It might come as a shock to some fans of The Walking Dead, but “Easy Street” wasn’t always the choice for Daryl’s torture song.
When I think back to The Walking Dead episode “The Cell” I always wondered what filming those scenes with “Easy Street” blasting in the background must have been like. Norman Reedus recently shed some light on the subject, and what he said was kind of surprising.
As it turns out, “Easy Street” wasn’t playing while the scenes were shooting, and Reedus didn’t hear the song until he saw the episode when it premiered. While they were filming they played a different song, a children’s song called “It’s OK to Cry.” (That song title is actually perfect given that Negan granted the group permission to cry before killing Abraham and Glenn)
The cast received a copy of The Collapsable Hearts Club band’s song as a gift, and Reedus couldn’t help but ask how they arrived at “Easy Street” in the end:
"AMC gave us a present, which was that record. But I feel bad. I asked, ‘How did you pick the song for this?’ and one of the producers said, “Y’know, it’s hard to get a band to agree to have one of their songs used as torture…” -so we ended up with that one!"
Hearing this explanation makes a lot of sense. Imagine the ask on that: “Could we use your song on The Walking Dead as an instrument of torture?” I can’t imagine that would go over well with many bands, even with the prestige of being featured on the most popular show on television. While Daryl may not appreciate “Easy Street” we know that Eugene found it to be a catchy little tune.
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Reedus also discussed having to be naked and filthy in those cell scenes, crediting the makeup artists for their hard work getting the dirt all over. He also talked about staying strong as a tribute to the memories of Abraham and Glenn. Staying strong in their memory was important for Daryl as he stood up to Negan and refused to give in.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.