So, I came across a rerun episode of Entourage over the weekend. It’s one of those shows I can watch over and over again without tiring of it. But it’s not the show itself that I look forward to the most. It’s the music.
I love that each song seems to fit the scene and the situation perfectly. I love that I watch every single credit roll because the last song is always that good. I love that the music of Entourage is as much a character as Vince or Ari.
As I watched my weekend rerun, I wondered who was responsible for all the great music. That dream job belonged to Scott Vener, who is currently the music supervisor for How to Make It in America and 90210. Vener had never worked as a music consultant previous to Entourage. He says it kind of just happened.
Vener was a long-time friend of the show’s creator, Doug Ellin. When Ellin showed Vener the pilot episode, he told his friend he couldn’t pay attention to the jokes because the music was so bad. He pitched a few of his own ideas, which were used. By 2007, Vener was hired as the show’s official music consultant.
How did Vener choose the right music?
“I think when I’m placing music, mostly at the end credits, what I’m thinking in my head is, ‘I have 10 friends who I know love music, and if I can stump five out of those 10, then I won,” he told NPR music’s Laura Sullivan. “Or if I can make them say, ‘Oh my god, I remember that,’ Then I won.”
Vener often chose unknown music to reflect the show’s energy and tone. He became known for discovering new music. But Vener says it’s the music buffs online that really deserve the credit because that’s where he looked to find a lot of the music he used.
And Vener says that HBO gave him a surprising amount of freedom with his song selections. “It’s unique for two reasons: You can use profanity, and HBO spends money on the music. They’re one of the few networks that will pony up and pay, and they stay out of your way and let you do what you want to do…”
One of the most exciting things about the music that airs on Entourage is that Vener has consistently broken tracks before they’ve been released anywhere else.
And long after the show’s final episode, Vener’s music choices continue to reach the masses. There are an endless number of websites dedicated to the music of Entourage. There is a Facebook profile called, “The Music of Entourage.” It features songs from a variety of episodes over the years.
And The Song Detective Blog states, “It’s one of the most common questions about the show Entourage we have gotten over the years: What’s the song playing during the end credits of entourage season x, episode x”. The blog actually offers a complete list of every song ever used during the closing credits of Entourage.
Vener says he has two personal favorites. The first is “In My Lifetime Remix” by Jay-Z (season six). The second is a song he used that was written by his brother, Josh. The song is called “Phone Bill Money” because Josh wanted to pay his phone bill. Vener says his brother made it on Garage Band on a keyboard and got paid about $250 for it. The song made its debut in season two. Vener says he got away with it because it was good and it worked perfectly for the scene.
For the record, Vener says he has only been turned down once on a request for licensing music to feature on the show. It was for “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles.