The surprise Kansas performance of “Carry On Wayward Son” for the SUPERNATURAL panel was three years in the making.
We were lucky enough to be at the Supernatural panel at last week’s Comic-Con event, and got to see the rock band Kansas perform the show’s unofficial song, “Carry On Wayward Son.” And we have to say it was one of the best and original surprises that Hall H has seen in a long time.
The video of the performance was already shown on our Facebook page, but you can still check it out again. And then you can read on as we find out more about how it all came to be.
Having Supernatural make the record of being the longest running sci-fi series and the longest running CW series definitely has its advantages, especially when Warner Bros. is behind the series. According to Deadline, the show’s publicist Holly Ollis had teamed with WB Television three years prior to make something special for the fans.
Several things had to come together to get it going, and the band’s tour schedule was one of them. Luckily, they actually had an opening that weekend, and they needed it.
“Kansas is well aware that this has become the sort of anthem of the show,” says Tammy Golihew, executive VP of scripted marketing and publicity. “They’re very aware of it and they’re very into it. It’s about their touring schedule too, so about three years ago is when we first made a connection with them to even discuss the possibility of them coming and we just continued to be in contact with them over the last couple of years. I do believe that this was absolutely the best year for this to happen due to the fact that we had the screens, we had the lighting package and it really was like a rock concert in there.”
For just the one song, they had already overworked tech crews out with the band late the night before the panel, which included the sound check, the lighting (a lighting package that cost Warner Bros. a pretty penny), and the curtains and extended screens that cover about half of the walls on both sides of the stage that would show the highlights from each season of the show.
Even when fans were given a concert-like Supernatural T-Shirt upon entering that showed the show’s panel appearance each year and the room they were in did it occur to anyone that there would actually be a rock performance for us. If anything, it caused some concern for one of our friends who felt as if it was a sign that this could be the final year for the series.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case.
Supernatural made a big impression this year at Comic-Con, with an appearance for the show’s main duo, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, on Conan O’Brien, a first for them. “They’d never done a talk show together of that nature,” said Golihew.
In regards to why they wanted to do this even though the show isn’t suffering from lack of popularity, those at Warner Bros. apparently just wanted to show how they were fans of the show as well.
“On the industry side, to show every marketing executive, every publicity executive that our job, especially at the studio level, is to always be the best and biggest fans and cheerleaders for our shows, we learned that from [Warner Bros. Television president] Peter Roth,” [WBTV chief marketing officer Lisa] Gregorian said. “Peter reminds us all the time until it is part of who we are in our culture that we are the first place that needs to be supporting all of our shows, regardless of the season that they’re in.”
We’re certainly thankful for Warner Bros. for the nod to us, the fans.
Watch Jensen and Jared’s appearance on Conan’s show, which was being filmed in San Diego for Comic-Con weekend, below:
Watch the actual Supernatural panel in Hall H: