Yeah, Baby! Deep Purple Gets Shagadelic on Playboy After Dark

This is so bad it’s good. Or maybe, as the char­ac­ter played by Tho­ra Birch dead­pans in a mem­o­rable scene in Ter­ry Zwigof­f’s film Ghost World, “This is so bad it’s gone past good and back to bad again.”

In any case once it gets going you may find it hard to resist watch­ing this clip from the Sep­tem­ber 23, 1968 episode of Hugh Hefn­er’s syn­di­cat­ed TV pro­gram Play­boy After Dark. It looks like it came straight out of an Austin Pow­ers movie. The show was chore­o­graphed to rep­re­sent the hippest, groovi­est cock­tail par­ty ever.

The musi­cal guests that night were the British rock group Deep Pur­ple, who had formed only nine months ear­li­er and were still in their orig­i­nal line­up, which fea­tured Rod Evans on vocals and Nick Sim­per on bass (both of whom left the band less than a year lat­er) along with Jon Lord on organ, Richie Black­more on gui­tar and Ian Paice on drums.

Look­ing debonair in his black tie and jack­et, Hefn­er fakes inter­est in a brief gui­tar les­son from Black­more before chat­ting awk­ward­ly with Lord (who died last month) and ask­ing the group to play their first hit, “Hush” (writ­ten and orig­i­nal­ly record­ed by Joe South, who also died recent­ly), which had just made it to the top five in the Amer­i­can pop charts around the time of the broad­cast. Says Hef: “I think it would real­ly groove the kids if you’d do that.”

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