Whenever you hear a song in a film, at some point, major money probably changed hands. An apparent exception to this is Townes Van Zandt's cover of "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones, which plays over the credits of The Big Lebowski. The Stones are obviously one of the biggest bands in the world, and have been for decades, but the filmmakers were allowed to use the track for free.
The story goes that the rights holder for the song, former Rolling Stones manager Allen Klein, offered to license it for $150,000. Not wanting to shell out this much money for a single song but also feeling like it was the best fit for the credits, producers invited Klein to watch an advance cut of the film in the hopes he'd lower his asking price.
Luckily for the producers, Klein did like Lebowski—in particular a scene in which the Dude tells a cab driver "I hate the f***in' Eagles," A line that reportedly made Klein laugh so hard he agreed to waive the fee entirely.