I grew up in the Bronx and found myself attracted to glitz and glamour in a big way. It was an escape that I needed from the reality of an otherwise drab life. And because of where I lived, I was attracted to the illusions of fashion. I love that you can wear something three times in one week but change it up so nobody but you knows you wore it so often. I would throw a scarf over it, shift the fit, and people would ask, "Where’d you get that?"
“I’d posed for every magazine on the rack by now, and the business was all about new meat. I pictured myself lying in the butcher’s case at the supermarket, the plastic wrap covering my body and a red ‘Reduced for Sale’ sign on my forehead. The image seemed very real. I was going off the deep end. I had to shake it before I ate a bottle of pills. I was thinking about death a lot lately, and that day I felt like I was daring God to strike me dead.”
The lively Sheila Kennedy recounted her life during Penthouse magazine’s Guccione Era: “I was with Bob for ten years back in the 1980’s, and he shot me in Paris, Italy, and all over the world. We were international ambassadors for the Penthouse brand. I think. Bob put me on four separate Penthouse covers, which I think was a record. All that was great and lovely. I lived in the mansion for some time, with Bob, Kathy, and his extended family. We had holidays there and I felt like family too.”
Bob Guccione’s muses manifested themselves as Penthouse Pets. His photography of these beautiful women defined erotic art for the latter part of the 20th century. At one point in time, muses were the Greek goddesses of inspiration in literature, science, and the arts. Without them, Homer would have never written The Illiad, and Euclid would have never had created the Elements of Euclid. Although these two visionaries are long gone, new generations of artists likeJeff Koons and Richard Prince have continued to find their own muses in order to create both beautiful and controversial works of art. For Bob Guccione, his muses came in the form of beautiful women. From Sheila Kennedy to Pia Zadora, these women helped shape Penthouse magazine. With their dazzling personalities and to their alluring figures, Guccione’s muses helped shape 1970s and 80s views on beauty and sexuality as a whole. While it is difficult to determine which of the 1000s of women were the most important in Penthouse magazine history, it is clear that there were a few dozen that were absolutely Bob Guccione's favorites.