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Friday, September 25, 2009

BRUCE UPDATE

So some of you have been aware of my tweets about the Springsteen song I wanted for the finale. I won't mention the song, suffice to say it's one of Bruce's more obscure rockers. Because of the accelerated pace of our production schedule we were initially declined. Bruce is on tour and they needed a bigger window to get his approval. Someone at FX has a direct line to his manager so we were able to cut through to someone who can make a decision. I made that call yesterday. Here's the problem, Bruce does not allow commercial covers of his songs. Part of our musical signature on Sons is to use obscure songs from little known bands and to do covers of classic 60's and 70's tunes. Partly because the costs for masters of iconic music is astronomical. To get the master cover from Sony for the Bruce song I wanted would have been upwards of $75,000 for one use. That's my music budget for three shows. So alas, we won't be using the Bruce song in the finale. But what's been true for the tenure of SOA holds firm in this situation as well. We didn't get the song because there is a better choice out there. Below is the letter I wrote to Bruce to get his approval. I hope someday he reads it and we are able use some of his music. Jersey thing aside, he's one of my heroes. --- To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Kurt Sutter; I am the writer and creator of the television show, Sons of Anarchy. It’s a dark, family drama based in the world of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Music is a huge part of our show. Along with my music supervisor and composer, Bob Thiele we have created a signature sound for Sons. In fact, Bob and I have been nominated for an Emmy this year for best original theme song (We lost to that hack John Willians). We use original songs from local and lesser known bands and have done covers of rock classics by Dylan, the Stones and The Who.

I am sending this note in an effort to reach out to one of my musical heroes, Bruce. Being a half-bright, middle class kid from Rahway, New Jersey, my poetic inspiration didn’t come from books; it came from rock and roll. Greetings was an album that changed my life. For the first time I stopped and listened to lyrics and understood the power of narrative. Each song was a story rich with flawed characters who were filled with desperate hope. No bullshit, that album made me want to fucking write.

And so I did --

Now thirty years later, I’m looking at one of the most intense, episodes of television I’ve ever written. In the final music montage... OMITTED SPOILER. Bob and I would like to do an original ****** cover of the song.

We’ve tried the regular channels, but the timing didn’t work. The nature of our show is fast and furious -- it’s guerrilla film-making, we need the approval in the next couple of weeks. So we reach out to you hoping that you might pass this note on to Bruce and his team.

I thank you for your understanding.

Best,

Kurt Sutter

36 comments:

Mike said...

Being from North Jersey, a die hard Bruce fan (I'll be at the stadium next week for the shows) and a loyal follower of your show it makes me really sad to hear this. 75,000 dollars is more then I make in 3 years of work and it makes me sad that I can't hear my favorite artist in my favorite show.

I hope Bruce reads the letter and I really hope that things work out. SO many songs from the Nebraska album would fit in the show, BUT Zero and Blind Terry would be the most perfect song ever to have on SOA. Lyrics, tone, everything. I hope all is well and all works out.

Mike

Maria said...

It's so interesting to learn how TV works. I knew that there would be a price for a song but could never dream it would be that much.
I would never have imagined that one star calling another would be difficult. I figure it would go like this "Yo Bruce it's Kurt, Hey I want to use "Born in the USA" (obviously not it) in the final epi of SOA...cool?" His would be "Great, yeah go ahead. Love the show. Much love to Katey" You would send your regards in turn to Patti and the deal is done.
I sure hope you get that song cause the Boss KICKS.

PatD64 said...

Very direct and no BS letter,I hope it finds it's way to Bruce and you get a response!

Who knows, maybe you could work something out for next yrs premiere

Kindred Rayne said...

Sad to hear it didn't work out with Bruce, I know you've been working hard on it. I think your right that it just means that there is something else that's meant to be there instead. Your fans trust that you are going to make it work and it will be fantastic.

tonilost said...

Just send him the dvd of Season 1, I hope the song is from-The Wild, The Innocent and the Estreet Shuffle. One of the best albums ever.I saw Bruce more times than I can remember starting down the shore at the 'Upstairs'.

trapper said...

Hey Mr. Sutter,

Perhaps you have tried this, if not...

Mark and Brian of KLOS 95.5 FM, on who's show your wife did a quick hello Friday morning, host many music people on their morning program.

Its possible that Mark and Brian have a phone number for the Bruce. I am pretty sure Bruce has been on their show in the past..

In any case, thanks for your hard work on SOA.

rebeccaduge said...

This has nothing to do w/ your posts, I just really had a question and was hoping if I put it here you would see it sometime. I was wondering why on episode 6 of SOA season 1(AK-51), Gemma (Katey) calls Half-Sack "Eddie"(when she corners him in the small office). I thought I misheard when the episode first aired so when I got the DVD set, I watched with subtitles and it confirmed that what I originally heard was correct and that she called him Eddie. Anyway, just wondering what that was about.
I love the show and each episode is better than the last. Thanks for bringing together one of the best casts on tv. Plus it's nice to see Tommy Flanagan, Kim Coates, and Mark Boone on a (more or less) weekly basis as opposed to just here and there on other shows, or in movies.
PS. I almost cried when Katey was roughed up on the first show of season 2, but then I resorted to gasping and screaming obscenities at the tv. * I hope FUTURAMA does really well on Comedy Central.

Outsider said...

If Bruce's 'team' don't get it...hopefully he will...if they ever pass it on to him....If he doesn't get it then maybe he's lost the Fuel Up Fumes Cred of Yesteryear

andrea mangiri said...

however i prefer little known, hungry, savage bands , and your show could be a great chance for these....

Kimmy said...

I enjoy your picks in music for the show. I know the Bruce show would have been perfect! David Chase sometimes couldn't get the song he wanted and the fans were happy with the 2nd and 3rd choice anyway!

Personally, I love the Black Keys. I never had heard of them until SOA, and now I own at least three -four albums on my IPOD. I even made two ringtones.

Whatever you end up with will be perfect anyway.

But stop talking about Finale. We are only three episodes in.

:-)

Kimmy

Kimmy said...

Is it My hometown? (you don't have to approve this...)lol

Outsider said...

I saw Bruce once at an outdoor venue, Swarthmore College Amphitheater with the E Street band and maybe a crowd of 200 in 73....kind of cool

BallerinaToes said...

Is there someplace we can get Katey's cover of Ruby Tuesday? I checked iTunes, and no. It has been, and I'm not even kidding, stuck in my head for, what, 3 weeks now? Beautiful and haunting. Perfect fit for that scene. Send her love for me. BTW...turned best girlfriend and her hubby onto show during re-runs this summer...now it's appointment viewing for them too. Thanks for all your hard work (and Katey's too).

Marion SOA said...

Enfin Sons Of Anarchy arrive en France le 8 octobre sur M6 trop bien !!!!!

Texas Cigar said...

You have good taste in music. The Black Keys and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster are some of my favorites!!!

Hank Mardukus said...

USE "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" by Caged An Elephant.

Jeff said...

Hard to be a saint in the city would be great for the show. Your show and the music in it are great. Thanks

Cali said...

Alright, Kurt! FTW!!! My hometown in tonight's episode! "...outside Chico..." Yuppers! That's me, outside Chico! BTW, because the only hospital in Chico IS the only hospital and Chico is bigger than Red Bluff nobody would ever be sent away from Enloe (trauma center) and on to Mercy. Just wouldn't happen. But still, good try for an "outsider." Thanks a lot for the hometown props.

Wildman said...

I know that you're focused on getting Bruce to green light your request but want you to know that last night's episode was in my view the best one of this season to date. Great combination of evil, humor, group riding and Tig's (Kim Coates)character development. Already looking forward to season 3. Dude - if Bruce doesn't get back to you, it wasn't meant to be.

therealzenobia said...

Again - Wow! And even though he might prefer cattle, I love Tig. I could watch him roll down that hill or laugh while he gets beaten all day long. Yum.

Jade said...

This has nothing to do with your exact post but -
Quick question: What is behind all of the allusions to vegetarianism/veganism in the show? Why has this been mentioned a couple of times? I've watched every episode, and I guess the reason that I am curious is because I am a vegan. As a viewer, am I supposed to be getting something from the references? Not saying anything against MCs, but I was very surprised when Gemma mentioned Abel becoming a vegan because I wouldn't suspect that being in mind of someone who is not around veganism much (I am assuming that she isn't). I live in a small town in Mississippi, and it shocks the shit out of me whenever anyone knows what I am talking about when I mention veganism even more surprised if they pronounce the word correctly. I also assume that it was written into the Jax/Tara scene in Season 2 because you wanted the viewer to realize that Jax is an intellect in other words more than just a V.P. of a MC. I'm just curious (don't want to come off an as uppity vegan ass). I love the show!!

Brett R said...

Saw the episode last night. Many congrats. I'm a newbie (started watching regularly at the start of Season 2), but anxious to buy Season 1.

Exceptional writing, extremely deep characters, outstanding dialogue. Last night was my reward for talking the crap out of this show to co-workers. I'll admit--Opie's got me conflicted.

Keep on keepin' on.

Laters,

Brett

Consider The Sword or Zach Wylde for a cover or two.

weetiger3 said...

SOA is the best show on television right now, bar none. I have loved your music choices in every episode, (as others have mentioned, Katey Sagal's version of "Ruby Tuesday" was heartbreakingly beautiful.) While it's too bad you weren't able to get permission for the Bruce song, I'm glad you say you found a better choice.
I won't say "can't wait" because if we're talking about the 2nd season finale, that means after that there will be no more new episodes for God knows how long. Not something I want to think about while I'm savoring each one.

Kevin said...

Kurt,
Check out Rory Gallagher's version of "As The Crow Flies" from the album A Blue Day For The Blues. I think Tony Joe White is the origional artist. The lyrics are a good fit for the show.

scgiants said...

Ope knows - well at least in the real world he would have figured it out. Look... the obvious is as he is about to kill the set up rival rm he hesitates... thats his set up. He wants to see what happens and low and behold he comes back and the guy can't talk because he has his mouth blown away w/ a bullet hole. So then he leaves a tell tale mark. The anarchy sign. He knows full well that any 1%er club that is worth the diamond they wear would have had quick and drastic retaliation - there was none. BIG mistake not to leave it on there. So then add in Ope's experience with how a club runs. He knows there is no way that order coudl be issues without the Prez and SAO okaying it. Then go back to the church - when he knew that the Feb broad set him up to look like a rat - he asks Clay "ar we ok?" Clay says "yea" - it's pure BS that he would just take his word and Ope knows that. Because no matter how a club appears on the outside - and no matter how much they act as if they are all "Brothers" there is always inside politics and in the bigger clubs truth is nobody trusts one another - yea sure over most civilains sure - but not really. Then add in how him and Jax have been friends since childhood - Ope knows he can trust jax. He is probably the ONLY one he can trust and he sees how PISSED Jax has been at Clay. He knows - if he doesn't know that Clay ordered the hit and it was a mistake then he the biggest idiot that ever wore a patch. Add in the experience he got in prison too? Man, he better know otherwise I will be deeply disapointed in the show lol. If the show wasn't supposed to go this way then I justgave you the idea for season 3 to have it all unfold. If that happens email me for my addy so FX can open their FAT wallets and send me a new ride! My back is shot and I need a bigger bike that the money isn't there for because I am not in a club anymore and instead do things the hard way - the real tough guy way - I earn them lol.
Anyway now that dream time is over - seriously, he HAS to have figured it out. Now - how will he handle it is where the rubber meets the road. Will he turn rat thinking none of them can be trusted and they aren't worth the spit on the ground after doing time in prison and also losing his wife from a hit meant for him? Could happen.. after all even his best friend Jax didnt' tell him the truth of it. Not too much of a friend there - certainly no brother. Or is Ope a true 1%er and would NEVER tell feds? (If he is he wouldn't ever - under any circumstance - although I have heard of ways that things could get leaked so they know but not by him)or will he just kill em' all and let God sort em out? Nah - he could split off though and start his own club. That I can see. Anyway, not too much chrome and black please on that Electra-Glide lol

scgiants said...

Black Label Society does a real good and dark version of "In my time of Dying" by Led Zeppelin. May wanna check it out.
Another good one that imo would fit the show is "Bridge of Sighs" by Robin Trowler. Classic song.

tonilost said...

Seeing the promo for next week freaks me out, nooooooo, not Otto! I'm nervousing till next week.

Boston Girl said...

Love the show.

There seems to be a lot of commercials this Season (2)for each episode.

Just wondering why?

cheryl said...

rebeccaduge
i believe eddy is halfsacks name probably his christian name

Max Randal said...

I think Polanski should spend a day in Charming.

tonilost said...

Sonny? as in HAMC Sonny. legendary! My father was in a club in the early 50's, his photos from back then are off the hook. When I first saw them I was in my early 20's and I cracked up at this man trying to act all straight and shit but having pics of him dressed like Brando on a fatboy. He was a happening little badboy from Newark once upon a time.

Grumbler said...

MASK (1985) with Cher had Springsteen in the original theatre release.

However, they had to use Bob Seger in the DVD release. The current director's cut DVD has Springsteen tracks after they got things worked out.

How many of you know Davie Allan & The Arrows? Blues' Theme on The Wild Angels. See www.davieallan.com for more info.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kurt, awesome show! But about the song, not always the straight path is the shortest.You should have tried to contact Steve van Zandt!!!

Greetings from a big spanish fan.

Javier

Greer & Robert said...

My husband and I love your show. We do not ride motorcycles and are not part of the lifestyle/family. We started watching your show mostly because of Katy Sagal (I think she is beautiful and still rockin HOT)and got hooked on Episode 1. We look forward to Tuesday nights and the awesome twists provided in the drama. This season is intense and we love it. Thanks! Big Fans in Ft. Lauderdale!!!

BAR10 said...

Hi there, first time I've used this resource..

It's very interesting for me to see just how the music for the show is sourced and at times just how difficult it obviously is to get hold of exactly what you want.

I work with an unknown, globally and as yet unsigned band and after seeing the show I couldn't help but notice how some of their tracks from a yet unreleased album of theirs completely sum up the ongoing conflicts within the dynamic of the series..It literally smacked me in the face. They haven't even seen the show as it has not aired in their native country yet.

So, this is kind of an open question as to where and who to approach to try and get a hearing for them. If this is not an appropriate place to ask this question I wholeheartedly apologize...but if you don't ask, you don't get answers..

Thanks for your time and many congratulations on a fine show..

Beth Lagaron said...

I'm a little behind in getting into SOA and this blog (initially I was drawn to it because I am a huge Guillermo del Toro fan--having written my dissertation on Pan's Labyrinth-- and I saw that Ron Perlman was a part of SOA. How can I not watch a show starring Hellboy?), but in a few short weeks, I have completely caught up with seasons 1 and 2 and I consider myself an avid fan. I feel the need to see everything you and your marvelous cast of actors have ever been a part of (I just got my hands on Queer as Folk UK and The Shield is next on my radar). Having said all this, I just want you to know that your writing has been a huge source of motivation and inspiration for me-- with a little twinge of envy (along the line of, "Fuck! That's so good; I wish I had written it!"). You're amazing. Thank you for reminding me that television can and should be challenging and thought-provoking.