Driver Picks the Music. Shotgun Shuts His Cakehole

Curator's Note

As we approach the end of Supernatural after 15 years, I can’t help but think back to that first episode where Sam accused Dean of only listening to “mullet rock” and Dean uttered the, now fandom-infamous words, “Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole” (Season 01, Episode 01). The importance of music to the series, especially classic rock from the 1960s-80s, cannot be denied. From Kansas’s "Carry on My Wayward Son" (1976) as the official unofficial theme song of the series, to the role Led Zeppelin (1968-1980) played in getting Mary and John Winchester, Sam and Dean’s parents, together, classic rock has been an integral part of the show, as integral as Dean’s 1968 Chevy Impala, Baby. Eric Kripke, the creator of the show, talks above about how important having this music, his music, was to him when writing the script and making the show. Music is more than thematic- it's an integral character all on its own. While Sam may scoff and call it mullet rock, classic rock is so heavily featured in the show that it has influenced a generation of fans’ musical tastes and caused a revitalization of the genre for a generation who weren’t alive when this era of classic rock came to a close. As we draw a curtain on our favorite boys who saved the world and are on a first name basis with God, we owe it to the legacy of the show to honor its musical love affair and the character who always had a voice, but never a role.

Clips Included Come From: Season 01, Episode 01 "Pilot" ; Season 04, Episode 06 "Yellow Fever" ; Season 07, Episode 06 "Slash Fiction" ; Season 10, Episode 05 "Fanfiction" ; Season 11, Episode 20 "Don't Call Me Shurley" ; The Paley Center for Media "Kripke on Classic Rock (Paley Center) ; TW1 HIMYM "Jensen Ackles Singing 'Carry On My Wayward Son'" ; Supernatural Season 10 Title Card



The classic rock soundtrack in Supernatural helps give the show a feeling of timelessness.  The endless roads, the small towns, the mythical creatures combine with the music to encourage audiences to step outside of current times (the cellphones and laptops used by the characters seem to be the only markers of time).  Of all the songs "Carry on My Wayward Son" by Kansas, has become synonymous with the show.  It is uncanny that this song was first released on November 19, 1976, and Supernatural will air its last episode on the same date in 2020. 

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