Ex-Marine Harvey Keitel can be one of the most quietly expressive character actors today--and one of the most explosive. Just ask his pal Martin Scorsese or his protégé Quentin Tarantino. In The Piano, we got to know Keitel's ass. In this issue, we get to know something equally sobering and almost as vulnerable: his head. Contributing Editor Lawrence Grobel braves Keitel's demons in an intense Interview that covers everything from the Method to his madness to his new movie, Clockers. From Bad Lieutenant to good detective: A prized member of the New York Police Department, officer Mike Palladino knows about the dark side of the street--he travels it at night, looking for solutions to old murders. Writer Bob Drury rode shotgun with the golden Palladino for the NYPD-true article Stone-Cold Cases. Their hunt for suspected killers in the Bronx led them from bodegas to whorehouses. The artwork is by Wilson McLean. The third tough guy in this month's fierce foursome is G. Gordon Liddy, the resurgent Nixon henchman currently burning up the airwaves as the latest fiend-of-Bill radio jock. He's the subject of a 20 Questions conducted by Brian Karem, correspondent, aptly enough, for America's Most Wanted. Liddy talks about brawling in the joint, explains where he stands on group sex and describes why female Israeli soldiers put a rock in his Glock. Then master mysterian Lawrence Block returns with a short story starring our favorite articulate assassin. Keller in Shining Armor--part of a forthcoming collection of Keller's greatest hits--finds the iceman tracking down the stalker of an author of kiddie books. Painter Kent Williams did the artwork.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1995, Volume 42, Number 11. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 Northlake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611 Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 Issues; U.S. Canada, $43.97 for 12 Issues. All Other Foreign, $46 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, 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 48075; 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.
Life In a Brooklyn housing project catches up with two brothers--Victor, a hardworking family man, and Strike, who peddles drugs to support his love of model trains. Cast as the Dunham boys, Isaiah Washington and movie newcomer Mekhi Phifer score big in writer-director Spike Lee's disturbing Clockers (Universal), based on the novel by Richard (The Color of Money) Price. Lee adds some cinematic poetry to this tale of inner-city angst, all about a senseless murder ordered by a local drug kingpin (Delroy Lindo). John Turturro and Harvey Keitel portray two homicide detectives on the case who believe Victor's confession is a cover-up for his brother, a known ''clocker'' (street lingo for someone who hustles drugs any hour of the day). Keitel (see this month's Interview) can probably do this kind of tough-cop stint in his sleep. But Clockers--which starts with a jolt when the opening credits roll over stills of gory drug-related deaths--keeps the audience very much awake.[rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
According to Kevin Smith, his controversial first movie, Clerks, cost exactly $27,575. He raised the money mostly on credit cards. ''I would get them by claiming I was manager of a video store and earning $50,000 a year.'' In fact, he was at work in the New Jersey convenience store where the R-rated Clerks takes place. ''We ate food from the store and slept on the floor. Nobody got paid.'' Just 25, Smith is now polishing up his second feature, Mallrats, with a budget of $6 million and a cast headed by Shannen Doherty. ''You never really see that money,'' he notes. ''But the cast and crew got put up at a Minneapolis hotel, and everyone got paid.'' Smith describes Mallrats as mainstream, ''more romantic than Clerks, almost a date movie. Shannen is great, and so is Jason Lee, a skateboard champion who has a brand of sneakers named after him. Wait until you see Jason--he just leaps off the screen.''
Jodeci Specializes in a raw, funky approach to group harmony that is often compelling. Its third album, The Show, the After-Party, the Hotel (Uptown) includes what's good and not so good about the band. Love U 4 Life and Good Luv (which remind me of Babyface's When Will I See You Again) highlight Jodeci's strong harmonies and the passionate lead vocals of K-Ci Haley. Much of the production has the thick textures of well-designed funk. Unfortunately, there's a lot of aimless vocal riffing, the black musician's equivalent of aimless guitar soloing. Limited lyrics (Pump It Back and Bring on Da' Funk) and too many song skits don't help either. This is better than Jodeci's last album, but not as accomplished as its outstanding debut.
If you're having trouble understanding what Neil Young is doing with Pearl Jam on Mirror Ball (Reprise), imagine this: It is 1965. The Rolling Stones have just completed Satisfaction and Get Off of My Cloud and run into Chuck Berry. They decide to record together. Chuck finds this an inspiration and writes a batch of songs that touch on a variety of social and spiritual themes. The Stones respond with music that simply smokes these topics into a rock-and-roll revelation. Would you still be listening to that one today? This collaboration, which evokes acid rock and much of Young's usual folk and blues, is that mythical album's real-life equivalent.
Politicians and musicians rarely understand one another. At the same time, they need one another when their causes coincide. Spirit of '73: Rock for Choice (550 Music) is a cause album to raise money for abortion rights and a tribute album of Nineties female rock stars covering songs first sung by their Seventies forebears. The vast majority of tribute albums suck, but this one doesn't. Perhaps because of the urgency of the cause, or perhaps because of Riot arrrl/feminist solidarity, there is a greater than average helping of emotional truth here. My favorite cut is Dancing Barefoot, originally done by Patti Smith, here covered by Johnette Napolitano, whose voice reminds me of an organ in a medieval cathedral. It resonates forever. I give Babes in Toyland the Affectionate Irony Award for More, More, More (Pt. 1), a gem of disco silliness. Joan Jett (with L7) revisits her own past with a raucous cover of the Runaways' Cherry Bomb. Roberta Flack, Joni Mitchell, Sister Sledge and Stevie Nicks also get reinterpreted with just the right mix of originality and respect.
After John Cage, Morton Feldman was the greatest American composer of the postwar era. When he died in 1987 few of his 150 works had been recorded. But as seven recent discs indicate, the world is finally catching up. Without Feldman there would probably be no minimalist, ambient or (heaven forbid) New Age music. Rothko Chapel (New Albion), for a large chorus, is perhaps Feldman's greatest work. His final composition, Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello (hat ART Records) is cunningly plain in texture, while a work for cello and piano, Patterns in a Chromatic Field (hat ART), reveals the composer's fascination with patterns. His Three Voices for Joan La Barbara (New Albion) is disarmingly lyrical. Paul Zukofsky's remarkable violin playing on For John Cage (CP2) makes this one of Feldman's most rewarding discs. For Samuel Beckett (Newport Classic) is a wonderful piece for orchestra. And with String Quartet (Koch International), he makes truly transcendent music. The best thing about Feldman's work is its enduring ability to surprise.
Imagine a saxless big band--five trumpets, four trombones--and add a strong dose of exotic percussion, and you've got Africa Brass. It's been decades since Chicago trumpeter Malachi Thompson first came up with this concept, which relies on a blend of influences from John Coltrane to the New Orleans brass bands of the 19th century. Now comes Buddy Bolden's Rag: 100 Years of Jazz (Delmark), the second and much-improved Africa Brass recording. Thompson may lack the range and facility of the great jazz horn men, but with this band he presides over a book full of infectious and occasionally intoxicating arrangements. He has filled his trumpet section with four fire-breathers and, for good measure, invited the spectacular trumpeter Lester Bowie to solo on three tunes. The early brass bands had a strong impact on jazz. Thompson manages to pay his respects to that tradition even as he turns it on its ear.
Can you imagine Jackie Wilson fronting the Byrds or Jimi Hendrix singing with Neil Young and Crazy Horse? Arthur Lee's gloriously eclectic band Love echoed this and more. It is the great lost band of the Sixties. Love Story (Rhino/Elektra) collects their best material influenced by a seemingly impossible blend of folk, jazz, classical and R&B. Love's enthusiasm was laced with surreal irony and ethereal beauty, especially on the classic Forever Changes album, which is included here in its entirety. Ephemeral and intense, these songs feature strings, horns and haunting melodies driven by acoustic and electric guitars. What could have been a tangled mess emerged as one of rock's masterpieces.
The Poetry of Sterling A. Brown (Smithsonian/Folkways), read by the author, immortalizes one of the great voices of the Harlem Renaissance. Its meter owes everything to blues, the dozens and the whole realm of African American folk culture that gave us jazz, rock and hip-hop. That means that violent and vulgar masterpieces such as Ma Rainey, Puttin' on Dog and Slim in Hell could keep would-be censors busy for years.
The raw honesty of Robert Ward's Red Baker, a portrait of American blue-collar life published in 1985, showed that he was an author with great potential. In the decade since then, he became producer and writer for Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice, and it looked as though he would be a literary talent lost to the world of television. But Ward is back in the bookstores with The Cactus Garden (Pocket Books) and with a reprint of his first book, Shedding Skin (Washington Square Press). This double feature returns him to the top ranks of American novelists.
Testosterone is the essence of all things manly. It is a hormone produced in the testicles, and it's incredibly potent stuff. It influences how men think and what men feel. It gives shape to the masculine physique. All other things being equal, a guy with a lot of testosterone flowing through his veins will have brawnier muscles, sturdier bones, less fat and a healthier heart than someone with a low testosterone level. The former is also likely to have more energy, a better mental outlook and a greater sex drive.
This past summer America witnessed a truly bizarre media blitz on the dangers of Internet pornography. On the floor of the Senate, James Exon (D-Neb.) orchestrated a private tour of online copulation to enlist votes for his Communications Decency Act. The Georgetown Law Journal had published a dubious research paper by Carnegie Mellon undergrad Marty Rimm that claimed--among other things--that 83.5 percent of all digital images on Usenet were pornographic. Time, which got an exclusive first look at Rimm's Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway: A Study of 917,410 Images, Descriptions, Short Stories and Animations Downloaded 8.5 Million Times by Consumers in Over 2000 Cities in 40 Countries, Provinces and Territories, devoted its July 3 cover story to the research and congressional debate. Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition appeared on Nighiline sputtering a statistic pulled out of thin air and demanding government intervention. The Senate obliged, voting 84-16 to punish ''indecent'' and ''filthy'' words and images in cyberspace.
The federal government has suddenly become the fall guy for everything wrong in our lives, no matter how personal. If you don't like your job stocking groceries on the graveyard shift, it must be Bill Clinton's fault. In our fevered imaginations, Washington has replaced the Kremlin as the headquarters of an evil empire bent on world domination. With the end of the Cold War, the perceived enemy is now within.
Harvey Keitel is sitting in the lounge at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles, wearing a dark shirt, dark sports jacket, dark sweatpants and no socks (''I like to be comfortable,'' he tells his guest), when the producer of his new movie, ''Clockers,'' walks by. Keitel bounds from his chair. ''You got a few minutes?'' he says before the man has a chance to escape. ''I'd like to talk with you about the ending of the film. Just some small things, you know?'' A beleaguered look crosses the producer's face--he knows only too well that he's been nabbed by an actor who has seen a rough cut and knows just how to fix it. When Keitel sits back down he is resigned to defeat. ''Well, that didn't do much good,'' he says. But once again, he has made his views known.
Midnight. the bronx. A scrum of Hispanic teenagers sneers as the Five Two Squad's ''shit box''--a dented and grimy 1987 Gran Fury with no working siren--rolls to a stop in front of a five-story tenement on University Avenue. The Man is as welcome here as a hooker in the Vatican. This is their turf. ''Latin Kings turf,'' homicide detective Mike Palladino explains in a stage whisper. As we exit the unmarked car, the small knot languidly unties, its members defiantly pimp-rolling away from the building.
Ten Years Ago, Tahnee Welch fell to earth in the movie Cocoon, as an adorable alien from the planet Antarea. In an interplanetary safe-sex scene that wowed film buffs, she turned her love-light on Steve Guttenberg and brought him to out-of-this-world orgasm (with the help of computer graphics, of course). Tahnee had arrived. But after a recurring stint on Falcon Crest and the lead in Cocoon: The Return, she decided to leave the spotlight. She began shuttling between New York and Rome, where she found a niche in the world of Italian filmmaking. This was a chance to hone her craft with minimal distractions, an ocean away from all the mother-daughter articles and expectations that accompanied her debut in the United States.
When the phone rang, Keller was just finishing up the Times crossword puzzle. It looked as though this was going to be one of those days when he was able to fill in all the squares. That happened more often than not, but once or twice a week he'd come a cropper. A Brazilian tree in four letters would intersect with a down under marsupial in five, and he would be stumped.
A Giorgio Armani suit and a quilted ski parka may seem like an odd match. But when it comes to dressing smart this winter, opposites definitely attract. Jackets, sweaters and pants for the slopes are being paired with tailored suits and sports jackets, creating a work or weekend look that is both polished and practical. Several top menswear designers, including Armani, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan, have picked up on the trend, introducing lines of outdoor sportswear made with some of the same fabrics and techniques used to create the best skiwear. Armani, for example, makes a zip-front vest of polar fleece, a material that offers exceptional warmth yet won't bulk up under a suit jacket. Other items that work at work include trimmed-down parkas and drawstring anoraks, retro-style ski sweaters, turtlenecks and even rugged hiking boots.
David Duchovny is sitting at a table in the 5757 restaurant of New York's Four Seasons Hotel, wrangling a breakfast menu the size of a road map. He's dressed in rumpled trousers and a tank top--straight out of bed. The room is filled with hip elegance--buzz-cut men in suits, the Japanese personages who own them and women whose burdensome gems make an odd crunching noise when they strike the table.
When Playboy wants to put a little kink in the creative process, it turns to Helmut Newton, the photographer who scandalized the fashion world when he began mixing glamour and the perversely erotic. We wondered how his European vision would interpret the all-American beauty of our Playmates, so we invited him to work with nine of our finest. The results appeared in our September 1987 issue, including this image of 1984 Playmate of the Year Barbara Edwards.
The Nudges her hips against the wall, about ten feet off the ground, tests her grip on a couple of tiny fingerholds, then gracefully switches feet on a bulbous knob. Every eye in the gym is on her as she lithely and calmly pushes herself past an overhang and makes it to the top. This is only her second time on a climbing wall and already she has moves that make the regulars jealous. ''Tension, please,'' she calls softly to her climbing coach, who slowly lowers her to the ground. Her cheeks are flushed and her eyes crinkle as she squints up at the wall. ''That was the hardest thing I've ever done,'' she says. Then, after a moment, she murmurs, ''I could really get into this.'' Holly Witt is a woman you'd believe could really get into anything she wants, and master it. She has a certain calm that makes her gaze piercing, magnetic. Nothing seems to knock Miss November off stride. ''Everything happens for a reason,'' she says.
A regular Friday night poker game was still going strong well after midnight when one of the players returned from the bathroom with an urgent report. ''Roger, listen,'' he told the host, ''Walter's in the kitchen making love to your wife.''
The new breed of outerwear jackets that come in cover-your-buft lengths can pull double duty. Worn in town or in the country, they weather the elements in fine style thanks to sturdy construction and wind- and water-resistant fabrics. From left to right: Plaid brushed melton field jacket with a knit collar, by Hugo-Hugo Boss ($475); worn over an alpaca cowl-neck sweater from J.O.E. by Joseph Abboud ($165). Quilted microfiber barn jacket with a suede-and-corduroy collar, from Nautica by David Chu ($220); and a wool tweed shirt by MNW ($150). Distressed leather double-breasted belted peacoat ($850) and a cotton knit turtleneck ($88), both from Double RL by Ralph Lauren. Water-resistant nylon coach-type jacket with a wool tweed hood and lining, by Victor Victoria ($625); and a wool boucle turtleneck by Artifact at Barbara Kramer Ent. ($130). Nylon peacoat with a stretch wool lining, by Prada Uomo ($940); and a cotton T-shirt by Tommy Hilfiger ($22).
One Languid, sticky summer night in New York City, I watched two people having sex from a rear window of the Chelsea Hotel. I was sitting in my room watching the moon rise over Soho when I spotted them in an apartment across the back alley. They weren't just making love, either. When animals do what they were doing, we call it rutting. So I turned out my lights and watched the show.
It's touch to think about winter sports when the temperature is still comfortably above freezing. But it won't be long before you unpack long underwear, wax skis and pray for snow. To help you prepare, we've compiled a guide to the recreational trends and gear of the coming cold season. On the mountain, technology may change the way skiers and (continued on page 122) Chill Thrills (continued from page 119) snowboarders approach their sports. Snowshoeing and winter mountain biking will keep fitness fanatics in shape year-round. And adrenaline junkies will go wild over the 100-mile-per-hour blasts of new high-performance snowmobiles. So zip up your parka and hit the trail.
In the past, G. Gordon Liddy might have been known as the ''Darth Vader of the Nixon administration,'' the man who spent almost five years in prison for his participation in Watergate. But today he is the ''G Man'' as host of a conservative talk radio show carried on more than 260 stations nationwide. He is also a frequent and highly paid speaker on the college lecture circuit and has done a stint or two as an actor-- most memorably in a recurring role as a villain on ''Miami Vice.'' In all of his dealings, he is someone who provokes strong reactions.
A ballpoint is fine for jotting down phone numbers in a bar, making a shopping list or scribbling notes in a meeting. But when you're signing something significant, such as a lottery-winnings check or the lease on a new Porsche, don't pick a Bic. Aside from being a status symbol, an elegant fountain pen feels great. You can customize the nib to suit your mood (broad for aggressive, narrow for conservative), and the best pens often increase in value over time. Collectors call it ''penvesting.'' We call it a stroke of good luck.
Screen sex in 1995 has often shaped up as more romantic than raunchy. The phenomenal Batman Forever made money partly through its subliminal sexuality. But real adult lust simmered in The Bridges of Madison County, with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood making illicit middle-aged passion look inviting, and Rob Roy, a steamy Scottish history that had Jessica Lange putting a tilt in Liam Neeson's kilt. Both Sean Connery, in First Knight, and Paul Newman, an Oscar nomine e for Nobody's Fool, shored up their reputations as cinema's sexiest senior citizens. In Don Juan DeMarco, 50ish Faye Dunaway and an astonishingly portly Marlon Brando relish fun and games in the marriage bed--after rediscovering romance with a lot of help from Johnny Depp. (text concluded on page 136)
Now that pool has come out from behind the social eight ball, there's increased interest in the art of cue making. Status sticks painstakingly crafted by individual cue makers using rare woods, precious metals, jewels and other exotic materials can cost as much as $50,000. Creating just one cue takes months--some cue makers such as Bill Stroud of joss/ West have waiting lists upwards of two years for creations that are works of art. If you can't wait that long for a new cue, bird's-eye maple ones from Viking, Schön and other manufacturers range in price from $200 to $2500. The standard cue length is 58 inches and the most popular weights are 18 to 21 ounces. But other lengths and weights can be easily special-ordered. Rack 'em up.