The Most Hated Lawyer in America

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair March 1992 It’s a quiet Sunday morning in the nearly deserted Greenwich Village town house of attorney William Kunstler. In the stillness, the answering machine clicks on and there’s a quiet woman’s voice speaking, calmly, patiently...

The Ballad of Willie Nelson

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair November 1991 The night before I left for South Texas to join Willie Nelson as he went back on the road again to sing for the I.R.S., I had dinner with a woman from L.A. who’d known him. She told me a fascinating story about Willie Nelson,...

Unrampling Charlotte

By Joan Juliet Buck Vanity Fair April, 1988 Charlotte Rampling is the only star who currently belongs to both the world of cinema and the world of of chic. In a famous photograph by Helmut Newton, she sits naked on a table in Arles, glowering. The picture is...

Catherine the Great

By Joan Juliet Buck Vanity Fair April, 1989 “Do you blow your money? I mean, just blow it?” she asked. “There’s a vertigo in going too far—the thrill that produces—especially if it’s likely to put you in an impossible situation. And then, cash worries are easier to...

Miles Davis Blows His Horn

By James Kaplan Vanity Fair August 1989 A fresh gale blows down the chute of Central Park and buffets the windows of Miles Davis’s hotel suite in midtown Manhattan. A romantic might hear songs in this wet wind, the ghosts of seven blocks south and forty years past,...

Smart Tartt

By James Kaplan Vanity Fair September 1992 Donna Tartt, who is going to be very famous very soon—conceivably the moment you read this—also happens to be exceedingly small. Teeny, even. “I’m the exact same size as Lolita,” she says. “Do you remember that poem from the...

Travels with Doctor Death

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair May 1990 Three lives hang in the balance this morning as Dr. James Grigson pulls up in a gleaming white Cadillac, ready to make his rounds. The tall Texan with one hand on the wheel and one hand on his flamboyant golden cigarette holder,...

Return of the Wanderer

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair June 1992 New York is a city famous for its talkers, its riffers, rappers, and raconteurs. But let’s face it, a lot of them are seriously overrated—depend on canned routines and canned Attitude, self-congratulatory cynicism and stale camp...