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‘True Blood’ Music Recap: Death, Lust & Led Zeppelin’s ‘In The Evening’

What we heard were ominous rumbles before Robert Plant wailed, "In the eeeeeve-ning... when the day is done."

What we saw was an anguished Eric Northman clutching Nora in the last moments of her life, before a strain of "Hep-V" led her to the "true death."

"Oh, oh, I need your love/I need your love/Oh, I need your love, I just got to have..." When Plant sang those lyrics on "In The Evening" (from Led Zeppelin's 1979 swan song In Through The Out Door), it was, like many of Zeppelin's blues-based songs, lust-driven. Hearing it as Eric grieves over Nora, his dead sister and lover (it's complicated), "In The Evening" becomes an anthem of despair.

Led Zeppelin is notoriously picky about licensing their music for TV, film and advertising synchs. Jack Black famously begged them for permission to use "Immigrant Song" in School Of Rock. True Blood music supervisor Gary Calamar told Radio.com how Zeppelin came to Bon Temps.

"One of our assistant editors did what every music supervisor dreads," he said. "He 'temped' the last scene with the song," meaning he put it in as a placeholder until they could figure out another song to use.

"This should never happen, as it leads to a phenomenon known as 'temp love,'" Calamar continued. "That is when the producers see the scene with a song temped in and it works really well, and now they can no longer see any other song working in that scene. When you have a rich and costly song like 'In The Evening,' that can be a big problem. We tried many other songs that worked to varying degrees, but nothing worked as well as 'In The Evening.' So after discussions, negotiations and hoop jumping, we hammered out a deal. And we are thrilled to have the song in the show."

Still, there are few other songs titled "In The Evening." Sheryl Lee Ralph's '80s era dance song "In The Evening" wouldn't have had the same gravitas, though "In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)," which has been recorded by John Lee Hooker, Gary Clark Jr. and Ray Charles, may have worked. But what if Zeppelin had said no, and there were no other alternatives? "The script always starts out with a title and a song to go along with that title," Calamar explained. "When we get to our spotting session it is decided if that writer's song choice will actually work, or if I need to find a replacement. I would say it's about 50/50 that the original song sticks."

Happily for everyone, this time it worked out. Well, happily for everyone except Eric and Nora.

Vampires certainly are having a rough time this season, but there were some rays of light this week. Well, not really, but at least some of them were getting naked. As arranged by former lover Jason Stackhouse (also complicated), Jessica had a secret meeting with James, the vampire who refused to rape her when ordered to do so by the scientists at "vamp camp" last week. (This week, she asked him to have sex with her; it was her first time with another vampire.) Elsewhere in vamp camp, the ever-crafty Pam continued to seduce the psychologist who has been picking her brain. You can play "In The Evening" in either of those scenes, and it would be equally effective, albeit with a different tone.

From: Radio.com

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

July xx, 1969 - The band play many festivals now on their third American tour
July xx, 1970 - Additional recording for Led Zeppelin III at London’s Island Studios
July 16, 1970 - Photographer Chris Welch films Led Zeppelin on his 8mm camera, some clips later used in the Whole Lotta Love promo video
July xx, 1971 - Untitled gets re-mixed in London
July 05, 1971 - A riot erupts mid-concert, forcing Led Zeppelin to stop after about 40 minutes
July xx, 1972 - After repeated bad press, Led Zeppelin hire their first publicity firm
July 20, 1973 - A last minute decision is made to film the remaining part of the tour
July xx, 1973 - Led Zeppelin is filmed over the three nights for their film that will emerge as The Song Remains The Same
July xx, 1974 - After viewing their 1973 filmed performance, it is apparent critical errors were made
July xx, 1974 - Mixing for Physical Graffiti at Olympic Studios
July 05, 1975 - The band meet in Montreux to discuss adding South America and Japan to the end of their North American tour
July xx, 1976 - Bonham and Page fly to Montreux, Switzerland to check out some new sound and drum effects
July 17, 1977 - The last ever performance of Moby Dick played at the Seattle Kingdome
July 24, 1977 - The band plays its last US date at the Oakland Coliseum
July xx, 1978 - Led Zeppelin are invited to perform at Maggie Bell’s Festival Hall show
July xx, 1979 - Led Zeppelin film their rehearsal at Bray Studios
July 04, 1979 - Led Zeppelin confirm a second date at Knebworth in August 1979
July 05, 1980 - Simon Kirke joins in on drums for an encore in Munich
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