In Curse of the Double Eagle,Bryan Christy investigates the biggest coin bust in modern history, which involved an iconic--and illegal--1933 gold piece. "When I first got wind of the story," he says, "it bothered me that the U.S. Mint could partner with a smuggler to sell a coin it claimed was stolen from its own vault. But the pull of this coin is amazingly strong. People with every reason not to get involved just couldn't resist helping themselves to their little piece of the pie." Christy found himself in a shady, little-known underworld. "The dusty coin dealer's shop is a back door to an incredible world. Millionaires, mobsters and men preparing for divorce all come to the door."
Playboy's 50th anniversary party at the New York State Armory was like a scene from a 1930s MGM musical, including a giant cake with dancing Bunnies, Femlin cocktail waitresses, VIP areas inspired by the Big Bunny and, of course, a dance-floor grotto.
Bada-bing indeed. The Sopranos has always found fresh lookers for Tony's wandering eye, and in several new episodes Allison Dunbar handles that chore as the wife of a Miami crime boss. "It's the whole mob life," Allison says. "White pumps, lots of hair. She's classic." She's also a far cry from the actress herself, who grew up in mobster-light Delaware. "When I got the audition I thought, Oh god, what do I do? I ran over to my friend's house in New Jersey. She whipped out gold necklaces and a leopard-print bra, and I made my hair really big. And it worked." Getting into character can lead to awkward moments, however, especially if you played a porn star on Comedy Central's Strip Mall. "For that audition I hemmed up a dress to about eight inches. When I pulled into a gas station I was hearing catcalls and 'How much, honey?'" Obviously those wolves didn't know that Allison is married to Boston Bruins defenseman Sean O'Donnell, who made one recent Miami trip memorable. "We were in a store," Allison says, "and they had decks of cards with pictures of naked guys. So at the hotel at two A.M., we slipped one under each suite door. That's when I realized I'm with the right guy."
I drive a lot for my job, which is stressful. A friend suggested I touch myself to relieve the tension. I tried it, but it got a little dangerous, because as I rubbed my clit through my panties I stiffened my steering arm and wanted to close my eyes. During one trip I was eating an apple when I got an idea. I put it on the seat between my legs and started moving my hips in a circular motion. I got so turned on I couldn't concentrate. I pulled into a rest stop and rode the apple to an incredible orgasm. When I told my friend about it, he asked if I then finished the apple. Yes, I did. It was warmer and softer but still good. What do you think?
As the 2004 presidential primaries march past, it's clear that our electoral process is corrupt. In fact, the corruption is deeper and more troubling than we've acknowledged publicly, having spread into war making and war profiteering, unpatriotic trespasses that should be central to the debates this year.
Ken Leonard, president of the educational-software company Ignite, wasn't sure where his business partner was. When Playboy contacted Leonard with questions about the company he runs with Neil Bush (President Bush's brother is CEO and chairman of the one-person board), he didn't know his boss was in Almaty, Kazakhstan, meeting with Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev to discuss plans for remaking that country's educational system. "Is this a joke?" Leonard asked.
In the book Sexual Rights in America, published last year, scholars recount the blackmail of Alexander Hamilton, who was married (and secretary of the Treasury) at the time: "According to Hamilton's own account, during the summer of 1791 an attractive young lady presented herself at his home in Philadelphia. Maria Reynolds told Hamilton a sad tale of physical abuse and abandonment by her husband. She asked Hamilton for a small loan. According to Hamilton, when he delivered the money, 'some conversation ensued by which it was quickly apparent that other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable.' Hamilton devoured the bait, repeatedly, over the next several months, until Mr. Reynolds appeared and demanded restitution for Hamilton's 'insult.' Four days later Hamilton received a letter from Mr. Reynolds. 'God knows I love the woman and wish every blessing may attend her,' he wrote. 'But I don't think I can be reconciled to live with her. Give me the sum of $1,000 and I will leave town.'
I grew up reading Playboy but never realized until I read your 50th anniversary issue how much the magazine had influenced my views on sex, drugs and politics. Not only did Hugh Hefner shape America's sexual revolution, he shaped me, as well.
The White House remains one of the few bastions of Caucasian (mostly Protestant) males. Eventually, though, that cordon will be broken. We asked the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page and Crossfire's James Carville and Tucker Carlson to help us predict who will be the first politician to cross the color/gender line into the Oval Office. Our odds:
All eyes turn forward as David Redden, Sotheby's vice chairman and top auctioneer, mounts his pulpit. A silver-haired man with large ears and dark eyes, he adjusts his microphone and picks up his gavel. It is July 30, 2002. A congregation of millionaires sits in rows of padded chairs for an auction more than half a century in the making. There are no cheap seats tonight--it's standing room only for the relative unfortunates crowded in the back of the main Sotheby's salesroom. In the gallery's 12 private skyboxes, a few guests have drawn the curtains. Others sip wine in plain view.
We've always thrilled to the sight of beautiful girls moving to the music on the dance floor. Lately, however, we've been noticing more and more women who lay down the grooves themselves. The club DJ booth, long a bastion of male spinners, has suddenly become a much hotter place. Female DJs are taking over the turntables, turning up the volume and making heads bob with more than just their beats. So what happened when we put out a call for the sexiest she-jays in the land? Let's just say we're glad they take requests. Whether they specialize in techno, tribal, house, hip-hop, retro or electro, these girls all rock--and think it's fine if sex appeal is part of what's raising the temperature on the dance floor. One mix minx, DJ Tuesdae, even spins topless. "Most likely I'll die young and go to hell and party with metal bands for eternity," she says. While we catch our breath, we can't help but wonder if the uninhibited dance-floor antics ever spill into the booth. DJ Snezana volunteers this tidbit: "When I was spinning in Tokyo, a young model from the U.S.--she's famous now--got body-painted in my booth and simulated an orgasm to a song. Wicked!" No matter if you prefer your music on low or loud, our vinyl-loving vixens will make your head spin.
It has been the kind of year that makes music fans turn up the volume and industry execs pull out their pony-tails. The pop jukebox has become increasingly fragmented, and hip-hop, punk-pop, Southern rock, electroclash, camp metal, R&B and whatever the hell you call OutKast all got their numbers punched. The music industry has responded to these dizzying developments by throwing up its hands in a collective "What the fuck?" Amid megamergers and layoffs, labels blamed their sales slump on--who else?--their customers, siccing lawyers on 12-year-olds in an effort to curb downloading.
In an era of sagging sales, Atlanta rap duo OutKast released Speakerboxxx/The Love Below--an unorthodox 39-track double CD--and scored two huge mainstream hits, "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move." Intelligent, provocative and always interesting, OutKast is on top of the world.
If anyone can make power ballads and pasty dudes in spandex cool again, it's the Darkness, an over-the-top English quartet that has stormed the U.K.--and now the U.S.--with its straight-out-of-the-1980s heavy metal album Permission to Land. Are they being ironic with their big hair, high kicks and Rothesque showmanship, or have they just been living in a cave for the past 15 years? We get real--sort of--with frontman Justin Hawkins.
Not long ago musicians could pour their tortures inner thoughts only into their songs. But now, thanks to the Internet, they can unburden themselves whenever the mood--or the medication--takes hold. As the trend builds steam, some of the writings are pure bigheaded drivel; others are fascinating glimpses into the minds of--hell, who are we kidding?--screwed-up celebrities. (Note to screwed-up celebrities: Keep writing; we'll keep reading.)
Kings of Leon--three brothers and a cousin, all named Followill, all musically adept beyond their years--have been crowned by our readers as the Next Big Thing. Traveling to Southern churches with their evangelist father, they rocked congregation after congregation. Then they grew their hair long and cranked out an acclaimed major label debut, Youth &Young Manhood. We spoke to Jared Followill, 17, the band's youngest member.
Kelis's days as a rainbow-haired R&B wild child are over. She's got a sleek new look, a famous fiancé (Nas, who shows off his tattoo of her nude on the inside of her third CD, Tasty) and "Milkshake," an addictive Neptunes-produced ode to cleavage. This interview is the cherry on top.
How did Nickelback become the biggest Canadian arena-rock act since Rush's heyday? Hell if we know, but in addition to being a hit with millions of guys whose backseats are covered in empty beer cans, Nickelback is huge with the ladies--and the Grammy folks (The Long Road was up for Best Rock Album). We grilled frontman Chad Kroeger about life on tout.
In 1954 the U.S. and the Soviet Union were in a deadly armaments race, testing and installing ever more powerful nuclear weapons to be dropped from aircraft, launched in ICBMs and shot from submarines. This was our Cold War, the result, it would seem, of the incompatibility on the same earth of a democratic republic and a communist dictatorship. But how inevitable was this conflict?
When we heard that Krista Kelly's grandmother nicknamed her Motor Mouth, we knew the 26-year-old Toronto native would make for a fun interview. Get Krista charged up about a topic--her childhood, her Catholic-school upbringing, her romantic relationships--and she'll spin a story at a feverish pace. "I was discovered by model scouts outside an underage nightclub when I was 15 years old," she says, "but I didn't take modeling seriously at first. Growing up I was a tomboy--very athletic. I hated Barbie dolls, I had no girlfriends, and I hung around the jocks. I didn't like getting my makeup done or being pretty. When the modeling agency asked me to move to New York to continue my career, I caused a lot of trouble. I didn't make curfew, and I wasn't in my room for orientation."
Baseball is in a state of shock. The 2004 season is set to start this month--2,430 games, nearly 22,000 innings, during which stars will be born and careers will be destroyed and millions of dollars will change hands, just as in so many summers before. But given what happened last October and over the winter, this season could be freakier than any other in 150 years of midget pinch hitters, bench-clearing brawls and acid-tripping aces.
Although it seems as if he's been around longer than Mookie Blaylock, Hank is just now completing puberty. Last year the 23-year-old third baseman hit .300 with 29 homers and 90 RBI for the Rangers and socked the decisive dinger at the All-Star game (see photo above). Runner-up: either of the Matsuis.
Martinez is a future Hall of Famer, but shouldn't a great pitcher be able to find a way to get five more outs with a three-run lead in the most important game of his life? And then there are his antics--dissing his own manager, hiding from the media. bloodying septuagenarians. Can you say "prima donna"? We knew you could.
As one of the world's top models, Rachel Hunter has made a stellar career out of showing off the latest trends in sexy swimwear. So why did she decide the time was right to show off her birthday suit? "I never had a problem with nudity growing up, and I think you get to a place where you're comfortable with yourself," says the 34-year-old native New Zealander, flashing a hint of her trademark mischievous smile. "You think, Fuck it, why not?"
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 38, 47--48, 112--117 and 167, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Say you had $100,000 cash in your pocket and you were standing in a high-end stereo shop, feeling pretty good because you had just licked four martinis out of a gorgeous girl's navel. What would you do? Yeah, that's what we would do, too. In fact, that's just about exactly what we did.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), April 2004, volume 51, number 4. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friendly Fire--Two days after returning home from the Front Lines of Iraq, A U.S. Infantryman Disappeared from his post at fort Benning in Georgia and was Declared Awol. Four Months later he was Found Dead, Allegedly Killed by Members of his Platoon after a night at a Strip club. now his Father wants to know why he died. by Mark Boal