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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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March 20th, 2013
05:30 PM ET

What does The Grateful Dead have to do with the Israeli ambassador?

Rock 'n roll posters and a hot pink floor - that was the bedroom of a teenage Sally Oren, future resident of the Israeli embassy.

But decades before her state dinners with President Obama, the wife of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren hung with another kind of crowd in the heart of Haight Ashbury: Quicksilver, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Charlottons, and Country Joe and the Fish.

Oren even played frisbee with Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead, particularly with guitarist Bob Weir.

"Bob Weir was younger than most of the other musicians," recalled Oren. "So he liked hanging out with the younger kids like us."

"In retrospect I was sort of a band mascot," says Oren.

But don’t call her a groupie. In the late 60s, Oren and her older sister were PG versions of Kate Hudson’s "Almost Famous" character Penny Lane.

Jefferson Airplane even wrote a song about her.

"They actually wrote two songs about me, but one was never recorded or played live," says Oren. "I think I was the only audience when I stood in the hallway at the Fillmore Auditorium and Marty Balin sang the song for me. But I was so embarrassed."

The other song, "Young Girl Sunday Blues," was released on Jefferson Airplane’s third album.

Oren says her husband, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, gets a kick out of this chapter in her life.

"He tells me i talk about it endlessly but the truth is I don't," says Oren.

In fact, Oren had kept so quiet that her flower power past did not become widely known until this month, when an article in The Atlantic spilled the beans. Israelis did not know about her interesting history until the article came out.

"I'm not sure if [Prime Minister] Bibi [Netanyahu] read the article. I know that people around him read the article. And the reactions were, it's like, 'Wow Michael, we knew Sally was cool but this, we didn't know shew as that cool!' "

Today, as her husband and president Obama embark on a trip to Israel, we asked Oren if there is one thing she learned in the Haight as a teenager, a spirit she would like to infuse local leaders with if it could be brought to Israel and the region this week during the presidential visit.

"You mean peace and love?" says Oren. "Most Israelis would agree with me that Israelis very much want peace that's all I can say."

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