Like so many rockers, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Bob Welch, 34, gets tanked. Not on alcohol though. Once a week Welch visits the Samadhi Tank Center in Beverly Hills, where he immerses himself in a covered isolation tank filled with salt water. There, deprived of sound and sight, he claims to achieve nirvana-like relaxation. Clowning (with Jay Cunningham, a center employee), an underwear-clad Welch shows just how blissed out a body can get after 90 minutes. Unlike Dr. John Lilly, whose sensory-deprivation experiments inspired the film Altered States, Welch does not use drugs like LSD to heighten the experience. Asked what he enjoys most about the Big Soak, he replies: "You don't think about mundane things—like 'I have to pick up the laundry.' "
The second thing you'll notice about this picture of Dolly Parton, 35, is her sisters Stella, left, 31, and Freida, 23. The 10th of 12 Parton kids, Freida shares her big sister's taste for patterned threads. But that's understandable. She left the family's Great Smoky Mountains tobacco farm at 13 to move in with Dolly in Nashville. Now she's cutting her debut LP, Freida Parton, in L.A., and she's enlisted some crack backup sisters: Stella, a pro since 1967, and Dolly herself.
Archeologist Iris Love, 45, who discovered a temple of Aphrodite on a 1969 dig in Turkey, made another "find" in Manhattan—All My Children star Ruth Warrick. They convened at a Texas-style party and chatted about things ancient and paranormal ("You must meet my psychic," murmured Warrick). They also studied some 1981 artifacts and customs: Lone Star beer and chili flown in from Dickey's of Dallas—and the Cotton-eyed Joe, a dance reminiscent of traditional Greek folk steps that were demonstrated for Love among the ruins.
Elizabeth Taylor, who debuts on Broadway in May as Regina Giddens in the Lillian Hellman classic The Little Foxes, didn't see Bette Davis' acclaimed screen interpretation, and she's not about to. "I don't want to be intimidated by previous performances," she explains. Liz, 48, will play the bitchy Regina as "vulnerable—not a total ice maiden." Her only concern is forgetting her lines onstage, so she's been huddling with her co-star, Maureen Stapleton, a veteran of some 24 Broadway shows.
Betty springs eternal
Former President Ford and wife Betty often go their separate ways, he on the celeb golf circuit and she on the lecture trail. But they visited New York together and caught a show, They're Playing Our Song. Betty was on her own once more when she went shopping for her spring wardrobe at the Seventh Avenue showroom of Albert Capraro. The designer, who has dressed Betty since her White House days, says, "I wish she could get Mr. Ford up here. He would find it amusing." It's only the bills that aren't.
Yarrow and Paxton
Old folkies Peter Yarrow (left) and Tom Paxton returned to the Other End, the Greenwich Village hangout that launched them in the '60s. In those days Yarrow was part of Peter, Paul and Mary and the club was called the Bitter End. It's still none too sweet: Robbers made off with $8,000 in receipts last January. So the two singers helped it out with a benefit to recoup the losses. For the occasion, satirist Paxton even came up with a law-and-order homage to the First Lady—I've Got a Little Bitty Gun.