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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

September 07, 1968 - The band fulfills some old Yardbirds dates in Scandanavia
September xx, 1969 - Jimmy Page is reported saying the second album will be harder than the first
September 19, 1970 - Led Zeppelin gross over $100,000 for two performances at Madison Square Gardens on the same day
September xx, 1971 - Jimmy Page is furious over a live Yardbirds release. It was forced off the shelves
September xx, 1971 - The band vacations in Hawaii
September xx, 1972 - Discussions to play various countries ends with a decision to play Japan again
September xx, 1973 - Jimmy Page considers a live release of material before releasing a new album
September 14, 1974 - Led Zeppelin and CSN&Y jam at an after party
September xx, 1975 - Jimmy meets up with Robert in Malibu, where he is staying on a tax exile
September 12, 1976 - Page and Bonham return to Switzerland and record a drum piece title Bonzo’s Montreux
September 08, 1977 - Page takes to the stage with other well knowns at a WEA records sales conference
September 15, 1978 - Zep road manager Richard Cole and Bad Company’s Simon Kirke get married in a double ceremony
September 17, 1979 - Promoter Fred Bannister forced into liquidation over Knebworth Sales with Led Zeppelin
September 18, 1980 - Jimmy reviews a new stage set up and technical details for the Eighties Part One tour at Swan Song offices
September 25, 1980 - John Bonham is found dead in Jimmy Page’s Windsor mansion by sound technician Benji Le Fevre
September 12, 2007 - It was announced at a press conference by Harvey Goldsmith that the remaining members of Led Zeppelin would reunite with Jason Bonham on drums.
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