Category: Sons of Anarchy

‘Sons of Anarchy’s' Katey Sagal talks about her other life, as a singer

KateysagalWhile Gemma was falling to the pavement from a heart attack, the actress who portrays her  was soulfilly singing over the melodrama. We caught up with "Sons of Anarchy" star Katey Sagal to talk about her double life as a singer.

LAT: You’ve recorded two solo albums, and you wrote most of the tracks on those records. But the songs you record for "Sons of Anarchy" are covers, like [Wednesday] night’s Leonard Cohen classic, "Bird on a Wire." Do you have a preference for covers versus your own music?

KS: My last record, "Room," I recorded three covers. I love interpreting other people’s music. For "Sons," Bob Thiele, the show’s music supervisor, arranges the songs in a way that’s very different and I sing them differently than the original artist, so it’s really fun. There’s so many great songs already written, it’s kind of really wonderful you don’t have to write your own.

LAT: Who’s your backup band, and where do you record the tracks for the show?

KS: Bob has a great list of musicians that cut a lot of our source music for the show. He has a studio at his house and we record the band and I do the vocals. Bob is somebody I’ve been working with long before "Sons of Anarchy." He produced my last record, and he’s been my friend for the last 25 years so we’ve played a lot of music together.

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'Sons of Anarchy' recap: An attack of the heart

SOA_304_0048Episode Four made me want to bust out a bottle of Jameson -- and smash it over the head of Father Ashby. Then join Jax for a shot -- or three -- of Johnnie Walker and help him hunt for his son.

I hear the Irish highlands are quite lovely from the saddle of a well-tuned bike. And so is the Europa, the most bombed hotel in Belfast, and possibly all of Europe.

The 10 Gs Opie got for his Panhead probably won't cover a night's pub crawl in Northern Ireland, considering how SAMCRO drinks. But it's looking less and less likely the MC will head to Vancouver, Canada, now that Gemma has sent her dad packing to the old folks' home and stolen Tara's car to get back to Charming only to find an empty crib.

Hopefully Tara's got the proper meds in her doctor bag to treat Gemma's heart attack so the club gets the message and can book their flights out of Dodge. If Tara doesn't, I'm sure SAMCRO, with its massive substance abuse issues, knows someone who does and can wheel it up to the clubhouse, stat. If the club's skipping bail, they might as well skip it big. Or, as Katey Sagal sings over the closing montage of this week's show, they have to find their way to be free.

Check Show Tracker later Wednesday for an interview with Sagal about her singing contributions to the show.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: FX


Kurt Sutter and Hal Holbrooke bring out the sensitive side of 'Sons of Anarchy'

SoA_301_0231 This may come as a shock, but Kurt Sutter, creator of the bloody, testosterone-charged biker drama "Sons of Anarchy," isn't afraid to show his sensitive side. Like in Tuesday night's episode of the FX series, where guest star Hal Holbrook, playing Gemma Morrow Teller's dementia-stricken father, gets shuttled off to an assisted living facility.

"Hal Holbrook will break your heart tonight. Don't miss 'Home,' Sutter said via Twitter to his nearly 14,000 followers. "One of my favorite eps of the season."

Sutter, who's become nearly as well known for his hair-trigger temper and vitriolic blog posts as for his groundbreaking series, said he and his crew were "very emotional" when they filmed the heart-tugging final episode in Holbrook's story arc.

"I experienced that with my grandfather, and a number of people on set could relate to seeing a loved one go to a nursing home and all the guilt that comes with it," he said. "It was very powerful."

Four-time Emmy-winner Holbrook had been at the top of Sutter's wish list of guest stars, and Sutter said he was thrilled to learn that Holbrook was interested in appearing in the gritty series that's often referred to as Hamlet on motorcycles. But then Holbrook's wife, Dixie Carter, died last spring and Sutter said he backed off the idea because filming was scheduled to begin almost immediately after her passing.

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'Sons of Anarchy': Stephen King is one creepy dude

SoA_Ep303_0227 Until this week's episode, my favorite "Sons" guest star had been Henry Rollins, who, incidentally, DJs the best radio show in L.A. on KCRW. This week's creepy Stephen King cameo, however, rivals Rollins for my props. The king of macabre fiction spends just a few minutes on screen as "Bachman," a cleaner who's been called in to dispose of the Guatemalan caregiver, who was offed in yet another unsavory and unplanned stabbing. But King's few minutes are sticky, both memory- and plot-wise.

Riding up on his red Hog, Bachman looks like a basement dweller who rarely sees the light of day or, for that matter, other living humans. He is pale, thin-lipped, unsmiling. His demeanor is dry to the point of being unpersonable -- exactly what you'd expect for a guy who'll make a body disappear for a scant $1,600.

At first, I wasn't sure what Bachman would be doing when he felt up the dead woman's body and looked in her mouth. Was he a necrophiliac? More likely, he was just checking to see if her rack was real and if she had any fillings that might interfere with his plan to "disappear" her voluptuous, and now rigor-mortised, bod. 

Intrigued by the shopping list he handed Tig and Gemma, I did some research to see what Bachman might have requested to get rid of the body. Several websites pointed to Drano, lye and Coca-Cola as easy-to-get items for dissolving a body into a gel that could be flushed down a drain. Many referenced John George Haig, a.k.a. the acid bath murderer -- a British serial killer who purportedly dissolved five people between 1944 and 1948 using sulfuric acid.

A prolific writer, King surely has lots to do, especially with the upcoming release of his latest, "Full Dark, No Stars." Hopefully he can carve out some time to return to "Sons" for another creepy cleaning.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: FX

Stephen King cleans up on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Yes, that guy who appears out of nowhere on Tuesday night's episode of "Sons of Anarchy" is none other than author and Entertainment Weekly columnist Stephen King.

King wound up in the episode, after he wrote in his EW column that he likes "Sons of Anarchy" because "it's one of those shows that seems to have gotten better as it goes along" and creator and Executive Producer Kurt Sutter got in touch with him.

Sutter thanked King and offered him a part on the show.

"Ordinarily, I'd say no," King told FX in this interview for "But he said he'd put me on a Harley, so here I am."

King, who has been riding his Harley since he was 22, plays a "cleaner" named Bachman in the episode.

You can watch the interview here:


--Maria Elena Fernandez

Video credit: FX


Complete Show Tracker coverage of "Sons of Anarchy"

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: A fine Irish stew

SOAepisode2season3As I watched Jax and Opie race toward the bleeding face of a rival club member SAMCRO had buried up to his neck in dirt, I thought: This show is becoming increasingly Roman. Where does "Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter come up with this stuff? Is it based in reality, or are these shocking vignettes purely the product of his imagination?

Regardless, it makes for some pretty intense TV.

Episode 2 of Season 3 delves deeper into the ordinarily taboo subject of race relations, as the Sons M.C. allies itself with blacks, pursues various Latino clubs for leads into the previous episode's drive-by and negotiates with the Irish about Abel's whereabouts. The Irish theme is strengthening, and in a decidedly Irish way: with the inclusion of the Catholic church. "Church" having various meanings in outlaw motorcycle culture, Sutter's choice to play up this religious subplot is intriguing, as is his decision to turn Father Ashby into a two-faced man of the cloth who makes questionable moral choices in his service of God.

I'm keen to see how Gemma's own religious awakening may interplay with this other emerging theme, especially since Ashby is involved in the kidnapping of Gemma's grandson, Abel, who Gemma still doesn't know is missing. I'm also curious to see how the increasingly bizarre scenario at Gemma's dad's house plays out, now that Tig's sleeping with the caregiver, Gemma's dad has shot Tig in the back, and the caregiver -- "Guatie hottie," as Gemma calls her -- has found out the Sons matriarch is on the lam and she could fetch $25,000 for turning Gemma in.  

The town of Charming is becoming less so, and in a delightfully twisted way.

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: FX

'Sons of Anarchy': Another beloved character says goodbye

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this post if you haven't watched the third season premiere of "Sons of Anarchy."

SoA_ep206_0193 "Sons of Anarchy" ain't playing.

If fans of the FX drama didn't catch their breath over the hiatus, it's not going to happen now. Still reeling from the kidnapping of baby Abel and the gruesome and sad stabbing death of everyone's favorite Prospect (Johnny Lewis), viewers now must also cope with the sudden passing of Deputy Chief David Hale.

And we mean sudden.

When that other outlaw gang showed up at Prospect's viewing and opened fire on SAMCRO, a lot of blood was shed.

But we never saw it coming — the gangster van that plowed into the almost chief of police, killing him instantly.

"As far as deaths on that show go, it was about as merciful as I can remember," actor Tayler Sheridan, who played Hale, said during a phone interview. "It was fitting to Hale that he went out in battle without any regard or awareness."

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'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Who's your baby? [updated]

SoA_Ep301_0604 It will be hard to top the nefarious brew of "Sons of Anarchy," Season 2, with Gemma’s rape, SAMCRO’s porn biz, Charming’s potential neo-Nazi takeover and the kidnapping of Jax’s baby – plot lines that took so many characters’ skeletons out of the closet and rattled them around, pushing the M.C. to the brink. But the Season 3 opener keeps up the momentum.

Personally, I would’ve liked the show to open with Jax scoring H from the Mayans instead of slumping on the floor by Abel’s empty crib, because screaming at the end of a dock didn’t seem appropriate for a man whose baby had just been snatched by an IRA gun supplier. But that’s the mom in me. Ultimately, Sutter made the better call in having Jax act out as he did by the end of Episode 1: repeatedly bashing in the face of a guy who killed an innocent kid.

With its opener, "Sons" is as brutal and Tarantino-esque as ever, but it isn’t gratuitous. Its leather-clad toughs are just becoming more fully formed versions of themselves, especially the women. As much as "Sons" is Hamlet-esque in its theme of father-son relationships, it’s also about daughters.

We know Gemma’s MO: to be a fierce mother, which she continues to prove. I love the scene of her using a newspaper only to catch her nail trimmings, then reading it to find out about her dad's wife dying. Whether it’s hot-wiring a car or sassing back to Tig, Gemma seems different this season. She may be on the lam, but her mood is more playful. And so is her look. I’m relieved to see her shed the leather-and-lace Stevie Nicks thing and get more rocker. [Updated 9-8-10, 12:40 p.m.: A previous version of this post stated Gemma had read about Abel's kidnapping in the newspaper.]
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'Sons of Anarchy' rides in with new characters and a trip to Ireland

SOA3 You can take the outlaw bikers out of Charming, but, well ... you're going to need quite a few added characters to make it worthwhile.

Kurt Sutter, who created "Sons of Anarchy" and executive produces, writes and directs the show, did just that.

The new season of "SOA" premieres Sept. 7 on FX, and at some point in the season the motorbike gang will be heading to Ireland.

The third season picks up several days after the second season finale, which drew more than 4.3 million viewers. In the finale, the Sons missed Irishman Cameron on the dock and lost the chance to save Abel from his clutches. (How could one forget Jax's heart-wrenching wail?) Now the obsessive, tireless search is in full effect. 

And if the season feels a little heavy in the ensemble department, well, that’s because it is. A mob of guest actors joins the outlaw chaos — just don’t expect to find a leather-clad Betty White revving up a Harley. Stunt casting is not likely to be found on the series.

“I tend to stay away from familiar faces because it closes you to the reality of the world, and also, quite frankly, on our budget, we can’t afford it,” Sutter said.

So someone like, say, Timothy Dalton, who was pitched as a potential figure in the Irish storyline that is explored this season, wasn't an option. “If I hired Timothy Dalton, I wouldn’t have been able to hire anybody else," he said.

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TCA Press Tour: 'Sons of Anarchy' crew doesn't want your Emmy anyway

Soa We’re all pretty familiar with Kurt Sutter’s reaction to “Sons of Anarchy's” shutout from the Emmy nominations. The creator and producer of the FX series, which just happens to be the network’s highest-rated show (and a critical darling), took to his blog to lament the snub after nominations were announced. But what do the (mostly) hard-as-nails cast have to say?

Ron Perlman, who plays rough and tough Clay Morrow — the leader of the outlaw biker gang — kept his response short and sweet when asked about the lack of Emmy love during the TCA press tour.

“Buck ‘em,” he said, cigar in hand.

Charlie Hunnam, who plays Jax Teller, actually wanted to give thanks to the academy, likening the whole awards process to a crock of stew or something to that nature.

“I would just like to say that actually I personally was really happy,” he said.  “I don’t subscribe to Emmys or awards; … I think it’s corrupting. I was happy we weren’t on the receiving end,  … that could change the dynamic that we have. All of that crap I just think is secondary and completely unimportant. “

Tommy Flanagan, who plays Filip 'Chibs' Telford, would have preferred just giving a hand gesture — and we’re assuming it wasn’t a thumb up.

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TCA Press Tour: Critical acclaim doesn't always bring Emmy love for FX shows

FX's popular "Sons of  Anarchy," "Rescue Me" and "Justified" rank among the most acclaimed shows by TV critics as well as viewers. But the edgy dramas were snubbed by Emmy voters, who declined to give the show any nominations.

"The Emmys live in their own separate universe," said FX President and General Manager John Landgraf. Even though he noted that those shows, which all fall within the FX brand of edgy, raw material,  all received "universal acclam," he noted that "Damages" was the only FX series to receive any marquee nominations from Emmy voters.

Landgraf said that while "Damages" takes place in the world of upper-class Manhattan and involves mostly wealthy characters, "we have a tendency to do the literature of the common man or the common woman. Nobody is going to get any lessons on personal grooming from 'Sons of Anarchy.' But it's literature, and it's entertaining. And we have had great fortune and great success with that."

While the cable network established itself with hard-edged dramas such as "The Shield" and "Rescue Me," FX is developing more comedies. "Louie," the sitcom starring Louis C.K. which premiered five weeks ago, has been renewed for a second season, and it has ordered a new comedy pilot, "USS Alabama" from "Reno 911" producers Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon.

--- Greg Braxton

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FX announces its fall schedule

FX announced its fall schedule Thursday, including the return of three series and the premiere of one drama.

Returning are:

"Sons of Anarchy":
Its third season begins on Sept. 7 at 10 p.m.

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" begins its sixth season on Sept. 16 at 10 p.m.

"The League" returns for its sophomore season on Sept. 16 at 10:30 p.m.

The new drama "Terriers" premieres on Sept. 8 at 10 p.m.  It was created by Ted Griffin ("Ocean's Eleven") and  produced by Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"), and stars Donal Logue ("The Tao of Steve") and Michael Raymond-James ("True Blood"). The comedic drama centers on an ex-cop (Logue) who partners with his best friend (Raymond-James) to launch an unlicensed private detective business. FX will air 13 episodes of the new series.

— Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Donal Logue, left, and Michael Raymond-James on "Terriers." Photo credit: Jessica Brooks / FX.


Complete Show Tracker coverage of "Sons of Anarchy"

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