Sunday, 22 June 2014

Hugh Hefner's "Playboy After Dark" with The Byrds, BB King, Tina Turner, Grateful Dead, Country Joe, Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple...


A compilation of live performances by Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, Taj Mahal, BB King, Canned Heat, Linda Ronstadt, The Byrds, Sir Douglas Quintet, Steppenwolf, The Nitty Gritty Dirt band, The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, The Ike and Tina Turner Revue and Country Joe and the Fish on Hugh Hefner's late 60s Playboy After Dark TV Show.

Hugh Hefner plays
Ritchie Blackmore's guitar
Watch this while you can. It may not be on youtube for long.

In the late 60s Playboy founder and editor / publisher Hugh Hefner hosted a syndicated TV talk show with musical guests called Playboy After Dark. The show portrayed a "typical" party at Hefner's pad complete with Playboy playmates and celebrities. Hugh would chat informally and some pretty cool bands would turn up and play live in his mocked up tv studio "penthouse". Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown, The Byrds (with Clarence White), The Grateful Dead (with Tom Constanten),  Deep Purple (with Rod Evans and Nick Simper), Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Canned Heat and Country Joe and the Fish are just a few performers seen in the compilation below  And all the while Hefner can be seen puffing on his pipe with a bunny or two on his arm looking like someone who, in 1969, would have passed for the epitome of square.

The Grateful Dead
BB King
To be fair, Hefner put these bands on TV when no one else was interested. To appear on Ed Sullivan you had to have a hit and be mainstream friendly. The Smothers Brothers show was pretty hip but again favoured bands like the Jefferson Airplane who'd had commercial success. This makes some of the clips here super rare and and gives Playboy After Dark a certain cool. This compilation is a joy to watch. Pure time trip. Sexy and fun. Fantastic Bands, great dancers, groovy clothes...
Classic 60s TV.

According to legend when the Grateful Dead appeared they dosed everyone with high grade acid and the cameramen ended up filming the ceiling. They weren't invited back.

Playboy After Dark
01. DEEP PURPLE (Oct. 23, 1968) And The Address, Hush. 02. IRON BUTTERFLY (Aug. 8, 1968) In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly Theme. 03. TAJ MAHAL (Oct. 16, 1968) Everybody's Got To Change Sometime, EZ Rider. 04. B.B. KING (April 15, 1970) So Excited, The Thrill Is Gone. 05. CANNED HEAT (Jan. 20, 1969) Turpentine Moan, On The Road Again 06. LINDA RONSTADT (April 16, 1970), Lovesick Blues, Long Long Time 07. THE BYRDS (Sept. 28, 1968) You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, This Wheel's On Fire 08. SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET (Jan. 25, 1969) Mendocino, She's About A Mover 09. STEPPENWOLF (Dec. 17, 1969), Berry Rides Again, Monster-Suicide-America, From Here To There Eventually 10. THE NITTY GRITTY DIRTBAND (Dec. 11, 1968), Washington At Valley Forge, Alligator Man 11. THE GRATEFUL DEAD (Jan. 18, 1969) Mountains Of The Moon, St. Stephen 12. FLEETWOOD MAC (Jan. 8, 1970) Rattlesnake Shake 13. IKE AND TINA TURNER REVUE (Dec. 3, 1969), I Want To Take You Higher, Come Together, Proud Mary 14. COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH ( April 16, 1970) Sing Sing Sing, I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag

Big thanks to the youtube uploader.

Bonus - 2 shows
If that is not enough for you here are two complete shows featuring Ike and Tina Turner and Sammy Davis Jr. Fascinating viewing. Tina Turner is sublime and Sammy Davis looks like he's been getting wardrobe advice from Jimi Hendrix. The rest is occasionally ridiculous but no more inane that what you get nowadays on the Graham Norton show. Also features The Checkmates, Anthony Newley and a young Bill Cosby

More stranger than known

The Pretty Things live on Pop 2 - 13th January 1971...


  1. That Iron Butterfly lip sync is pretty bad, especially with the live extra drums. :)

  2. Does anyone know which Playmates appeared on PAD at anytime? I know Chris Cranston, Cynthia Meyers, Connie Kreski.