If, like me, you were blown away by the brilliant use of "Tomorrow Never Knows" in the episode's closing minutes, you'll be interested in this article from the NYTimes ArtsBeat Blog:
In most cases, “Mad Men” is bound by the history of the era in which it takes place. But on Sunday night, a new episode of that 1960s period drama that concluded with the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows” appears to have made some history of its own, marking a rare instance in which a song written and recorded by that band has been licensed for use on a television series.
“It was always my feeling that the show lacked a certain authenticity because we never could have an actual master recording of the Beatles performing,” Matthew Weiner, the creator and show runner of “Mad Men,” said in a telephone interview on Monday. “Not just someone singing their song or a version of their song, but them, doing a song in the show. It always felt to me like a flaw. Because they are the band, probably, of the 20th century.”There's no question that you can't DO the 60s without doing the Beatles: they provided the soundtrack for the era. Not alone, and not always ahead of the curve, but the Beatles had saturation. If they were doing it--whatever it was at the moment--you knew it was the thing to do.
An interesting point about the use of the Beatles here: early in the episode, Don is looking around for a song that sounds like "A Hard Day's Night" to use in a commercial that looks like, well, A Hard Day's Night. Problem here: it's now fall 1966 (when yours truly was born!) so that movie was two years old at that point. Hardly cutting edge. But it does introduce the tantalizing idea that you can find things LIKE the Beatles, but it won't BE the Beatles. (Herman's Hermits are rejected by the staff of SCDP; the eventual winner, as this Times story tells us, was another song with an obscure Beatle connection: "'September in the Rain,' the Wedgewoods track that Draper and his colleagues contemplate as a substitute for an authentic Fab Four tune, is one of 15 songs the Beatles performed at a 1962 audition for Decca Records.")
And in a cringe-worthy moment: "Mr. Weiner pointed to another Mad Men episode from earlier this season, in which a Beach Boys song is played during a character’s LSD trip. “No one ever asked, ‘What does it cost to have that song?’ ” he said. “You think that that’s free?”" Ouch.
The real capper, though: Don listens to "Tomorrow Never Knows," doesn't quite "get" it, turns it off, and walks away. This does not bode well for his transition into the rest of the sixties.