On Jan. 18, 1969 the Grateful Dead made a legendary appearance on the short-lived but musically amazing series “Playboy After Dark.” The series was hosted by Hugh Hefner--who recently passed away at the age of 91--and, as Jambase pointed out, also saw performances by James Brown, Joe Cocker, Sammy Davis Jr., Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, Grand Funk Railroad, Iron Butterfly, Harry Nilsson, Buddy Rich, Linda Ronstadt, Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night and Ike & Tina Turner among others. But for the crew at CBS studios in Los Angeles, it was the Grateful Dead’s appearance that was perhaps the most memorable, or maybe not.
As Grateful Dead drummer Billy Kreutzmann related on “Conan” in 2015, the band’s sound engineer and LSD guru Owsley “Bear” Stanley got ahold of the crew coffee pot and added a little psychedelic something to the brew. You can watch Billy telling the story below.
In the "Playboy After Dark" episode, Hefner interviews guitarist Jerry Garcia about the hippie scene of San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury district before Garcia, guitarist Bob Weir and keyboardist Tom Constanten perform an acoustic “Mountains of the Moon.” The trio is subsequently joined by Kreutzmann, drummer Mickey Hart, bassist Phil Lesh and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan on congas for an electric “St. Stephen.” You can watch the entire episode above starting at about the 2:20 mark.