Holy Satan! Metallica hasn't set off this many fireworks since James Hetfield was nearly burned to a crisp onstage. The biggest band in the world, Metallica did everything--toured with Guns n' Roses, made edgy albums with mass appeal, survived a founding member's death, sold 48 million records, shit-canned spandex and even cut their hair. Then they sued Napster, and their well-deserved reputation of fan-friendly accessibility took a big hit. This month's Playboy Interview by Rob Tannenbaum--the centerpiece of our best-ever music issue--is a head-banging read. It's also the last interview with this incarnation of Metallica. In January, bassist Jason Newsted quit. In the other ring of our rock-and-roll circus are the kids who captured the zeitgeist and taught the world about file swapping. Napster attracted 38 million users in its first 18 months. With In the Eye of Napster's Storm, Junior Editor Timothy Mohr takes us back to marathon code-writing sessions with Jordan Ritter--one of founder Shawn Fanning's two right-hand men--who confesses that he met Fanning when they were part of a secret hacker group.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478). April 2001, Volume 48, 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 (312-751-8000); West Coast: SD Media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575): Southeast: Bentz & Maddock Inc., 5180 Roswell Road, Suite 102, South Building, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-256-3800): For subscription inquiries, Call 800-999-4438.
Everclear's Art Alexakis had alt-rock credibility problems. He was 33 when the group began scoring hits in 1995, too old to pass as a grunge kid. The hits, most notably Santa Monica and Father of Mine, seemed suspiciously tuneful to purists. Alexakis had seen enough life to want durability--the kind only strong song-writing makes possible. The two-volume Songs From an American Movie (Capitol) is not only his bid for the brass ring, but also for credibility. Sold separately, Vol. One: Learning How to Smile is candid pop that downplays loud guitars, while Vol. Two: Good Time for a Bad Attitude rages along with the bad boys. The pop record is more believable. The rock songs are skillful, but lack the immediacy of Learning, which is about a marital breakup. The most memorable performances here are The Good Witch of the North, a tribute to his new fiancée, and Rock Star, about how much he wanted to be one. Robert Christgau
Patrice Leconte is a filmmaker of unlimited surprises, capable of sheer charm (Hairdresser's Husband) and sensuous fantasy (Girl on the Bridge). His latest, The Widow of Saint-Pierre (Lions Gate), can only be called an oddity. Juliette Binoche has the title role, as a spirited woman who lives on the Canadian island of Saint-Pierre in the mid-1800s with her husband (Daniel Auteuil), the captain of a regiment and something of a free spirit himself. When a convicted murderer (Emir Kusturica) is sentenced to Auteuil's prison because the community has neither a guillotine nor an executioner, his wife takes him under her wing, upsetting the French governor and his cronies. An interesting look at eccentricity and the irony of politics, Widow of Saint-Pierre never catches fire, but with a strong cast and a tangible sense of time and place, it's interesting to watch.[rating]2-1/2 bunnies[/rating]
"My mind is overloaded with these great movies I've seen since I was a boy," says actor Tony Curtis. "The Charlie Chaplin films, Errol Flynn in Robin Hood, Spartacus and Citizen Kane. There were a couple of movies from the Thirties that I loved--Things to Come with Raymond Massey and The Man Who Could Work Miracles. Then there was The Man in the White Suit and Tight Little Island. Each film has a moment in it that makes you become its fan. Like in Mermaids, when Winona Ryder is crossing herself and Cher walks by and says, 'We're Jewish.'"
My First Boss, a man by the name of Mike, was in charge of what were then called copyboys at a major Chicago newspaper. Mike was a short, tough, hard-drinking guy who looked like a bulldog and expected to be obeyed without any arguments.
A college friend invited me to come along on a weekend boat trip. I grabbed my bikini and we drove to a lake in a van with four guys she knew. When we arrived, there were about 30 boats tied together on the water. After about two hours, a guy grabbed a bullhorn and announced it was time for Raise the Flag. Everyone climbed over the boats to a stage that was built from two pontoons. Four guys volunteered to have strings tied around their waists with flags that draped down over their crotches. They also had their hands tied behind their backs. Four girls then climbed onstage and paired off with the guys. The women yanked down the guys' swim trunks and were handed bottles of oil to rub on themselves and anywhere on their partners except their cocks and balls. Prizes were awarded each time a flag was raised. Two guys also won $100 when they allowed the women to measure their erections. The game continued on various boats. My girlfriend had a tape measure, so we both got our hands on a few penises. At one point I watched the guys bring my friend to orgasm with their hands, and I found myself getting very turned on. I touched only one guy, and he was the only guy who touched me. We've talked on the phone a few times since, and now I'm torn between going on the next trip and wanting to be with him. Any suggestions?--A.R., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The sexual revolution is raging on--in the classroom. On one side are parents who want schools to prepare their children for the modern world. On the other side are those who equate ignorance with innocence, who feel that schools should teach abstinence, not sex.
The sex manual is alive and well and selling like hotcakes on the Internet. Amazon has no less than seven sex best-seller lists covering topics such as pornography, erotica, psychology, fetishes and instruction. We purchased the five manuals with the highest overall sales to evaluate the state of popular sexpertise.
I needed a prop for a college debate with a women's studies professor, someone who had earned her Ph.D. critiquing the world of adult entertainment. A T-shirt bearing the slogan Everything I Know I Learned From Porn seemed just the thing. Here are a few of the things it's taught me:
It is one of those facts, like Washington crossing the Delaware and Lincoln freeing the slaves, that American children learn the instant they are weaned: Sun Records of Memphis, Tennessee is the birthplace of rock and roll. It's important because rock and roll--or, to call it by its current signature, rock--was the dominant pop music style of the 20th century, and seems to be storming boldly into the 21st on the broad backs of Creed and Limp Bizkit and Blink-182. Knowing that Sun Records is the birthplace of rock allows us to trace the roots of its many flowerings, of Hanky Panky and Wooly Bully, of Oingo Boingo and Chumbawumba and the Blues Magoos (and of the many songs and bands that cannot boast of an internal rhyme scheme). Just as important, it allows us to trace the origins of the broader rock lifestyle--the traditions of trashing hotel rooms and dating supermodels and using hair to display personal or political leanings. Scratch Lenny Kravitz, scratch Rob Thomas, scratch Melissa Etheridge, and you'll find Sun Records DNA.
Its a kind of national holiday. College students, whether they deserve the break or not, pack their swimwear and sunscreen and head south to cast shadows on the beach and express themselves exuberantly. We at Playboy have been joining the festivities for many years now. This time, we visited three of the liveliest spring break destinations: Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Cancun, Mexico; and Panama City, Florida. We found sun worshipers, beach bums and students who showed no inclination toward sleep. Some of them found renewal along a stretch of beach, while others cracked beers by the pool with hundreds of new friends. We met many lovely girls and took their pictures. We were struck by the thought that if these kids could apply this sort of intensity toward their schoolwork, they all might graduate summa cum laude. But that, of course, would spoil the fun. We're overthinking this. Spring break must remain a vigorously celebrated holiday, a goal unto itself.
Episcopal Bishop John Spong grew up in the same Charlotte, North Carolina neighborhood as evangelist Billy Graham. Spong recalls that the older kid down the street found Bob Jones University insufficiently conservative, so he transferred to an even more fundamentalist Bible college. Spong's ecclesiastical career took a different path. He has come to be known as one of the country's most liberal religious leaders, outspoken in his advocacy of women and gay people in church life and of rethinking traditional attitudes toward much of Christian theology.
Warm weather brings out the hang loose in all of us. So the last thing you want to do is worry about clothes. Relax. With a few essentials you can put together a versatile summer wardrobe that's both sharp and comfortable. A new suit, with soft lines and dropped shoulders, makes elegance easy to wear. A pair each of jeans and khakis allow lots of versatility. Couple any of these items with a colorful button-front shirt or polo. Add a sweater or suede jacket to an outfit based on jeans or khakis. Pick out a signature pair of shades and you're done, right? Not so fast. You can still ruin it all with the wrong shoes. Two pairs should see you through any occasion. Lace on some nice leather shoes with jeans and a polo and--abracadabra--you look well put together. Or slip on some suede shoes or bright sneakers to dress down. And don't forget to finish with a fresh summer fragrance.
1 Born Adam Spiegel, heir to the catalog empire, he chucked the silver spoon and renamed himself after Spike Jones, the World War II--era bandleader famous for (All I Want for Christmas Is) My Two Front Teeth.
If Katie Lohmann gives you warm feelings of déjà vu, take another look at this issue's Spring Break pictorial for more of Miss April. Our Desert Rose, who hails from Scottsdale, Arizona, jumped at the chance to spread spring fever. "Playboy put me on this tiny airplane and flew me to Lake Havasu City, Arizona," she says. "We were topless on a houseboat, and these guys were hooting while the photographers were trying to take our pictures. The girls watching us didn't think we were that great."
Josephine Byron chased me all through college. Nobody could figure this out, not her friends, not mine, not the fratboys who watched her wag across the wide lawns of our school. She was one of those women invariably referred to as striking, a great big get-a-load-of-that: gleaming black hair, tulipy curves. Snow White refigured, made warmer, more voluptuous. She was also utterly convinced of herself, her good taste in clothing and men, her beauty and her intellect, which she unfurled in earnest, vaguely Marxist jeremiads while the rest of us gazed at her lips.
Naked. Bikes. If ever two words belonged together, lost sight of the obvious. In the dim past, all motorcycles were performance machines--there was not a forced choice between these do. The phrase captures the exposed muscle, the evident arousal, the cruiser and rocket racer, between Harley and high tech, between curb appeal and competitive performance. And yet, over bare-ass challenge of hard metal. In the past few years, designers have the years the bike market evolved into two camps, each with its virtues, each with its downside. Take sport bikes. Aerodynamic reassessed the motorcycle and returned to basic truths. We like power, We like and sleek, these dazzling fiberglass shells dance and weave around grand prix courses and superbike race tracks. But they're power made visible. Naked bikes are just that. It makes us wonder why we ever about as personal as billboards, a place to stick logos and sponsors. Beautiful, and certainly efficient, but they don't reveal immediately what the bike will do. Consumers who flocked to cruisers love to polish and exhibit every item on their bike, from billet this to custom that. Unfortunately, you could pour 60 grand into a chopper and still be left in the dust on a twisty canyon road. Bikes are more than neat sculptures propped on a kickstand--they are instruments that let you leave the world behind. Naked bikes have emerged as the answer to our prayers.
Matt Pinfield is the host of Farmclub.com, the music show that mixes established acts with greener-than-pot garage bands who have uploaded their demos to the Internet. He's the biggest music tan on the planet. He is an encyclopedia of bands, albums and lyrics. While some critics lament the bankrupt music scene, Pinfield prefers to see his shot glass as half full. He seeks out--and finds--acts worth listening to. Then he gushes about them. Pinfield has been called a kiss-ass but he doesn't care. "I'm not afraid to tell bands like their work," he says. "I'm a fan. I'm not crying to make a name for myself by being a smartass, which is what a lot of critics do. If you're going to put yourself out there, people are gonna take a swing at you. Fuck it, man, I'll just stand back up. I'm having fun. I love what I do."
You have seen Jackass and Crocodile Hunter, but you haven't seen anything like the best of Japanese TV strangeness. The Japanese government has cracked down on the most-sadistic game shows, an any of the variety programs stocked with giggling, topless cuties have been canceled. But some of the most outrageous scenes have been preserved in underground video compilations such as Japanarama: Psycho TV From Japan.
What do Johnny Cash, Roger Waters and Jimi Hendrix have in common? They've all been covered by Nelust Wyclef Jean, the improbable crossover king and fusion visionary. As a member of the Fugees with Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel Michel, Wyclef upped hip-hop's musicality on 1996's The Score, which sold more than 6 million copies. As a successful solo artist, he's continued to play the maverick. While rap headed back into the Terrordome with Eminem and Jay-Z barking over beats, in late 2000 Wyclef dropped his second solo album into the mainstream. Like its multiplatinum predecessor, The Carnival, Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book is a dense, layered and playful disc. While other rap stars sell instant millions and flame out, Wyclef's albums have a way of racking up sales slowly by word of mouth. If the hip-hop audience that rushes to buy the latest tough-mouthed talent to bounce off the asphalt can't quite adjust to Clef's balance of rap and music, no matter. He's making music to outlast trends.
When college kids listen to music these days, they don't talk about how cool a band is. Sure, they may say Radiohead verges on greatness--and they may even go online to download a Radiohead B-side for the arty chick down the hall. But their true awe and admiration are reserved for the guys who made it possible to get that song, for the guys who invented Napster, a technology that captures the anarchic spirit of rock itself.
In Las Vegas, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is where the cool kids sin the most. Everything about the place--from its guitarshaped sign to its Mexican restaurant, the Pink Taco--oozes sex and rock and roll. Pull up to the Hard Rock's entrance and you'll hear Guns n' Roses' Paradise City--or some other favorite. Inside, hundreds of beautiful women sip cocktails at the circular bar, stack chips at the piano-shaped roulette tables, shake their asses at Baby's nightclub and groove to live music in the Joint. Upstairs, the hotel room doorknob signs read I HEAR YOU KNOCKING BUT YOU CAN'T COME IN. Then there are the women who work at the place. Subscribing to the theory that the prettier the help, the happier the patrons, Hard Rock entrepreneur Peter Morton has hired NBA dancers, homecoming queens and aspiring actresses to sling drinks. Like every casino in Vegas, the Hard Rock boasts its share of sugar daddies. But here they're high rollers named Dennis Rodman, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Kiefer Sutherland and Kid Rock.
Brooke Burke--You've seen the host of the E Channel's Wild on Whooping It Up in New Orleans, South Beach and Russia. Bet you've never seen her like this. An all-nude pictorial to get you up and partying