Nee-nee-nee-nee, nee-nee-nee-nee. Quick. Name that tune. Right. Anyone who did not guess The Twilight Zone is hereby grounded until he has memorized E. D. Hirsch, Jr.'s, Cultural Literacy. As all professional students working on a degree in pop culture know, television is the electronic campfire in our global village. So let's toast our brains like marshmallows. One of our favorite moments on TV this year was U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb's wimp-out on NBC's Exposé, which featured former Miss Virginia-USA Tai Collins' account of a tryst in New York's posh Pierre Hotel. Robb, who had earlier told newsmen he'd merely taken off his clothes, got into bed and received a massage, whined to the Exposé audience, "I placed myself in circumstances appropriate for a bachelor, inappropriate for a happily married man." Well, we thought you might like to hear Tai's side of the story. Contributing Photographer Arny Freytag captured her beauty--a view you won't soon see on TV.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), October 1991, Volume 38, Number 10. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 issues. U.S. Canada. $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $45 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: 8560 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, Ca 90069; Metropolitan publishers representatives, Inc; Atlanta; 3017 Piedmont Road Ne, Suite 100, Atlanta, Ga 30305; Miami: 2500 South Dixie Highway. Miami, FL 33133; Tampa: 3016 Mason Place, Tampa, FL 33629.
Clearly relishing their dual roles in the sleek romantic thriller Dead Again (Paramount) are British director/star Kenneth Branagh (an Oscar nominee for Henry V) and his wife, Emma Thompson. Branagh portrays an L.A. private detective enlisted to help identify an amnesiac young woman (Thompson) whose loss of memory is compounded by ghastly nightmares. In black-and-white flashbacks, they also play a famous musical conductor and the wife he is executed for brutally murdering in 1948. Directing himself with a nice gritty flair for old-fashioned Americana, Branagh on screen seems more like James Cagney than an English performer rooted in the classics. The movie's outstanding second-rung attractions include Andy Garcia as an intrusive newspaperman whose career spans the decades, British stage star Derek Jacobi as a knowing hypnotist, Campbell Scott in a telling cameo and Robin Williams (unbilled until the end credits) as a clever consulting psychiatrist who has lost his license for sleeping with a couple of his patients. Dead Again may stretch the laws of credibility, but it sizzles as a showcase for blue-ribbon hams. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
What should a beautiful, ambitious young actress do with an agent who turns down chances at roles in Twin Peaks and Drugstore Cowboy on her behalf? "I fired him," says Jennifer Rubin. Things are now looking up for the 27-year-old who starred as a leggy Las Vegas moll in Delusion. By now, you may have seen her in the USA Network's Drop Dead Gorgeous. "It's a whodunit, and I play the gorgeous part, I guess, as a schoolteacher turned model. Sally Kellerman is terrific as the lesbian owner of the model agency." Her next movie out should be A Woman, Her Men & a Futon. "It answers, or at least poses, the question Does a woman have to sleep with a man who takes her to dinner? It takes place in lots of restaurants; I'm with about five different guys."
Double Duty: As the laser-disc industry continues to grow, Pioneer's keeping its customers happy. Its dandy CLD-M90 player allows you to load one video disc and as many as five audio CDs and operate them all from a handy remote. Pioneer is also keeping up with the software Joneses: Blue-ribbon laser-disc titles include Ghost, Glory; Misery and Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour.
Remember the guide to celebrity nudes on video that we excerpted here in 1988? It has quadrupled in size since then. The 400-plus entries include Ellen Barkin, Annette Bening, Rebecca De Mornay, Bridget Fonda, Melissa Gilbert, Brigitte Nielsen, Lena Olin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan, Meg Tilly and Debra Winger. For the complete list, send ten dollars to Fox Films, DHCC, P.O. Box 20469, New York 10017.... Looking for The Fugitive? Ozzie and Harriet? Lost in Space? The Man (and Girl) from U.N.C.L.E.? For videophiles bent on finding and rewinding chestnuts from television's wonder years, check out the classifieds in The TV Collector, a Massachusetts-based publication devoted to boob-tube nostalgia. For a sample copy of the magazine, send $3.50 to P.O. Box 1088, Easton, Massachusetts 02334, or call 508-238-1179.... For finicky cats that would rather lounge in front of the TV than on top of it, here's Video Catnip, a 25-minute montage of birds, squirrels and chipmunks specifically designed to glue kitty to the tube. Pussyvision at its best. Available for $19.95 from Pet Avision, Inc., 800-822-2988 (that's 800-TABBY-TV).
"I think The Godfather, Part II is the finest movie I've ever seen," says talk-show host and home-video enthusiast Regis Philbin. "The character development is well rounded, and I love De Niro as the young don." Other perpetual Regis rewinds are Stanley Kubrick's The Shining ("for those unforgettable moments--like the ax coming through the door and the maze chase at the end"), Hannah and Her Sisters ("I love the way Woody treats New York City") and Tootsie. "That was the first film in which I noticed Jessica Lange's ability," says Philbin. Hmmm. What took him so long?
Irish songwriter/performer Paul Brady has some impressive fans--Carlos Santana, Tina Turner and Dave Edmunds, to name just a few who've sung or recorded his work. Over a two-decade career, he has worked in soul musk, Irish folk and a. myriad of pop and rock hybrids. His fifth solo LP, "Trick or Treat," mines those varied riches. Brady was eager to review Kathy Mattea's latest, "Time Passes By," a disc that also side-steps conventions.
Do Your Homework Department: Remember how your mom nagged? Buddy Holly's homework is for sale (that used to be frowned upon, right?) for $700 by a New Hampshire autograph dealer. The dealer bought Buddy's homework at auction. Why is he selling low? 'Cause Buddy forgot to write his name on it.
Patriots who shrieked in anger about the revelations in Kitty Kelley's biography of Nancy Reagan and in Robert Caro's biography-in-progress of Lyndon Johnson will no doubt make their shrill voices heard again when Curt Gentry's J. Edgar Hoover (Norton) hits the bookstores. According to Gentry's well-documented sources, the nation's top lawman made a career out of breaking the law, keeping secret files for blackmail, doing political dirty work for Congressmen, threatening Presidents and creating an unchallenged personal fiefdom in the FBI.
I don't know about you, and don't want to, but I'm worried. In fact, I'm eating Rolaids right now. My heart pounds as I sit at my desk, surrounded by my notes, writing this column for you--a person who may be worth while in his own right but who is not, after all, me.
Most of the women in your life are still celebrating Thelma & Louise, a film released by MGM/Pathe last May. Directed by Ridley Scott, starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, it made the cover of Time ("Why Thelma & Louise Strikes a Nerve") and The New York Times practically enshrined it ("Thelma & Louise is transcendent in every way").
Afterglow gets no respect in any sex manual my wife and I have ever read. They all pretty much say the same thing: that after orgasm, sex is over. My wife and I disagree: We think afterglow is a very special time. After we both come, we like to hold each other and feel close and kiss and talk and fool around. We'd like to linger in afterglow even longer. Any suggestions?--B. R., St. Louis, Missouri.
• Killing the Cop Killers--7 p.m. on NBC. Host William Shatner presents Kenneth Allen, who shot and killed Chicago police officers William Bosak and Roger Van Shaick on March 3, 1979, in retaliation for police having confiscated weapons from his home three months earlier. Death by lethal injection. Roy Bruce Smith, a Virginia man who armed himself, then vowed to kill the first policeman he saw, lured Sergeant John Conner III to his house, wounded him, then killed him with a shot to the head. Death by electrocution.
The Wall Street Journal reports that abortion-rights activists, in an effort to reduce unwanted pregnancies, plan to campaign for better sex education and easier access to contraception. Here are the two voices of the story, one pro-choice, the other pro-life:
Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois is sick of "politically correct" universities' telling students what they can and cannot say. His solution lies in his bill, the Collegiate Speech Protection Act of 1991, HR 1380, which reads, "A post-secondary institution ... shall not make or enforce any rule subjecting any student to disciplinary sanctions solely on the basis of conduct that is ... protected ... by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States." Currently, only students at public, but not private, schools are guaranteed First Amendment rights.
Andrew Dice Clay can hurl homophobic, misogynist and even racist sentiments from the stage and be assured it's constitutionally protected speech. He can even engage in "expressive" or "symbolic" speech such as waving a swastika or burning the American flag; the Supreme Court has ruled that that, too, is covered by the First Amendment. But were he to take off his clothes to make a point, even a small one, he could be arrested. However, if he covered his genitalia with the swastika, that would once again be legal.
Last spring, a sleek 190-foot white yacht made its way up the East River to Manhattan, tying up at the ritzy Water Club. The Lady Ghislaine was loaded with an abundance of mahogany and marble, a well-stocked bar, a recording studio's worth of electronic equipment, perky maids in navy-blue uniforms, a butler dressed in white and a changing guard of secretaries--including one who could be a stand-in for Sherilyn Fenn on "Twin Peaks." There was one passenger on board. As cocky as Columbus, he set foot on the continent, calling out in his booming voice, "I love New York!"
The raid began as a faint wail, barely audible over the evening hubbub on the streets of Brooklyn. In Crown Heights, an impoverished community well acquainted with the ravages of the drug trade, the sound of approaching sirens was nothing new. But on this particular evening, the residents took special notice as the sirens got closer and louder. As of December 1990, most police activity in the neighborhood had been related to an expanding, violent group known as the Gullymen. Made up primarily of Jamaican nationals, they had become one of the city's most powerful gangs.
Tai Collins wants you to know this first off: Scandal is not her idea of fun. Headlines, sound bites, reporters dogging her trail--she could live happily ever after without all that. In fact, she tried to. Collins kept her peace--until those around her started lying. Then she decided to set the record straight. Yes, she says, she had had a love affair with Charles S. Robb, now a U.S. Senator from Virginia. He began the chase, she recalls, in the summer of 1983, when Tai (pronounced "Tay") was the newly crowned Miss Virginia-U.S.A. and Robb was Virginia's governor. How could she resist? Robb was a worldly wise 44 years old, tall, dark and powerful. Collins, then 20, had moved out of her parents' home in Roanoke and into her own apartment in Virginia Beach just one year earlier. "Here was the governor sending me letters, flowers, gifts, calling me at home and at work," she says. Tai was dazzled. Yes, she knew her beau was married to the daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, and that he and Lynda Bird had three children. But was that really her problem? She didn't expect the guy to leave his wife and marry her. He never promised, she never asked. All Tai Collins wanted from Chuck Robb was what most 20-year-olds want from a lover: a little adventure, lots of laughs, the freedom to grow and change. Only Robb knows why he was in the game--his public statements are dizzying examples of spin control. When The Washington Post interviewed him last December, Robb admitted he had invited Collins to his suite in New York's posh Pierre Hotel in 1984. They shared a bottle of wine, he said, then he went into the bathroom and changed into a robe, got into bed--and let Tai give him a massage. Period. He said they didn't have sex. "I know the whole thing looks bad," Robb told the Post, regarding his New York rubdown. "Clearly, some of the things that I have done are not appropriate for a middle-aged, happily married man." Clearly. Tai, who's wearing a similar white robe on our cover, has a slightly different account of that evening--but more on that later. She met the governor on June 1, 1983, when they shared ribbon-cutting duties at a new mall in Norfolk. Two weeks later--June 16, to be exact; Tai has the date marked in the Girl Scouts calendar she used to keep track of her appointments that year--their paths crossed again when Robb attended a fashion show at another Norfolk mall. Collins then was working part time as a salesgirl and model for a lingerie store. That day, on the runway, she modeled white satin and black lace. Robb was apparently dazzled. First, Tai remembers, he sent her a letter at the lingerie store. Then he had a friend call her and set up a date. The first night she spent at Robb's side, she says, they went to a birthday party at a hotel in Virginia Beach, then retreated to the home of Robb's friend Bruce Thompson in the ritzy Croatan section of town. It was Saturday, June 25--Tai has that, too, marked down on her calendar. The memory of that night still makes her smile. "I'm twenty years old, the governor is taking me out--that's exciting!" Tai says. "I was just like, wow!" Throughout the summer and fall of 1983, Robb wowed Collins at parties in the homes of his Virginia Beach (text concluded on page 164)Governor and the Beauty(continued from page 95) friends. He was "a perfect gentleman," she recalls--he didn't even try to kiss her. Which may explain why she didn't tell him before she abruptly moved to New York to pursue her modeling career. But, Tai says, Robb tracked her down through her former roommate and started calling her at her Manhattan digs. Then he turned up the heat.
This is the sixth year of Playboy's College Fiction Contest, which, by this time, looks as if it's going to be around for a while. It's the only American short-story competition held by a national magazine that's aimed at students of all ages. Other contests farm stories out, usually to assistants or even free-lancers, for first readings, which can take as long as several months. In our more eccentrically devised system, a group of two or three Playboy editors lock themselves into a hotel room during a week in winter with a large electric coffeepot. They argue the semifinal count down to about 20 manuscripts, which are then turned over to the next squad, which consists of staff and several outsiders who are friends of the magazine. This year, two well-known young novelists helped out: Bob (Easy in the Islands, The Next New World) Shacochis and Lucius (Life During Wartime, The Jaguar Hunter) Shepard. Finally, the Editor-in-Chief casts his vote and we pick the winner.
Igot my hair cut today in honor of this trip to visit my mother. I had the guy cut it so short in the back that when I rub my hand against it, it feels prickly, so rough and razor sharp that it makes my hand tingle.
Our Parents were right: We watch too much television. Always have. It was the first soft, nonprescription drug we could abuse until we passed out and/or it was time to go to bed. Part of the problem was the sheer proliferation of the medium. Here we had, at our finger tips, tens of thousands of hours of mental popcorn that apparently never gave us a sufficiently horrendous bellyache.
The Gun was smaller than Elliott remembered. At Kennedy, waiting for his bag to come up on the carrousel, he'd been irritated with himself for buying the damned thing. For years now, ever since Pan Am had stranded him in Milan with the clothes he was wearing, he'd made an absolute point of never checking luggage. He'd flown to Miami with his favorite carry-on bag; returning, he'd checked the same bag, all because it now contained a Smith & Wesson revolver and a box of 50 .38-caliber shells.
For the First two decades of her life, Cheryl Bachman stayed around her home town. Jacksonville, Florida, had everything she wanted as a kid--sun and beaches, family and friends. She bounced between her mom's house in town and the suburban home nearby where her older sister was starting her own family. The two strong women--Cheryl counts them as her "best friends in the whole world"--encouraged the pretty baby of the family to get out and make something of her life. "They kept telling me that if I sat around, nothing was going to happen. They knew I could do anything I wanted to do if I set my mind to it." They were right. A few months shy of her 21st birthday, Cheryl set mind and body on modeling--leading, she hopes, to an acting career on screens large and small. In short order, the hesitant beauty queen won a local swimsuit pageant and traveled across the peninsular state to compete in the finals. In Clearwater, 200 miles from Jacksonville, she remembers, "I cried myself to sleep every night. I had never been that far from home." Recalling her first wobbly steps to independence, Cheryl giggles with abandon. "I thought, Oh, my goodness! What am I doing?" She was doing just fine, thank you--made it to the top 20--and grows more confident with each passing month. From Clearwater, she was flown to Jamaica for a modeling job, and from there, she jetted to Los Angeles for her first stay at Playboy Mansion West. Her plane arrived at night. Early the next morning, she took her first look at the city where she hopes to make her dreams come true. "I was in shock," she says, wide-eyed at the memory. "That was the first time I'd ever seen mountains. I was like, 'Look! There really are houses up on the hills! Look! There's the Hollywood sign!' It felt like I was in a movie just being here." Back in town this summer--her fifth trip to L.A. in five months--Cheryl relaxed in a girlfriend's apartment and talked about a future so bright she'll have to wear shades. "I know everybody in this city wants to be an actor or an actress--it's such a cliché! But when I do something, I like to do it with a little difference. I don't want to be like everybody else." Closing in on her 22nd birthday, Cheryl has her sights set on horror-movie stardom. "I want to be the last character left alive--the one who has to go through all the struggles. At the end, people will be watching me and going, 'Look out! Get out of there!' The weird part about it is that I'm a real scaredy cat! I can sit through the scariest movie, but somebody had better hold my hand." Holding her hand recently on MTV was steamy Latin rapper Gerardo, who spotted Cheryl in an L.A. dance club and separated himself from a dozen women to get to her side. The attention she attracts doesn't faze Miss October. "Looks count," she concludes, "but personality makes you fall in love."
As the suburbanite walked toward his house, he saw the young man from next door out washing his car. "Hey, fella," the older man said, "my daughter was talking in her sleep last night and she said you've been fucking her. Is that true?"
The best source for news about college football these days isn't the Sporting News or the sports section in your local newspaper or your local TV sports jock; it's The Wall Street Journal. That's because the recent conference hopping, bowl-date switching and mugwumping over a national-championship play-off system are all about--you guessed it--money. History, tradition, even regional allegiances have been thrown to the wind. What counts these days is the clout of the TV dollar--the almighty viewer share.
For Domestic and European auto makers, this past summer was a wild ride. Declining new-car sales, production cutbacks and factory shutdowns led to a combined record first-quarter loss of more than two and one half billion dollars for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. At presstime, total U.S. sales had fallen to their lowest level in eight years. European car sales were also off by double-digit figures, rocked by luxury taxes and stiff competition from the Japanese. Perhaps out of desperation, Detroit's Big Three have formally charged Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi with "dumping"--unfairly pricing mini-vans for the past three years. (Toyota sells a Previa-style van in Japan for about $22,000. In the States, a comparable model is priced around $14,000, which translates to a $3000 advantage after duty, taxes and finance adjustments are deducted.)
Like her hero the Marquis de Sade, Camille Paglia considers herself "an independent thinker who shocks." Paglia, a Yale Ph.D. who's an associate professor of humanities at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has shocked critics, academics and feminists with her thesis that human biology contributes much more than modern men and women--especially women--are willing to admit when it comes to ambition and achievement. Paglia insists, "There is truth to sexual stereotypes." For good measure, she claims that Western culture is built upon a pagan foundation, which Judaeo-Christianity has been unable to vanquish.
The News may have ticked off typesetters and logo makers nationwide, but last year, it became official: Penn State University had jumped the fence, joining forces with the N.C.A.A.'s legendary Big Ten conference. Just the idea of a new-and-improved (if unofficially dubbed) Big Eleven raised more than a few eyebrows. "People began asking, 'Does it stop here?' " says a Big Ten spokeswoman, "'or is this just the beginning? Will there soon be a superconference?' " Intrigued, we hit the road.
Remember the Fifties, when every guy wore blue jeans and wanted to be James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause? Topped off with a varsity or a black motorcycle jacket, it was the simplest way to make a sharp impression. Which is just what has happened in the Nineties--simplicity is back: relaxed but evocative clothes with a strong, manly style; denim and leather with plenty of sex appeal; cool duds that go back to basics. We asked fashion photographer Peter Arnell to capture that look of a time "when people approached life with the kind of sincerity and optimism," he says, "that we in the Nineties are finally returning (text concluded on page 152) to." The clothes we've chosen are honest and comfortable: plain or logoed team jackets in leather, wool melton, satin or quilted suede; denim or corduroy shirts worn with a sports jacket and even a tie; stone-washed or ready-to-fade blue jeans with a relaxed fit and a boot-leg cut; plaid flannel shirts that are patch-worked and cowboy styled; V-neck sweaters worn over white cotton T-shirts (a white T-shirt with jeans also looks great); hooded sweaters in cotton jersey, fleece and heavier wool blends; cabled turtlenecks, tunnel-necked turtles and mock turtle-necks in light- or heavy-cotton knits (check out the new zip mock turtles in "Style" on page 26). Baseball caps are also back and all the good guys this year are sporting black cowboy hats just like country singer Clint Black's. And there's also biker, cowboy and workmen's boots--as strong and tough as Brando in On the Waterfront.
I don't know about you, but I hope they never devise a play-off system to determine a "true" national champion in college football. Last season, the A.P. said the champ was Colorado; the U.P.I. countered with Georgia Tech. It marked the eighth time since 1954 that the two polls have disagreed. And what if it happens again next season? I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep.
You press the button, the rest is taken care of--and what a choice "the rest" is. Once considered mere cookie-cutter clones, 35mm SLR cameras now bristle with a variety of electronics that can expand your approach to picture taking. Some features, such as autoflash, have been around for years, while others are evidence of technology pushed to the limit. SLRs with variable-pattern autoexposure, for example, can read the kinds of mixed lighting that tend to trick conventional meters. Another nifty feature, autobracket, eliminates f-stop confusion by creating a variety of exposures for each shot. You simply choose the one that you think looks best. And functions such as autofocus, wind and rewind make things even easier. Get the picture?