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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 1981
Stiv Bators Makes it into Playboy!

playboy tabloid size
Playboy, February 1981, cover and page 226 - which includes my photo of Stiv!
Playboy Magazine is copyright Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

Although the pictures were taken in the Summer of 1980, it wasn't until February 1981 that they started showing up in the press... Playboy was the first publication - and scored an exclusive - to pick up on the sexy backstage photos of Stiv Bators and Sabel Starr fooling around for the camera.

I was thrilled beyond belief when Playboy's photo editor sent me a contract for the use of the photo. It ended up on Page 226 of the magazine - on the leading page of their "Grapevine" section - their photo/gossip pages near the end of the magazine. Because... everybody READS Playboy for their witty writing, don't they? I'd get a whole new set of eyes looking at my photography.

Stiv always brought me good luck with our photo opportunities, to be sure.

Stiv & Sabel Starr

I've been showing this color picture of Stiv and Sabel for some time... its from the same night... the night that the B Girls played a sold out and celebrity filled show at the Whisky a Go Go... the night that Debbie Harry, Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison of Blondie came to see them, posed for a great photo, and then invited the B Girls to sing backing vocals on The Tide is High... the same night that Jeffrey Lee Pierce did his now-infamous shopping cart derby in the hallway of the Sunset Marquis Hotel in between the suites that Debbie Harry and Chris Stein were in on one end of the hall, and Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were in on the other end of the hall... a story memorialized by yours truly in the Gun Club documentary by Kurt Voss, Ghost on the Highway, which will be available on DVD starting March 1!!!

The same night all these photos were taken...

Blondie, Bingenheimer & B Girls (with Sabel Starr)

clem browner small
Browner and Burke (John and Clem) ... Jeffrey Lee Pierce can be seen as a reflection in the mirror

JLP portrait
Jeffrey Lee Pierce, right after I took Clem's photo, I turned around to take Jeffrey's

I have been searching high and low for an intact copy of this issue of Playboy for years. I have a photocopy of ONLY the one page (p. 226) in a notebook that includes some of my other clippings. Every time I've been around a collector of Playboy, I ask if they have this issue.

Jim Diamond

My friend, the record producer and owner of Detroit's Ghetto Recorders, Jim Diamond has a well known extensive collection of vintage Playboy magazines... but he didn't have it. Whenever I'd visit Ghetto Recorders, I'd rifle through his collection and continually come up empty handed.

All that was fixed on my current sojourn in NY/NJ. The kind and fabulous proprietors of the Jersey City vintage store, Another Man's Treasure just happened to have the complete set of Playboys from 1981!!! They kindly scanned the cover and Grapevine section for me just so you could see them in context. I have been all over the world, and there's no store like this one for 20th Century fabulous. Its a good thing I'm broke... because if I wasn't... I'd go broke in their shop. If you are in the NY/NJ area, make time to visit Jersey City - its the new Williamsburg, after all... and visit Another Man's Treasure, 109 Brunswick Street (between 1st & 2nd), Downtown Jersey City, NJ 07302, 201-610-0211

I hope that these photos from 27 years ago are enough to keep you occupied for a couple days.... I am leaving New Jersey for destinations south in a few hours and won't be online again til Wednesday evening. Be good and listen to good music always!

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