We all have desert-island lists. One begins with Cindy Crawford, another with Led Zeppelin IV. Coconuts aside, sex and music are a modern guy's major food groups. That's why Playboy--yet another list topper--has packed this issue with sex, music and, best of all, sexy musicians. If you were stranded with our cover girl, violinist Linda Brava, not only would you have a beautiful companion, you'd get your Rachmaninoff too. In Brahms Bombshell, Brava, who The Sunday Times of London has called ''classical music's Pamela Anderson Lee,'' unveils her oeuvre-whelming body. (Her pictorial was shot by Arny Freytag.) Jody Watley plays the opening set. The former Shalamar chanteuse was deemed one of People's original Fifty Most Beautiful People after she went solo. In a pictorial by Davis Factor, she trades the Grammy under her belt for a flower (Flower is also the title of her new CD).
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), April 1998, Volume 45, Number 4, 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 (312-781-8000); West Coast: SD Media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-284-7575); Southeast: Coleman & Bentz, Inc., 4651 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-258-3800): Boston: Northeast Media Sales, 8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston 02109 (617-973-5050). For subscription inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
The Coen Brothers (director Joel and producer Ethan) work their movie magic again with their blazingly original screenplay for The Big Lebowski (Gramercy Pictures). A fitting follow-up to their Oscar-winning Fargo, it's an all but indescribable comedy starring Jeff Bridges, who makes the most of his bravura role. Bridges is actually another Lebowski, mistaken by some tough guys for a millionaire whose wife has run up lots of debts. Bridges' Lebowski is an unemployed ne'er-do-well who loves bowling and hanging out with his eccentric buddies (John Goodman and Steve Buscemi). Then he gets involved in kidnapping the rich Lebowski's wife. The plot ripens when some unmannerly thugs urinate on his rug. Compensated for the soiled carpet, this Lebowski, in elaborately staged fantasies--some in the shape of movie-musical interludes--gets mixed up with the bigger Lebowski's bizarre, sexy daughter (Julianne Moore). One of the film's many pleasures is a hilarious turn by John Turturro as a rival bowler. The Big Lebowski is unlike any other movie you'll see this year. [bunnies]
As a supermodel, she was pouty; in the title role of TV's Suddenly Susan, she's a goofball. But as a couch potato, Brooke Shields is all sap. ''To say that Howards End and Sense and Sensibility move me is an understatement,'' confesses Brooke. ''Shadowlands is of a different time, but it's still within that romantic realm and one of my all-time favorites.'' Brooke says she studied film noir in college and is familiar with the screwball comedies of the Forties. But when it comes to heartstrings, she remains a sucker for a good Brit romance. ''I just saw Carrington and was mesmerized. I love the pace of the film, and the fact that the story is about both unrequited and pure love. It has so much to say on so many levels. I tell you, I could watch period pieces all day long.'' --Susan Karlin
The first Men column, ''Role Models,'' was published 16 years ago this month. Sixteen years happens to be an eternity in magazine terms, so let's take off our spurs, belly up to the bar and blow out the candles on my birthday cake, amigos. Because this shooter has been through any number of gunfights at the Writers' and Editors' Corral, and while I may be a little beat-up, I'm still standing.
Paying taxes isn't what you'd call a Mazola party with Heather Lock-lear, but it gets a little less painful every year. For this we can thank Intuit Inc., and the variety of tax preparation software it produces and sells under the TurboTax name.
Men are under assault. A recent stroll past the newsstand showed an avalanche of whining, nagging titles. Ten Things That Men Don't Get About Women. Ten Secrets of Incredibly Ineffective Lovers. Dumb Things Men Do to Spoil the Mood.
If Howard Fletcher, co-founder of the National Sexual Rights Council, has his way, spring-breakers will want to stay out of Florida this year. Too dangerous. Maybe they should head to Iowa. Or South Dakota. Surf's lame, but at least those states aren't weighed down by 19th century sex laws that turn sexually active tourists (and residents) into criminals.
She is a 19-year-old single welfare mother, struggling to finish community college. She had been getting free birth control shots at Leonard Hospital, in her hometown of Troy, New York. But recently, Leonard merged with St. Mary's Hospital and became part of the Catholic-run Seton Health System. When she showed up for her Depo-Provera she was told, ''We don't do that here anymore.''
He's a man who plays late. That's because he works hard during the week and takes his weekend fun seriously. Playboy men spent more than $2.5 billion last year on the coolest clothes and colognes--more than the guys who read any other men's magazine. Surprised? Don't be. Close to 2.8 million Playboy men pick bars and clubs for their nightlife--that's more than all readers of GQ, Esquire and Spin combined. Playboy--it's a lifestyle. (Source: Spring 1997 MRI.)
AS AIDS rages through Africa and Asia, infecting thousands of people each day, new HIV infections and AIDS deaths in the industrialized West have dropped dramatically. Indeed, years of education and, more recently, new cocktail drug treatments have made AIDS seem more distant, less threatening. This led us to wonder: Do men and women still heed the call to practice safe sex as religiously as they did five or ten years ago? Does foreplay still include caution and discretion?
The time was ripe for ''Flower.'' ''The vibe was right,'' says Jody Watley about the most daring new album of her award-winning career. ''The music business is hard on women who are over 22. You really have to prove yourself every time you make a record,'' she notes. ''Are you as vibrant as you used to be? Are you as sexy? So I really want to prove that a woman in her 30s can be all those things and more.''
His was the most durable of careers, spanning well more than half the century in a profession known for the meteoric rise and the equally rapid descent of most performers. It began 60 years ago, in the pioneer years of pop culture; he was arguably one of the great figures of its first, or radio, phase. Franklin Roosevelt was in his third term, and Frank Sinatra, then a dedicated liberal, was thrilled when he met the president. More than 40 years later he was back in the White House as a great pal of Ronald and Nancy Reagan's, and he was still singing well into the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, albeit, on occasion, forgetting the words to some of his favorite songs. That Sinatra did all this in the world of popular music, a place better known for its immediacy than its permanence, is in a way his own unique monument.
To make sure you're looking good, check your reflection in the eyes of a woman. Our ladyfriend at left likes what she sees. A summer suit--particularly this tan and tactile model by Trussardi, $1595--separates the men from the overgrown beach boys. His cotton shirt is by Ermenegildo Zegna, $235. The jacquard tie is by Tommy Hilfiger, $53. If you can draw your attention from the gaze of our almond-eyed beauty on this page, you'll note that her cheeky friend is wearing a three-button suit by Boss Hugo Boss ($875) that's set off by a lively cotton shirt by Thomas Pink ($145) and a textured silk tie by Echo ($48).
We could bore you with scary statistics about the dangers of sun exposure. But what fun would that be? Unless you're the kind of guy who prefers to get his glow from the glare of a computer screen, you're going to be outdoors, soaking up sun on the beach or on the links. That's why suncare products top our list of summer essentials. And we're not talking baby oil-and-iodine concoctions. You need a sunscreen to keep your skin in good shape, and there are three types to look for: those that deflect ultraviolet B rays (the type that burn), those that filter out UV-A rays (the ones that make you look like a prune) and sunblocks, which screen out nearly all of both. To avoid looking charbroiled after only a couple hours of fun in the sun, use a lotion or gel with a UV-A-screening ingredient (such as benzophenone or anthranilate) and a sun protection factor of at least 15 for blocking UV-B rays. We like Sun Protection Spray from the Aramis Lab Series, Action Sport Spray Gel from Banana Boat and Neutrogena Sunblock Spray. A sunscreen labeled water-resistant will be effective for about 40 minutes compared with about 80 minutes if it's labeled waterproof. To prevent a sunburn you need to reapply the product.
''I love the composition of this picture,'' says photographer Guido Argentini. ''It reminds me of a beautiful moment in my life.'' He is referring to 1995, when he met the model, Irini, in Miami Beach. ''She is from Russia, and a fantastic pianist. She performed Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2--one of my favorites--in St. Petersburg when she was just 16.'' Guido plans to include this image in his forthcoming book. We can understand why: It has us bent out of shape too.
Arriving home unexpectedly early from a convention, the tired executive was shocked to discover his wife in bed with his next-door neighbor. ''OK, fuckhead, since you're in bed with my wife,'' the furious man shouted, ''I'm going over to sleep with yours!''
Each January, we pack a pair of comfortable sneakers and a jumbo bottle of Tylenol for our annual trip to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. After four days of walking more than a million square feet of convention floor, we find our heads spinning with enough technology to fill a year of Playboy. To find the best for 1998, we got a little help from our friends David Elrich, Ron Goldberg, Harry Somerfield and Stewart Wolpin, who happen to be ace electronics writers. In addition to contributing to some of the country's top newspapers and magazines, this quartet spends much of the year on the road, testing the latest tech toys for their Web site, E/Town: the Home Electronics Guide (www.e-town.com). We asked them to choose the hottest products across ten categories. Here are their picks.
Playboy has been part of me for so long, I can't imagine life without it,'' Monique St. Pierre said recently. Born on November 25, 1953, days after Playboy debuted on newsstands, Monique has come of age with the magazine. At the age of 25, she was Miss November 1978. The next year she was the 20th Playmate of the Year. Off camera, she lived at the Mansion (''I went full tilt--I knew I'd never experience anything else like it'') and held various jobs at Playboy. Today, Monique is a devoted mother, a clothing designer and a stylist for celebrities. ''I'm known for making women look sexy,'' she says. As you can see, she's a pro.
The Sunday Times of London calls Linda Brava ''a goddessfiddler, classical music's Pamela Anderson Lee.'' Inside Edition calls her an ''international violin sensation.'' But some classical critics aren't so kind to Linda, the Finnish violinist whose music and image are bringing new fans to concert halls all over Europe. How dare she sully the realm of Mozart and Beethoven with her skintight leather and electric violin, they demand. ''I'll tell you why I dare. Because music is passion,'' says Linda. She loves confounding her critics by breaking the rules of classical behavior. Hence this latest scandal--a serious musician in Playboy! Europrudes will say it proves she's a bimbo; Brava fans will give their heroine a standing O. And Linda, as usual, will get the last laugh. ''Hoo-hoo! I'm loving it,'' she tells us, primly crossing her legs. ''This is my hello to America.''
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers that you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 26, 28, 37, 39, 80--85, 88--9, 112--115 and 175, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.