The producers of Mad Men have shelled out an impressive sum of $250,000 in order to use a Beatles song in one of their new episodes. The New York Daily News revealed today that the inclusion of Fab Four's 'Tomorrow Never Knows' (from their album 'Revolver') was so intrinsic to the storyline that they were prepared to stump up the massive sum. And if they'd been refused access to the track, they would apparently have changed the script altogether.
In this week's episode of the show, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) listens to the track, in an attempt to understand "the ever-changing landscape of 1960s youth culture." It's the last track on 'Revolver' and the scriptwriters had that particular track very much in mind. It is thought that this may well be the first time that an original Beatles recording has been used in a TV show, though and its inclusion in the episode came with a significant price tag. Lionsgate, who produce Mad Men had to get the go-ahead from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as well as Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison (John Lennon and George Harrison's widows).
The show's creator, Matthew Weiner, said that authenticity is one of the key elements of success for Mad Men and in a recent New York Times interview, said "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 added. "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."