The ''Supernatural'' finale that could've been: Interview with KANSAS' Rich Williams pt 3
"We were supposed to be in the final episode of 'Supernatural.'"
As America's preeminent progressive rock band embarks on 50 performances, MeTV had the privilege to interview KANSAS' Billy Greer and Richard Williams, bassist and guitar player, respectively. The "Another Fork in the Road" Tour celebrates 50 incredible years of indelible music, highlighting crowd favorites like "Carry On, Wayward Son," and "Dust in the Wind."
Richard Williams is a guitarist and a founding member of KANSAS. In the third part of our interview, Rich tells us about a historical TV moment that almost was.
Since both "Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind" have soundtracked so many TV shows and movies, what’s your favorite placement of a KANSAS song in a piece of media?
In a funny moment– because people think “KANSAS, they must be so serious, sitting around contemplating,” and no, we’re not– when Will Ferrell did it in Old School, a lot of people thought we were offended. Well, we’re sent the scripts and how they’re going to be used. So we have the chance to read it and give it a thumbs up/thumbs down. And we thought “Oh yeah, this will be great!” For a humorous slant, that was great, well done.
My favorite, of all of it, is Supernatural adopting “Wayward Son.” That has completely changed the median age of our audience. For fifteen years, that was one of the most popular shows on television, and it’s in re-runs. That brought a much, much younger crowd. They’re hearing the song, they hear it all the time, so they start discovering more about us. “Who is this KANSAS band?” People in their 70s, and their children grew up listening to KANSAS. And now their children– we’ll have three generations coming to a KANSAS concert. We’ll ask the younger kids ‘How did you hear about us?” “Supernatural!”
We got to play Comic-Con in San Diego for Supernatural, which was unbelievable. They had no idea that we were going to be there. So, the lights go out and there were so many screams, 8,000 people in this room. There’s this big lead-up and BOOM, we’re on stage doing “Wayward Son.” The place goes nuts. It was an incredible experience. We got to hang out with the guys from Supernatural, which– hats off to them, two of the most famous actors of modern times, and they’re so unaffected. Such genuinely great guys. It was not just an honor, but a joy.
We got to meet them [actors Jansen Ackles and Jared Padalecki] again on the series Walker, which is a take-off of Walker: Texas Ranger. We got to be a part of that, and they were both there for that, too. So, we all got to all get together again.
We were supposed to be in the final episode of Supernatural. But that was all shot in Vancouver. COVID hits. We were at the airport and told to turn around because basically, the Canadian border– we couldn’t get across. We had shows in Washington, Oregon, and California– and I think it was Oregon officially closed everything, and then Washington, and then California.
They had a full set. They’d built a bar, and we were playing for– I don’t even know what the event would’ve been at that time. I never got to see that script. But a lot of the past characters were to be brought into it, etc., and we were going to be featured. We didn’t get to do it. Which is why the Walker thing did happen. It kinda made it full circle.
That’s brilliant. Because it would have been much less effective to have you all Zoom in with your instruments on the last episode of Supernatural.
(Laughs) They had to rewrite the ending! I’d love to know how they did it, what the original ending was.
Rich, “Carry On, Wayward Son,” is also the theme song for Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks of All Elite Wrestling. Do you have any relationship with them?
Personally, no. I’m not sure exactly how that came about. But, I know one of our tour managers, J.R., is a sports buff of all things sports, including, from when he was a little kid– his parents took him to all this stuff, football, baseball, college stuff– and so, he’s deeply entrenched into all of that. I’d imagine he’d have a finger in all of that.
Stay tuned for the continuation of MeTV's interviews as KANSAS looks back on 50 years of the band.