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 Chuck 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.