Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478). December 1997, volume 44. number 12, 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.
Big Joe Williams (the Delta blues guitarist, not the Count Basie vocalist) played a uniquely dilapidated nine-string acoustic guitar with a pickup taped to its sound hole. It was rarely in tune, but Williams could always hammer out the appropriate accompaniment for whatever emotion he happened to be exploring. On Piney Woods Blues (Delmark), a reissue from 1960, Williams sings with a robust baritone. Born in 1903, he was old enough to record some charming personal memories of the legends who invented the blues and young enough to have all his infectious enthusiasm. Up there with Mississippi John Hurt and Bukka White in the pantheon of folk-blues rediscoveries, Williams had a raw though melodic approach that could fire you up or calm you down. In either mode, his sour, bent, utterly liberating style of fingerpicking put out more energy than most rock-and-roll bands generate.
Fans of Elvis and rockabilly will scoop up Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana's All the King's Men (Sweetfish). Moore was Elvis' first guitarist, the man who arguably invented rock-and-roll guitar as he fired off a spontaneous blend of uptempo country and blues licks in the Sun Studios sessions. Drummer Fontana soon joined Moore and bassist Bill Black. Moore and Fontana are accompanied on the album by Keith Richards and the Band, the Mavericks, Jeff Beck, Steve Earle and Joe Louis Walker, among others. It is a pure lovefest, as Keith and the boys pay tribute to the man who inspired them to pick up a guitar.
Having scored big on modern rock charts with Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy and having composed the theme to Mike Judge's King of the Hill, the Refreshments have a lot of expectations to live up to on The Bottle & Fresh Horses (Mercury). I say they do it--my expectation being highly melodic rock with chiming major chords, sweet harmonies and an instinct for hooks that makes just about every phrase memorable without being cheap. Folk rock is the reigning style, so these guys appear poised to be a big deal, and they deserve it.
For sheer heart, no album in the past year can match Puff Daddy and the Family's No Way Out (Bad Boy). Since it's produced by the crew that brought us the Notorious B.I.G., it's probably the one big hit of 1997 that reasonable people skipped. But, in fact, it's a rewarding listen even if your tastes don't run to gangstas. Puffy and company set their comments on contemporary urban family life to some of the lushest tracks around. Think of it as an album Marvin Gaye could have made.
Lighthouse Family is a hip British duo that specializes in stylish, danceable pop with an inspirational feel. Most of the music on its debut, Ocean Drive (A&M), is driven by keyboards, with additional electric guitar. Though there are vocals, the tracks could work as self-consciously cool instrumentals. Just released this year in America after building a U.K. audience, Ocean Drive is worth a listen for Lifted, The Way You Are and the enticing title track.
No group, not even the Velvet Underground, influenced punk and its aftermath more than Iggy and the Stooges. Given Iggy's true singularity, We Will Fall: The Iggy Pop Tribute (Royalty) ought to be about as scintillating as last night's ashtray. Amazingly, however, a few of these tracks--Joan Jett's great Real Wild Child, the Misfits on I Got a Right, Shake Appeal by 7 Year Bitch--replicate Iggy's blend of amateurism and sonic control. Still, only one artist has the nerve to go all the way here: Lenny Kaye turns in a version of We Will Fall that's even more static and ponderous, doomy and draggy than the original.
Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott comes out of Virginia as one of the hottest rappers. She has a choppy syncopated style full of humor, low-intensity boasting and a laugh that has become her trademark. She also has a fine singing voice and a firm understanding of harmony. And she's a clever songwriter, too. Combine these skills with the production talents of her partner, Timbaland, and you have Supa Dupa Fly (East West), her bright, exciting 17-track debut. By adapting the nervous drum patterns of jungle music to hip-hop, Timbaland gives funky backings to a brilliant cover of Ann Peebles' soul classic I Can't Stand the Rain, the funny Izzy Izzy Ahh and Best Friends (featuring Aaliyah). Supa Dupa Fly is a contender for best rap album of the year.
In 1948 Ralph and Carter Stanley heard Bill Monroe's Stewball rewrite, Molly and Tenbrooks, on the radio. They put out their record of it before Monroe could release his, and that was the beginning of bluegrass as a movement. The Stanley Brothers' Earliest Recordings (Rich-R-Tone) has all 14 songs they recorded in the late Forties and early Fifties for that label. These beautiful songs are suffused with death, suffering, drunkenness, violence and love both blessed and bitter (all of which come together in a great version of Little Maggie). The tracks are driven by Carter Stanley's implacable guitar and the brothers' rich vocal harmony. This music isn't nearly so complex as what Monroe did--or, for that matter, the music the Stanleys later made with their string band. But in its simplicity, it may reach deeper into the ancient spirit that bluegrass expresses.
Pedal steel, manageable beats and white guys drawling literate lyrics: These are things the music business understands. If a band like Son Volt gets hip for a minute, why not sign some vaguely similar group? Like Whiskeytown, say? Thanks mostly to Ryan Adams' reliable tunes and soft vocals, Whiskeytown's Strangers Almanac (Outpost) is the most commercially credible of the crop. Straight-ahead songs such as 16 Days or soulful weepers such as Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight could liven up the pop mélange.
On the road with a pair of amoral con artists (Frances O'Connor and Matt Day as Nikki and Al) Kiss or Kill (October Films) is a tour de force. Nikki lures men she meets from barroom to bedroom, and Al steps in to rob her victims after they're drugged. Things go wildly awry in Australian director Bill Bennett's nonstop spree of violence and retribution when one man dies--presumably a blackmailer. The twosome then take possession of a compromising video that shows a famous ex-footballer (Barry Langrishe as Zipper Doyle) fooling around with a young boy. Detectives pursue the couple for questioning, Zipper wants them dead, and Kiss or Kill takes up the chase in sizzling style reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde. The chaotic plot is occasionally hard to follow, so pay close attention--because Bennett makes it one hell of a trip. [rating]3-1/2 Bunnies[/rating]
Margaret Colin, who says her age is nobody's business, portrays Jackie Kennedy Onassis in a comedy slated for a November opening on Broadway. Colin paused over a drink at Sardi's to talk about how her career is going. Just fine, thank you. She is recognized on the street for the megahit Independence Day, in which she played the president's press secretary and Jeff Goldblum's ex. "I held the president's hand and saved a few babies," she recalls. This year, she played Harrison Ford's missus in The Devil's Own. "Nothing about that movie was easy," she notes, referring to the many script revisions. "In one scene, when I'm attacked, I was just supposed to stand there and scream while they kick the crap out of my husband. Finally, Harrison agreed to let me throw a few punches. After all, I'm a cop's daughter."
The story of Vietnam doesn't belong solely to Oliver Stone. From director Hung Tran Anh (The Scent of Green Papaya) comes Cyclo (New Yorker, $89.95), the tale of a bike-taxi driver who is sucked into the dark gang world of modern-day Vietnam. Granted permission to film on location in Ho Chi Minh City, Hung calls on his trademark blend of rhythmic sounds, poetic narrative adn surrreal visuals to tell his allegory against the backdrop of the Vietnamese jungle. The story occasionally gets muddy, but the pictures keep getting better. The film won the Golden Lion Award at the 1995 Venice Film Festival.
Richard Lewis, the jumpy co-star of ABC's Hiller and Diller, not only loves the movies, he lives by them as well. For example, he's particularly drawn to the 1971 Renee Taylor--Joseph Bologna comedy Made for Each Other, "mainly because it covers my three favorite topics: death, therapy and fear of commitment." When it comes to superlatives, the master neurotic calls Dr. Strangelove "the greatest black comedy of all time," Raging Bull "the best film of my generation" and Last Tango in Paris "a Marlon Brando acting primer." (He also admits: "My bedroom is a shrine to Last Tango.") And when, alas, Lewis' obsessiveness gets the best of him, he screens Roman Polanski's The Tenant. "It makes even the worst paranoid look like Mr. Greenjeans. I've seen it about 4 million times."
Ever notice that whenever the star is told, "Meet your new partner," it's only a matter of time before the underling is killed off? There's just something about number two that's conveniently disposable. For instance:
Laser fans eager to indulge in a study of cinematic contrasts need look no further than two of Voyager's recent Criterion Collection releases: John Waters' 1972 Pink Flamingos ($49.95) and Leni Riefenstahl's 1939 Olympia (two disks, $99.95). The laser package for Flamingos--a revolting fantasia about two families competing to be the "filthiest people alive"--includes commentary by gross-out king Waters, making-of material and trailers. And though Olympia, a two-part documentary on the 1936 Berlin Olympics, has no significant extras, it remains a peerless study on the beauty of the human form (though Riefenstahl's political subtext remains controversial).... Lumivision has combined the versatility of DVD with its love for classic cinema. Nothing Sacred, the 1937 screwball comedy starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March, boasts a crisp transfer from the original 35mm film elements, as well as rare two-color Technicolor Mack Sennett shorts (Campus Vamp and Matchmaking Mama) and Gable and Lombard home movies.
Before there were X-files and Mars missions, America was obsessed with the bomb and how it could change--or end--life on earth. The award-winning Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie ($24.95; Goldhil) tells the story of nuclear weaponry, from the 1945 trial bangs in the New Mexican desert to President Kennedy's 1963 Test Ban Treaty. Also included: previously classified government footage, an interview with Dr. Edward Teller ("father of the H-bomb"), an original score by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra--and a very strange finale. William Shatner narrates. (To order, call 800-250-8760.)
Famous for his colorful personality and fast living, photographer Jim Marshall--who started taking pictures in San Francisco's acid heyday--shares his rock-and-roll images in Not Fade Away (Little, Brown). The 124 duotone photos in this rock history include Jimi and Janis at Golden Gate Park, a young Jerry Garcia, Jim Morrison, the Allman Brothers, John Lennon at Candlestick Park before the Beatles' final concert and Johnny Cash flipping the bird at San Quentin. Rock and roll never forgets.
Anne Rice and Stephen King have conjured up some fiendish delights just in time for the holidays. Rice, that literary virtuoso of sexual and religious obsessions, has written Violin (Knopf), the tale of a widow haunted by death and music. Seduced by a Stradivarius and whisked through time to meet Beethoven in 19th century Vienna, the tormented woman joins such wildly imaginative characters as those in Rice's Vampire Chronicles.
Erotic art is in the eye of the beholder, and four new coffee-table books explore its diversity. Ars Erotica: An Arousing History of Erotic Art (Rizzoli) by Edward Lucie-Smith features 1 25 color illustrations of works by the great masters as well as erotic photography and sensuous prose and poetry. Collectors, photography buffs and fans of the timeless pin-up will love The Pirelli Calendar 1964--1997(Rizzoli). This collection of 264 sexy photos was shot by some of the world's top photographers. If rubber, leather, nylons, high heels and bondage turn you on, catch up with Beauty Parade (Taschen) by fetish king Eric Kroll. A pioneer of bondage imagery with his first book, Fetish Girls, Kroll is always hunting for edgy ways to photograph women. Finally, there's comic-book eroticism in The Art of Eric Stanton: For the Man Who Knows His Place (Taschen). Each volume is a coffee-table conversation starter.
Long before recorded history, humans slashed and slaughtered one another with blood-splattering relish. Never satisfied with their killing machines, they went from catapults to cannons to nuclear missiles that have the potential to turn the planet into Death Valley. Most students of war trace its origin to the hunter. They argue that the tactics and weapons of primitivehunters evolved into what we watched on the tube during Desert Storm. Now a brave and damn smart woman, Barbara Ehrenreich, has trashed this theory in Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (Metropolitan Books). She contends the emotions that drive men to war come from our struggles to stay out of the stomachs of beasts. War comes not from our being the hunter, but from our being the hunted. She asserts that because we spent too many years ducking carnivores, the tactics we developed to stay alive became the underlying basis for war.
American literature is rich with stories of the adventure traveler--from Melville to Kerouac to Theroux. For all these writers, the journey begins as an escape and ends up being something more. So it is for Gary Paulsen, who writes eloquently about his motorcycle trip from New Mexico to Fairbanks, Alaska and back in Pilgrimage on a Steel Ride (Harcourt Brace). Naturally, his bike is a Harley-Davidson, the kind he had been dreaming about owning for much of his life. The round-trip is just about 10,000 miles (including a trip through Minnesota). Paulsen writes about the landscapes and the people along the way, but his meditations on freedom and solitude while roaring through the Northwest are the highlights. This is great fun for an armchair adventurer and, like Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm (Norton) and Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air (Villard), it's a perfect way to travel light.
If you're searching for new stogies, we've smoked out the best. Left to right: Oliveros Coroneles are premium cigars from one of the Dominican Republic's top tobacco growers. Hoja Cubana Churchills feature leaves from Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Indian Tabac Tomahawks are full bodied. Padrón Exclusivos are similar to Cuban cigars. Caoba Platinums are smooth. Lone Wolf Robustos are smokes from Jim Belushi and Chuck Norris.
Do something special for the holidays--indulge in really great wine. If turkey (or goose) is on the menu, consider these excellent whites: From the Loire Valley, a 1995 Sancerre (Comte Lafond, about $25) or a 1992 Pouilly Fumé (Baron de L, about $60). From Burgundy, a 1995 Puligny-Montrachet (Chateau de Puligny Montrachet, about $36). From California, the 1994 Cakebread Cellar's Chardonnay Reserve (about $36). If a rib roast is being served, here's our choice of reds: From France's Rhône Valley, try a 1990 Côte Rôtie (Guigal, about $40). From Bordeaux, a 1986 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (about $80) or a 1986 Chateau Palmer (about $66). From California, a 1991 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (about $60).
Macanudo, a Jamaican company whose name is synonymous with fine tobacco, has taken the logical step of creating the perfect seat in which to relax while you fire up one of its Vintage Cabinet Selections. The Macanudo London Men's Club Chair (pictured here) looks as if it could have been the throne of Winston Churchill or Rudyard Kipling, but it's actually made in North Carolina of leather that's as rich as your best double corona. And the $2200 price includes a pillow embroidered with the Macanudo crest, lest you forget your chair's pedigree. With a price that's less than the cost of some humidors, it's the perfect spot in which to enjoy a smoke, a drink and a first edition.
Let somebody else cook the turkey. This year, do what Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeAnn Rimes, Eric Clapton and the Los Angeles Lakers do: Mailorder the best barbecued smoked turkey, ribs and brisket in Texas from Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse Barbecue (800-5-SONNYS). Prefer Memphis-style ribs? Call Corky's B-B-Q at 800-926-7597 and you'll have as many racks as you want via Fed Ex. Or have a winter seafood picnic, complete with lobster and chowder, shipped from Clambake Celebrations (800-423-4038). For duck or pheasant contact D'Artagnan at 800-DARTAGN. Or take a gamy approach with antelope or wild boar from Broken Arrow Ranch in Texas (800-962-4263). Remember the night David Letterman revealed his passion for truffles from Minerva Street Chocolates by pitching them into the audience? Call Minerva at 313-996-4090 to share them--lobbed or passed-- with your own guests.
Like a great pair of jeans or fine cowboy boots, Levenger's Stanley Traveler (top right), named after Henry Morton ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume") Stanley, gets better with age. The leather is full-grain cowhide-tumbled, waxed and polished-and the bag measures 14"xlO". That's just enough room for a copy of West With the Night and your laptop-plus a notebook and a cell phone stashed in the front pockets. Price: $289. Levenger has more Stanley-inspired products in the works. The Trager Laptop Brief below the Traveler is the carry-on to tote when you don't want to be noticed. The bag is 1000 Denier Dupont Cordura Plus (with leather trim and metal hardware), and it doesn't look like what it is-a padded, legal-size briefcase designed to house a notebook computer. Price: $90.
Still lugging around that tackle box full of screwdrivers, pliers and files in case you need to tighten the hood straps on your Morgan or perform other repair-missions impossible? That's fine if you also use the pocket protector from your insurance agent. Otherwise, join the Nineties and drop about $60 for a multifunctional Buck Tool, from Buck Knives. The model 360FL pictured here features ten functions (including pliers, wire cutter, blade, file, bot-tle-and-can opener and assorted screwdrivers) housed in a palm-sized package with nonslip handles that won't pinch like a son of a bitch if you make a wrong move. (The implements lock into place, then disengage with a push-button release.) With a little twirl, the Buck Tool opens 180 degrees for an extended reach or locks at 90 degrees for greater leverage and torque. Buck even throws in a sheath as part of the deal. (A model with a pocket clip is also available.) It's made in the U.S. and comes with Buck Tool's lifetime warranty.
Airport food never looked so chic. The restaurant Typhoon, situated in the administration building at Santa Monica's municipal airport, offers a panoramic view of ocean and mountains and specializes in the exotic fare of the Orient. As private planes take off and land, you can sample Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Philippine, Vietnamese and Burmese cuisine while sipping a single-malt whiskey or one of the eatery's Asian beers. Our favorite dish? Korean barbecue beef ribs. Adventurous diners can try Taiwanese-style crickets with raw garlic, chilis and Asian basil. You can also watch for high-flying stars either from the dining room or the open-air observation deck. Typhoon boasts an eclectic and famous clientele--Michael Mann threw a wrap party there, and Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Harrison Ford and Oliver Stone have also shown up. (It seems that Typhoon proprietor Brian Victor--whose father directed movies and whose brother owns New York's Tavern on the Green--has Hollywood and restaurants in his blood.) Each Monday, pilots and passengers gather for jazz night. The restaurant is a hit with couples on first dates, too, maybe because it serves chiew--an aphrodisiac elixir that includes gecko, sea horse, caterpillar and ginseng. Drink it before joining the mile-high club. For seats, call 310-390-6565.
There's no more certain way to botch a romantic winter evening than to fill the condo with woodsmoke. Here's the right way to light her fire. First, make sure the damper is open. If the smoke from a match doesn't rise up the chimney, the damper is closed. Next, make sure the wood is dry. (Dry hardwood logs will make a ringing sound when knocked together.) Lay a large log at the back of the grate. Place a handful of tinder in front of that log (try birch bark or pitch-saturated fatwood sticks). Place finger-thick pieces of kindling over the fire starter, resting them against the log like a small lean-to. Light the fire starter. Allow it to ignite the kindling, then gradually add bigger pieces of wood. A fireplace screen is a must.
If you need a remote to find all your other remotes, do something smart--consolidate. Marantz' RC2000 ($250, pictured at right) is one of the best all-in-one "smart" remotes. It may look intimidating, but this smooth operator is actually easy to use. It's programmed with basic commands and can learn virtually all the control codes of your current remotes. It features macro keys capable of storing a series of up to 20 commands at the press of a button. Hit one key and your TV turns on, your VCR kicks in, your receiver powers up and the lights dim. Lighted keys and an LCD screen also make adjustments easy.
A traditional cap to your holiday meal is a pairing of port and cheese. If port is a new experience, here's a primer. Port is a fortified wine made in the Douro Valley of Portugal. Its name comes from the city from which it's shipped, Oporto. Vintage port is the finest variety but can require 20 to 30 years of aging before it comes to its full potential. Other varieties will do nicely. Aged tawny ports are often extremely good: Try Taylor Fladgate 20-Year-Old, Cockburn 10-Year-Old or Quinta do Noval 20-Year-Old. Late bottled vintage port derives from a single year and is usually ready to drink immediately. Try Taylor Fladgate LBV, Fonseca LBV or Croft LBV. Vintage character ports are premium ruby ports aged in wood. Styles vary widely; our choices include Graham's Six Grapes and Fonseca Bin 27. Benjamin Tawny is a surprisingly good port from Australia. Now for the cheese. Stilton, an English blue cheese, is the traditional accompaniment. Other blue-veined cheeses, such as gorgonzola, also go well. If you're in the mood for something less complex, try an extra-sharp aged cheddar. Walnuts also complement port.
The Plymouth Prowler has barely hit the streets and already the folks at Chrysler have developed a new concept car. At a glance, the long-hood, short--rear deck styling of the Dodge Copperhead gives it a son-of-Viper look that we like. (It's actually eight inches shorter and three inches narrower than the big snake.) It's no accident that the car also reminds us of a classic Sixties sports car. John Herlitz, Chrysler's vice president of product design, admits the company admires great designs of the past, even when they're someone else's. The Copperhead's bite comes from a new 220-horsepower V-6 coupled to a five-speed gearbox. Shod with huge Goodyear tires and fitted with ABS and disc brakes, it promises handling that will put to rest any queasy memories you might have of the cornering eccentricities of 30-year-old British roadsters. And, yes, the Copperhead (which is made only in one color--bright orange) has snakeskin-patterned upholstery. Dodge is keeping mum, but we predict that the Copperhead will be out by the year 2000, priced in the low $40,000s.
My wife and I are planning a Playboy After Dark party and need advice on how to make it a success. We'll return to 1963, the last year it was cool to be an adult, and require all guests to come in character. Some of the activities will include a Sean Connery look-alike contest, Playmate of the Year competition, baccarat tournament and music and dancing from the era. We'll also offer good food and a well-stocked bar. Can you give us any other suggestions for a successful gathering?--R.B., Bakersfield, California
Like our military defenders, our moral defenders must constantly find new threats to protect us from in order to remain in business. Sometimes the threat has actually been around for almost 20 years, methodically (albeit imperceptibly) unraveling America's moral fiber while evading the radar of the armies of decency.
Politicians in Washington are demanding a new crackdown on--and harsher penalties for--cocaine users, among other narcotics violators. Yet before the nation embarks on drug war number 327, we should stop and examine what our political ruling class has already achieved. The files of the November Coalition, Families Against Mandatory Minimums and various media accounts are filled with horror stories. It is worthwhile to compare sentences that are given to drug offenders with those received by murderers, rapists, child molesters, armed robbers and other victims of difficult childhoods.
"One evening at a hotel in New York I flipped around the television channels. Suddenly there on the public access channel was a voluptuous young woman, naked, her body oiled, writhing on the floor while fondling herself intimately. Meanwhile, a man's voice and a print on the screen informed the viewer of the telephone number and limousine service that would acquaint him with young women of similar charms and proclivities. I watched for some time--riveted by the sociological significance of it all."
In a survey commissioned by the Freedom Forum's Newseum earlier this year, 29 percent of Americans couldn't name any of the five rights protected by the First Amendment. Most of those surveyed could cite freedom of speech (64 percent). But few people could remember that they are able to read unrestricted literature thanks to the right to a free press (15 percent) or to attend the church of their choosing--or none at all--because of freedom of religion (16 percent). A few (11 percent) recalled the right to assembly. And what is that last one? Right of petition. No one got that. Sorry, James Madison. In a separate survey by the Chicago Tribune, about 25 percent of Americans didn't want people in favor of or opposed to abortion marching down their streets. About half didn't want Nazis, skinheads or militia groups demonstrating in their communities. More than half wanted to gag Howard Stern, contending that sexual expressions shouldn't be allowed on the air. Almost half the survey group wanted restrictions on the Internet. Twenty-seven percent thought the First Amendment goes too far in guaranteeing rights. Don't you have to know your rights before you can object to them?
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws drafted a report on the state of prohibition. NORML asserts that, with the arrest of a marijuana smoker every 54 seconds, the Clinton administration's war on drugs is more intense than that of any other presidency. Here's how previous commanders in chief measured up:
When Gina and I were married this past summer, we wrote our own vows. In them we promised our love and encouragement, our honesty and trust, our respect and good humor. These seemed to us the elements that make for a strong, rich union.
When Robert Downey Jr. discusses his well-publicized reputation as a heroin and coke addict, he often talks about how, despite the media circus swirling around him, he processed thoughts through what he calls a lizard brain--a mind that compartmentalized his life into 45-minute increments. Each increment followed the same pattern: Race out of the house, get drugs, get high and be back in the house within 45 minutes.
For days Mrs. Gordon beseeched her stepson, Freddy, to drive her up to the state hospital in Granite Falls. Every Christmas she put together a fruit basket for her third cousin Eustace. His principal relatives had carried out the annual deliveries over the years, but winter had struck early in northern Illinois, and struck with a vengeance, dumping one record snowstorm after another. The storms were followed by fierce winds and two weeks of bitter cold. Christmas spirit notwithstanding, no one in the Gordon family wanted to venture outside, especially for a fruit basket mission to the mental hospital. So Mrs. Gordon worked on Freddy, who had been bragging recently about the virtues of his Swedish Saab, a car undaunted even by polar climes.
Danielle house knows how to take it on the chin. Growing up in Newfoundland, Danielle got bruised as a broomball goalie and banged up in backyard rock battles. But she always came back smiling. So it's no surprise to see that girlish grin even now, after her toughest test ever. "This has been a hell of a year," she says, her golden eyes gleaming. "But it made me a stronger person." Only two months after winning the Miss Canada International crown, Danielle was accused in October 1996 of hitting her ex-beau's girlfriend at a university bar in St. John's, where Danielle was studying nursing. And although she says her ex-boyfriend instigated the punch--"He grabbed my arm, I pulled back and she got struck"--she was convicted by a judge and stripped of her crown. But Danielle didn't get mad. She got an agent. Now, at the ripe age of 21, Danielle is chasing her modeling and acting dreams in the U.S. Yet she will not let fame tarnish her northern values. Of part Inuit heritage--do not call her Eskimo--she firmly believes in stretching her resources. "You're not going to see me on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive," Danielle proclaims. "I pride myself on bargain hunting. I love a good flea market." She's also shopping for a new man. And it will not cost him a fortune, either. "If you want to impress me," she says, "give me a Franklin Mint doll and sit me down for a Star Trek marathon with a cheesecake by my side." But don't expect Danielle to stay away from controversy for long. In tribute to her trapper culture, she wants to be the spokesmodel for the Canadian Fur Association. "It's my heritage and I'm proud of it," Danielle declares. And she's ready to take on the animal rights activists. "After all I've been through," she says, grinning, "I can survive anything."
The Normandy Plaza Hotel has the sad pretension of a faded beauty whose best days are only a memory. It lies at the wrong end of Miami Beach, at Collins Avenue and 69th Street. The chic art deco hotels are a few miles south, on South Beach. The Normandy is garishly made up with a hot-pink exterior, purple trim and green awnings.
Ernest Hemingway in 1952 published in Life magazine a long short story called "The Old Man and the Sea." It was about a Cuban Fisherman who hadn't caught anything for 84 days. The Cuban hooked an enormous marlin. He killed it and lashed it alongside his little boat. Before he could get it to shore, though, sharks bit off all the meat on the skeleton.
Simply put, the bra is a cradle of civilization. From the trim engineering of the ancient Roman strophia to the armored corsets of the Victorian era, the humble undergarment gives us a bird's-eye view of how various cultures treated their hidden mysteries. The search for its origin lends a bit of bounce to anthropology and keeps history students perky and upright. The bra has served alternately as a tool of seduction, a symbol of modesty and a means of support (especially when used by a stripper). At one point, the best bra was considered no bra at all. Now it's come fulsome circle. Today a good bra is something to behold--and something to be held, caressed and cast off. Over the years, we've gathered mounds of data on the subject. Here, then, is an illustrated chronicle in which we suspend our most firmly held beliefs.
Strickland Propane. "Taste the meat, not the heat."Hank, this is Hugh "Hef" Hefner. I need you to come to the Playboy Mansion right Away!What? Don't you have Scantily Clad Women Running Around there, all naked and whatnot?Absolutely not!
I had cruised by the place a thousand times on my way to work, and I was always put off by its garishness. And no matter how late I drove home it was open. Twenty-four hours a day? It had to be nefarious, illicit. One night, stopped at a traffic light, I glanced up at the third-floor windows, where a neat row of red leather gloves beckoned. When the light changed I pulled over and parked.
When 18-year-old visitor June Wilkinson marched into our offices in Chicago in the summer of 1958, the men in the Photo Department immediately named her staggering chest the "first Bosom worthy of a capital B." Before you could say "Hollywood or bust," June had become a movie starlet and a prize pin-up subject. The fetching kitten from Britain was featured many times on the pages of Playboy. The above shot of the alluring June graced our November 1960 issue.
As a small-town girl in Sawyer, Michigan, Karen McDougal was a tomboy until a late-teens growth spurt turned her into a beauty queen. Now the 26-year-old preschool teacher doubles as a Venus International Swimwear model. Karen's latest moonlighting gig is even more dazzling: Sawyer's pride is now our Miss December.
After reviewing his data, a sexologist telephoned one of the volunteer couples. "There seems to be a discrepancy in the information supplied by you and your husband," he explained to the wife. "Under 'frequency of intercourse,' he listed 'twice a week' while you put down 'several times each night.' "
There's a sign on I-65 just north of Indianapolis that warns speed Kills. Unfortunately, it was missed by the players and coaches of North Carolina and Kentucky as they headed to the Final Four. Front-runner Kansas and Providence never saw it either. Wouldn't have helped if they had, because speed is tough to defend against, and hotshot Arizona couldn't have had more if Sandra Bullock were on the roster.
Andrew Weil, the controversial M.D. who prescribes herbs, pollens and a wide range of alternative therapies, wants to help. He is inundated with appeals for medical advice--sometimes thousands a day, delivered via mail, phone calls and e-mail. His books are best-sellers. His seventh and most recent, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, is a prescription for mental, spiritual and physical changes. It put him on the cover of Time. He lectures, does PBS specials and has a flooded Web site on the Internet--Ask Dr. Weil (www.drweil.com) receives 2 million hits a month. But still he has a problem. His message has been slow to catch on with the half of the population that may need him most: men.
On March 31, 1978, Candy Loving marched into a Norman, Oklahoma Ramada Inn to meet Playboy's photo editors for the 25th Anniversary Playmate Hunt. Yes, she was gorgeous. But it was her down-home charm (she ordered chocolate milk instead of coffee and talked about her family) that caught our eye. Fast as you could say "small town," the girl from Ponca City, Oklahoma with no modeling experience was named the 25th Anniversary Playmate. We called her "Playmate Perfect." You can see why. Today, Candy is a businesswoman who looks back fondly on what she calls "the Playboy years. I learned so much traveling around the country to promote the magazine--confidence, diplomacy, how to deal with people. What propelled me out of Oklahoma has made me grounded. It's been wonderful."
These are pictures from a fashion shoot. The presents weren't real, the champagne wasn't exactly flowing and the photos were taken in late summer. However, something more than the shutter clicked--our boys and girls really hit it off. When they're comfortable in their clothes, people connect. Wear Timberlands and jeans to a holiday blast featuring caviar blini and bubbly, and you'll be the first to leave. Thankfully, today's new dress-up code goes both ways. With mod stretch suits that have a touch of velvet and with shirts that have a bit of shine, you'll be cooler than the year's first snow. But if you doubt the effect that fine clothes have on beautiful women, just remember: The camera never lies.
He is on a roll. With his long-distance telephone ads, his providing the voice for Nike's Lil' Penny spots, his comedy album ("Roll With the New"), his HBO late-night series and his first book ("Rock This!"), it's been a veritable landslide for Chris Rock, Brooklyn native and resident.
Just what does it take to become a sex star in 1997? For openers, it helps if your name begins with Mc. Just ask Matthew McConaughey, Jenny McCarthy or Ewan McGregor. It's a plus, too, if you have Irish blood (George Clooney, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Flatley) or have appeared in Playboy (Pamela Anderson Lee, Carmen Electra, Farrah Fawcett, Victoria Silvstedt). Jenny McCarthy, come to think of it, scores in all three categories. No wonder she's the most popular star on the Zone, a Web site celebrating celebrityhood; at last count, just typing her name on Yahoo brought up 46 sites dedicated to the empress of funny faces. (The hottest man on the Web, according to Lycos, is golfer Tiger Woods.) Jenny said goodbye to her MTV launching pad, Singled Out, in favor of (text continued on page 174) that cable net's The Jenny McCarthy Show and NBC-TV's new sitcom Jenny--meanwhile appearing on nearly every magazine cover in the country outside of National Geographic's.
I hooked up with Johnnie Woluewich at the Elks Lodge in Elmhurst, Queens on Friday, September 5. USA Boxing Metropolitan of New York, of which Johnnie is a board member, was co-sponsoring an evening of bouts that pitted New York Golden Gloves winners against New Jersey Golden Gloves winners.
Buying a jumbo TV is just a small step in the big-picture process of building a home theater. It's the stack of black boxes--and the speakers--that will bring your movie action to life. Start with video sources. From a software standpoint, the VCR remains the backbone of today's home entertainment system. A basic model will cost you less than $200, but for a few hundred more, you can buy one with refined head technology and noise-reduction circuits that give your picture extra punch. Other features to look for include automatic clock set (which eliminates that blinking 12:00) and commercial advance (circuitry that fast-forwards through commercials on prerecorded tapes). Want a screen image that looks as good as Uma Thurman in Batman & Robin? Check out the new digital video disc format. More than 200 movies are available on DVD, and first-generation players cost less than $1000. For an equally flawless picture, consider a digital broadcast satellite setup. Primestar and DSS are the top DBS alternatives. With either, be sure to request a "dual feedhorn antenna." With that you'll be able to watch the 160-plus channels of movies, music and sports on more than one TV. And don't rule out a laser disc player just yet. More than 10,000 movies are available on LD, and prices of LD hardware and software should start to drop now that DVD is a reality. You'll also need an audio/video receiver to control the sounds. Today's choices include a basic model with four-channel Dolby Pro Logic Surround sound ($200-plus) and one with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital, a home version of the crystal-clear sound used in the best movie theaters. Receivers with Dolby Digital start around $800 and come with four or five sets of inputs (perfect for a growing system). Whichever way you decide to go, make sure the machine pumps power evenly to all channels. And think balance when selecting speakers, too. An ideal set will deploy the same drivers at all five speaker locations. Called timbre matching, this practice ensures that the sonic size of Tyrannosaurus rex remains the same as he storms through your living room. Speaker packages with a bass-summoning subwoofer start at $400 from such companies as Bose, JBL, Technics, Sherwood and Cerwin-Vega. As with all things in life, spend more and you will get more.