05/22/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT
PLAYING FOR VOTES
Lee Atwater, chairman of the Republican National Committee and former campaign manager for George Bush, has jawed a lot about how Republicans need to woo black voters. Earlier this month he combined work with pleasure as he hung out in New Orleans with Rodney Armstrong, a legendary rhythm-and-blues guitarist better known as Guitar Slim Jr. Atwater, an aficionado of R&B and an enthusiastic amateur musician himself, had come to New Orleans for a jazz festival but managed a visit to the housing project where Armstrong lives. Atwater handed out presidential stickpins and cuff links to residents and jammed with Armstrong at a nearby bar, the Colt 38. Playing a guitar given to him earlier this year by Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Atwater sang, "I'm a bad boy and I'm in your town tonight."
NO GO ON TOE-JOE
One big adventure Pee-wee Herman, below, won't have is depicting a pornographer in director John Waters's Cry-Baby, now filming in Baltimore. "He was asked as Paul Reubens to play a pornographer, but he declined because Pee-wee's Playhouse appeals to a young audience, and it wouldn't be in keeping with the show," says Reubens/Herman's spokesman, Richard Grant. Waters, however, recalls it another way: "I asked Paul to play a square parent, but he said Pee-wee was already square and that he would rather play Toe-Joe Jackson, who, by the way, isn't a pornographer but one of those 1950s art photographers who takes pictures of girls in beehives on leopard rugs." Waters says Herman had to turn Toe-Joe down because of a scheduling conflict. Alan (Hairspray) Wendl got the part.
OH, NO! THEY'RE PREGGERS
The on-again, off-again romance between Mark Gastineau and Brigitte Nielsen is officially on again and, come late fall, baby will make three. A wedding is planned, but no date has been picked. "It was his persistence that persuaded Brigitte to try to work things out despite what has gone on," says a friend, though the pregnancy may have aided the reconciliation. This comes after their April breakup, which followed a tumultuous year-long courtship, one miscarriage and a cancer scare for her and a retirement from the New York Jets for him. After the split, Gitte claimed Mark physically abused her, and Mark later made a doctor's appointment to have a BRIGITTE tattoo removed from his posterior. Mark now says he expects to play football again next season. And the tattoo? He has decided to keep it. "It's still right here on my butt," he said.