For Years, Berry Gordy kept us dancing in the streets of Motown. But while we knew his music, it seems we never knew the man. What we heard through the grapevine pegged the tycoon either as an icon or as an exploiter. Not until his recent best-selling book, To Be Loved, did Gordy tell his side of the story. Now Contributing Editor David Sheff gets an earful in an Interview about Gordy's first time with Diana Ross, figuring out Michael Jackson and losing Marvin Gaye.
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With Scarified (Zero Hour) the Dirt Merchants wrest remarkably dramatic songs from cacophony. Is this post-noise? Vocalist-guitarist Maria Christopher offers further proof that these days girls do this stuff better than boys.
In 1987 Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby seemed to signal the debut of an international star. The Florida native, who had risen to prominence in London, was both progressive and retro. He had a strong, passionate voice that echoed Sam Cooke's. He had a lean, exotic look. He gave quirky, entertaining and egotistical interviews. D'Arby became more a cult figure than a star.
Some musicians do their best work in midlife. Neil Young, George Jones and Bonnie Raitt have proved that pop musicians can bring a vibrancy to their mature work. Bob Dylan's work is less certain. A Sixties supernova, he transformed folk and rock by wedding musical tradition with modern lyrics. Some people claim that you can still hear brilliance in every note he plays. Other people resent him for not being the transcendent figure he once was. If you're under 30, you may wonder what all the damn fuss is about. Dylan's risky, if inevitable, MTV Unplugged (Columbia), should give plenty of ammo to both sides. Classics such as Desolation Row lack the old fire or new revelations. But on new or obscure material (John Brown and Shooting Star, for example) he finds his voice. After a perfunctory Like a Rolling Stone, he ends with a beautiful With God on Our Side. It surpasses anything he's done in years.
The Brooklyn Side (East Side Digital, 530 N. Third St., Minneapolis, MN 55401) by the Bottle Rockets is a fine heartland rock set that includes some of the best car songs of the decade (notably 1000 Dollar Car) and an anti-Newt rant, Welfare Music, that demolishes Rush Limbaugh in one line.
What keeps Clannad's Themes (Celtic Hearbeat/Atlantic), a collection of film and TV music, from being New Age fluff? A haunting Gaelic earthiness. The theme Harry's Game, from the movie Patriot Games, is a minor masterpiece. Also stirring is Maire Brennan's duet with Bono on In a Lifetime.
James Carter's The Real Quietstorm (Atlantic Jazz) enters the fray over the meaning of traditional jazz. A 26-year-old veteran of both Wynton Marsalis' and Julius Hemphill's bands, Carter turns in a set of standards, including Monk's 'Round Midnight and Jackie McLean's A Ballad for a Doll. He plays these classics straight-up on a variety of instruments: baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxes, bass clarinet and bass flute. Carter conveys tremendous respect for these tunes. He never wigs out, Sixties-style, the way he did on his earlier, almost-equally-wonderful Sony/DIW sets, Jurassic Classics and J.C. on the Set. Carter's attitude is swinging and free. Rather than honoring these numbers with a stiff neck, as other neoclassicists might do, Carter blows their guts out, turning jazz back to its roots. His band is showcased as a rhythmic ensemble. To clinch the point, he closes the album with Eventide from Bill Doggett, a rhythm-and-blues genius. Carter stays well within himself here, but he's knocking down conceptual barriers. I haven't had this much fun with a jazz record in a long time.
The 75th birthday of trumpeter Clark Terry is marked by a slew of new releases and a nationally broadcast showcase from this month's Chicago Jazz Festival. Few artists deserve so much attention. In his native St. Louis, Terry's fluid technique and sly tone left their mark on the young Miles Davis. Terry starred in both the Ellington and Basic bands mixing explosive fast-tempo solos with the slow, teasing blues numbers that he still plays better than anyone else. Terry started off this year with Remember the Time (Mons), which provides a good, if slightly coy, introduction to his work. But he plays with more spirit and abandon on the album Talkin' Trash (DIW), led by his former pianist James Williams. Trash also features plenty of Mumbles, Terry's comical scat-singing alter ego. And on The Second Set (Chesky), Terry and saxist Jimmy Heath fire up a lighthearted performance at the Village Gate in New York, providing a perfect portrait of a true jazz original.
Long before Soul Asylum, long before Prince, there was a thriving music scene in Minneapolis. Its foremost export was Bob Dylan, but he wasn't the only major talent. "Spider" John Koerner, Dave "Snaker" Ray and Tony "Little Sun" Glover performed in area coffeehouses, recorded in various combinations and made an important contribution to the folk revival of the early Sixties. Some three decades after it appeared, their first album, Blues, Rags & Hollers (Red House Records), has been reissued, and it sounds as good to me now as it did then. As a trio, Koerner, Ray and Glover brought a raucous, highly rhythmic approach to the acoustic blues that effectively captured the essence of their forbears. Ray, in particular, had a haunting voice and a mastery of the 12-string guitar that placed him in a direct line from Leadbelly and Blind Willie McTell. Glover was an ace with the blues harp, and Koerner brought a delightful sense of humor to his pounding rags. Buy it, then write letters to Red House (P.O. Box 4044, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104) demanding they reissue everything else.
On Dublin Blues (Asylum), Guy Clark's grave whiskey-bred voice is somewhere between country and folk (that is, between Waylon Jennings and Bob Dylan). His songs have narratives as compelling as their plain melodies. The closer, Randall Knife, should grab those people who never met their fathers.
I'm not going to claim that Hi, the other great Memphis label, is the equal of Stax Volt. But I'll swear on a stack of ribs that Hi Times: Hi Records, The R&B Years will give you more bang per disc than any of Stax' monster compendiums. True, many of the tracks on this set are by Al Green. But over producer Willie Mitchell's sweet jazz inflections Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson, Otis Clay and O.V. Wright recorded music that deserved far better than the bottom of the black music charts. Now you can give them their propers.
The titular leader of Little Charlie and the Nightcats is guitarist Charlie Baty, whose light touch and licks owe as much to jazz and Western swing as they do to sweet home Chicago. The concept master is front man Rick Estrin, who sings, does saxophone impressions on harmonica, and writes songs with pizzazz. The Nightcats' sixth and strongest album for Alligator, Straight Up, will startle cynics convinced the white blues circuit is a refuge for know-nothings. On wise-ass novelties such as You Gonna Lie and Me and My Big Mouth, Estrin recalls Willie Dixon and Leiber and Stoller. On sharp-swinging workouts like I Could Deal With It and the witty instrumental Gerontology, this California boogie band rocks the house as if Louis Jordan were still on the hit parade.
A space-age device for corporate climbers, Polycom's Sound Station (pictured here) is a two-way speakerphone system with an integrated telephone keypad, three microphones and digitally tuned speakers. For conference calls, the $995 device provides 360 degrees of coverage, allowing several people to talk simultaneously without clipping off parts of the conversation. (Standard speakerphones are capable of transmitting only one voice at a time.) The Sound Station also features digital signal processing technology that reduces echoes and distortion and has a mute button and an RCA jack for a tape recorder.
Film Students should consider Living in Oblivion (Sony Classics) required viewing. Writer-director Tom DiCillo's inside view of a cinematic work-in-progress is simultaneously hair-raising and hilarious. No doubt inspired by DiCillo's own experiences in making a movie (Johnny Suede with Brad Pitt), Oblivion stars Steve Buscemi as Nick, the harried director whose woes on the set would drive a man to justifiable homicide. Nick's having a fling with his neurotic leading lady (Catherine Keener), who casually tumbles into bed with the egomaniacal leading man, Chad Palomino (played with preening malice by James LeGros). Even the cameraman (Dermot Mulroney) is a stud with attitude. Every caterer, gaffer, assistant and bit player contributes to the bedlam. Nothing goes right that could possibly go awry. While Oblivion looks improvised, it isn't. DiCillo has this comedy of errors under control at all times, quite aware that the insane process of getting a movie in the can is probably a lot more fun than being a retail clerk or insurance adjuster. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
When Jeremy Piven, 29, shows up on a movie screen, things start popping. He was the dentist who seduced Sarah Jessica Parker's newlywed sister in Miami Rhapsody and is an unemployed stockbroker energized by "an excitement disorder" in the TV sitcom Pride & Joy. He will soon be back on the big screen with Sean Young in a spoof titled Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. "I play a pig who wants to have sex with her. She burns my face off and electrocutes me, but I won't die." Piven jauntily describes it as "a lot of fun."
Now in its third year, Fox Video's Studio Classics Collection mines Twentieth Century's film vaults for jewels (a consumer fan club helps choose the titles). While tried-and-true flicks have been picked in the past (Laura, How Green Was My Valley), this year's winners are decidedly offbeat. They include:
In front of the VCR, screen veteran Kirk Douglas confesses a short attention span: "If a movie doesn't grab me in the first 15 minutes," he admits, "it's back to the video store." A recent rental that rated an overnight stay was the 1992 Melanie Griffith thriller, A Stranger Among Us. "I watched it twice," he raves, "and had tears in my eyes both times. It's a gem." Of his own 82 films, Douglas recommends Lonely Are the Brave ("an environmental classic") as best of the lot, though he never watches himself on the screen. Instead, he prefers checking out the works of Pacino (Scent of a Woman), Chaplin (The Gold Rush), Brando (Last Tango in Paris) and, of course, son Michael. "I consider Falling Down Michael's best work," boasts Dad, "but I particularly like Disclosure. Mainly because it echoes the Biblical experience of Joseph and Potiphar's wife." Who knew? --David Stine
Of the four new titles released by Columbia TriStar under the Best of the West sombrero, Bite the Bullet (1975) is the most welcome. Writer-director Richard Brooks concocted a brilliant scheme for a turn-of-the-century oater: Seven cowboys--and one cowgirl (Candice Bergen)--compete in a 700-mile horse race. The action, shot in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, remains gripping in the widescreen format. And while the same technical excellence holds for the other three films in the set--Alvarez Kelly (1966), MacKenna's Gold (1969) and Major Dundee (1965)--none has Bite's bite. . . . Gen X scenarists eager to capture a taste of rock angst before Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love should check out Voyager's Criterion Collection edition of Sid and Nancy (1986), the perplexing love story of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Included among the trove of extras: interviews with stars Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb; England's Glory, a 30-minute making-of documentary; and Love Kills, an homage to the ill-fated couple by Clash legend Joe Strummer.
Of the half dozen recent books about CIA traitor Aldrich Ames, the best documented is Betrayal (Random House), by three New York Times reporters, Tim Weiner, David Johnston and Neil Lewis. Betrayal provides riveting details about how Ames passed CIA secrets to the KGB and how the FBI finally nailed him. The Times team presents its account amid questions about the effectiveness of the CIA's internal policing, squabbling between the FBI and the CIA, and the role of spying in the post-Cold War era.
Everybody knows that the road to a honed body and rosy health is paved with pasta. The message has been loud and clear for more than two decades: Eat less fat and more carbohydrates. A high-carb diet, say nutrition experts, is especially important for athletes. Consume lots of whole grains, go easy on the protein and banish fat from the training table. Fitness experts call it "carbo-loading" and explain convincingly how it gives us a competitive edge.
It was evident before the Persian Gulf war that Saddam Hussein was willing to deploy the chemical weapons the U.S. had helped supply him during his long war with Iran and his fight with the Kurds. Not publicly known was the extent of his resources in this area.
Whenever one of my former girlfriends wanted to have sex, she knew how to get me going. She would walk up to me, unbuckle my pants and pull them and my boxers down to my ankles. The rush of suddenly finding myself half naked always gave me an instant erection. I had a bad experience with my new girlfriend, however, when we were in bed making out and I decided to pull off her panties. She got a little miffed at me, though she didn't stay angry and we still made love. But I'm curious about why she didn't seem to feel the same excitement that I always have when someone strips me down.--D.A., Rutherford, New Jersey.
It's difficult to miss the pervasive discrimination against women and minorities in the workplace and almost every other area of our society--with one notable exception. When we turn our attention to the criminal justice system and its sentencing habits, an equally shocking bias against men is seen.
Is Hollywood really run by a bunch of sex-crazed exploiters of violence determined to destroy what remains of American family values? That's what Pat Robertson and his Christian Coalition claim, and now Republican presidential candidates are trumpeting the same hysterical message.
On the jacket of Berry Gordy Jr.'s autobiography, "To Be Loved," are testimonials by some of the people who have been affected by him: Smokey Robinson, Dick Clark, David Geffen, Lee Iacocca, Barry Diller, Mike Ovitz, Sidney Poitier and Diana Ross. But Gordy's influence was not felt only by his peers in the entertainment and business worlds. There is hardly an adult anywhere in the world who doesn't recognize at least some of the music that came from Gordy's Motown Studios. As Clark says, "Berry's music, that Motown magic, provides the soundtrack of our lives."
in front of the red-hued castle, amid luxuriant elms, there was a vividly green grass court. Early that morning the gardener had smoothed it with a stone roller, extirpated a couple of daisies, redrawn the lines on the lawn with chalk and tightly strung a resilient new net between the posts. From a nearby village the butler had brought a carton within which reposed a dozen balls, white as snow, fuzzy to the touch, still light, still virgin, each wrapped like a precious fruit in its own sheet of translucent paper.
There may have been a time when you thought of the words Star Trek as the punch line to a joke. Star Trek fans were pasty-faced 14-year-old boys. The object of their obsession was at most cult and probably not more than kitsch. Obviously, it wasn't anything important.
Hollywood started seeing double in 1989. That's when two voluptuous Vikings had a giant billboard erected on Sunset Boulevard that showed them accompanied by only two words: Barbi Twins. Playboy ran pictorials of Sia and Shane in September 1991 and January 1993, and now they're stopping traffic worldwide. Indeed, their noblest fan is Prince William, heir to the British throne, who decreed: "The Barbis are the best pinups in the world." We quite agree, your Highness.
This is Tommy Lee. He doesn't seem so special, does he? He's not that handsome and he's not doing tattoo parlors any favors with that ugly scrawl on his neck. His body has spent more time in rehab than in the gym. And we won't even mention the hair.
Some People think men's shoe styles never change, but this photo will set them straight. The classic wing tip, for example, is now being offered as an ankle-hugging shoe boot that looks sharp while providing extra support and warmth. (Wear it with a dark business suit and save the suede desert boot in the middle row for chinos, cords or tweeds.) Wing tips are also available in casual suede (regular height, not a shoe boot), and oxfords have been toughened and textured with pebble-grain leather. For those who like the look of spectator shoes, there are styles that combine the latest fall colors (tan and olive) and different textures (polished leather and suede). Slip-ons give a casual look that works best with a sports jacket and trousers or jeans, not a suit. Check out updated suede penny loafers such as the one by Salvatore Ferragamo in the middle row, a buckled monk strap in suede or a high-vamped style with welt-tip stitching. In fact, all of the newest slip-ons have high vamps. So it's a dead giveaway that you're wearing last year's loafers if you're showing too much sock.
We Live in an Era of hero directors. It began in the Seventies, when movies such as Jaws, The Godfather and Star Wars established a category of entertainment called the blockbuster and catapulted the people who made them to positions of eminence that Frank Capra, John Ford or even Alfred Hitchcock could not have imagined. Now, ordinary moviegoers, along with card-carrying members of Hollywood's guilds, drop such names as Spielberg, Coppola, Lucas or Scorsese and other moviegoers nod sagely in response.
Things have a way of happening to Rachel Jeán Marteen. Wonderful, lucky things, such as dining at one of Chicago's most expensive bistros and having the manager insist on picking up the tab. Or having a casual chat on a plane with a businessman who ends up giving her his fifth-row Bulls tickets--on the night Michael Jordan returns to action on the home court. Or try this scenario: An Atlanta photographer approaches Playboy about doing some work, and though he doesn't get the job, staffers spot her picture in his portfolio. She is flown in for a test shoot and suddenly, she is Miss August. "It all happened so quickly!" Rachel says, smiling. "And it was just luck. But that sort of thing happens to me all the time." Much of Rachel's good fortune can be attributed to her friendly disposition. This is a woman who's on a first-name basis with hotel doormen. She's the kind of person who interrupts an interview to say. "We keep talking about me. I want to hear about you."
Follow the careers of two actresses and you learn about the changing roles of sex and prudery in Hollywood. In 1941 Carmen Miranda had just finished shooting Weekend in Havana when she did a publicity photo session with her co-star Cesar Romero. As a photographer clicked away, Romero hoisted his dance partner into the air and gave the camera an unexpected peek into stardom. The widely circulated underground photo stirred up a scandal that, according to Twentieth Century Fox mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, "was the finish of her." In 1991 Sharon Stone was filming an interrogation scene for a thriller called Basic Instinct, when director Paul Verhoeven instructed her to uncross, then recross her legs. Moviegoers around the world saw Stone had nothing on beneath her tight white dress. Stone insists she had no idea her brief flash would even be noticed. She was wrong, and the notoriety propelled her to stardom. What a difference half a century makes.
Drink by John Oldcastle The rhythm and spirit of Latin culture are what's happening in a lot of hot new restaurants. Pumped up to the music of Jon Secada and Gloria Estefan, establishments such as Patria in New York, Bossa Nova in Chicago, Coco Loco in Washington, D.C. and Café Marimba in San Francisco are making news with a glamorous Caribbean style that features dazzling decor and colorful cocktails. Americans who have never tried the potent Brazilian sugarcane liquor called cachaca, for example, are finding how tasty it is in a caipirinha cocktail (recipe follows). Cooling the fire of spicy foods is a terrific reason to try the array of fine rums and tequilas punched up by fresh tropical fruits such as mango, guava and passion fruit. Of course, classic Caribbean cocktails such as the piña colada and the daiquiri are still being served. But thanks to the recent importation of new fruit juices, nectars, concentrates and liqueurs, these drinks now offer a wider range of flavors. Following are drinks from some of the hippest Stateside tropical restaurants.
I am 30 years old, well educated, launched in my chosen profession, with everything to look forward to in life. So why do I feel as if I'm the latest downtrodden minority, somebody whose future was brokered away even before he was born?
Many film industry observers would argue that selling a motion picture to the public is as important as creating one. No one knows that better than studio executive turned independent producer Dawn Steel. After marketing and merchandising novelty items through her own company, Oh Dawn, in the mid-Seventies, Steel came to Hollywood in 1978 and joined Paramount Pictures as director of merchandising. She created the first feature-film commercial tie-in with Klingons eating McDonald's Big Macs to publicize the film "Star Trek." By 1980 Steel was supervising the development and production of such films as "Flash-dance," "Top Gun," "Beverly Hills Cop 2," "The Accused" and "Fatal Attraction." Helping to redefine and expand the role of women in Hollywood, in 1987 Steel became the first woman to head a major motion picture studio--Columbia Pictures. During her tenure, she was responsible for the production of "Ghostbusters 2," "Karate Kid 3," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Look Who's Talking," among others. Having survived at Columbia for three years (twice as long as the average studio executive), Steel departed and independently produced the hit films "Sister Act 2" and "Cool Runnings," the latter of which has earned more than $150 million to date. Last year she wrote the best-selling book "They Can Kill You, But They Can't Eat You," which chronicles her journey through the Hollywood maze. Recently, Steel formed Atlas Entertainment in alliance with Turner Pictures and is currently releasing their first feature, "Angus."
The Radio revolution has shown that we are a nation of night owls, drive-time commuters, air guitarists, chat-show hotheads and aural adventurers. And often, the siren voices that lead us to the dial belong to female hosts. In the past, we could only imagine the women of the radio: Disc jockeys rarely came out of their studios to flesh out our visions of them. But when Rush Limbaugh was deemed camera-ready, the business changed. Now radio stars do promotional tours, broadcasts and publicity posters, and the women have looks to match their pipes. As we scanned the airwaves for the hottest FM fatales and wake-up crew members, we learned that radio has recruited sexy advertising executives and business managers, as well. There are also talk-show starlets--dancers, models and actresses--who boost their careers as on-air guests. With beauties in the sound booth and the front office, radioland is finally providing good visuals. Turn the pages and tune in.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To purchase the apparel and equipment that is shown on pages 20, 22--23, 24, 62--66, 74--75, 80--81 and 157, check the listings to find the stores nearest you.
Anyone who has tried to race cars, fly jets or kill Doom demons on his or her computer knows the keyboard doesn't cut it as a game controller. For realistic simulations, you need a joystick or one of the other PC control devices pictured below. Aside from making it easier to maneuver through 3-D worlds, these controllers feature multiple triggers for rapid-fire action. Many are programmable, allowing you to assign game commands to buttons, and some, such as Thrustmaster's F-16 FLCS or CH Products' Virtual Pilot Pro (both shown below), are designed in the image of authentic combat-jet sticks or flight yokes. Diehards can even put the pedal to the metal with acceleration and brake-pad peripherals. Sorry, no radar detectors yet.
Special Fall Preview Issue--An informed Sneak Peek at the New Season. Look for Surprise Cars From Mercedes and BMW, the Latest Entertainment Gadgets. Fitness Machines and Snow toys, Killer Fragrances and Five Fabulous Wardrobes, Drinks and Discs, Our Uncanny NFL forecast and a Guide to Clubs, Restaurants and Nightlife. Don't Miss It
How do Star Trek (The Original Series, Genration [ING] and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine [DS9] stack up to one another? This chart compares key elements. Plus, some reasons to keep your eye on the new series, Star Trek: Voyager [SIV].