Why 'Mad Men' Paid $250,000 To Use One Beatles Song

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Music has always been one of the most important aspects of AMC's "Mad Men." Which is why, when creator Matthew Weiner wanted to use a Beatles song in season 5's "Lady Lazarus" episode, he refused to settle for anything but the real deal.

Instead of using a cover of the band's "Tomorrow Never Knows," Weiner insisted they use a master recording that cost the production upward of $250,000. As we head into the Season 7 (Part 1) premiere this Sunday, here's the behind-the-scenes story of how one pricey "Mad Men" episode came to be. From the real-life ad campaigns to the fashions, most everything on "Mad Men" is authentically 1960s. But for Weiner, there was always one glaring inauthenticity on the show. “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," Weiner told The New York Times. "It always felt to me like a flaw. Because they are the band, probably, of the 20th century.” That isn't to say that the series has never sampled from the band's catalogue. In season 4 episode "Hands and Knees," Beatles song "Do You Want to Know a Secret" played over the credits. However, it was an instrumental cover which only requires the more affordable publishing rights.

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Source: Business Insider

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