HBO’s True Blood is a very music-centric show. All of the episode titles are based on song titles or lyrics, and the show’s soundtracks have been nominated for Grammy Awards twice. But last night’s episode presented a challenge.
It was titled “Let’s Boot And Rally,” inspired by a memorable quote from main character Sookie. However, there was no existing song that really worked with the title. So, Music Supervisor Gary Calamar did the sensible thing: he wrote a new song, “Let’s Boot And Rally.” [warning: spoilers ahead]
The song was performed during the credits by a trans-generational duo team: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Stooges frontman Iggy Pop with indie rocker Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. Iggy’s management team let it be known that Pop is a big fan of the HBO series and would be interested in doing a song for an episode.
Calamar tells CBS Local that working with Iggy was a huge thrill. “For me to work with an artist like Iggy Pop is a dream come true. I have always dabbled in songwriting but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that someone like Iggy would ever record a song of mine.”
Iggy and the Stooges introduced Calamar to a somewhat darker form of music: “My first memories of Iggy and The Stooges was that I was a little scared of him. As a kid I started listening to bands like The Beatles and The Beach Boys and Iggy was a whole different animal. When he went solo and started working with David Bowie was when I got more familiar with him and his work. I’ve been a big fan ever since.” (Bowie produced two Iggy solo albums in 1977: The Idiot and Lust For Life. The Idiot featured the original version of “China Girl,” co-written by both artists, which Bowie later recorded on his own in 1983 for Let’s Dance).
As for getting Bethany Cosentino involved: “I am a big fan of Bethany and Best Coast. I knew she was local in LA and I had met her before and she was cool. I thought she would be perfect for the duet with Iggy and it would be great to have a veteran Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer sing together with a new up-and-comer who is on her way. I had thought of a few other possibilities but Bethany was the only person I had reached out to and fortunately she loved the idea.”
The instruments were recorded by James Combs, who co-wrote the song, John Would, who produced, and drummer Amy Wood. Calamar reveals that there was a little extra percussion added to the track: “Me and my 10-year-old daughter Zoe added some hand claps.”
“Let’s Boot And Rally” is available for download on iTunes today. The term, for those who don’t know, refers to when someone has drank too much, throws up, and keeps on partying. In the context of the episode, the main character Sookie puked right as she was getting intimate with werewolf Alcide, and then learns she has to help her two ex-boyfriends Bill and Eric chase down a bad guy, Russell Edgington.
The other musical moment on the show was at the bar Fangtasia, where new vampire Tara was bonding with slightly older vampire Jessica. The music playing in the background was Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Rescue” (sample lyrics: “If I said I’d lost my way, would you sympathize?”).
Next week’s episode six marks the half-way point of the season, and is titled “Hopeless.”
Brian Ives, CBS Local