The Making of The Beatles' “Tomorrow Never Knows”


25 Responses to “The Making of The Beatles' “Tomorrow Never Knows””

  1. Marcelo Teson says:

    Wiener is wrong about it being the first time. The Beatles had a cartoon show in the 60′s that used a bunch their licensed recordings including “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and “The Prisoner” used “All You Need is Love” in one of their episodes. In addition to that WKRP in Cincinatti used a loophole in video rights vs film rights to play a few Beatles songs (though they didn’t make it to reruns or DVD, etc).

    It’s still a major get to get a song like that in this day and age, but it’s not the first time ever.


    Also, the largesse of spending 250k for the rights to a song is pretty much the reason I stopped working in Hollywood post sound.

  2. Bobsyeruncle says:

    $250K?  Did any of the actual Beatles get any of it?

  3. Presumably, Beatles’ rather than Beatle’s.

  4. jay smooth says:

    In the late 90s I remember catching the last episode of a cancelled soap opera, that ended with a montage of highlights set to Abbey Road’s “The End” ..some googling indicates it was ABC’s short lived “The City”:;article=30979; (Yes, yes, I used to watch soaps)

    But nitpicks aside, still a great moment from Weiner and crew.

  5. Eccentric Genius says:

    Get Back was used as party scene music in an episode of UFO. 

    Which was the best TV show ever when you’re 13

  6. Narmitaj says:

    I remember “Paperback Writer” being used as the theme tune for a mid-1970s BBC TV book review programme called Read All About It presented by Melvyn Bragg. As far as I recall, that was the original Beatles recording.

    A bit of snoopgling indicates that it seems Freud On Food, also in the 70s, presented by Clement Freud (MP, grandson of Sigmund, brother of Lucian), had “Savoy Truffle” from the White Album as its theme, the Holiday programme used “Here Comes the Sun”, and The Prisoner had a snippet of “All You Need is Love”, and Dr Who had a bit of “Ticket To Ride “. But I don’t recall those personally. Maybe in those days it wasn’t such a big deal, or maybe some were covers.

    • Marcelo Teson says:

      Dr. Who’s “Ticket to Ride” was a live music performance of the Beatles. Those aren’t actually that hard to get access to. It’s the studio recordings that are locked up tight.

  7. Brad Bell says:

    Re-listening:, the song is a fairly early example of sample-based music. It’s all made out of tape loops. And it’s not half a step away from Public Enemy and RZA and Mobb Deep. On that basis, it’s the best Beatles track. 

    • CharlieDodgson says:

      On the basis of the samples?  There’s quite a bit more of that on some of their other records — throughout Sgt. Pepper, to say nothing of “Revolution #9″. 

      (Though oddly not on the version of Tomorrow Never Knows that was playing behind the “making of” clip — that was an earlier take, which never got the full tape-loop treatment.)

  8. Ramone says:

    “….when Roger and Jane drop acid at a psychiatrist’s dinner party.”

    Not a “psychaitrist” a psychologist– and it was Timothy Leary!

    • cleek says:

      was it actually supposed to be Leary, or was Roger just making a joke?

    • tkdgns says:

      Psychiatrist, and it’s the wife, not the husband. Jane says, “Catherine has been the psychiatrist of some celebrities.” I don’t think it’s stated what exactly the husband’s field is, though at the beginning of the scene he seems to be talking about modal logic or something. But he’s bald and wears glasses and acts nothing like Timothy Leary, so I’m pretty sure it was just Roger making a joke.

  9. dfletcher says:

    Great song, one of my all time favorites. I was reminded of it recently – hadn’t heard it in decades – by the movie Sucker Punch, which has a pretty nice version of it:

  10. GuyInMilwaukee says:

    My favorite version was by Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera in the band 801 recorded live in 1976. I’ve collected quite a few version of this great song. Here’s my collection if anyone wants a listen. The version by Jim Morrison with Jimi Hendrix is awful… but kinda funny.

  11. Mark Rogers says:

    Not the first. All You Need Is Love was played on the final episode of The Prisoner. Chilling.

    From what I understand, The Beatles were fans of the show.

  12. Ed Beaty says:

    “With a Little Help From My Friends” was used in the 1979 PBS movie, “The Lathe of Heaven”.  They had to replace the original version with a cover before they could release a DVD of it a few years ago, because of the expense of licensing it.

  13. Scott Pickell says:

    During the last week of Conan’s run of The Tonight Show, he played “Lovely Rita” for Tom Hanks as a walk-on song at the reported cost of $500,000. Link in question for refrence purposes: they mean a complete airing of a Beatles song on a TV show? I didn’t see the Mad Men episode in question.

  14. Kimmo says:

    This is definitely one of my fave Beatles tracks. As good as they were before acid, there’s no comparison IMO…

    I had a pretty mind-blowing listen to Sabbath’s Master of Reality on acid once… came away from that quite sure that LSD opens up vast new realms of musical experience.

Leave a Reply