Bird on Wing
Even as Ronald Reagan is out building a base for 1976, his conservative homilies are not scoring too well at home. His daughter Patti, 21, an aspiring singer and sometime waitress, was spotted arm-in-arm in residential Laurel Canyon with mustachioed banjoist Bernie Leadon and thence in Europe on tour with his country-rock group, the Eagles. Leadon and his four cohorts aren’t exactly Boy Scouts (leader Glenn Frey once confessed, “I’m in the music business for the sex and narcotics”). Their outlook is also clearly antiestablishment—in concert, they sometimes facetiously dedicate their hit title Already Gone to the Grand Old Party of Patti’s father.
Sip Off the Old Block
Prime Minister Harold Wilson, 59, seems to be coming on lately as a poor man’s Churchill. Save for TV and the most public platforms, Wilson has stowed his pipe for up to nine Havana stogies a day. And though long a paragon of sobriety, Wilson now regards a meal as a bacchic intermezzo between gin-and-tonics and the best of postprandial Napoleon brandy. Recently Wilson had to be helped from a banquet, and in Commons, while leaning on the Despatch Box for support, he called Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam “Mr. Goughlam.” When queried he explained, “I can’t be expected to remember all their names. There are 34 or so [Commonwealth leaders].”
Eye for an Eye
Al Pacino is back doing his favorite thing again, legit theater way-off-Broadway, but maybe he’s seen too many underworld movies since the last time. Though he earns only $250 a week in the Brecht classic, Arturo Ui, Boston’s Charles Playhouse, with Pacino’s blessing, is spending about as much to provide the star of Serpico and both Godfathers with a bodyguard. His duties include picking Al up at the hotel, standing watch in public restaurants and scanning the house through every performance from the front balcony.
Hopping on the wagon and going cold turkey at the same time is bound to jangle a ganglion, and the nerves of playwright Edward Albee, who recently gave up both liquor and tobacco, definitely seem jangled. When a pal graciously phoned to congratulate him on winning a Pulitzer for his play Seascape, Albee denigrated the award with language straight out of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Then he stroked one of the few vices remaining to him—his ego—by proclaiming, “Everybody knows I should have won the Nobel prize!”
Whether or not Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s security men were correct in their suspicion that Blair House, the VIP visitors’ quarters across from the White House, was bugged, the Israelis have always been paranoid—or practical—on the subject. One Israeli confided that he never broaches sensitive subjects even on an embassy line without resorting to a tapper-fuddling mishmash of military jargon, Hebrew slang or code names. “For example,” he reported, “we sometimes talk about two gentlemen named Chaim and Yaakov.” Kosher decoding: Henry and Jerry.
Lest anyone think that hairdresser Jon Peters’ Brooklyn Connection (girlfriend Barbra Streisand) has anything to do with his half-dozen upcoming projects with Columbia, studio president David Begelman proclaims: “A person’s sex life or hangups are none of my business. Peters happens to be a persistent young man with ideas, and this business is always looking for enterprising young men. If [fellow hairstylists] Gene Shacove or Vidal Sassoon called I’d deal with them, too.”
•An assembly line is admittedly dull, which may be why United Auto Workers negotiator Irving Bluestone recently lobbed a news clip to General Motors proposing “we put it on our bargaining table” for 1976 negotiations. The story detailed a unique contract demand being made by laborers in the Fiji Islands: a daily 30-minute sex break.
•Some 11th-hour recutting salvaged a PG rating instead of an R for the movie version of his bestseller Jaws, but author Peter Benchley still doesn’t think his fish story is suitable for all ages. “I won’t take my kids [5 and 7],” he says. “I think little children could be seriously traumatized about going into the water again.”