On Sunday’s (May 6) episode of “Mad Men,” viewers were treated to a rare instance of a Beatles song — “tomorrow Never Knows” — being used as part of the soundtrack of a scripted TV show.
At the end of the episode, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) drops the band’s 1966 album “Revolver” on his turntable and, on the advice of his young wife, listens to the track — a trippy LSD-inspired John Lennon-written piece.
“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,” creator and show runner Matthew Weiner tells the New York Times. “Not just someone singing their song or a version of their song, but them, doing a song in the show. It always felt to me like a flaw. Because they are the band, probably, of the 20th century.”
Weiner got his wish, but at a high price. An off-the-record source at Lionsgate tells the Times that the show paid $250,000 for the recording. And among the list of people who had to sign off on the deal were the remaining Beatles, Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison. Not only that, but the notoriously secretive Weiner reportedly shared the episode’s script with Apple Records execs before the deal was done.
Don hopes the song will give him insight into the rapidly-evolving youth cultural revolution. We’re not sure he appreciated it. But Weiner did. And so did viewers.