Hugh Hefner

Joe Coomber/Sipa Press/hughplayboysipa.001/1010221820/SIPA USA

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


September 29, 2017

It's very easy to remember that Hugh Hefner's Playboy Empire was centered on 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.

The show’s set was modeled to resemble a cocktail party, replete with well-dressed people enjoying drinks (with sound effects 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-‘60s culture, as well as the sometimes weird and awkward interaction between the well-heeled host and guests and the scruffy, hairy, loud rock & rollers who appeared.

Here's a LINK to see some of the other episodes of 'Playboy After Dark.'