Beatles gives Mad Men permission to use music in show
The television show Mad Men has won an army of fans for its portrayal of glamorous 1960s New York. Now The Beatles, the band which defined the decade, appears to have given the show their seal of approval.
The record label, Apple Corps, has given rare permission for the show to use one of the band's songs. The episode, aired on Sunday night in the US, featured Tomorrow Never Knows from the 1966 album Revolver.
Although cover versions have been used in TV shows, it is thought to be the first time that the record label, notoriously reticent in its licensing of Beatles songs, has allowed one of the Fab Four's tracks to be used in a television series.
For the use of the track, which is featured only briefly, Mad Men is believed to have paid about $250,000.
The show's creator Matthew Weiner told the New York Times that he had previously tried to have Beatles songs appear on the show, but had been rebuffed by Apple Corps before they finally relented.
Mr Weiner said: "I had to do a couple things that I don't like doing, which is share my story line and share my pages." He said that Apple Corps approved use of the song last autumn about a month before filming started on the episode.
Despite being widely praised for its portrayal of the 1960s advertising world, Mr Weiner said that he felt the lack of a Beatles song had until now hampered the show.
He added: "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.
"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." Apple Corps chief executive Jeff Jones said it was the first time in his five-year spell with the company that a Beatles song had been licensed for use, but said he was not sure whether the band's songs had been licensed before that.
Mr Weiner said he was told it was the first time a Beatles song had been licensed to a television show.
In the episode the show's main character Don Draper is told to listen to Revolver to help him better understand youth culture. He plays Tomorrow Never Knows, but then turns it off apparently unimpressed.
Mr Weiner said he chose the song because he thought it was "revolutionary".
But in a previous interview he has hinted that another Beatles song has given him inspiration for how the show will eventually end, suggesting he may be once again seeking Apple's permission.
Last year he was quoted by the website Grantland about his ideas for the final episode as saying: "I do know how the whole show ends I want to leave the show in a place where you have an idea of what it meant and how it's related to you. It's a very tall order, but I always talk about *Abbey Road*. What's the song at the end of *Abbey Road*? It's called 'The End.' There is a culmination of an experience of people working at their highest level. And all I want to do is not wear out the welcome."