Saturday, November 8, 2014


Somewhere over the course of my adulthood, my opinion of Hugh Hefner went from ambivalent to thinking he was kind of an old school out of touch clueless dick, much like my opinion of the whole Playboy brand. I've questioned it over the years, thinking that maybe I've been too hard on the old geezer. I'm then reminded, by another incident or factoid about the Playboy empire that presents itself. Case in point, a recent viewing of the musical segments from his short lived TV show, Playboy After Dark, The video is interesting for the flying juxtapositions alone, and some of the musical performances are great. It's interesting to see Deep Purple, Iron Butterfly, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, Canned Heat, the Byrds, the Sir Douglas Quintet, Ike and Tina Turner, and Steppenwolf all playing the same odd stage, Speaking of Steppenwolf, how about that work of art above? I call it "Two Assholes Listening to Steppenwolf", because that's what it is. It's Hugh Hefner and his lady friend, Barbi Benton, right after John Kay sings "You fill this house with things of gold, while handing crumbs to the poor and old, and then you preach about being pure, and wonder why we're laughing" Look at the two of them. (Face in palms) So..fucking...square.

The whole crowd is square, cluelessly so, Even the room is, unless some Brady Bunch bachelor pad full of swinging squares happens to be your thing. then I suppose it wouldn't bug you. Just consider that these performances are from 1969-'72. Half the bands probably played the Fillmore in the same week, so playing this room was, for most, an alien venture. I like watching the reaction of the beautiful people, particularly interesting when they try to make sense of the scuzzier bands. I haven't watched the whole thing, but it's worth skipping around. The first Canned Heat song, "Turpentine Howl" is pretty cool (at 27:50). The guitar solos are both sufficiently dirty, the tone and sloppiness of the second solo was enough to watch a second time. You'll want to stick around for Hefner interviewing Bob "Bear" Hite about his 78 collection, and, of course, Hefner's gem "You guys are really throwing out a wild sound". But do skip around for some of the whitest freak out dancing you're likely to see. Plus, where else are you going to see a well dressed asshole curled up in front of a speaker cabinet sucking his thumb? This is two worlds colliding. It's not pretty, but it is funny,

Note: Go to YouTube for the song listings and other bands, 14 bands and 29 songs..

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