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Mad Men Beatles Song Cost $250,000

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By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
May 9, 2012|9:16 am

The makers of AMC's hit series "Mad Men" have paid a quarter of a million dollars for rights to use the Beatles' famous ballad "Tomorrow Never Knows" in Sunday's episode.

Justifying the huge cost "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner said using the song added something special to the dramatic series, according to The Brisbane Times.

"It was always my feeling that the show lacked a certain authenticity because we never could have an actual master recording of the Beatles performing," said Weiner.

"Mad Men" has been critically acclaimed not only for its complicated, compelling plot but for its historical authenticity and visual style. The 1960's setting in the show naturally led to the use of the iconic group of the time, The Beatles.

"Not just someone singing their song or a version of their song, but them, doing a song in the show," Weiner continued. "It always felt to me like a flaw. Because they are THE band, probably, of the 20th century."

"Tomorrow Never Knows" was featured toward the end of episode 508, entitled "Lady Lazarus."

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Covers of Beatles songs are often featured in various media, but the band's original recordings are rarely played on television or in films as surviving members of The Beatles and their heirs are selective when approving requests to use them.

In order to earn the rights to use "Tomorrow Never Knows," Weiner said he "had to do a couple things that I don't like doing."

After revealing the episode's story line as well as the script, Weiner finally received approval to use the song.

"It was hard because I had to, writing-wise, commit to the story that I thought was worthy of this incredible opportunity," said the writer.

"Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, and John Slattery, among many more.

The series has garnered multiple awards including 15 Emmys and four Golden Globes. It is currently in its fifth season.

In a past interview, Weiner discussed the show's widespread appeal and critical acclaim while on "The Today Show," saying it is "not judgmental."

"There's something about it that embraces on some level that we are flawed people… People behave badly; it's why the 10 commandments are there," said the writer.

"Mad Men" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on AMC.

 

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