to smash the cellular telephone with him. We used the 20-pound dumbbells. We had been in the trailer for many days, locked in a savage, inward-looking psychosis that inevitably creeps up during the making of a big-budget motion picture. He had already tried the Binaca blast: a commando technique for killing flies, using a Bic lighter and a Binaca breath-spray canister to make an improvised flame thrower. But clearly, other, more bizarre diversions would have to be found lest dementia set in.
When I was just a little fella sittin' at the knee of the late Anson Mount, Playboy's poppa football prognosticator, he taught me rule number one of the mystical trade. "Son," said Anson, "never pick a Super Bowl winner to repeat." Seemed like sound advice. After all, no team had turned the trick since the Steelers dynasty of the late Seventies. Heck, from 1983 to 1987, no Super Bowl champ had even won a play-off game the following year.
"I Always Wanted to be six-three," says Edward DeBartolo, Jr., 5'7". As a guard on his high school football team 30 years ago, DeBartolo had conflicting ambitions. He hoped to help his father expand the family business; he hoped to grow tall and join the N.F.L. Today, he runs the vast DeBartolo Corporation and owns the world-champ San Francisco 49ers. Six-three is the only goal he didn't reach.
As Far as photo assignments go, this one seemed pretty routine-on paper, at least: Famous actress would fly to Naples, Florida, to pose for famous photographer against the backdrop of a fancy hotel built on sparkling sands. Famous actress (did we mention she's a stunning famous actress?) would strut about in colorful beach attire while famous photographer snapped her beauty on 35mm film. Meanwhile, fancy hotel would loom majestically in the background, delighting the folks at Condé Nast Traveler-the publication that arranged this charming frolic-and everyone would go home happy. Ah, but this was not your normal photo shoot: See, the actress happened to be Rosanna Arquette, the charismatic, sexy star of Desperately Seeking Susan and a slew of other films-not to mention a forthcoming ABC miniseries in which she and Gary Cole play General and Mrs. George Armstrong Custer-and the man behind the lens was Bert Stern, whom Camera magazine once called "the most exciting photographer of the last quarter century." Anything was bound to happen on that sleepy Naples shore-and, as luck would have it, did.
Hello, everyone. This is the story of a survivor. Maury Povich, in his last year as the host of the tabloid TV show "A Current Affair" on Fox, can say that he beat the odds and outlasted the critics who called his show trash and who saw in its non-network-news style little more than gossip and innuendo. Instead of fading away, Povich became the grand master of the wry editorial smirk and the effective raised eyebrow. Contributing Editor David Rensin met with Povich at his New York office. Says Rensin, "Maury works in a private cubicle just off the overcrowded 'Current Affair' offices--hardly palatial digs. His floor is littered with newspapers, his desk overrun with everything from books to a piece of the Berlin Wall. Photos of his wife, Connie Chung, dress the walls. Maury is a guy who doesn't take himself too seriously, fears that he should, worries about getting older, wishes people could just lighten up and would rather be golfing."
The good news is that you've finally obtained a TV with a screen the size of an N.F.L. end zone, a VCR that you can actually program and a killer sound system. Now the bad news: How do you store all this great stuff and the software that goes with it? Read our lips: Custom Woodwork & Design, in Bedford Park, Illinois, which specializes in audio-video cabinetry. Its storage units begin at $210; a room paneled in natural walnut--shown here--costs about $18,000. (Other finishes include natural, dark and black oak and four colors--ebony, almond, pewter and white.) This installation is snug and complete, but it can be expanded to accommodate future needs. Anyone for a laser-disc player?
Before going Toe to Toe with Tyson and Holyfield, Heavyweight champ James "Buster" Douglas goes a few rounds with Don King, Muhammad Ali and the school of Hard Knocks--A Knockout report by Tony Fitzpatrick