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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

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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