Go ahead, guys. Admit it. You've thought how cool it would be to work at MTV, hanging out with rock stars, wearing funky clothes, checking out free concerts--kind of like a nine-to-five party with after-hours perks. Wrong! Thanks to a new fiscal sensitivity and a lot of disenfranchised youth, the cable channel is taking its rock and roll very seriously these days. Doug Hill explains in Inside MTV (illustrated by Don Baum).
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), March 1993, Volume 40, Number 3. 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.
Your Tax Dollars at Work Department: According to a 120-page report recently made public through the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI tried in vain during the Sixties to figure out the lyrics to Louie Louie. The feds apparently played the Kings-men's hit record both backward and forward, using filters, computers and cryptographers, to no avail. They should have saved their money for Playboy music critic and author Dave Marsh's upcoming tome, which traces the song's long and colorful history--and provides the lyrics. We'd print the words, but we'd rather you went out and bought Dave's book.
Stretching his talent in fascinating new directions, Michael Douglas plays a Los Angeles man on the slope of civilization in Falling Down (Warner). Divorced, out of work and generally feeling screwed over, he abandons his car, his scruples and his fragile sanity to go on a rampage. Detective Robert Duvall, about to enter early retirement, takes it upon himself to track Douglas down. They don't meet face-to-face until the stirring climax of director Joel Schumacher's taut, timely drama about a modern world in decline. Complementing them are a trio of scene-stealers: Tuesday Weld as Duvall's neurotic, housebound wife, Rachel Ticotin as his policewoman pal and Barbara Hershey as Douglas' overwrought ex-wife. Falling Down finds a subversive streak of humor in its unheroic Everyman who challenges a pair of muggers, holds up a fast-food joint that offers indifferent service and begins to flail away at the status quo. He is fearsome but hard to hate. [rating]3-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
Winning a third successive Oscar nomination this year for The Story of Qiu Ju seems a safe bet for Zhang Yimou (pronounced Jong eemo). The 42-year-old Chinese filmmaker's eligible new comedy is likely to be an Academy entry on the heels of his erotic Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, the first Chinese Oscar candidates ever. Both were, until recently, banned in their homeland. "Sex is still a very taboo subject," says Zhang, who feels his previous nominations helped break the ice.
Spike & Mike's Festival of Animation doesn't play every town, so Mellow Manor brings you the fest's best in four vids. Top rewind: Aardman Animations, featuring the Oscar-winning Claymation riot Creature Comforts. Call 619-459-8707.... Golf lovers who can't make it to the country club can still get their links fix with Sure Swing, an in-home training tape that teaches the ten positions of the modern golf swing. Package includes the SureLite training stick--a club-sized, glowing wand designed to help maintain a grip on your swing (800-554-sure).
The updated edition of Douglas Pratt's Laser Video Disc Companion (New York Zoetrope; $24.95) includes more than 5000 disc listings (4000-plus reviewed) as well as "One Hundred Great Discs," a beginner's guide to starting a core collection.... From Voyager comes a baby boomers' treasure chest. Television Toys replays more than 100 toy commercials from the Fifties and Sixties--from Chatty Cathy to G.I. Joe to Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.... Lumivision's classical music releases pack an extra visual wallop. Austrian countrysides are a backdrop for a pair of Schubert piano pieces; Chopin preludes highlight a museum tour in Italy; and Handel's Messiah choruses accompany a trip to Benedictine Abbey Church in Bavaria.... Pioneer Special Editions is pressing part of the NC-17 version of Basic Instinct in the CAV mode. That means frame-by-frame access to the film's steamy climax.
"I love film--any film," says TV's Bob Saget. "When my wife and I were dating, we once saw three movies in one night--ending with Behind the Green Door, the Sequel. That's how desperate we were to see a movie in Philly." Luckily, Saget's taste has improved. These days the star of Full House and wisecracking host of America's Funniest Home Videos (which means he should know a thing or two about the VCR) likes to rewind surefire hits such as It's a Wonderful Life, A Passage to India and Raging Bull. "I can always watch Kurosawa," he adds, "like The Seven Samurai and Ran." He's also a pushover for Mel Brooks (The Producers, Young Frankenstein), and Woody Allen (Annie Hall, Stardust Memories.) "Oh, and Naked Lunch. I love to turn the volume all the way up on that one and listen to the sounds of crunching cockroach flesh." So much for improved taste.
Something exciting is going on in contemporary crime fiction. Tough questions about urban ills are asked and answered in novels, not in government studies or crime statistics. Grab a good reading light and get a seat on the front lines.
In the December Playboy we ran a pictorial, "The Betty Boom," about the cult that has sprung up around Betty Page, the elusive Fifties figure model. Lo and behold, one week after our issue hit the stands, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" aired a segment on the same subject but with a surprise: The show had found and interviewed Page. We asked Bob Schapiro, who tracked her down for "Lifestyles," to tell us about her.
I recently met a rather kinky and intriguing 28-year-old professional guy who lives in the condo next to mine. I am 26 and quite sexual. I find my neighbor interesting and challenging. We haven't had intercourse yet because I don't want to rush things, but we have had intense oral and phone sex on several occasions. In one particular instance his best friend called while we were fooling around on the sofa. My neighbor handed me the phone. His friend proceeded to ask me to take off my clothes, touch myself in various spots and describe the outrageous oral sex that my neighbor was suddenly performing on me. I agreed to all of this and climaxed while on the phone, which obviously turned the friend on immensely. Now the two of them want to have a threesome, saying that they have done this twice in the past with significant others. My problem: Am I being manipulated, or is this just a 91/2 Weeks variation on potentially good sex that I should consider an experiment? -- J. D., Newark, New Jersey.
Where is the women's movement going? This column may appear a strange venue for raising the question, though I am reliably told that 2 million women read this magazine. Men, in any case, need to know about this. The startling demonstration of women power in the last election, in which the gender gap provided Clinton with his margin of victory, means women have a lot to do with setting the national agenda. So men, too, had better wonder again: What do women want? For example, living in California, as I do, both of my senators are now women, and all I know about them for sure is that they are pro-choice.
In 1976 Anne Rice came upon the literary scene with an extraordinarily innovative novel called "Interview with the Vampire." Critics were not sure what to make of her richly imagined, deadly serious portrait of Lestat de Lioncourt--an 18th century vampire who poured out his tale of centuries on the run, of the eternal struggle between good and evil and of the meanings of death and immortality. But readers had no trouble seeing this vampire as an ultimate outsider--a symbolic figure for teens, gays and lonely urban apartment dwellers. It became an instant cult classic and the basis for a series of novels, "The Vampire Chronicles"--including "The Vampire Lestat," "The Queen of the Damned" and, most recently, "The Tale of the Body Thief"--which have sold nearly 5 million copies.
This Game was easier before I was famous, or infamous, and before the damned process was so efficient. When I could still pretend it was my own art, or at least about my art. Nowadays, once you're doped up and squeezed into the skinsuit, it's hard to tell whose eye is measuring the model. Whose hand is holding the brush.
Writers must be willing to go anywhere and do anything to get a story. Where I am, at the moment, is under a table in a Los Angeles sushi bar, surveying Mimi Rogers' lower half. Wouldn't you, if you had the chance? "What are you looking for, a potbelly?" Mimi's voice comes from up above, a retrograde drawl, slinky and unflexed, like a hand dangled in the water beside a rowboat. We've been swapping life stories. Hers is the more interesting of the two, composed of some great movie work (The Rapture, notably), hilarious turns on TV (her flirtatious guest shot on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show) and a tumble through the gossip mags as Mrs. Tom Cruise. Anyway, there I am with my head under the table. (I am a gentleman and wouldn't have done it had she not been wearing jeans.) I had gone below, I suppose, because I sensed the presence of a secret weapon--face it, she has an arsenal. Although I didn't really expect to find the weapon under the table, there's no harm in looking. When I am topside again, Mimi has me in her cross hairs. "How much do you really know about me?" she asks with a smile that could draw rivets from the Golden Gate Bridge. "Let's talk honestly about preconceptions. Tell me what you expected." All right. The Mimi I envisioned was the one who shared a bed with Tom Berenger in the 1987 suspense thriller Someone to Watch Over Me. In that film, she is a static beauty, cool and detached, icy and mannered, elegant and stoic. Her emotional access is metered, her sophistication imposing, having been cured by the lazy smoke of privilege, liberated from the heartbreaking associations the rest of us have to make. While she shares the same startling eyes, pupils suspended in pearly angel's plasma, the Mimi presently dangling tempura over her mouth is none of the above. "After that film, there was a widespread idea that that was who I was," Mimi says. "And other movie roles would come up and directors would pass over me as being too aloof, too patrician. It was terribly frustrating, because I was acting, for God's sake." She changes gears. "But you never answered me. Come on, how much do you know about me? Tell me some stories about me." The fact is, my misconceptions of Mimi are anemic next to the Rogers folklore coursing through the Hollywood circulatory system. When she laments that she was acting, for God's sake, there are those who would say, Exactly: Mimi is not what she appears to be. Along those lines, there is the "Mimi Rogers, militant scientologist" rumor. Rogers calmly addresses this aspect of her past: "This is the philosophy I grew up with. My parents were scientologists. It was a religious philosophy that I was shaped and formed by, part of my education. So, in that sense, it will always be there." For those fixated on the image of Rogers as a breast-beating Dianetics thumper, I suggest a screening of Michael Tolkin's brilliant 1991 film, The Rapture. In a rendering remarkable by anyone's standards, Mimi plays a hedonist prowling for group sex who becomes disenchanted and begins (text continued on page 161)Mimi Rogers(continued from page 75) experiencing religious premonitions. Her subsequent conversion to evangelical Christianity is complete, to the point where she redeems a former lover. The two marry, have a daughter and live quiet, pious lives until the murder of her husband by a disgruntled former employee triggers a series of catastrophic events. Certainly an individual consumed by religious fervor would find it difficult to embrace such a role.
Most People are not free. Freedom frightens them. They follow patterns set by their parents, enforced by society and by a constant inner dialog that weighs duty against desire and pronounces duty the winner. "Lives of quiet desperation," Thoreau called such existence, though today's version is noisy desperation.
Unlike the intense characters he has portrayed in such acclaimed films as Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing and Do the Right Thing, actor John Turturro is a laid-back guy who prefers clothing that's comfortable. Lucky for him, we've chosen a relaxed lineup of Italian menswear as the subject of this month's fashion feature. As you can see, jackets are soft and lean and are designed to be layered over vests, banded-collar shirts and even drawstring pull-on pants. The look of the moment is the three-button single-breasted style in natural fabrics such as linen, cotton and lightweight wool blends. Surface texture is important, too. A seersucker jacket, for example, is meant to appear puckered, and a linen one should look slightly wrinkled. That means no over-ironing. Capisce?
A Wide Range of Americans celebrated lustily the night the Republicans lost the White House. Breaking out the champagne after 12 years of GOP rule were the old left, the new Democrats, the prochoicers, the environmentalists, women, minorities and gays. But those corks may have been popped in vain, or at least prematurely. The defeat of George Bush may mark only the true takeoff point for the increasingly powerful religious right, a movement far more ominous than any represented by Bush or Ronald Reagan. It is a movement whose intolerance and fanaticism have been festering for years, but which America has glimpsed only in recent months.
Duff, the gorgeous MTV VJ, is in her room at the Daytona Beach Marriott, hanging out with her equally gorgeous new friend, Whitfield Crane, lead singer from Ugly Kid Joe. She's fresh from a string of photo shoots for fashion magazines. His first record is zooming up the charts. They're in Florida for MTV's coverage of Daytona's Spring Break festivities, he to perform, she to host. A little celebration seems in order.
A Beautiful Woman is hard to resist. She will pitch your boat, make your compass needle go haywire, have you begging your friends to tie you to the mast. But a beautiful woman with a gift for laughter will put you on the rocks as sure as a Londonderry fog. Here, then, is Kimberly Donley, faithfully demonstrating the fencer's classic stance, balancing her weight on the coil of her long legs. "I can do the moves, but I don't know their names yet. It's all in the wrist," she divulges with a whisper and a bounce, then cracks up completely. Her laughter is a joyous reflex, hinting at capitulation with the right joke. Prepare to abandon ship. "I laugh a lot," the 27-year-old Aurora, Illinois native concedes. "Maybe I should take life more seriously." Certainly, adult life for Donley started out in a more somber direction. After completing instruction in computer science, Kim sought high fame in the insurance industry. "Some time ago, I went to a product liability seminar, and that's when I said to myself, 'What am I doing? This is not me. I'm going to die of boredom in the insurance world.' " Swapping her low deductible for a chance to break into modeling and acting, Kim now divides her time between Arizona's painted deserts (she leases a condo in Phoenix) and the shrink-to-fit hysteria of Los Angeles, where her boyfriend has a local following as a guitarist and songwriter. "I come to L.A. to relax, can you believe it?" she asks, laughing again. "All my friends are back in Phoenix and the phone's constantly ringing. Something's always happening. I come here, kick back in Benedict Canyon to visit my boyfriend and watch the crabgrass grow." Perhaps more stunning than her classic Gaelic features is the fact that until her foray with Playboy, Kim had no modeling or acting experience. "I don't see myself as the voluptuous Playmate type," says our duelist with a modest shrug. "And I'm probably too short to be a model. I think I have a lot of beauty within me. I did go to charm school--learned how to eat, how to sit, how to answer the phone. All of it has really paid off, can't you tell?" And there's that surrender-your-vessel laugh again. But let's not dismiss this woman's charm. After all, her ex-boyfriend remains devoted enough to feed her cats when she's away from home. Just another willing victim of Kim Donley's siren call--her infectious laughter. Hear it once and you're stuck for life.
An investigation into the fire that had destroyed Brown's warehouse took almost a year, so when he received word that the case had finally been settled, Brown immediately headed to his lawyer's office to collect the insurance money. Once there, he was shocked to learn just how large a percentage the lawyer was retaining to cover his services.
Enough with chicken and fish, already. Red meat is back--in leaner cuts, we're happy to announce. In fact, the average American consumes about 65 pounds of beef each year. Some guys broil their steaks, some barbecue them and Playboy Contributing Editor Denis Boyles even cooks them with two blowtorches. It takes him 20 minutes to get the meat just the way he likes it--a thin, crisp sear on the outside and a blood-red center. But that's not the strangest cooking technique we've discovered. In their humorous book Manifold Destiny, authors Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller use a car engine for cooking. Dwight David Eisenhower Pepper Steak, for example, calls for four tablespoons of peppercorns per half pound of strip steak, crushed using a tire iron and pressed into the meat. The meat is then wrapped in foil and taken for a half-hour ride (per side) atop the engine.
Topless has gone Vegas. It's a Bugsy Siegel vision of its former self. What was once just déclassé raunch began to step up in style around 1988. Today the average upscale topless outlet will feature 20 to 30 women you wouldn't mind splicing genes with. And it comes with valet parking, with sound systems so thunderous and sophisticated they would reach the cheap seats in the Sky Dome, with three-star food and with someone you gotta tip in the john. As the clubs go for the top of the market--Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, New York--they're becoming investment-grade businesses. Even in the recession, topless is a go-go stock--more than just respectable, expensive (Visa and Master Card accepted). I predicted this makeover, by the way, while doing research for my novel Topless. Since 1982 I've interviewed about 400 of the roughly (text concluded on page 130) 68,000 topless dancers in this country. I have been to topless what Toulouse-Lautrec was to cancan (only I'm a little shorter), so listen up out there.
In Laura Dern's cinematic universe, as in real life, saintly schoolgirls are capable of conducting secret lives and chain-smoking tarts can also be pure hearts. In her earliest work--"Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and "Foxes"--Dern is just the daughter of actors Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, elbowing her way onto a movie set. By 1985 she begins to exhibit her peculiar touch, in "Smooth Talk," as a sulking teenager who disposes of her virginity with equal parts zeal and trepidation. Dern's bits were flawless in two David Lynch films. In "Blue Velvet," clothed and chaste, she showed a remarkable tolerance for weirdness. Unzipped, in "Wild at Heart," she displayed enough confidence to surprise her fans. In "Rambling Rose," which won Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for both her and her mother, she made unchecked horniness seem beguilingly innocent.
Playboy expands your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 26, 82--85, 114--117 and 165, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
The stunt is called manlifting and the idea is to stack as many kites as it takes to raise yourself off the ground while flying them. Sound crazy? You bet, but it's one of several spectacular tricks that you can perform with a high-tech stunt kite. Forget those wood-and-paper kites you flew as a kid. In addition to incorporating sturdy graphite composite frames and durable rip-stop nylon, these dazzlers feature multiple lines, and some have heavy-duty stainless-steel handles for greater control and maneuvering. Some are so aerodynamic, the merest breeze will send them soaring. And all are fast. In fact, the Flexifoil (a stack of three is shown here flying above the earth) has been clocked at more than 100 mph. So what are you waiting for? Go fly a kite.
The Visiting Poet--Murtaugh sated his penchant for bright, willowy students with one-year stints at small-town colleges. Would his trysts be sacrificed at the altar of maturity?--Fiction by Mark Winegardner