Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), June 1992, Volume 39, Number 6. 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, West Hollywood, 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.
The Beat Goes on Department: Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart assembled 1500 drummers for a drum-in in northern California. With a $40,000 grant from the National Association of Music Merchants, Hart proved that you don't have to be a wild man to get a big bang.
No movie in decades has given the hotfoot to Hollywood like director Robert Altman's The Player (Fine Line). This splendid, timely satire of movie moguls and their minions is as slashing as The Bad and the Beautiful or Sunset Boulevard--and manages to be wickedly funny at the same time. The screenplay adapted by Michael (The Rapture) Tolkin from his own scathing novel presents Tim Robbins as Griffin Mill, a baby-faced studio barracuda whose power base is threatened by a predatory newcomer (Peter Gallagher). Mill's other problems are legion, but his chief concern is a series of death threats he gets from a disgruntled writer. While Mill faces one crisis after another--murder, infidelity and on-the-job angst among them--The Player enlists practically every big name in Tinseltown to mock a business that hatches megabudget movies during a fast lunch. Most of the projects are allegedly made to order for Bruce Willis and/or Julia Roberts. Cynthia Stevenson and Greta Scacchi, respectively, portray Mill's old and new flames, with Whoopi Goldberg as a droll homicide inspector and Fred Ward as the studio expert in damage control. Appearing briefly as themselves are Cher, Joel Grey, Jack Lemmon, Marlee Matlin, Burt Reynolds, Mimi Rogers, Lily Tomlin, Andie MacDowell, Nick Nolte, Susan Saran-don, Willis, Roberts and many more. They're the icing on a scrumptious piece of cake that outsmarts any American comedy in recent memory. [rating]4 bunnies[/rating]
One of the hottest composers of music for movies is James Newton Howard, 40, who scored such recent hits as Grand Canyon and Prince of Tides and did the same for the upcoming all-star Glengarry Glen Ross. As keyboardist, producer or arranger, Howard has worked with big-time performers from Barbra Streisand to Cher. Clearly a glamourous music man in the Burt Bacharach mold, he was briefly married some years ago to Rosanna Arquette ("We're still good friends") and admits to close harmonizing with Streisand. "It's true, we had a short-lived relationship." This spring, he will be marrying again. Her name is Sofie. She works for a record company.
The recent video releases of Kenneth Branagh's gutsy Henry V and Mel Gibson's Hamlet are reminders that Shakespeare (and Shakespeare derivatives) never lose their appeal. For the Bard or just Bardolatry, check out:
As the November election approaches, it's nice to remember where we've been and for whom we voted. Video can help: Abraham Lincoln: Kids' hagiography retells the quainter Abe anecdotes, setting them to bright, animated book illustrations that work better than the old familiar photos (Spoken Arts).
In the eighth annual consumer poll conducted by The Laser Disc Newsletter, disc enthusiasts chose Blade Runner (Voyager), starring Harrison Ford, as their favorite platter; the 1982 futuristic action flick edged out Fantasia and Lawrence of Arabia for the number-one spot. Poll respondents named the letter-boxed edition of My Fair Lady (CBS/Fox) the worst disc they ever tried to watch, while MGM/UA's 50th-anniversary release of The Wizard of Oz, at $24.98, was cited as the best bargain on disc. For a free sample of the Newsletter, call 516-594-9304.... Think you've discovered the surefire way to win at pool? Are your dessert recipes so good you want to share them with the video-viewing world? For wanna-be entrepreneurs eager to see how their ideas would fly on tape, a California-based company called 411 Video Information (408-647-9253) provides full-blown consultation on the special-interest video industry--from developing a concept to finding a market to producing the final product. See you on tape.
Grammy winner Aaron Neville--the Creole crooner with the voice of an angel and the biceps of a biker--has always had a passion for the old West. As a youngster, he was inspired to yodel by the singing-cowboy movies of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry--and he still likes to replay those memories on video. Other Neville raves: the "sweet little romance" Green Card; New Jack City ("a positive message film"); anything with James Cagney; and the creepy Child's Play 2 ("great for laughs"). And while the Louisiana legend's singing can be heard on the sound tracks of The Mighty Quinn and Rain Man, you can see him as the tough bartender in the recently released Zandalee, a red-hot love story shot in--naturally--Cajun country.
I was having lunch with Mike Ovitz the other day--you know Mikey, of course, he's the single most powerful agent on the planet as well as a dear, dear friend--and he was telling me, quite confidentially, what my next screenplay should be about. "Think inner city," he whispered over his calamari. "Think gangs. Boyz N the Hood has changed everything." He paused for emphasis. "Everything."
The deep bluesy sadness of Toni Morrison's new novel, Jazz (Knopf), wails out of the pages of this book as expressively as a tenor saxophone. The setting is 1926 Harlem, where Joe and Violet Trace have come to escape the hardships of segregation in Virginia. They succumb immediately to the jazz rhythms of "the City" (practically a character of its own in this book) and settle on Lenox Avenue. He is a door-to-door salesman for Cleopatra beauty products; she is an unlicensed beautician who cuts and curls in the kitchen of their apartment. They have entrenched themselves in what appears to be a middle-aged domestic truce when 53-year-old Joe is swept into a doomed affair with an 18-year-old girl named Dorcas.
Let us assume for the moment that you are a genuine stud muffin. You are an attractive man and you like women. Sometimes they like you. You date a lot and there are a number of notches on your dick. For you, sex is not complicated. Sex is fun and games and you would like to play forever.
I have a plug-in vibrator at home that I use when my husband is away on business. I also have a small battery-powered model that I use occasionally at work when I'm alone in the ladies room. (It's a bit noisy and I don't want the hum to give me away to my co-workers.) But I have this fantasy of finding a vibrator I might use at my desk. Recently, I heard of something called Joni's Butterfly. Apparently, it's a small, quiet, nonphallic vibrator held over the clitoris by three straps. Could this be the piece of office equipment I've been dreaming of?--R. M., Seaford, New York.
The interesting thing is not that Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton scored decisive primary victories. It's that he's still in the race; no issue received anything like the saturation coverage lavished on Clinton's alleged marital infidelities.
"You have the opportunity to be a tourist in a very strange land. It's the most misunderstood industry in the world. The last time I was approached [by an interviewer], the man wound up analogizing us to having the same kind of death wish that bullfighters, sky divers and race-car drivers have, which is probably true, because I'm in an antisocial, highly immoral, against-the-grain, ultrarebellious form of entertainment. We're the last rebels in society. At least we're better than the stupid terrorists who go around blowing up people. No one ever died from an overdose of pornography."
In the predawn hours of September 27, 1991, FBI agents, backed by the LAPD vice squad, broke down the front gate to X-rated film maker James Wasson's West Hollywood apartment, rousing him from bed to be shackled, hauled downtown and strip-searched. Wasson, who has directed several gay videos for Vivid Video Incorporated under the name Jim West, was joined in jail by Phil Toubus, who makes straight videos for Vivid under the name Paul Thomas. Three weeks later, the directors and Vivid's owners, Steven Hirsch and David James, found themselves in a federal district court in Oxford, Mississippi, charged with conspiring to distribute obscene materials.
It was the first of February and the 200 or so people arrived eager for the festivities at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The Knights of Columbus sported polyester suits; their wives wore terminally coiffed hair. Also present were CNN, NBC and CBS camera crews and the few representatives of the adult-entertainment industry who had managed to scam tickets. We had all shown up to eat brunch and digest the religious Right's view on pornography and its proposed film code based on Christian values.
As bits and pieces about their shenanigans leak out, I keep asking myself: Who are these people at Hill and Knowlton, the public relations firm that meddles everywhere in our political life? Operating out of 66 offices in 25 countries, this multinational company makes a mockery of national and democratic politics. They manipulate elected officials and news organizations with total impunity. They were hired to run a campaign against abortion on behalf of the Catholic church; they represented the Church of Scientology; they orchestrated the drive to get the United States into war against Iraq for their client, Kuwait. Even if you agree with their campaigns, you should have reservations about their influence and methods.
When Playboy first interviewed Ralph Nader in October 1968, he was Public Enemy Number One--to the nation's carmakers. To Detroit's customers, however, he was a hero. As a result of his one-man crusade, the milestone Traffic Safety Act of 1966 called for mandatory seat belts in American cars. Since then, an estimated 200,000 lives have been saved on the nation's highways.
More than three years into what he describes as an "unimaginable ordeal," Tom Anson* decided to go public. Against the advice of his lawyer and almost everyone else who wished him well, he began writing letters. He wrote the heads of network news divisions, as well as producers and correspondents on individual shows. He wrote the ACLU and other organizations concerned with civil liberties. He wrote the student-body presidents of more than 100 colleges. He wrote local politicians and state officials, along with Congressmen and Senators in Washington, D.C.
Nestled in the clutter of Manhattan's late-night television fare is the ultimate in safe sex for the cable-ready: Voyeurvision, the nation's only live call-in tele-fantasy show. Four nights a week, Lynn Muscarella, the show's campy, vampy hostess, slithers over the sheets while encouraging her phone fans to flesh out their sexiest fantasies. Most, not surprisingly, involve her--which delights the Brooklyn-bred Muscarella. She jokes, teases, pouts, writhes--even blushes. "I'm your video game," she coos to a caller. "Tell me what you want."
Dear Mister ______," her initial fan letter had begun, almost three months ago. She claimed to love him because his books were mighty special. He had written back politely, urging caution. But that didn't stop her. Letters began rolling in, often twice a week. In them, she poured her heart out. At first, he had answered sparely, in subdued tones, intrigued but wary. She was only a junior in college, the same age as his daughter. Yet she was articulate, funny, sexy, obnoxious--mercurial. Furthermore, she had applied for, and received, a three-week writing residency at the Rhinehart Center, a local arts foundation. So they were destined to meet.
The fabric that sparked a boxer rebellion a few years back has come out of the underwear drawer. Silk shirts, suits, sports coats, outerwear and even jeans are some of summer's hottest looks. Yes, you can dance the night away in silk trousers or stretch in a silk jacket. Despite its delicate appearance, silk is about as fragile as a Humvee and just as versatile. As with all natural fibers, silk breathes--even in the stickiest situations. And since there's now a greater selection of weaves--fuji (light and drapey), ottoman (heavy and corded) and faille (ribbed with a light luster), to name a few--you can dress up or down in silk as you please. Remember, though, that silk generally connotes a more casual look these days. The same silk suit that gets rave reviews from the top brass of a film studio in Los Angeles might not enhance your fashion stock in a boardroom on Wall Street. Still, one man who regularly wears the fabric told us that "women just can't keep their hands off it." That sounds like recommendation enough to us.
I'm a Practical Girl," says Angela Melini, and you believe her. Let others wish and wonder and hope and dream: Angela has things to do. She isn't looking around for a frog prince to kiss or waiting for a Hollywood producer to make her an offer she can't refuse. Miss June plans to go back to school, save money, invest. Someday not too soon, she'd like to marry and raise kids. Meanwhile, she works as a hairdresser in a cozy salon in Seattle, her adopted home town. You know this 22-year-old is unflappable when you see her taking care of business in the salon. Doubling as a receptionist and stylist on a recent Friday afternoon, Angela calmly minded the rattling phone, booked appointments, gossiped with co-workers, planned a ski trip and treated her clients to shampoos, haircuts and the psychic hand-holding that accompanies new dos. For one fretting male customer, she spun a long, bawdy tale about his having sex with a beautiful woman in hell. (The Devil's punch line: "Excuse me, Ron, what you don't understand is that she's the one trying to get out of here.") Later, digging into a seafood dinner at her favorite waterfront restaurant, she reviewed her day. "What I love about the salon is meeting people, working with people. I love the high energy," she said. "But cutting hair is what I do, not who I am." The more you learn about Angela, the easier it is to understand why she doesn't want to be defined by her work--or by her remarkable beauty. "There are plenty of pretty girls," she muses. "You have to have more than that." Angela was born in Saigon, Vietnam, at the height of the war. She never knew her father, an American soldier killed on the battlefield. She has not seen or spoken with her twin brother, Dúong--she calls him Larry--since he was trapped at their grandmother's house in a village overtaken by the Viet Cong when she and her mother fled Vietnam in 1974. Angela was five years old. "The next thing I remember," she says, "I was living in a big house at the end of the road, with woods and a creek out back." That was Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she began a typically suburban American childhood of bike riding, roller-skating and hanging out at the mall. Mom married another military man. A new baby brother, Peter, joined the family. Angela forgot much of her Vietnamese. Her step-dad was transferred to Fort Lewis and the family moved to Olympia, Washington. "It's weird when so much happens to you when you're so young," she says. "One thing you learn is to just get on with your life."
For sweeping the grand championships at the state fair, a backwoods 4-H club won a trip to London. One day, the club members decided to take a trip on a double-decker bus. Half rode below, half rode on top. The group on the bottom was having a great time, whooping and hollering, but the topsiders weren't making a sound. Finally, one of the bottom group climbed the stairs to see what the problem was. He was amazed to see everyone sitting stiffly, holding on for dear life.
Samuel Johnson got it right when he said, "A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner." A good meal at the end of the day--especially after a long day of travel--is as much a restorative as it is a reward for a job well done. With that in mind, Playboy asked top food critics in 25 American cities to choose the restaurants at which a traveler with only one night in town will find the finest food and service as well as an atmosphere that evokes the city's character. Our critics picked three alternatives, in case you find the first choice booked. Since most of the restaurants are extremely popular, reservations--sometimes days in advance and always on weekends--are advised. Lunch is an easier time to secure a table, but remember, many restaurants offer different menus than they do at dinner. Dress codes have relaxed, but you'd be wise to call and ask if a jacket and tie are required.
As the Rolling Stones warned us years ago, you can't always get what you want: Patrick Swayze doesn't fancy being a Hollywood heartthrob, but the women of America have spoken. After leaving the girls breathless in "Dirty Dancing" and heartbroken in "Ghost," Swayze finds himself in a corner. Although he doesn't look it, the baby-faced actor is almost 40 and has really had it, thank you, with playing hunks with hearts of gold. To make that crystal clear, Swayze tackled the role of an alcoholic, disillusioned doctor in his latest film, "City of Joy." Swayze knows he's gambling with his career, and all his chips are on the table. Lawrence Linderman interviewed Swayze at the five-acre ranch Swayze and his wife, dancer Lisa Niemi, own just north of Los Angeles. Linderman reports: "This won't come as a surprise: Patrick Swayze is almost overwhelmingly emotional. He laughs, he shouts and, yes, he cries. What surprised me most, however, was the realization that the guy is a classic overachiever. Swayze has a compulsion to win--and win big--at everything he attempts. So maybe he will, indeed, show he belongs in the same league with the actors he admires. If he doesn't, it won't be for lack of trying."
Life in the land of women can be confusing. You meet a girl and think everything's fine. Then one day you realize you are talking with a creature from another world, somebody who makes noises similar to English but who doesn't really speak your language at all--except when she wants to be absolutely, fully understood. Like when she says "Come to bed," "What's your salary?" or "Go to hell."
Corinna never wished to be Playmate of the Year. Corinna used to sit in her car in Nevada's Amargosa Desert, making wishes on shooting stars, wishing to be Playboy's Playmate of the Month. But Playmate of the Year? Forget it. Being the woman who aces out 11 beauties and gets a life of silk and limousines for a year, plus a hot new car and $100,000? "That was too beyond," says Corinna, 20. "I mean, I loved getting to keep the boots I wore in my pictorial, the ones with the aces," she says. "I just never pictured this."
When he was eight, he said he wanted to be President of the United States--"or at least a lawyer." By the time he was 11, he had decided that announcing sports might be a better way to spend his time. He amused himself by practicing play-by-play in his bedroom. His grandmother visited one day and overheard him.
More than a decade after the first Sony Walkman hit the streets, the personal stereo remains one of the hottest categories in consumer electronics. In fact, there's not an audio format on the market today that can't be enjoyed on the run, and that includes everything from basic AM/FM radio and analog cassettes to compact discs and digital audio tape. The real news, though, is the technology. Some of the latest portable stereos are packed with the kinds of advanced audio features (digital presets, graphic equalizers, wireless earphones, etc.) that were formerly available only on full-sized systems. One portable CD player even incorporates exclusive antishock memory circuitry that lets you hop, skip and jump without missing a beat.