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Back in the late sixties CBS used to broadcast Playboy After Dark, Hugh Hefner’s swinging variety show featuring artists, actors, beat poets, comics and, of particular interest, great musical guest performances from the likes James Brown, The Grateful Dead, Marvin Gaye, Harry Nilsson, The Byrds, and Ike & Tina Turner. Today we have The Girls Next Door. What the fuck happened, Hugh?

Filmed on a Los Angeles sound stage, Playboy After Dark was set dressed to affect an after-hours party vibe back at the mansion. Hugh, playing himself, surrounded (naturally) by various women and hangers-on, conducts what are supposed to give the appearance of impromptu interviews. Here, Jerry Garcia is seen (and heard) saying something about buck knives (?) before the Hef interrupts inquiring “if the hippie scene is changing now.” Garcia, characteristically, spits out some half stoned mumbo-jumbo before the band launches into fantastic, era appropriate, rendering of “Mountains On The Moon –> St. Stephen”. Dig it.

Note: This episode was recorded January 18th 1969 – one week before the Dead’s January 26th performance at the Avalon Ballroom, which, along with the Fillmore West show, would soon become the band’s first live release, Live Dead. Per the taping, Garcia later went on record stating the band dosed the sound stage’s craft services beverage table with liquid LSD smuggled in via eye droppers, therefore dosing the majority of the extras, crew, and cast.

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Amazon: Playboy After Dark 2 (DVD) (1969)

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7 Responses to “Playboy After Dark :: Grateful Dead (January 1969)”

  1. Flat-out awesome.

  2. Wow, sweet drug rug.

  3. [...] AD pointed me to this clip of the Dead on Playboy’s After Dark, back in 69. It’s great to see Jerry in this setting; not because of the absurdity of Hef’s “serious” questioning about the death of the hippie scene, but how much of a sense of humor Jerry seems to have with all of it. [...]

  4. delicious.

    I wish Hef would have struck up a conversation with Pig too.

  5. Dig it, indeed. Good stuff, man.

  6. From McNally’s “Long Strange Trip” book, Garcia found Hef “wooden”…and it was two crew members who used eyedroppers of LSD in the coffee urn and Hef’s personal mug of Pepsi. Hef stopped the band as they were leaving with his eyes bright and said, “I want to thank you for your special gift.” :-)

  7. Pig talk would’ve been sweet… I sure do miss him and Uncle Jerry! He sure was tearin’ up those skins. :)

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