Kiss plays its own trademark brand of rock and roll. In fact, it's the only band with a copyright on face paint. This month we are swept up by the fierce four's resurgent, arena-packing juggernaut. Our Kiss kiss, which features interviews, stats, collectibles and a groupie-friendly pictorial, is a refreshing celebration of a genuine rock-and-roll circus. (That's West Coast Photo Editor Marilyn Grabowski in Gene Simmons' clutches.) Don't miss the rest of our Year in Music 1999 (the section was orchestrated by Associate Editor Barbara Nellis and illustrated by David Plunkert). In They Can't Kill Rock & Roll, but They're Trying, Playboy music critic Dave Marsh argues that radio playlists and video costs stifle diversity. Though you'd never know by two of today's standard bearers—Lauryn Hill and the Beastie Boys (articles by Kevin Powell and Charles M. Young, respectively).
Playboy(ISSN 0032-1478), March 1999, Volume 46, Number 3. 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.
She's an embittered young woman who has Lou Gehrig's disease. He's a failed artist with a cockeyed dream of building his own airplane. Fate brings them together in The Theory of Flight (Fine Line), and they eventually form a friendship through which each finds the possibility of fulfilling a dream. I'm afraid that this qualifies as forced whimsy, but it's given strength and purpose by the two compelling actors chosen to play the lead roles: Helena Bonham Carter and Kenneth Branagh. They add weight to a potentially maudlin script—but even they cannot perform magic on a story that never takes off.
In an era of lowered standards, reality videos stand tall. Cops: Too Hot for TV! has inspired a bunch of tapes made by police, security cameras and citizen voyeurs. The genre of reality videos elevates stupidity to an art form. At only 40 minutes—despite lots of repeated footage—Ultimate Street Brawls (Reality) still packs a punch. The dash-cam pursuits of World's Scariest Police Chases make you wonder who's dumber: the cops or the criminals. Real TV: Extreme and Uncensored (Real Entertainment) may be cruel, but it has a transcendent imbecility.
"I thought that Titanic was just great," says NYPD Blue's Kim Delaney. "It's a spectacle. But underneath it all, it's a simple love story, one that really breaks your heart. I don't necessarily tend toward love stories. I like real emotions and dramas. I thought Chasing Amy was great, Good Will Hunting was amazing and I really liked A Thousand Acres. I adore Jessica Lange—to me, she can do no wrong. Every time she opens her mouth or just shows up, she's wonderful. Two of my favorites are Frances and Sweet Dreams. I like character-oriented movies. I enjoy watching how people handle their relationships. But I also love movies like Liar, Liar. I love Jim Carrey."
When it comes to double features, we think of nonfiction and fiction as two great tastes that go great together. Especially this month, when director Bernardo Bertolucci's seminal art-house drama Last Tango in Paris (1973) arrived on DVD (MGM, $25) the very afternoon we'd screened The Story of X, Chuck Workman's fascinating history of adult film. Naturally, the controversial Tango figures in the latter, with Marlon Brando getting proper credit for putting art ahead of the stigma then (and, to some extent, still) associated with appearing in an X-rated production. But the documentary's brief clips don't do justice to either Brando's extraordinary performance or Bertolucci's deeply felt storytelling, presented in its wide-screen glory on DVD.
We hope Eddie Murphy went to confession after making that bomb Holy Man, for what it's worth, now on video. Murphy plays a TV mystic who can't get an "amen"—or a laugh. We like it better when being saintly has a dark side.
Insisting that his hustling tales are drawn from life, New York rapper Jay-Z honors the gangsta ethos way too much to suit a law-abiding square like me, and I found 1997's In My Lifetime easy to ignore. But the smash Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life (Def Jam) is hard to deny. This time, the beats are out front where the rest of us can enjoy them. The audacious Annie sample made the title cut a hit. The keyboard work of co-producer Swizz Beats shows signs that he listens to Philip Glass and Steve Reich. And whatever Jay-Z's moral values, the man knows how to put words together and say them real fast.
What does the word supposed refer to in Alanis Morissette's Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (Maverick)? Is Morissette formerly an infatuation junkie or is she a junkie addicted to former infatuations? In either case, we're looking at her as she looks at an array of boyfriends. She has a huge talent for throwing a flashlight on normally unilluminated moments in relationships. The music goes through as many shifts as the lyrics do: quiet and introspective one moment, swirling and terrifying the next. But it's her self-consciousness that draws you into her intense world. Take Are You Still Mad?, in which she lists a whole bunch of things she did to a boyfriend, things that would annoy anyone interested in keeping his balls. Then she answers, of course you're still mad. Is that honesty? Is that condescension? Is that supposed former infatuation junkieness? All of the above.
Seven years ago, brothers Chris and Rich Robinson of Atlanta's Black Crowes fired their lead guitarist, brawled in the studio and emerged with an underrated masterpiece, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. Despite their label as Rolling Stones clones, the Crowes managed to blend churning Stones rhythms with huge Led Zep–style riffs. And their healthy obsession with R&B and gospel provided emotional punch. But on their next two albums they came across as a noodling, psychedelic jam band. In 1997 the Crowes again fired their lead guitarist, had the traditional brotherly punch-up in the studio and finally got their groove back. By Your Side (Columbia) is a funky return to form. Robinson's vocals sound thin as he competes with the raging guitars, and the tempos are a bit frantic. Still, it's a major step in the right direction. The Crowes' first four albums have been remixed and reissued as a boxed set, Sho' Nuff, with bonus tracks and a live EP. It's worth picking up just for Shake Your Moneymaker and The Southern Companion.
It's tempting to label Pearl Jam's Live on Two Legs (Epic) for fans only and marvel that it includes a version of Black, a great song the band rarely plays, and leave it at that. But this single disc of 16 songs, recorded on Pearl Jam's 1998 tour, also serves as the best introduction to its music. It draws attention to the rock-solid songs Eddie Vedder wrote, and highlights his drone, which functions as a third guitar to complement Stone Gossard's riffs and Mike McCready's leads. It establishes new drummer Matt Cameron (the fourth since 1991) as the band's steadiest and the most complementary to propulsive bassist Jeff Ament. More than anything, Pearl Jam live is a reminder that rock and roll is about freedom—the freedom to keep on Fuckin' Up, as expressed in its version of Neil Young's song.
On 1996's Odelay, Beck catapulted into platinum sales with a detached mix of hip-hop–sampling folk, and was lauded as a champion of postmodern irony and indirection. It's understandable, then, that his fans regard Mutations (DGC) as a throwaway. Postmodern it ain't. With Beck singing and playing over a gentle studio pickup band that rarely uses a synthesizer, this is folk-rock, pure and simple. It sounds as if he's keeping up with the times when folk roots are being reimagined all the way back to Woody Guthrie. The album's lyrics can get woozy and depressing, but the directness of its arrangements and song structures is comfortable, the way old forms are supposed to be. Postmodernists who know what's good for them will learn to enjoy it—even if it means consorting with the uncool.
Hip-hop albums have escalated their pretensions. A recent example is Timbaland's Tim's Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From da Bassment (Atlantic). Pretentious or not, the innovative producer and performer is on firm ground in the studio, where his multiple drumbeats and poly-rhythmic keyboards define the leading edge of commercial hip-hop and R&B. On these 18 tracks, his regular crew (Missy Elliott, Ginuwine and Aaliyah) make only guest appearances. But it's the new collaborations that excite. Nas works over Timbaland's beat on To My, while two rookie females, Mocha and Babe Blue, display skills on What Cha Know About This. The highlight is Lobster and Scrimp, a funky workout that Jay-Z laces with funny rhymes.
Ray Anderson has played wild-assed avant-garde trombone. So when he indulges his two guilty pleasures—blues and funk—he's used to breaking rules. On Funkorific (Enja), the hyperexpressive Anderson unveils his new Lapis Lazuli Band. It's a gem, starring avant-soul keyboardist Amina Claudine Myers and the overlooked guitarist Jerome Harris. Myers alternately preaches and seduces from the organ, and she purrs along with the leader's growling vocals on songs about overactive minds (Monkey Talk) and middle-aged love (Damaged But Good).
On Looking Back: A Retrospective (DCC), the Dixie Hummingbirds remind us that they invented group harmony as we know it. Ira Tucker's lead vocals influenced Bobby Bland, Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder. Guitarist Howard Carroll has been called gospel's answer to B.B. King. On these 15 tracks, including Christian Automobile, Our Prayer for Peace and When the Dollar Rules the Pulpit, you'll never hear greater gospel.
E-mail addicts will appreciate the convenience of Sharp's new TelMail TM-20, a palm-sized gadget that lets you send and receive messages of up to 4000 characters from the road—no phone jacks required. Here's how the TM-20 works: Just hold the TelMail unit against the handset of any touch-tone phone (as demonstrated in the photo inset). Then dial a toll-free number and wait a few seconds while a series of acoustic signals sends and receives messages and delivers faxes. The device doubles as an organizer with a calendar and address book. The price: $150, plus $9.95 per month, which covers the cost of a personal e-mail address and all transmissions, including messages forwarded from Internet or America Online accounts.
A computer program stands accused of illegally practicing law in Texas. Yes, you read that right. A subcommittee of the Texas Supreme Court is suing Parsons Technology, the publisher of Quicken Family Lawyer, under a Depression-era law meant to protect lawyers from unaccredited competitors. Self-help legal-aid software is a burgeoning $10 million a year industry that the court views as a threat to traditional means of counsel. But Lone Star lawyers may have met their match: Berkeley, California–based Nolo Press (a company whose motto is "Don't feed the lawyers. Just say Nolo.") has been notified that its product, Living Trust Maker, is also under review and is facing a similar unauthorized-practice lawsuit. Nolo, whose Web site, nolo.com, features 20 categories of lawyer jokes along with plenty of useful legal information, went directly to the Texas Supreme Court and filed a countersuit. The case is pending, and we're laughing.
In the battle to create the world's smallest computer, IBM recently unveiled its edge—a fully functioning unit housed in stereo headphones. The device combines a hip pack containing a 233-megahertz processor, a one-inch hard drive and a battery. But the kicker is a color liquid crystal display that's no bigger than a postage stamp. It's attached to the headphones and positioned on a thin arm that wraps around the front of the face. The LCD is so close to your eye that, despite its size, it's like viewing a 26-inch monitor. Wisely, the hardware surrounding it is translucent, which helps you to see where you're going when you're not computing. Voice-recognition software lets you tell the PC what to do via a microphone in the headset. There is also a small Track Point controller if you find yourself at a loss for words. And there are no compatibility problems. This mobile wonder runs Windows 98 and all that software. IBM expects it to be on sale in Japan late this year but has no word yet on the name, the price or when it will arrive Stateside.
A technology called MP3 has music fans more eager than ever to nab tunes off the Internet. Though the actual downloading process is time-consuming, MP3 software shrinks audio files to as little as a twelfth of their original size while maintaining near-CD-quality sound. The downloaded music will take up less hard-drive space and can be transferred (via parallel port cable) to new portable and car stereo MP3 players. The first portable MP3 unit is Diamond Multimedia's Rio PMP 300 ($200), a pager-sized personal stereo that boasts no moving parts. The Rio saves about an hour's worth of tunes internally and uses removable flash-memory cards for additional storage. Samsung has introduced its own portable MP3 unit, as have a slew of lesser-known companies. Now for the controversy: The Recording Industry Association of America fears MP3 will be a boon for pirates and is fighting it. To help ease the way, Diamond Multimedia has agreed to add copyright protection to its Rio units. That way owners can download music but won't be able to duplicate their recordings.
Careless Love (Little, Brown) is the second and final volume of Peter Guralnick's biography of Elvis. In the first, 1994's Last Train to Memphis, Guralnick depended on interviews with people who knew the American pop icon; their memories enliven the narrative. Careless Love relies on the many as-told-to books that have been written about Presley and suffers from the sordid and claustrophobic tone of most of them. Guralnick's original intention was to write a book that would serve as an antidote to Albert Goldman's 1981 Elvis, which was informed by contempt for its subject. Last Train appealed because it was the story of the rise of a poor but honest and decent boy. It must have been a joyless pursuit for Guralnick to compile testimony for the current volume, which presents Presley as a child molester, an inveterate adulterer, a weaver of homicidal plots, a coward who attacks women and sucker punches his closest friends, and a drug addict. The last charge, at least, is open to question but isn't questioned by the author. Many of Guralnick's sources—including Presley's doctor George Nichopoulos—are familiar to me. He quotes as authoritative James Cole and Charles Thompson's deeply flawed and sensationalized book The Death of Elvis: What Really Happened. A large number of people, each with his own ambitions, have insisted that Presley's death was caused by polypharmacy. But the facts—the position of the body, the amounts and kinds of drugs found in the body—don't support that conclusion. Presley's impact on popular music was profound, and his life was tragically unfulfilled. Sam Phillips, Elvis' first record producer, said at the time of Elvis' death, "I think it's entirely possible to die of a broken heart, and I think that was a contributing factor." In the end, Guralnick has made it even more difficult for us to see the real man.
Balzac! Zola! Dickens! Wolfe? Ever since Tom Wolfe's second novel, A Man in Full (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was published last November, critics have busied themselves assessing whether Wolfe is America's most astute social critic—and whether his novelistic achievements are equal to those we have singled out with Wolfian exclamation points. Does the book have substantial and enduring artistic merits or is it merely an entertainment of a high order? Certainly, Wolfe is our most adept observer of social behavior from the Sixties through the Nineties. He has now focused his genius forcomic realism on our precarious condition. A Man is magnificent. This sprawling book is nominally about Atlanta, race and real estate, but it is really about the state of America as we approach the millennium. But interestingly—and confounding to those who dismissed Bonfire of the Vanities as brilliant but mean-spirited—Wolfe has added compassion to this story. And that makes his literary flourishes and stylistic pyrotechnics seem all the more real and dazzling.
If you were hoping to see the private side of Michael Jordan, you won't find very much of it in David Halberstam's Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made (Random House). The most famous sports figure (perhaps the most famous person) in the world has kept his personal life to himself, either to preserve a last vestige of privacy or simply to save his innermost self for his own retirement autobiography. Halberstam, the consummate American postwar cultural reporter, pursues Jordan relentlessly, using the if-you-won't-tellme-anything-I'll-interview-everybody-who-ever-knew-you method of journalism. The result is an exhaustive study of the concentric circles of Michael's life, a journey that gives more insight into the Jerrys (Reinsdorf and Krause), Davids (Falk and Stern), coaches (Dean Smith, Doug Collins, Phil Jackson) and teammates (Rodman, Pip-pen, Kukoc) than it does into Jordan. The closest that Halberstam gets to his subject is in his descriptions of Michael's white-hot competitiveness—whether on a basketball court, baseball diamond or golf course or in a card game. It's a competitiveness that can be vengeful, even cruel. But if you've watched Michael play, observing him closely, you already know that. Halberstam delivers much of Michael's world but not enough of the man.
It sounds implausible. A 26-year-old writer has his novel rejected by 70 American publishers. Then, while playing guitar one cold day on a bridge in Paris, he meets the daughter of a prestigious French publisher. After his novel receives critical acclaim in Europe, the writer finds an American publisher and, no doubt, a lucrative Hollywood deal. That's what has happened to Tristan Egolf. Lord of the Barnyard (Grove)—his debut novel, initially deemed unworthy of the American market—is occasionally turgid and awkward. The writing can be labored. But Egolf rewards diligent readers with a mock epic of events in Baker, a small corn-belt town. Barnyard is a darkly comic tale of lawlessness and brigandage set in motion by a garbage strike. It details the Job-like series of catastrophes, bad breaks and raw deals visited upon John Kaltenbrunner, who heroically leads disenfranchised trash collectors in a devastating work stoppage. Midwestern piety and virtue are revealed to be nothing more than hypocrisy and rot. With a ferocity reminiscent of Twain, Egolf unveils the townspeople of Baker as "a hysterical mob of naked apes and misanthropes." Featuring chaotic cast of river rats, poultry workers and sundry small-town troublemakers—various people stupefied by clockwork labor—Lord of the Barnyard is an impressive expression of the indomitable human spirit.
Four years ago, Pedram Salimpour, a sex researcher at Boston University School of Medicine, observed that many of his patients with sexual dysfunction—young, healthy men with no apparent physical or psychological traumas—had something else in common: Each had either slammed his penis against the seat or crossbar of a bike or had completed a long ride. Studies of the perineum, the area between the anus and the scrotum, showed that most of these impotent cyclists had a blocked or damaged cavernosal artery, which normally delivers blood to the penis.
When it comes to the stock market, there aren't many things a person can be sure of, but this is one of them: There is no way a company named the Globe.com was, is or probably ever will be worth $97 per share. Ditto for a long list of other so-called Internet stocks.
They come off at the worst times—you've committed to wearing a certain suit with a certain shirt, which now has a button missing. Postmodern man cannot rely on anyone to fix this problem for him. Learn the skill described above and finally set yourself free.
Anyone into boats knows that Magnum Marine yachts are the Ferraris of the water. Each boat is built to the buyer's specifications and costs a king's ransom (the kings of Spain and Sweden each own one). The crown jewel of Magnum's fleet (similar to the one above) is a 70-foot model powered by twin 1800-horsepower diesel engines. It can make the trip from North Miami Beach (where Magnums are built) to the Bahamas in about 45 minutes. The price is a cool $3.5 million, but since the average wait for one of these beauties is a year, you have time to save up. In comparison, the company's 44-foot model is a bargain at $714,000. No wonder Magnums are the choice for military interceptors and patrols worldwide, including the U.S. Coast Guard.
We know that many people guard their chili recipes—those that feature squirrel meat and other exotica. But here is a light chili variation that isn't authentic, but has gone over well when we've served it. In a large skillet, soften a diced onion in two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Brown a half pound each of ground turkey breast and ground turkey thigh. Cook at medium high for ten minutes—or until the turkey is cooked through. Stir in a heaping teaspoon each of ground coriander and ground cumin. Add two 15-ounce cans of cooked white beans—rinsed and drained—half of which you have mashed with a potato masher. Add four ounces of diced jalapeño peppers, two cups of chicken broth and two cups of corn kernels. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. Add four to six ounces of salsa (mild or medium, depending on your heat tolerance) and two tablespoons of a pepper sauce, such as Abode Sauce from American Spoon (800-222-5886). Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with quesadillas.
If you're visiting the Big Apple for a month or longer, consider checking into the Marmara-Manhattan extended-stay hotel. At 94th Street and Second Avenue, this 32-story hotel offers more than 100 handsome accommodations that range from studios to three-bedroom units. The mahogany-paneled lobby (left) opens onto a Japanese courtyard garden, and many of the rooms have views of the skyline and East River. Daily housekeeping and valet and breakfast services are available, along with a fitness room, health club privileges, laundry facilities and other amenities—including silverware and china. The monthly rate for a studio apartment (exclusive of tax) is $3750 to $4000—in a 30-day month, that's $125 to $133 a day. A $7250-per-month one-bedroom is $242 a day. (Cheaper one-bedrooms are available.) A two-bedroom is about $8000, or about $260 a day. And if you opt for the $13,000-a-month three-bedroom unit with a Jacuzzi, you'll pay only $433 a day. Call 212-427-3100, extension 80207 for more information. Annual rates are also available.
Even if you're not particularly fond of rice, you owe it to yourself to acquire a taste for Japan's national drink, sake—the beverage fermented from rice. One charm is that it packs a fairly substantial kick—it's allowed to have 12 percent to 20 percent alcohol by volume. Check out The Insider's Guide to Sake (Kodansha) by Philip Harper, the only foreign sake brewer in Japan. Harper explains why some sakes are served hot and others are cold, and includes tasting notes on over 100 brands, tips on how to decipher the labels and a list of bars and retailers that cater to sake acolytes.
"I'm most comfortable in Armani suits. There's a casual elegance about them that I like," says Ken Olin, who currently stars in the CBS drama LA Doctors. "How I dress is an extension of prep school by way of Los Angeles. Lately, I've discovered Tommy Bahama shirts, and I wear a lot of khakis, chinos, blue jeans and leather jackets—not biker ones, though I do have a couple of Chrome Hearts jackets." Olin does most of his shopping in Los Angeles, dropping by Frontrunners for workout clothes and Ron Herman's for chinos. But his favorite look is Levi's 501s with clogs. "It's a very low-key, chic thing," says Olin.
Oberhofer Hand-Crafted Computers. The company's Classic Series computer (pictured here) includes a mouse ($350), keyboard ($650) and 14" monitor ($3995). All models are carved from hardwoods and meticulously hand-finished. The result, say the folks at Oberhofer, "is a lasting tribute to the Bauhaus school of unified art and technology." The New York J. Peterman store. Along with vintage-inspired men's and women's apparel and unique gift items that resemble souvenirs of another era, there are one-of-a-kind memorabilia, such as a $25,000 bronze Babe Ruth plaza marker that once was outside Yankee Stadium. The store opened this past October in the newly refurbished Grand Central Station. The Cigar Directory. This comprehensive softcover lists the names, addresses and phone numbers of major cigar, cigarette and tobacco retailers and wholesalers state by state. You'll never again be stogieless in Yankton, South Dakota. Price: $19.95. Brooks Brothers Cellar. This new mail-order service ships two bottles of wine a month to customers in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts for a minimum of three months ($90 plus shipping). Plans are in the works to expand the sales of wine to 20 additional states. Passport 7500 Radar detector. Escort's newest model has some terrific features, including increased radar range, five laser sensors (four front and one rear) and an Auto Sensitivity mode that minimizes the number of false alarms. The unit sells for $230. A Smart Cord mute display for discreet visual alerts after dark is $29.95.
[Q] My girlfriend is turned off by dirty words. Once I told her, in the heat of passion, that I loved her beautiful ass. Another time I blurted out, "Fuck me!" In both instances she said I had ruined the moment. Can you suggest words we could use in bed that aren't too clinical or crude?—J.S., Manhattan, Kansas
Independent prosecutor Ken Starr testified last November before Congress. He was calm and articulate in his attack on President Clinton. He dismissed critics who charged him with abusing the power of his office. He was not the point man for a puritan agenda. Above all, his actions expressed his "reverence for the laws."
"In late July, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani began shutting down strip clubs, and over the next month, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 1500 points. In September, a court ruling gave some clubs a partial reprieve, whereupon the market began to recover. Last Wednesday, a strip club won another round in court, and the Dow surged 250 points the rest of the week. Mere coincidence? The last time a righteous mayor crusaded to close down strip joints, New York endured a long testosterone drought known as the Great Depression, and it took a world war to get the economy moving again. Fiorello LaGuardia thought those were just coincidences, too."
It's every lawyer's dream to come up with a new source of billable hours, and Jane Larson has come up with a doozy. She wants to reinvent common law to redress heartache. The University of Wisconsin law professor proposes a "tort of sexual fraud" that would enable men and women (mainly women) to sue ex-lovers for fraud when they feel jilted. "Feel" is the operative word here, for jilted women could charge fraud and collect damages whenever they felt they had traded sex or emotional commitment for a faded promise.
Independent counsel Kenneth Starr's impeachment investigation of President Clinton has set a dangerous precedent. There are currently six unelected independent counsels working in Washington, and they have become the most powerful people in the capital. They are also the most threatening. Following Starr's lead—and Congress' new attitude toward impeachment—any of them could refer alleged impeachable offenses about countless executive officers. But this potential for instability is only the newest and most egregious problem to develop under the troubled independent counsel law.
As a bonus for signing his most recent contract with Warner Bros., which produces his hit TV show, Drew Carey was given a Porsche, which he now uses for long-distance joyrides. But today, on the Warner Bros, lot, the constantly smiling, defiantly beer-bellied Carey, with his trademark buzz cut and horn-rims, is speeding along on manual power: He is temporarily in a wheelchair because of a minor foot injury—doctor's orders. The world may be safer when he's behind the wheel of the Porsche. He hurls himself around corners and careens down hallways.
My name is Jack Crabb, and in the middle of the last century I come West with my people in a covered wagon, at age ten went off with and was reared by Cheyenne Indians, given the name of Little Big Man, learned to speak their language, ride, hunt, steal ponies and make war, and, in part of my mind, to think like them. In my teen years I was captured by the U.S. Cavalry and went on to have many adventures and personal acquaintanceship with notables of the day and place like General George A. Custer, James B. "Wild Bill" Hickok, Wyatt Earp and many others, surviving General Custer's fight at the Little Bighorn River, which the Indians called Greasy Grass, the so-called Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Cindy Guyer, master of the come-hither-and-rip-my-bodice look and cover model for more than 2500 romance novels, waxes rhapsodic about life thus far: "I'm independent. I have a great family. My job calls for me to act out torrid love stories and portray strong women. How cool is that?" Pretty cool, considering that Guyer was discovered by a modeling agency when she was 14, while lunching with her parents. Two years later, she landed her first romance novel cover. Now 30, Guyer is a rising actress, an Internet presence (cindyguyer.com) and a matchmaker ("Four friends are married because of me," she says). What's missing from this fairy tale? A "Prince Charming," Guyer says. We predict a happy ending.
In less than a year, we're all going to have to adjust our mental clocks, so it's appropriate to think about time—and timepieces. Looking at the watches at left, you'll see but a few traces of the digital age. There's a reason the watch of the future looks like it could fit over your father's wrist. Digital readouts give a linear interpretation of time—the kind of thinking that gave us Y2K. Round faces, with their circular depiction of time, require a mature understanding of the fourth dimension. The modern man realizes that what goes around comes around—in all price ranges: At top left, you'll find the Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 Mars Watch ($2595). It has a red Kevlar strap, but the basic color scheme is silver and black. (The watch of the future does not come in gold!) From left to right: The titanium watch by Tissot has seven functions and costs $595. Then comes Heuer Monaco by TAG Heuer ($2300), a limited-edition timepiece with a square, water-resistant case. The Swatch Irony Scuba 200 is a water-resistant diving watch ($90) with an aluminum case. The Luminor watch from Panerai comes with two straps—one calfskin, one rubber ($2300). The Bulgari Aluminum watch also has a rubber bezel and rubber bracelet ($1400). Starting off the bottom row at left is Playboy's 45th Anniversary watch, a collector's item for the ages, made by Xemex ($495). Next, the Hemipode watch by Ikepod was conceived by interior designer Marc Newson ($3950). It has a monocoque case (one piece instead of many). The Seiko Kinetic watch is run by a small electric generator—it's charged every time you move your arm ($675). At bottom right is the Ventura watch ($3000). With a thick post and wide bezel, it works well on either the Washington or lunar shuttle.
It has happened before. American Graffiti, The Breakfast Club and Fast Times at Ridgemont High captured life on the brink of adulthood and launched careers. Now comes Go, the first slasherless and scream-free movie to showcase a group of young actors since Feeling Minnesota froze up at the box office. It's the work of director Doug Liman, whose Swingers was an influential anthem to road trips, martini culture and big band music. In Go the action revolves around three sets of actors and a drug deal gone bad. Perhaps its main achievement is throwing high-definition attention on a cast of young, easy-to-look-at actors who will be Most Likely to Succeed in the class of 2001. From Timothy Olyphant's Santa-hatted drug dealer to Scott Wolf's murderous soap opera actor, the roles double nicely as casting advertisements. Liman freely admits, "We spent more time casting than shooting—four and a half months." He poached such demo-graphically correct TV shows as Dawson's Creek and Party of Five while keeping an eye on indie films. "Go has two teenage girls as its leads. If we'd been willing to cast 30-year-olds playing 17, we could have cast it in a day."
Forty years ago, Rudolph Giuliani declared his intention to be the first Italian Catholic president of the United States. If we have learned any lesson from his life since then, it is that it's dangerous to laugh at what he says. Now, just a year before the 2000 primary season, New York's high-riding mayor is a frequently mentioned candidate for the Republican nomination for the White House. It's easy to scoff. After all, he's pro-choice and favors gun control and homosexual rights—and he once married his second cousin. But Giuliani, whose ambition is as raw and unrelenting as the city he governs, has never bowed to conventional wisdom. How else could a Republican rise to power in a city where Democrats rule by a five-to-one margin? And who would have thought that anyone could make Times Square a destination for families looking for good, clean fun? Part of the pleasure of watching Giuliani in action is wondering where his inner turmoil will send him next. He is a man to watch—and while you do, remember this: He knows how you should behave, and his ambition has always been to make people behave. To New Yorkers, Giuliani is Mother Superior with a nightstick, famous for his snarling tirades against beggars, cabdrivers and critics of his policies. On the road, he is the seductive Rudy Lite, charming unchallenging audiences with raspy-voiced mobster imitations (The Godfather is his favorite film) and boasting about New York's economic revival, the 70 percent decline in murders and how The Lion King has replaced hookers and dope dealers as the main attraction on 42nd Street. The story of New York's renaissance has been suggested in headlines such as America's Safest City and Comeback City, and Giuliani is often hailed as a miracle worker. But New Yorkers see a city where, despite many improvements, life remains difficult for the poor and the middle class, with crumbling schools, filthy subways and sky-high rents. New Yorkers also see a mayor who believes that his way is the only way, who woos friends by making enemies, who once defined freedom as "the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it." In New York, lawful authority is otherwise known as Rudy's Rules. He is a man of many contradictions: a Republican who grew up worshiping the Kennedys, a scolding advocate of civility who delights in verbally bludgeoning foes, a self-professed reformer who pads the city's payroll with cronies and relatives, a self-proclaimed antipolitician who has been stoking political dreams since high school, an often dour suit who never looked happier than the night he dressed for a charity show as Marilyn Monroe, complete with blonde wig, tight dress and cigar. Giuliani has been remarkably consistent across his 54 years: smart, shrewd and ferociously devoted to his own rise. If that means betraying his political (continued on page 106)Rudolph Giuliani(continued from page 89) party, so be it, as he did when he endorsed New York Governor Mario Cuomo for reelection in 1994 over his own party's nominee, George Pataki. If that means trashing someone who does not agree with him, so much the better. When General Barry McCaffrey, Clinton's drug czar, questioned Giuliani's opposition to using methadone to treat heroin addicts, the mayor called the war hero "a disaster."
Alexandria Karlsen is used to the fast track. She grew up in Mesa, Arizona and started reading before she was four. At the age of 11 Lexie would devour a Stephen King novel in one sitting. At 15 she edited her school's newspaper and wrote columns for three local papers, and at 18 she earned a license to deal in mutual funds (that's her on the trading floor, above). She also found time to show off the other side of her beauty-and-brains equation, by sending her photos to Playboy. Clearly, her stock is on the rise.
It's time to put Mark McGwire and baseball up on the shelf next to Neil Armstrong and NASA. It's the same shelf that Orson Welles perched on after Citizen Kane, the one Robert Plant reached after Stairway to Heaven, the one Dustin Hoffman was taking the bus to, with Katharine Ross at his side, at the end of The Graduate. It's the what-can-you-possibly-do-for-an-encore shelf. And, thanks to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, it's the new home of Baseball 1999: the Season of the Home Run Hangover.
Although the tale of Bruce Springsteen recording Nebraska in his bedroom is legend among musicians, the four-track technology he used in the early Eighties is prehistoric compared with the home recording gear available today. "It's like comparing the Niña, Pinta and Santa María with the space shuttle," says Playboy music critic Dave Marsh. Of course, the concept of home studios isn't new; Marsh cites Les Paul, Pete Townshend, Todd Rundgren and Prince as pioneers. But thanks to digitally driven hardware and prices that are falling faster than Hootie on the charts, even starving artists are exploring do-it-yourself territory. Folk-punk princess Ani DiFranco is probably the biggest DIY success story, having made a mint producing her own music for the past eight years—and snagging a Rolling Stone cover in the process. On a smaller scale, Preston Klik, leader of My Scarlet Life, has cut five CDs from the studio he assembled in the bedroom of his Chicago loft. The band (think Garbage meets Portishead) took a traditional route with its first CD, renting a small studio and working with an industry friend who cut them a lot of slack. "But we still spent more money than we could possibly recoup," admits Klik. So, he did what any inspired musician in the Nineties would do, break out the plastic. "I wouldn't have been selling records for the past six years if I hadn't done it," he says. Indeed, making the investment—even with ridiculous interest rates—can be both economical and smart for fledgling bands. For the same $5000 to $15,000 you'd spend on studio time to cut a 60-minute CD, you can buy your setup and produce multiple discs, à la My Scarlet Life. There's also the creative advantage of being on your own clock. If you're inspired at three in the morning, you can power up your equipment and lay down a track. "You have to think and listen differently," says Klik. "I'm a musician, but owning gear means I've had to become an engineer and develop an objective ear for my own music." To shorten the learning curve, Klik recommends that prospective DIYers pick up Golden Ears, a five-CD course on how to hear music. "And read everything you can get your hands on." Magazines such as Recording and Electronic Musician not only offer tips on buying and operating the latest hardware but often share the production techniques and tricks behind Billboard's latest hits as well. Most important, be prepared to go on the road. Most do-it-yourself bands sell the bulk of their CD inventories at live performances. "We get in our vans and drive from one gig to the next to build our fan base and sell our music," says Klik. And consider the Internet. Unsigned bands can sell self-produced CDs from their home pages; they don't need a record label or a music superstore. In fact, given the low overhead of DIY artists, and the Net's growth, Marsh predicts a future in which David Geffen is replaced on the Forbes 400 list "by someone who actually knows how to make music."
We first talked to Sinn Féin's president Gerry Adams a decade ago. Northern Ireland was then a battle zone in a war that had waged for nearly 1000 years to decide who would rule all of Ireland. The British who had once dominated had seen their control reduced to the province of Ulster. And for the past 30 years the tenacious Irish Republican Army has tried desperately to drive them out of this last bastion of the empire.
Clothing is on Carson Daly's mind. The host of MTV's music and interview show Total Request Live recently told Liz Smith, "Today I'm hot, tomorrow I'm ice, ice, baby. Always be prepared to go back to working the counter at the Gap." One of 1998's sexiest men, according to People, Daly wears his modesty well. It has helped his Q quotient among many guys who would otherwise shoot their TV sets in envy: He's 25 and good-looking, and has been linked romantically with the edible Jennifer Love Hewitt. He's equally charming on the set of a fashion shoot. When he was a DJ at KROQ-FM all he wore were swag T-shirts—giveaways from record companies—and boxer shorts. "Being on the radio is like being grounded in your room," he says. "You wear anything you want and play loud music." It's not that he doesn't like dressing up. Recently he purchased a Hugo Boss suit. "My grandfather was a menswear tailor in Los Angeles. The first thing I learned about fashion was how to hang pants." He's a natural in the English-cut suit ($1895) at near right. It has a subtle stripe and is matched with a cotton dress shirt ($175) and satin tie ($115). The ensemble is by Ralph Lauren Purple Label. At left, Daly likes the "downtown preppy" look of the leather jacket ($995) and cashmere sweater ($385) from Barneys New York. The white T-shirt is from Banana Republic ($16) and the dark jeans are by Helmut Lang ($135). The Jil Sander suit ($2110) at far right lends Daly a slick Euro-hip style. The black shoes are by Johnston & Murphy. The cashmere sweater is by Ralph Lauren Purple Label ($495). The cotton T-shirt is from Ralph Lauren Underwear ($20).
Forgive us, Father, for we men know not what we do when Lauryn Hill jumps on the scene. Yes, Lord, she is that fine. I can swear that it's the same in person as it is on video: Lauryn Hill gives great face. Her dark, almond-shaped eyes are beyond seductive. Her lips, when slightly pursed, seem capable of mouthing anything you are capable of imagining. And her muscular legs—like those of an Alvin Ailey dancer—belie the limits of her petite frame. She is the queen of her hill.
Twenty-five years from now, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, the 1999 inductees, built their careers over missteps and time. Paul McCartney became a star in a band whose first several releases failed in North America. Today, the Beatles would not be able to buy an American record contract. Springsteen's first two albums flopped, with sales of less than 200,000 between them. Then he refused his record company's demand to go to Nashville and record with a different band. These days, that would sink him for being a prima donna. After his first album, Joel went to California to play piano in a cocktail lounge. He managed to find another record contract a year later. Today, he'd be marked "No Sales." Those were hardly glory days, but at least the music business of the Sixties and Seventies paid more than lip service to the idea that talent takes development. Today, the music industry snatches artists as young as 14 or 15, has them generate a hit or two, then tosses them aside when their sales falter. Who needs to foster a bunch of superstars who, get paid for their work and often take their time making it? And who knows how to sell a performer without teen appeal anyhow?
Over the years, a lot of musicians have identified themselves as boys: Beach Boys. Boyz II Men. Boy George. But only Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch have called themselves boys twice—Beastie being an acronym for Boys Entering Anarchistic States Toward Internal Excellence. The Beastie Boys can stake a claim not just to redundancy but also to twice the boyhood of all the other boys who play rock and roll.
It is just another night at the office for Kiss. The band is in the middle of its latest tour: Lasers cut through smoky air while giant screens project Gene Simmons' enormous tongue in gory 3D glory. The true test of any band is onstage and Kiss knows it. They churn through Love Gun, Detroit Rock City and Rock and Roll All Nite. The band whose albums Alive! and Destroyer were emblematic of the Seventies is blowing the roof off the Nineties.
The music consumer is a giant monster that eats itself. We tend to fill up on something—say an all-women concert series like Lilith—and half an hour later we're hungry for something else. Strong music did come along this year—from deejays in clubs and Fugee power to the new kings of swing. But will they last? Each has put something together out of scraps. Each has tapped into older forms and recycled them into something new. The hottest concert ticket was Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan—who would have guessed a year ago? Or that the Stones could replay the States for up to $300 a ticket on a tour that lasted for more than a year?
Below is 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 26, 35–36, 80–81, 108–109, 112–113, 132 and 167, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
New Year's Eve 1999 will be a spectacular time for parties and a dreadful time for making reservations. Because major hotels worldwide are already booked for the big night, use Plan B and consider resort getaway packages with one price that covers accommodations (and in some cases, meals and multiple nights of fun). Since this is the only millennial blowout we'll see, let's think high end. Virgin Gorda's Bitter End Yacht Club in the Caribbean still has openings for a nine-night package that's $10,800 for double occupancy. Long Bay Beach Resort's ten-night bash on Tortola is a comparative bargain at $4499 per person. At Couples, Jamaica's all-inclusive resort for adults, the seven-night party costs $5000 for a twosome, including transportation to its private, clothing-optional island. New Year's Eve in Rio is always over the top, but the Reveillon 2000 festival promises to go way over. A seven-night stay at the Copacabana Palace on the beach begins at $4200 per room. New York's Rihga Royal hotel beats that with a $10,000 per couple package that includes the penthouse suite, breakfast in bed and more. At Philadelphia's Park Hyatt, a three-day fete, including a Night in Vienna feast, is about $2000 per couple. Two nights in a suite at New Orleans' Windsor Court Hotel costs $2000 per couple. Another Big Easy hotel, Le Meridian, offers a $5000 per couple Mardi Gras Extravaganza that lasts three nights. The Venice–Simplon Orient Express (above) departs from Paris for a six-day journey to Venice and Portofino for $16,500 per person. Finally, the superluxe Silversea line offers 15- and 16-day sailings from Tahiti to New Zealand, and from Australia to Tahiti aboard its sister ships, the Silver Cloud and the Silver Wind. The ships will link up on Fiji and then sail across the international date line to celebrate the millennium again. Cruise prices start at $30,195 per person.