HUGH HEFNER's 'Playboy After Dark' Was A Classic Rock Showcase!

Of course, back then, what's now 'Classic' was then 'Current.'

September 29, 2017

Mohamed Ahmed Soliman | Dreamstime

It's very easy to remember that Hugh Hefner's Playboy Empire was centered around the lifestyle that his magazine espoused-the 'Good Life,' beautiful (naked) women, hot cars, and the pursuit of entertainment and leisure. The magazine was filled with all of it...But what may not be top of mind for many is that Hugh Hefner had a show called 'Playboy After Dark' that served as a showcase for some of the top names in Music at the time, music that today makes up a good portion of what's referred to as 'Classic Rock!' 'Playboy After Dark' aired from 1969-1970 with a total of 52 'episodes,' and included performances from a wide array of musicians and bands, including The Byrds, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple (watch the clip below!), Grand Funk Railroad, Fleetwood Mac (with original member, Peter Green), Canned Heat, Tina Turner, The Grateful Dead, and many more. Mr. Hefner's said in a 2008 interview that the concept for the TV show, "was to create a variety show that didn’t seem like a variety show." There was a subjective camera that came up the elevator. You appeared to be a guest at a party at my apartment.” To this end, the 'set' was modeled to resemble a Cocktail Party, replete with well-dressed people enjoying drinks (with sound f-x of 'clinking' glasses) and dancing to the music. And while Hugh Hefner's music preference tended to sway more towards Jazz, the show presented Rock performances that seem to have been much more memorable, not only for the music, but for the (now chuckle-worthy) instances of the late-60's culture, and the sometimes weird and awkward interaction of the 'well-heeled' host and guests and the scruffy, hairy, sometimes weirdly-dressed, loud Rock & Rollers who appeared. Here's a LINK to see some of the other episodes of 'Playboy After Dark.' Rock On, Hef!