The Life of the Most Powerful Woman in New York

By Gail Sheehy New York, December 10, 1973 Men of power sit at her feet. Mamelukes lift her chair from room to room while menservants trail her, carrying wine. The mayor seeks her ear to confess his wounds, the governor to confide his ambitions. When the seat of court...

Annie’s Second Childhood

By Bruce Buschel Philadelphia, June 1977 Act I East Haddam. Connecticut: June, 1976 Scene 1: Auditions The scent is reminiscent of nothing. Though it is uniquely theatrical, few stagehands have ever had their nostrils filled with this odor that visits the legitimate...

Hollywood’s Second Coming

By Brad Darrach Playboy, June 1972 Roaring like a stegosaurus, a yellow monster crashed into a green country store and knocked the front out. A church spire tilted silently and fell off like a hat. Bricks exploded, dust hid the sun. With a flash and a boom, a big...

Don’t Look Now

Down at the School of Visual Arts archive they’ve got a tidy selection of James McMullan’s magazine work from the Sixties through the Eighties. I love this one, a cover for New West magazine circa 1979. In his wonderful book, Revealing Illustrations, McMullan said:...

The Chinese Gourmet Club

Here’s something fun. From Kenneth Tynan’s lavish 1977 New Yorker profile of Mel Brooks (available online only to New Yorker subscribers though you can also find it in Tynan’s wonderful collection, Profiles): After separating from his wife in 1960, Brooks had spent a...

On Bird

By Nat Hentoff From Jazz Is, 1976 There have been a number of instances in jazz history of the incandescent hero-as-world-overturning-improviser eventually plunging, like Icarus, into burnt-out extinction. Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, Fats Navarro, and, way back,...

Butkus

By Arthur Kretchmer Playboy, October 1971 Dick Butkus slowly unraveled his mass from the confines of a white Toronado and walked into the Golden Ox Restaurant on Chicago’s North Side. He is built large and hard, big enough to make John Wayne look like his loyal...

Hunter In Zaire

By George Plimpton From Shadow Box, 1977 I had a number of people to see the next day. I dropped in to see Hunter Thompson. I found him in his room. “I got everything stashed behind the pipes,” he said, after he had peeked out a crack in the door to make sure who I...

Matthau’s Love for the Long Shot

By Brad Darrach People, July 1, 1974 “I thoroughly disapprove of gambling,” actor Walter Matthau explains primly as he whooshes toward Hollywood Park racetrack in his bronze Mercedes at 80 mph. “But I’m too rich and it’s good for me to lose.” He chuckles wickedly,...

Splendor in the Short Grass

By Grover Lewis Rolling Stone, 1971 Flying west, through Texas, you leave Dallas-Fort Worth behind and look out suddenly onto a rolling, bare-boned, November country that stretches away to the horizon on every side—a vast, landlocked Sargasso Sea of mesquite-dotted...