There are college students and then there are people who study. This issue is for both crowds (and, of course, for the rest of us--grad students of the good life). Our first subject is violence in music. Snoop Doggy Dogg, rap's most relaxed poet. scored big with Doggystyle. Now he is on trial for murder. Our intrepid David Sheff hounded Mr. Dogg and returned, bleary-eyed, with an Interview that's worth Bob Dole's attention. Snoop describes how he has dodged bullets, angrily explains why more black men are in prison than in college and denies that his raps encourage crime. What does? Read the riveting portrait of Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. Jonathan Franklin tracked down McVeigh's Army buddies in Timothy McVeigh, Soldier (and David Wilcox did the scary art). The Army isn't solely responsible for turning McVeigh into a killing machine--he was just too well suited to its bloody business. Among Franklin's startling revelations: McVeigh turned eerily evil in the heat of battle.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), October 1995. Volume 42. 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, Idwa 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: 730 Fifth Avenue. New York 10019: Chicago 680 North Lake Shore Drive Chicago 60611: West Coast 9242 Beverly Boulevard. Beverly Hills, CA 90210: One Sansome Street. Suite 1900 San Francisco, CA 94104: Detroit: 2000 Town Center, Suite 1900. Southfield. MI 48076: South: Zimmerman & Associates. 2221 Peachtree Road NE. Suite 10. Atlanta GA 30309 Boston: Northeast Media Sales 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace Boston 02109 for subscription inquiries call 800-999-4438
Fame on any terms--however brief and for whatever reason--is the American dream, as summed up in To Die For (Columbia). Director Gus Van Sant's blithe black comedy, adapted by Buck Henry from Joyce Maynard's novel, stars Nicole Kidman in the best role of her career as Suzanne Stone, a bewitching small-town bimbo who stops at nothing to get what she wants. What she wants is to be a media celebrity. Says Suzanne: "You aren't really anybody in America unless you're on TV. What's the point of doing anything worthwhile if nobody's watching?" She puts her pragmatism on the line by marrying a well-to-do local guy (Matt Dillon) and wangling a job as a TV weather girl who makes every prediction sound like foreplay. Her blonde ambition finally makes marriage seem superfluous, so she persuades a couple of horny teenage dimwits (Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck) to murder her mate, a clod with no higher goal than to get Suzanne pregnant. Van Sant projects this tale of infidelity and revenge as a jaunty, in-your-face fable for our time. [rating]3-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
There may be greasepaint in her genes, but Joely Richardson, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and the late director Tony Richardson, doesn't see it smoothing her way to stardom. "I turned 30 this year, and I still get nervous at auditions. Besides, I rebelled against the idea of being an actor--it seemed so unimaginative. I thought I should be a gymnast or something. Now I can't imagine life without acting."
Dump your travel agent. MPI's Baraka offers a colorful global journey--sans dialogue--crammed with 70mm portraits. Touring 24 countries on six continents, the filmmakers hit the road for 14 months exploring the earth's evolution, humanity's diversity and the marvels of nature. Destinations include São Paolo, Beijing, Cairo, Tanzania, Java and Colorado (VHS, $29.98; laserdisc, $39.98).
Two new releases, Amadeus (1984) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), share a common director--Miloš Forman--as well as similarly thoughtful preparation by Pioneer Special Editions. Both films ($130 each) are letter-boxed, and extras include running commentary by Forman (he nabbed Oscars for both movies) and making-of materials. Of special interest on Cuckoo's Nest: new interviews with the actors, including Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, plus then-unknowns Christopher Lloyd and Danny DeVito. Producer Michael Douglas weighs in too.
"I like action movies," says Mandy Patinkin, star of CBS' Chicago Hope. "Not real violent ones, but films where I'm on the edge of my seat, such as Under Siege and The Fugitive." When his blood pressure rises, Patinkin prescribes himself an antidote of calmer cinema: Rambling Rose, Cinema Paradiso, It's a Wonderful Life ("my favorite movie ever") and especially Charles Laughton movies (Rembrandt, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Private Life of Henry VIII). "My wife's present to me on my 40th birthday was all of Laughton's films on video," he reports. Does TV's prime-time operator like watching his own big-screen efforts, such as The Princess Bride or Yentl? Negative. "My experience of doing movies is only what happens on the days they're made. That's the way my head works."
Fifty years later and a big what if: What if the World War Two missions to deliver the A-bombs had been unsuccessful? In War's End (Kinsale), General Charles Sweeney, commander of the Nagasaki mission, gives his cockpit view of the problems that plagued the mission and its crew--including a faulty fuel tank, miscommunication and inclement weather. To order, call 800-200-6008.... Die-hard fans of The Little Rascals know that last year's feature-length spin on the classic series was less than o-tay. Lesson learned: There's no substitute for the real thing. Cabin Fever's second installment of vintage Rascals films (volumes 13--21) contains episodes deemed too taboo for Fifties TV. The offense: Back then, black and white buddies were too racy.
Are people who watch people the most lecherous people in the world? Or are they merely concerned citizens--largely misunderstood--who believe in ogling their neighbor's wife? Set your own vicarious sights on these must-sees:
Isaac Hayes' return is well under way with two albums, Raw and Refined and Branded (Virgin). The former is all-instrumental and is strictly for members of his cult. But the latter is a tasty vocal album with smart songwriting. The arrangements are taut and peppered with Hayes' trademark groans and sighs. A nice comeback for the Stax legend.
If only for the greatest-hits part of the package, Michael Jackson's new disc is an essential buy. But History (Epic) is haunted by the headlines. Explicitly on many songs and subliminally on others, the self-described king of pop angrily reacts to the wild speculation and legal proceedings revolving around his sex life. At least six songs--and, if you stretch your imagination, even a couple more--rail at the media and others for exploiting him. Typical is Tabloid Junkie, which has the chorus: "Just because you read it in a magazine or see it on a movie screen, don't make it factual." It's a cumbersome read, but it actually sounds quite musical when Jackson sings it. In Scream and This Time Around, the perpetual child curses like an outraged adult. Rarely has a pop star like Jackson used his music for such an extensive personal defense. Is it a good album? The record is probably more interesting than good. Many of the musical motifs will be familiar to any longtime fan of the singer. Elements of Man in the Mirror, Human Nature and Beat It pop up again and again on History. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis co-produced several songs with Jackson. These songs, including the duet with sister Janet on Scream, sound suspiciously like outtakes from Janet's Rhythm Nation 1814 albums she made with Jam-Lewis.
Warren Haynes, otherwise of the Allman Brothers, steps out on Gov't Mule (Relativity) in a power trio that is truly powerful. It proves that southern rock without the slightest R.E.M. influence can still be cool. Swampy, sweaty and hormonal stuff.
New Jersey's Yo La Tengo was created by writer and club DJ Ira Kaplan (on guitar) and his animator wife Georgia Hubley (on drums). Its vocals are murmured even when things get loud, which doesn't help the lyrics. Kaplan concocts irresistible riffs, but he's never worked at being consistent about it. Nevertheless, Electr-O-Pura (Matador) exploits every tune, dissonance and shard of feedback. Kaplan and Hubley make beautiful music together.
Doug Wallin's plain, powerful North Carolina voice has a haunted essence. On Family Songs and Stories, Doug and Jack Wallin (Smithsonian/Folkways), Appalachian folk classics such as Omie Wise, Jackaro, House Carpenter and Nightingale have a kinship with Nirvana's Where Did You Sleep Last Night or Bob Dylan's first few albums. Funny, ghastly, archetypal stories are performed with the intimacy they deserve.
Looking for the next Seattle? Kurt Cobain may have dropped a hint when he invited Tempe, Arizona's cow-punk Meat Puppets to play a few tunes with him on Nirvana's Unplugged sessions. Tempe is also home to the bittersweet folk-pop of the Gin Blossoms, and this year's contender, Dead Hot Workshop. DHW's major label debut, 1001 (Atlantic), mines the same folk and country traditions its aforementioned homeboys screw around with. But it adds the bristling crunch of Neil Young-style guitar. Tempe bands share a penchant for combining mayhem and melody, a Nirvana specialty. Dead Hot refers to itself as Sabbath and Garfunkel, which nicely sums up its wounded, wise lyrics and the sweet kick of its music.
For 30 years Herbie Hancock has been making great pop music along with fine jazz. Go back to Watermelon Man and forward to Rockit, and you get some idea of the range of Dis Is da Drum (Mercury) and of the sheer joy expressed in the music it contains. Call It '95 sweeps together house rhythms, a trumpet played in the style of Miles Davis, a riffing horn section à la Earth, Wind & Fire, and Hancock's own majestic piano. The title track plays techno games with electronic rhythms, Weather Report piano and Afro pop accents. The Melody (On the Deuce by 44) has a rapper; Hump centers around a trumpet somewhere between that of Miles and Marsalis. Juju uses Afro pop and Come and See Me uses Latin beats. Bo Ba Be Da closes the set with pretty much straight jazz. Hancock makes all this music seem fun. The result is a triumphant concoction.
Guitarist Charlie Hunter plays on two hot new releases, and on two amplifiers at once. One speaker carries his wide-ranging guitar melodies; the other carries his bass lines, which he plays simultaneously on a unique eight-string guitar. Hunter doesn't stop at gimmickry. His bass lines are an integral and intimate part of his style. And, like the jazz organists who influenced Hunter, his bands don't need a separate bass player. His backup band, which comprises drums and sax, makes its major-label debut with Bing, Bing, Bing! (Blue Note). It's a spirited example of what some writers have dubbed hip-bop. Hunter's lower lines also energize T.J. Kirk, the wondrously quirky quartet that features three guitars and drums. The album T.J. Kirk (Warner Bros.) takes its name from Thelonious Monk, James Brown and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Doubters can start with either the Hendrix-like version of Monk's Ruby My Dear or the reggae-Indian arrangement of Kirk's Volunteered Slavery. It all makes sense after that.
Disco never died. Like rock itself, it evolved or mutated--into house and techno, pop funk and hip-hop. That makes Germany's Real McCoy and Britain's M People neoclassicists, not revivalists. They are devoted to the Seventies craft of fashioning tuneful music with a steady beat. What's most impressive about both is how regularly they succeed. Where disco was about great singles, Real McCoy's and M People's albums rarely falter. M People's Bizarre fruit (Epic) is a strong follow-up featuring shouter Heather Small. It's guaranteed to satisfy anyone who opened up to Elegant Slumming. Beatmaster Olaf Jeglitza's hooks for singers Patsy and Vanessa make the Real McCoy's Another Night (Arista) more pop, less stridently soulful. Seek out both.
Country music fans place a high premium on eternal verities. If you have any desire for originality, you probably should look elsewhere. If you find something that pushes the boundaries, it seems all the more original. On Letter to Laredo (MCA), Joe Ely reconfirms his willingness to stick his neck out at the risk of offending the average fan. Take the seven-minute song Gallo del Cielo, about a Mexican peasant who tries to make his fortune by stealing a vicious rooster and entering it in cockfights. The rooster gets pecked to death and the peasant is ashamed to return home. That's the story, Ely sings the hell out of it, and the flamenco guitar really pulls you into the drama. He manages to be subtle and sound like a regular guy at the same time. His storytelling on the other ten songs will win over all those eternal-verity fans.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was the best white blues group. On Strawberry Jam: Recorded Live 1966-1968 (Winner), Butterfield plays with limitless raw passion and guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop are already earning their heroic stature.
While the controversy rages between music companies who produce rap music on the one hand and the likes of Bob Dole and William Bennett on the other, the following memo fell into our hands. Although we cannot vouch for its authenticity--in fact, we're not even sun where it came from--we thought we would share it in the spirit of public service and to celebrate this milestone of the spin doctor's art.
In one of the best literary fall seasons in memory, there is an exciting new book for every taste. At the top is RL's Dream (Norton), by Walter Mosley, the most powerful and poetic novel about black life in America since Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Soupspoon Wise, an old bluesman dying of cancer, remembers his life, especially the days when he played with the legendary Robert "RL" Johnson. Evicted from his apartment, Wise is saved from a homeless shelter by Kiki Waters, a young Southern white woman. With her help, he picks up the guitar again and together they heal old wounds and derive strength from their friendship.
My girlfriend and I have been invited to a bondage party. The woman who invited us says she has attended two of these parties, but she won't give any details, saying it would ruin the experience for us. The closest we have come to bondage or S&cM is tying each other to the bedposts and a few playful slaps on the ass, so we're a bit wary. Should we accept? And how should we behave?-- T.G., San Francisco, California.
Early on the morning of October 2, 1992, 31 people from eight law enforcement agencies barged into 61-year-old Donald Scott's home on his 200-acre Malibu ranch. Scott's wife screamed when she saw the intruders. When Scott came out of the bedroom with a gun, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Spencer shot him dead. Agents then searched his home and property.
You've seen the situation a million times on television. Police in bulletproof vests crouch by a door, guns drawn. Other officers approach with a battering ram. Depending on your politics, what happens next, can produce chills or cheers, an image of jackbooted thugs or justice in action.
When it comes to sex, our society has gone through some interesting changes. The gender wars seem to have subsided, the threat of AIDS no longer prompts hysteria, the book-stores bulge with titles promoting red-hot monogamy, discovery sex, ultimate sex, inner sex and something called generation sex. Which one was Hugh Grant after?
Sad but typical. No sooner did the New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup than they threatened to break their lease with Meadowlands Arena and go to Nashville, Tennessee. Just the thing to make a community feel good about its victors. "We were looking at a celebration, not a termination," remarked a spokesman for New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.
In Los Angeles, as in most other cities, shootings among young black men on the street are all too common--and all too often ignored by the media. But at least one murder trial scheduled for the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building promised to be different. The crime itself was commonplace, but this time it was one of the defendants who was making news.
His regimental comrades had had good reason to dub him Razor. The man's face lacked a facade. When his acquaintances thought of him they could imagine him only in profile, and that was remarkable: nose sharp as a draftsman's triangle; chin sturdy as an elbow; long, soft eyelashes characteristic of certain very obstinate, very cruel people. His name was Ivanov.
Paul Verhoeven wants to set the record straight. When he traveled to Las Vegas and paid a buck-naked woman to writhe in his lap, it wasn't for fun. It was work--research for Showgrils, his upcoming movie about Vegas strippers. "It was not a strong sexual experience for me," the director insists. "I went in like a researcher, looking in an extremely clinical way." Showgirls screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who accompanied Verhoeven on his fact-finding mission, begs to differ: "I saw Paul's face when he came out of that room after 20 or 30 minutes," he says. "There was nothing clinical about his smile."
On February 24, 1991 a freezing dawn broke in the Syrian Desert. The soldiers of Charlie Company loaded their weapons and listened to the thump of artillery shells and the whine of missiles. The numbing, gritty wind and the endless sandy plains made them feel vulnerable, haunted, as they prepared for the afternoon offensive. There was reason for their anxiety. Iraqi nerve-gas attacks seemed inevitable, and the Army's battle plan allowed for Charlie Company to take 70 percent casualties.
A couple of months ago, I was browsing through a mall with Lisa, an attractive woman with perfect manners, an Ivy League education and a successful business. I, of course, was trying to get her into bed. My seduction strategy was to heighten all her senses by shocking her with stories of my more memorable sexual exploits, none of which impressed her.
Now she belongs to the world, but when this photo was taken in 1990 she was just our Pam Anderson--the Playmate who lit up the February issue. Then she outgrew Home Improvement, made Baywatch the planet's most popular TV show and married Tommy Lee. One week she wows Cannes, the next her honeymoon shows up on the Internet. Now her Playboy video has bumped Forrest Gump to become number one on the video charts. And we knew her way back when.
Occupying a booth in a nearly empty Italian restaurant at 4:30 in the afternoon, Brett Butler, the brassy, blonde star of Grace Under Fire, sits hunched in her raincoat. The look on her face is somewhere between a pout and a frown, and her voice is low and angry.
Meet the postmodern Playmate. She paints. She reads philosophy. She ponders the meaning of life, the meaning of sex, even the sociopolitics of appearing in Playboy--as the historic 500th Playmate. Of course, Alicia Rickter also looks super in a bikini--or, better still, dressed in that important Sartrean concept: nothing. She's no ordinary 23-year-old; then again, the ordinary doesn't really register on the Rickter Scale of Being. What matters to Alicia is testing life's limits--shaking up the world a little, taking chances. These days that means transforming from jet-setting model to night-school student at Cal State, where tonight she's late for psych class. She flew home earlier in the day from a swimsuit-modeling gig in Cancún, then sped straight to school. That beep in her purse as she tries not to be noticed? Just her modeling agency paging its prize offering. "I asked them never to do that," she protests. "I haven't told anyone at school that I'm a model, much less a Playmate. I don't want any special treatment. I just want to be Alicia the student." Good luck, Ms. Rickter.
<p>Politically Incorrect" has been characterized by its host, Bill Maher, as '"The McLaughlin Group' on acid." Based in New York and airing five nights a week at 11:00 on "Comedy Central," the show is one of the few you actually wish went on longer than its allotted time. The format is simple. Maher and staff come up with a topic that induces heated discussion and then gather four panelists to debate the issue.</p>
Compact disc changers that store dozens of CDs are more than just devices that eliminate clutter--they're also the means to a well-organized music collection. Available from top electronics manufacturers, these "megachangers" range from tall and skinny to short and fat. In addition to letting you program an entire week's worth of music, most enable you to classify and play back CDs by musical type (rhythm and blues, classical, country, etc.). With the jazziest units, you can create your own categories, such as His and Hers, and store liner notes in special portfolios. And if your CD collection numbers in the hundreds, Pioneer offers a great controller that will link up to three of its megachangers for direct access to as many as 300 discs.
Tahnee Welch--if you think her mom, Raquel, is a knockout, you'll love the heir apparent. Actress-Model Tahnee does a star turn in the artier-than-thou comedy film / Shot Andy Warhol--and in our unforgettable eight-page pictorial