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The entire production company would orchestrate five nights in summer 2009 playing at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre. There, Russell Brand became both the Aldous Snow of current day and of 10 years prior in front of an audience of 1,500 extras and a few hundred crew…including a professional concert lighting company.

By the time the team arrived, toward the end of the Los Angeles portion of the shoot, it had already blocked, planned and choreographed every song, move and camera angle necessary for the events. Songs had been written, music arranged and Brand had laid down tracks.

To pull off the nights' events, they had to put on real rock shows. The team hired the talent who create special effects for rock concerts and had them design a light show. They created a previsual model of what was going to occur; all agreed that the results were stunning.

For the cast and crew, those five days were magical. Jonah Hill explains: "The Greek is my favorite venue in Los Angeles, where I grew up and live. So to actually go there and shoot a movie was awesome…to show up and see all the trucks and extras. I went out on stage and talked to the crowd for a second, and it felt totally unreal."

Brand, embodying a true rock star, went full-out for each performance. "It was brilliant fun," he states. "I really enjoyed the performances enormously. It's lovely living out your childhood fantasies to be a rock star. All the times I pretended to be a rock star, with a hairbrush and tennis racket…I got to live out those fantasies in front of thousands of people."

Director Nicholas Stoller explains the power of those key scenes: "It was the one time everyone I know visited the set. It sent chills down our spines. It looked awesome, and Russell's performance was amazing." He adds: "I should also note, the songs we have are exciting. Some of them are funny, but they're not parody songs. They're really rock songs. We tried to create a real rock album."

For that job, the filmmakers turned to veteran Judd Apatow music supervisor Jonathan Karp, who worked on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The "40-Year-Old-Virgin," "Knocked Up," "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express," as well as composer Lyle Workman, another seasoned Apatow vet and pivotal part of the production.

On most films, the music supervisor identifies what music is needed for the various shooting days, but as Karp explains: "In this case, music plays such a big role that there's a lot of story aspects to it as well." He found working on "Get Him to the Greek" "exciting because this is the first time I've had the opportunity to work on a movie where there was a preexisting character that we had already defined. Normally, in the early stages, the first thing you have to figure out is if you have characters singing. If so, who are they? What is their music? In this case, we knew all that going in. There was no confusion or development about who Aldous was."

Jason Segel, who wrote, starred in and also composed songs for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," had written a few songs before the script of "Get Him to the Greek" was even completed. Karp explains: "Jason would send us piano demos that were embryonic, but it was enough for us just to hear more Aldous Snow songs, since it was coming from the same voice that had created Aldous."

From there, composer Lyle Workman worked on the bridge, fleshed out the arrangements, added additional sections, hired the players and sent his work back to Segel, who then completed the lyrics.

Explains Segel of their process: "At three in the morning, I'd write on my piano the dumbest songs you could imagine. Then I would send them to Lyle, and he would turn them into actual songs; he was a great partner. Then he would send them back to me, and I recorded the vocal. Then we'd forward them to Russell, and he went in and recorded them."

For the many songs, the team brought in additional writers, such as former Pulp front man and Britpop icon Jarvis Cocker—as well as Mike Viola, Dan Bern, Inara George and Greg Kurstin. It was important for the music team to keep not only in line with the story, but underscore the tone of the film. "A lot of the songs started with Nick," Karp says. "'African Child' was his idea; he even had some lyrics. That song is a good example of how we bridged comedy with the song writing. If it gets too jokey, it's no longer good music."

Apatow explains how this bizarrely misguided idea came to be: "'African Child' is Aldous' politically thoughtful song about the plight of people in Africa. I guess he thought it was a sensitive song, and it's not. It's really offensive. But he didn't know that, which is a goof on bad attempts to say something positive. In the last movie he sang a song called 'We've Got to Do Something.' We thought, 'Let's do another one in that vein…and 'African Child' was born."

In total, approximately 20 songs were recorded. Five songs were featured in the two live Greek performances (current day and 1999), and one song was performed at the Today show. As well, production designer Jan Roelfs imagined four complete music videos, including several for Jackie Q. "Rose's songs are pretty risqué," says Karp. "But it didn't faze her at all," he says of Byrne, who also did her own singing for the film. "Jackie Q, while not based on a living person, is definitely a kind of Amy Winehouse/Courtney Love adventurous type of musician. Rose was able to fit right into that persona and make it her own."

Byrne wasn't exactly sure what she was in for when she auditioned. She recalls: "When I auditioned, they did not mention, 'Oh, can you sing?' I can't really sing, but I can hold a tune; I'm not tone deaf. I thought, 'What if I had been?' What would they have done then? But I did three days of recording, and it was so fun."

Keeping with the scope of the film was also a challenge. The songs in the movie are in two contexts. There's the 1999 Greek concert, which was more raw and carefree. Then, at the point we meet Aldous in the movie, he's very successful; his music has become a bit bloated and overproduced. The more recent Aldous songs reflect that change in direction…one of the reasons the rocker has gone into a tailspin.

In the months that Brand recorded songs from Aldous' past and present, his skills as a vocal artist developed. Karp compliments: "Russell's an amazing singer. This process has been interesting because we've seen his development over the recording of these songs. We've seen him in the beginning stages, struggling a little bit with certain passages, to where he is now, which is just effortless."

Rothman explains why this music is so important to the comedy: "Both Aaron and Aldous rediscover a love of music over the course of the movie. Aaron is a guy who begins the movie disillusioned about the music industry. He became a record employee imagining it would be amazing to get to hang out with your favorite rock stars, and he's learned that a lot of it is just about selling records, not about the music."

Bringing authenticity to the arena was Sean Combs, to whom the filmmakers looked frequently for input. As Stoller recalls: "It was great to turn to him and ask, 'Would they do this?' We had this whole plot point of Sergio telling Aaron, 'Don't get drunk on the road,' which always felt a little fake to me. I said to Sean, 'Would you ever tell a subordinate not to get drunk on the road?' He said, 'No, I would tell him just to keep it together.' Which was very, 'Oh, of course…that's what you'd say.'"

Of course, Combs doesn't want the audience to confuse his character with himself. "He's an eccentric, over-the-top record executive," the actor notes. "I know it sounds similar to me in real life, but it's really different. Sergio is much crazier than I am. I'm a very serious businessman. I wanted him to be just straight crazy. I can't wait for people to meet Sergio."

Concludes Rothman: "There's this cliché that all comedians secretly want to be rock stars, and this is definitely a movie where we've indulged the inner rock stars we wish we were. All of us secretly hope that this music will become successful and famous. We think we made one of the best rock albums of the last 10 years. When reality comes crashing down, that will be hard…"