If you're home alone watching the Olympics on TV, not to worry. We have the best of Atlanta right here—namely, The Women of Atlanta, a hot and humid pictorial full of Southern comfort and sweet Georgia peaches. For those who excel at physical activities that are not exactly sports, we deliver Hard Bodies. Never mind gold medals, these iron maidens deserve their own special awards. Shaquille O'Neal has a softer touch than he did when he began smashing backboards, but his impact on the NBA is greater than ever. He just finished his best pro season and led the Orlando Magic on a title run. Now, as part of Dream Team III, he's looking for a gold medal to match his platinum rap records. Kevin Cook climbed onto a step stool and conducted a lively Interview with the premiere center, who describes the midnight escapades of groupies, the thrill of leaping from tall buildings and a rumored $140 million deal—not in Florida.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), August 1996, Volume 43, Number 8, Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues, 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: 730 Fifth Avenue, New York 10019 (212-261-5000); Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000); West Coast: SD Media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast: Coleman & Bentz, Inc., 4651 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-256-3800); Boston: Northeast Media Sales, 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston 02109 (617-973-5050). For Subscription Inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
On film, the title character in Moll Flanders (MGM) is played with spunk and spirit by Robin Wright, the gorgeous embodiment of Daniel Defoe's 18th century heroine. In fact, writer-director Pen Densham doesn't limit himself to Defoe's novel. He borrows freely from Fielding and Voltaire to limn this lively vintage portrait of a woman born in poverty but destined for a life of vice and infinite variety. Moll is an orphaned runaway who becomes a well-to-do benefactor's ward, a chambermaid, a prostitute and a devoted wife and mother before her checkered past pays off. While the story plays like a period soap opera, the atmosphere is lush and the actors know their stuff. Among them: Stockard Channing as Mrs. Allworthy, a conniving brothelkeeper; Morgan Freeman as the jaded madam's aide, who finds Moll's long-lost child and recounts her picaresque adventures in flashbacks; and John Lynch, memorable as Moll's true love, the starving artist who turns out to be a wealthy, renegade aristocrat. Such rags-to-riches costumed epics have become a cinematic staple, from Forever Amber to Tom Jones, and director Densham's colorful, entertaining Moll Flanders belongs in that lusty club. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Long before she launched a heat wave up north, drop-dead-beautiful Salma Hayek, 27, was a television star in Mexico. She moved to Los Angeles in 1990, speaking little English. Starting over as an extra, she worked her way up to memorable cameos in Fair Game and From Dusk Till Dawn, finally costarring with Antonio Banderas in Desperado and with Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin in the action comedy Fled. Still to come are top romantic roles in Breaking Up and Fools Rush In.
All this hype about the upcoming Atlanta Olympiad and you still want more? Turner Home Entertainment offers a Summer Games double feature from acclaimed sports filmmaker Bud Greenspan. 100 Years of Olympic Glory ($30) is a three-hour scrapbook of the Games' greatest stories—from Bob Beamon's record long jump in Mexico City to gymnast Olga Korbut's overnight superstardom in Munich; America's Greatest Olympians ($20) is a comprehensive who's who of Olympic athletes—and their finest moments.... This month, Rhino brings two cult TV hits to video: Kids in the Hall (two volumes, $9.95 each) compiles two hours of sketch-style irreverence from the funniest troupe to hit the tube since the Python boys. And hot on the heels of its big-screen bow, Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuts on tape with three 97-minute episodes ($19.95 each), featuring Mike Nelson and his smart-aleck robot buddies as they're forced to stomach history's worst films.
Breathtaking cinematography, anyone? Nestor Almendros' Oscar-winning camera work in Days of Heaven gets the letter box treatment it deserves in Paramount's reissued disc ($40). Richard Gere's battle with Sam Shepard for Brooke Adams' affections—set against a turn-of-the-century wheat harvest—hasn't looked this good since its big screen bow in 1978. Also sparkling: Lumivision's Widescreen Special Edition of Australian director Simon Wincer's The Lighthorsemen ($60), beautifully photographed by Dean Semler. The director's cut replaces 15 minutes lopped off the tape release, adding flash to the tale of the Light Horse Brigade's battles in World War One Palestine. Wincer adds commentary on the secondary audio track.
Not surprisingly, Kenny Rogers' video library includes all of his popular Gambler movies. "I don't make people watch them, though," says the bearded country-and-western giant. Instead, Rogers recently persuaded his girlfriend to rent Hitchcock's The Birds after telling her how much it terrified him when it was first released. "But we laughed all the way through it," he says. Rogers also enjoys the work of Goldie Hawn ("especially Foul Play") and early Eddie Murphy (48HRS.). But what strikes the perfect chord, says the Grammy-winning recording artist, is the "great filmmaking" of Spike Lee. "People say he's antiwhite," Rogers explains, "but I say he tells it like it is. He offends everyone who deserves to be offended."
Can't get enough of 1994 Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy on MTV's redhot matchmaking game show Singled Out? Now there's Singled Out: The Dirt on the Dates! (SMV/MTV), a roving-camera travelog that follows the contestants on their actual outings. Can Kathleen deal with Mike's pierced tongue? Will Lisa dump Mark for the chef? Stay tuned.
Hard-touring singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, at 25, is her own cottage industry, with eight self-produced albums on a profitable self-owned label. But the attraction to DiFranco's rapidly expanding, mostly female cult isn't her entrepreneurship—it's her music. Put off at first by the torrent of words and emotions, I was attracted by her departures from acoustic guitar accompaniment on 1995's Not a Pretty Girl. The new Dilate (Righteous Babe, P.O. Box 95, Ellicott Station, Buffalo, New York 14205) is even funkier. I don't know how she finds time to fall for all her gender-unspecified objects of romantic obsession. But she sure does find words for them: "I'm gonna stop on a dime and give you five cents change." This monster talent is in it for life. Catch up with her while you can still brag about it.
If you know Peter Wolf only as the Jaggerish motormouth who fronted J. Geils, Long Line (Reprise), his first solo album of the Nineties, may confound you. When he sounds like Jagger here, on tracks such as Seventh Heaven, it's the Jagger of Moonlight Mile. More than an R&B wannabe, Wolf has struck out in search of his own blues. The result bears more than passing resemblance to Van Morrison (especially Rosie and Riverside Drive). The biggest differences are the tempos. You can't motormouth at Van's meditative pace. Wolf rejects mysticism with jive vengeance on the title track, and in Romeo Is Dead, he uses grunged-up blues riffs to curse his own romanticism. Nevertheless, Long Line is an adult-rock triumph that presents Wolf as a man who's as sensitive and insightful as a 50-year-old should be.
What would Jimi Hendrix sound like if he were alive today? Pretty much like guitarist Vernon Reid on his first solo album, Mistaken Identity (Sony). Reid's frenzied, punk-fusion riffs on Cult of Personality helped his black rock band, Living Colour, crack the mainstream in the late Eighties. Living Colour never quite lived up to its promise, but Reid's effort is an invigorating blend of rock, jazz and street beats. Somewhere, Jimi is smiling.
On Big as Life (Mercury), Hamell on Trial invents a new way to play guitar—thrash folk. It is orchestrated with such melodic sense and pounding rhythm that you don't miss the band (Ed Hamell is the sole member of Hamell on Trial). Reminiscent of Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, Hamell's music rollicks with surreal and real subject matters. In one song, a friend robs a Kentucky Fried Chicken with a fork. For the next several decades, I plan to grovel at Hamell's feet for the song Z-Roxx, which could have been titled Rock Critic's Lament: "Band band band/I don't give a fuck about your/Band band band/I don't think you really understand/You're bland and oh so secondhand/Man oh man oh man." I've got it laminated for my wallet.
Starting with the Commodores and then as a multiplatinum solo artist, Lionel Richie helped define Eighties pop music. He crafted hit after hit, primarily ballads, for himself as well as for Diana Ross and Kenny Rogers. But Richie drifted into repetition and self-parody and his personal life became tabloid fodder, which obscured his many excellent compositions.
Merle Haggard's sound is hard to pin down. His music has ranged from country to Tin Pan Alley. The many sides of Haggard are present in the four-CD, 100-song boxed set Down Every Road (Capitol/Nashville). He learned from masters such as Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills and obscurists such as minstrel yodeler Emmett Miller. The previously unreleased studio version of White Line Fever is just one standout track on this essential country music collection.
Strange Bedfellows Department: A group of cellists at Finland's Sibelius Academy plans to record an album of Metallica songs. Says a spokesman, "Heavy metal has the sort of gutsiness that suits the cello."
Influenced by Springsteen, Jackson Browne and Peter Gabriel, Nashville songwriter Gretchen Peters embodies her characters. Roseanne Cash could learn a lot about literary-country synthesis right here. On The Secret of Life (Imprint), Peters delivers intricate intimacies. The Uncivil War is a classic about a divorce. This is at least as much rock as it is country, but mainly it's smart and emotionally compelling.
On a recent radio program, the Panama-born pianist Danillo Perez spoke of an inherent Latin feel to the music of bebop composer Thelonious Monk. Perez puts his words into action on Panamonk (Impulse), applying Afro-Caribbean rhythms to seven Monk tunes. He mambos in the footsteps of trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez, who has also salsafied Monk's music. Perez' appreciation for Monk's piano voicings and rhythms makes the Latin connection clearer and the hybrid seamless.
Inviolate is one of the many funk-jazz ensembles to surface in the mid-Nineties. This New York-based quartet has created a self-titled four-song EP (Inviolate Recordings, 290 Riverside Drive, Suite 2D, New York, New York 10025) that's more song-oriented than most of its contemporaries. Theresa Lies in Ecstasy, an original composition, has a tight focus and smart flute playing provided by Victor E. Also worth a listen is a cover of Stevie Wonder's Jesus Children of America.
The Complete Prestige Recordings (Prestige) is a nine-disc showcase for multihorn improviser Eric Dolphy, one of the greatest talents of the Sixties. Dolphy is as lyrical and searching as John Coltrane and as funky and witty as Ornette Coleman. And his range is as diverse as Miles Davis'. What's more remarkable is that these sides represent two years of recording—that's nearly one third of Dolphy's brief career.
Pianist Ahmad Jamal's percussive dynamics were an inspiration to Miles. Now in his 60s, Jamal has released The Essence, Part I (Birdology). It's powerful and endearing, an example of his best rhythmic melodicism.
Walter Mosley returns to the adventures of detective Easy Rawlins in A Little Yellow Dog (W.W. Norton). This time, we find Rawlins off the streets, working as a custodian at a junior high school, with two adopted kids (and no wife). He's keeping his nose clean, not drinking, not hanging out and not doing detective work.
The American family is in trouble for one reason only: kids. If there were no children to care for, it would be doing fine. You could have two hardworking, ambitious, well-dressed people, a husband and wife who follow the advice of Martha Stewart and take good care of themselves and their house and espresso machine and Stair Master. But add kids to that mix, and what do you get? Disaster: diapers, insolence, sleep deprivation, attention deficit disorder, sugar blues, the terrible twos and educational crises.
Hugh Grant's tryst with Divine Brown in a white BMW may have been the most publicized sex act of 1995, but it did little to affect our freedom. John Bennis' quest for front-seat fellatio, on the other hand, made legal history.
Washington was once a sexy place, a place where the lust for power was, in fact, lusty. There was a president who shared a mistress with a mafioso, a congressman who chased a stripper into the Tidal Basin, a senator who kept a sex diary with more entries than Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide. We expected movers and shakers to move it and shake it now and then. This made perfect Freudian sense: big ego, big id, big deeds, big needs. "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac," Henry Kissinger said 25 years ago. He wasn't complaining.
"When gunfire broke out on Ruby Ridge that summer day, every member of the team came under fire at some point. They all responded in a courageous and professional manner, defending themselves and protecting their fallen comrade. For their exceptional courage, their sound judgment in the face of attack and their high degree of professional competence during this incident, I hereby present the Robert Forsyth Act of Valor Award."
In April, Esquire magazine ran an item that warned readers: "Watch Your Mouth." The Healthwatch reporter had "newly urgent advice" for all men: Oral sex with women posed a possible means of HIV transmission. According to the reporter, several clinicians had reported treating "increasing numbers of infected men whose only risky behavior was cunnilingus."
Good writing changes the way we view the world and makes the familiar seem new. A few sentences of good sexual writing can grab your libido by the throat, producing an erection so startling it feels as if you've switched hands.
Shaquille O'Neal was ascending into heaven. That's how it seemed to the fans reaching for him as he climbed the steps to the VIP lounge at the Embassy, an Orlando nightclub. It was supposed to be a small, private party, but a radio station had passed the word and half the town showed up. The line stretched nearly half a mile as thousands of people waited three hours for a glimpse. When he arrived, dressed like a titanic leprechaun in a bright green suit and matching derby, the crowd surged forward and tore off the club's glass doors.
ABS of iron. Buns of steel. Thighs mastered. From the health club to the home, Nineties women are exercising like, well, men. And that's a good thing. With this new female athleticism, today's working-out girl has struck the right balance between grace and power. That means no pain, big gain for—you got it—girl watchers. So we hit iron piles across the country, searching for Nautilus nymphs and barbell babes. With Contributing Photographer Arny Freytag spotting for us, it was no sweat. We assembled a powerful set of aerobics instructors, bodybuilders, personal trainers, actresses and fitness models—each with a body of art. Their pictures are a painless way to enjoy the fitness craze.
By now you may have heard the story of Gunther Burpus, a hapless 41-year-old man in Bremen, Germany who couldn't find his house keys and decided to crawl through the cat-flap in his front door. Unfortunately, Burpus got stuck. When he called for help, he managed to attract the attention only of some passing students who decided to play a prank. Instead of freeing Burpus, they pulled off his trousers, painted his bottom bright blue, stuck a daffodil between his cheeks and then placed a sign nearby: Germany Resurgent, an essay in Street Art. Please give Generously. There poor Burpus remained for two days, his pleas for help disregarded by passersby who thought them part of the "exhibition." "People just said, 'Very good! Very clever!' and then threw coins at me," Burpus remarked afterward. It was only when a dog started licking his genitals that an old woman complained to the police and Burpus was finally freed.
You need to be in gold-medal form to carry off the latest athletic threads. Designed to fit like a second skin, the tanks, shorts and sweats pictured on these four pages combine comfortable, moisture-absorbing fabrics with slick good looks that appeal to both gym rats and weekend joggers. Of course, if finger-flexing with the remote is your idea of working out, you'll find these styles perfect for lounging in front of the tube with a couple of brews—watching our Team USA kick ass in Atlanta.
They have lost an orgasm someplace. Damn. It was here a minute ago. John, the young stud, sits upright, flogging his nude eel. But he can't quite get off. There are some bricks missing from his erection, and male panic has set in. Rachel, John's wife and co-performer, is spread beneath him like a fireman's net opened to catch some falling child. And offspring it will be—an oyster baby made from spit and sperm. Precious little thing: On it depends their sexual self-image.
Some people know actress Janet Jones as Mrs. Wayne Gretzky, spouse to the best hockey player ever. Others remember her film roles, barely attired in The Flamingo Kid, gymnastic in American Anthem, hoofing up a twister in A Chorus Line. A trained ballerina and former St. Louis tomboy, Jones starred in a memorable March 1987 pictorial and on the cover. These days she is the photographer, videotaping her little Gretzkys on ice. At Playboy, we think of Janet as the Great One.
Greg Maddux, the best pitcher since Sandy Koufax, is warming up in the Atlanta Braves' bullpen. Danny Bowden, 11, and Matt Korpi, 10, think they've gone to someplace better than heaven. They haven't died. But they do have front-row seats just ten feet behind the Braves' bullpen catcher. From behind a screen the boys can watch Maddux from a perch almost as good as the view an umpire gets.
Roam the historic streets of Tampa, Florida with 21-year-old Playmate Jessica Lee, and you'll come away thinking she'd be the funniest, sweetest kid sister a brother could have. One moment she's talking sports, telling you why she's a baseball fan ("I love men in uniform"), the next she's trading jokes with a couple of local cops. Then she's grabbing your hand and pulling you into a favorite burger joint, where she makes certain you meet everybody and everybody meets you. "I was born in New York, but I've lived in Tampa since I was six," explains this high-energy, low-maintenance woman. "I've got a lot of buddies around town." Miss August, like Florida, is solar powered. When the sun disappears, kid sister vanishes with it. Place Jessica across a candlelit table, look into those private, gold-burnished eyes and there is enough residual heat to suck the breath out of you. "My brithday's in February," she says, "but I've always been a summer girl. I love to oil up, lie on the beach and just soak it in—the sun, the air, the sounds. My favorite time to swim is when the Gulf of Mexico gets hot, almost body temperature. I'd love to visit alaska and see whales, but I'd have to wear about ten layers of clothes."
While stationed overseas, a Marine wrote to his wife asking her to send him something to keep him occupied so that he wouldn't be tempted by the beautiful native women. A few weeks later, the GI received a harmonica with some sheet music and instructions.
We love competition, but face it: Most spectacles are priced out of our league. Sure, we could win the Indy 500 if someone gave us $40 million to develop a car and paid for a pit crew. We could probably make Waterworld if someone raised $175 million. The Gulf war? Hey, with the Pentagon's budget, anyone can kick ass.
When Kathy Shower appeared as our May 1985 Playmate, we beamed with pride. The talented actress had already appeared on Broadway and prime-time TV, and Hollywood beckoned. "I have a great career, thanks in large part to Playboy," says Kathy, our 1986 Playmate of the Year. She recently left Los Angeles for the villas of Europe, where she's well known for her work in miniseries and on the American soap Santa Barbara. "I am so blessed," Kathy says from her Barcelona apartment. "I've been everywhere in the past ten years and have gotten paid to go. It's been wonderful."
The biggest breweries in America are thinking small. Anheuser-Busch, Miller and other famous producers of golden lager have turned their hands to red and black brews, wheat beers and spicy and fruity beers. These beers are not intended for everyone. They aren't meant to sweep the nation, just to meet the needs of a demanding minority. European brewers have even toured America to sample this new generation of brews. If you want a dark, malty, Munich-type lager, or a yeasty, Belgian-style wheat beer, or a dry India pale ale, America is a good place to be. The world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, has a malty new brew, Centennial, and a wheaty Hefeweizen. It has also introduced a new line named American Originals, based on old recipes found in company archives. Anheuser has also introduced a new Texas brew, Ziegenbock, and invested in the Seattle microbrewery Redhook. Miller owns Leinenkugel's (a specialty brewer in the Midwest) and has taken a financial interest in Shipyard (an East Coast brewery known for its ales) and Celis (a Texas brewery famous for its wheat beer). All told, there are about 60 mighty microbrews available today, and many more are being developed. These new small beers are meant to be savored—the color, aroma and texture are part of the pleasure. A bronze or amber-red color means the barley grains have been toasted during the malting process. Darker colors indicate stewing or roasting, with flavors to match. Wheat beers, being traditional, can be offered unfiltered and hazy, their natural tartness given a sharp edge by yeast sediment. Lager yeasts make for smooth, rounded flavors; ale yeasts for more fruitiness and complexity. The more hops used, the drier and more aromatic the beer. Which is best? Gold or bronze? Amber red or mahogany? Dark brown or black? Flowery, hoppy dryness or malty sweetness? Here's a guide to the boutique brews.
She was among the most powerful women in town. From 1990 to 1993 she had a direct line to A-list stars and studio execs, running the most exclusive call-girl service in Los Angeles. At one time, Heidi Fleiss employed more than 100 women. She did well. So well, in fact, that she soon moved from a two-bedroom West Hollywood apartment to a $1.6 million Beverly Hills home. Among her neighbors were Bruce Spring-steen and Jay Leno.
It's no surprise that the seal of the city of Atlanta features a phoenix under the motto Resurgens. More than any other American town, the Big Peach is forever rising and revising. Atlanta has given us cotton and peanuts, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gladys Knight, CNN and Coca-Cola. It has brought us Georgia Tech football and the world champion Braves. It has given us Rhett and Scarlett, Ted and Jane and Designing Women. And, of course, this summer, Atlanta hosts the 100th Olympiad, a first not only for the city but also for the American South. Naturally, we couldn't let the occasion pass without doing what we do best: celebrating the city's glorious women. Atletes toss javelins—we shoot rolls of film. Let the games begin.
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 18, 28, 74–77, 102–105 and 157, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
It's a matter of record that golfers get more tips than a stockbroker's barber. But there used to be a sane shyness that kept them from exposing themselves to gadgets and gawkers. Not anymore. These days, swing-speed deficiency or an unstraight left arm are such threats to a golfer's social standing that many are willing to part with shag bags of gold in the search for self-improvement. Accommodating this frenzy is an industry of quick fixes. If you're the sort of golfer who can't sleep for memories of a yanked five-iron, you may find deliverance in one of the training aids pictured here, from a $25 gizmo designed to keep your head straight to a $350 coach for your swing. We just wish we could stop playing around with this stuff long enough to go out and play a round.
Special Preview Issue—It's fall and we have the inside track: The Most exciting trends in Cars, plus the futuristic stuff that's here today. The new elegance in Fashion that features luscious shirts, ties and mod sweaters, Digital Video Discs that will change your view of entertainment forever and the latest rage, Cigars—the word on Etiquette, Humidors and Playboy's own new smoke