Excerpt about Ben's Viva! spread
Annabel, ca. 1973
Ben caused quite a stir in the States when he posed Adam-and Eve-style with a girl. The controversial magazine Viva featured Ben and the girl in their centre-spread, illustrating a love-story.

What about that notorious photo[s]?

Ben shrugged and grinned, as if to say, 'So what?'

"I'm not ashamed of my body," he said. "I do a lot of sport, so I'm physically in good shape. And I work on my sun tan a lot.

"It's nice having females admire your body," he admitted. "Besides, I feel hampered with lots of clothes on. Here at home I walk in the door and shed my clothes immediately."

(Today, he was wearing a pair of brief denim shorts. In my honour?)

He went on, "It was also good to show people that there was someone else under that cowboy hat - else I'd have been known as Thaddeus Jones for the rest of my life.

"The photo seemed like a wild idea when it was suggested - and it was fun! I certainly don't regret it. It exposed me to new audiences - if you'll excuse the pun.

"Anyway, I figure, let the chips fall where they may. It was publicity at a time when I needed publicity. And bad publicity won't hurt. What the heck."

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