“The song of the century, so far” T Bone Burnett On Choosing Leonard Cohen’s Nevermind For The ‘True Detective’ Opening

On June 21, 2015, the pop cultural zeitgeist was made manifest in the 90 second introduction of Season 2 of the HBO series, True Detective, as the opening credits unrolled while Leonard Cohen intoned the theme song, a shortened version of Nevermind. Interest multiplied when the strategy of playing different portions of the song at the start of each episode became apparent.

T Bone Burnett, the show’s music supervisor, explained both why the song was chosen and why different verses were played before each episode.


To me, ‘Nevermind’ is the song of the century so far, coming from one of the wisest men in our culture. I look at it as an extraordinary gift to the audience. It feels very much like Los Angeles right now: beautiful, dark, brooding, dangerous, covert. The reason the lyrics change is just because there are a lot of important lyrics in the song that all apply, and we’re doing our best to play the whole song for people.



T Bone Burnett


Also See

Excerpted from T Bone Burnett Explains Leonard Cohen ‘True Detective’ Opening by Richard Bienstock (Rolling Stone: August 14, 2015)

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry is formed from material originally posted from June to Aug 2015.

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