In preparation for the climactic concert scene, Writer and Director Scott Cooper approached country singer Toby Keith about filming a live segment of his film during Keith's half-time break in Albuquerque's Journal Pavilion. The production had ten minutes in which to film Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell performing in front of five cameras and an audience of twelve thousand fans. Cooper's insistence on an element of surprise paid off when the audience went ballistic upon discovering the unexpected "star" guest spot. Farrell's appearance on stage further fueled the mass hysteria as cell phone cameras lit up the auditorium. The whole extravaganza was up on YouTube within a matter of a few hours.
The concert scenes where Bad (Jeff Bridges) opens for Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) were filmed at a Toby Keith concert at the Journal Pavilion in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Keith is thanked in the credits.
The party store owner who gives Bad Blake a gift bottle of his favorite Bourbon is named Bill Wilson. In the third act, Bad joins an unnamed recovery group that seems to be Alcoholics Anonymous, which was co-founded by Bill Wilson, also known as Bill W.
Bad Blake's drink of choice, McClure's, is fictional. It was named after a company that the Cooper family has close ties with: Morgan McClure Racing, stationed in Abingdon, Virginia, which is close to where Scott Cooper grew up in southwestern Virginia.
In the boat fishing with Bad, Wayne sings "Live Forever", by country singer and songwriter Billy Joe Shaver. Shaver played a close friend of Duvall's title character in The Apostle (1997), and also had a speaking role in the Duvall film Secondhand Lions (2003).