Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll and DVD-ROMs

Playboy and Rolling Stone Get Digitized

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While Nat Ives was attending the Stuff wake in Midtown, I managed to get in a couple of drinks at a more celebratory event at Chelsea market. Held at Bondi Digital Publishing's studio, this party was celebrating the digital archiving—and the longevity—of two of the lad-mag sector's great grand-pappies, Playboy and Rolling Stone.

Bondi, which cut its teeth by assisting Random House with the CD/DVD-ROM sets of the New Yorker, has kicked off the Playboy project by offering Playboy Cover to Cover: The 50s, while Rolling Stone gets the full monty, with Rolling Stone Cover to Cover: The First 40 Years. Each database is searchable by article, author, cover, subject, nekkid ladies' name, etc. Rolling Stone Executive Editor Joe Levy, said the function was "Google-like in its awesomeness." Heck, Bondi co-founders David Anthony and Murat Aktar pointed out that even the ads are searchable. So if you're dying to see what print ads for White Horse Blended Scotch looked like back in the day, you're in luck.

Playboy Editorial Director Chris Napolitano took to the mic to wax nostalgic about Hugh Hefner and the magazine. "In the space of 24 issues, the magazine outgrew his wildest dreams." That's something that doesn't happen anymore. (For example, it would probably take Radar 24 years to print 24 actual issues.)

Then it was time for Rolling Stones' Levy, who noted, "This is a complete reversal of the old burlesque days when the Jewish comic would come before the naked ladies." He also pointed out that there are six Britney Spears covers. "My job is to work on her seventh. Let's hope she keeps it together long enough."

Sadly, the party didn't get out of hand at any point. The barmaids did seem very fond of one another, but the lack of bunny ears and abundance of clothing suggested they weren't hired by Playboy. And while ASME Executive Director Marlene Kahan related a story about the belly-dancing she did at the last Playboy party, she refused to do a repeat performance last night.
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