Time for Part 3 of our Nashcon coverage – the last Supernatural con of 2021!
We left off post Saturday Night Special and me falling asleep despite Kim having all the lights on as she stayed up far into the night editing the gorgeous photos that grace all these Nashville posts. Guess I was a little tired.
And then it was Sunday!
That meant the traditional J2 gold panel to kick off the day. Jared came out onstage wearing a rather striking shirt, and let us all know that it was a gift from Jensen. Apparently he couldn’t resist because it has moose and squirrel all over it.
Jensen (pointing) There’s the squirrel!
Jared (smiling): Right over my heart.
Jensen had to replay the gift giving because it more or less consisted of him gruffly announcing “got you somethin’” and then tossing the shirt across the room to Jared. Boys. Here’s my tweet of that little moment:
We left off Part One of our NashCon coverage on Saturday night. After a delicious dinner on the ‘outdoor’ veranda with friends, it was time for the Saturday Night Special, which rocked as always. Also as always, this means that Kim took a billion (beautiful) photos. Yay!
Louden Swain opened the show with “Present Time” followed by “Taxi Driver.”
Kim got alot of excellent shots of Billy Moran. Obviously. All you Billy fans, these are for you – please enjoy!
Nashville native Emma Fitzpatrick joined Rob and the band on “Salt in the Wound”– she has an incredible voice.
Rob was also joined by Tyler James, who collaborated with Rob on his new solo music including the single “Elevator”. Check it out if you haven’t already!
There was extra excitement in the air when Creation’s Supernatural convention returned to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville earlier this month – not only was it the last Supernatural con of 2021, but it was a chance for friends to come together to celebrate the holidays in grand style too. The Gaylord is a ridiculous hotel (but I mean that in the kindest way), so gigantic that there’s a freaking river that flows through it and you can take a boat ride down it from one side of the hotel to the other. It is always decorated like it’s Disney World, but for the holidays, they went all out. I am always slightly disoriented when I’m there because it’s a maze of bright lights and indoor jungle pathways, and have been known to get hopelessly lost and call my friend Alana to come find me. I don’t have much of a sense of direction. I also still have an injured knee, and a hotel that’s a boat ride long is not the best place to be when you can’t walk very well, but despite that, I was looking forward to Nashcon 2021. And it didn’t disappoint!
Friends who I hadn’t seen in far too long were at this con, and there were joyful reunions throughout. One group of friends had their whole room decorated like a motel the Winchesters would frequent, free postcards with gorgeous fan art on them hanging on their room door and free for the taking. Another group of friends proclaimed this “Gown Con” and packed their fanciest dresses, then posed for photos all over the hotel – which is just made for photo ops! Other friends wore their own unique versions of Santa hats, which ranged from nice to definitely naughty. I was reunited with my partner in crime, Kim Prior, who of course had her camera and incredible photography talent with her to make the con extra special (as you can see throughout these posts!). And it wasn’t just the fans who were glad to see each other – the actors are also grateful to be reunited, this time with Matt Cohen and Gil McKinney rejoining the fun.
I got in mid day Friday, and managed to catch a little bit of the threesome of Gil, David Haydn Jones and Adam Fergus. Their panels usually go a little off the rails and I always appreciate that. There were sweet moments too though – Gil said that he can’t really facetime with his 5 year old daughter when he’s traveling because she just loses it seeing him when he’s not there. Awww.
Gil was also happy to talk about how it feels to be the Winchesters’ grandfather.
Gil: I mean, Jared and Jensen and Jeffrey Dean, they came out of me…
Gil told some of his ‘yes I was pranked’ stories from Supernatural, including the time there were suddenly filthy pictures on a screen, designed to make him laugh during his coverage.
Adam clarified what’s true about the Supernatural set and the pranks though, after sharing a few pranks he’d experienced too.
Adam: All that and the environment on Supernatural made it more collegial, made us all feel like part of the family.
David came dressed as a cowboy – maybe a guest spot on Walker is in order? He said he knew about Supernatural’s reputation as a great show to work on even before he was cast, because his roommate at the time was a big fan.
A fan asked how it was to play someone so different from himself in Ketch, and David said it was fun simply because he was so different.
David: I’m gonna be brave enough to come out and say I’m anti murder…
The panel did go off the rails eventually, with a fan asking them to play truth or dare and something about if Supernatural was a telenovela.
David: I’d be Sam and Dean’s stepfather….and dominate them… (something about spanking…) …you’re welcome, Ao3!
The Adam and David bromance was in fine form too.
You can read all about Gil’s experience on Supernatural and how the fandom changed him in the chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood, and about David and Adam’s experience in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.
Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster were next up, equally overflowing with affection for each other and the SPNFamily.
We left off in Part I of our look back at the history of Steve Carlson and Jensen Ackles’ friendship and musical collaboration somewhere around 2009. We saw Steve play a few times in between – once at a con in New Jersey, if I’m remembering correctly, where I actually took a picture for a change!
In 2011, Jensen and Steve did a little jam session that was one of the highlights of the Nashville convention. Jensen was still clearly nervous about playing and singing in front of people (but not as nervous as he was for his first jam with Jason Manns). Here are a few of my recollections about that first ‘public’ performance of Steve and Jensen:
Steve shared more backstory to how the two friends ended up playing together, and even doing some recording. Whenever they were both in town they’d get together at Steve’s house and the guitars would come out. Apparently wherever Steve is living, something gets turned into a makeshift studio – when Jensen and Steve lived together, it was the hall closet, wired up and soundproofed with foam, and probably looking very …. Interesting. In Steve’s place before that, it was the garden shed, similarly outfitted but alas, sans air conditioning. Steve would lure friends out to record there and they’d emerge sweat-soaked and bedraggled, asking plaintively, “was that okay?” (And hoping it was so they could come out of the garden shed!)
I remember they played a really haunting version of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” full of emotion – if I heard that one now it would be even more emotional, post Supernatural finale. They also played the first song that Jensen had learned to play, “If I Had a Million”, which they actually recorded at one time with Steve on mandolin, but there’s some backstory there so they swear no one will ever hear it.
Steve and Jensen also played “Bad Company,” one of my favorite songs. Jensen said that the crew had asked The Impalas (the cast and crew band) to learn that one because it was so perfect for the show – “I was born, six gun in my hand…” He should totally sing that again one day.
I also remember that Jensen asked the fans to excuse the mistakes. And then didn’t make any.
Kim and I and quite a few of my other friends have had a bit of a tough time this weekend, since we’re all very aware that we had planned to be at the Creation Supernatural convention in Nashville right now. We’re missing our favorite show, and we’re missing our favorite cast, and we’re missing each other – so we thought it would be therapeutic to take a walk down memory lane and remember all the fun times we’ve had in Nashville in the past. So here are a few memories from me, and alot of pretty pictures and more memories from Kim. Enjoy this walk down memory lane with us!
2011 and 2012
[Lynn] I went to the very first Nashcon, as it was then called, way back in 2011. It was before I did convention recaps here, back at the time Kathy and I were working on our very first book about Supernatural and fandom. We hadn’t planned on going, but impulsively decided to take a road trip down to Nashville, with Kathy’s ever-patient husband Dave as our driver. We stopped for hushpuppies along the way. Yum. I remember being awestruck by the Gaylord Opryland hotel complex, and getting lost every time I tried to make my way from our hotel room to the convention area. I had no decent camera and no decent seat in the back of the GA section, but Dave did manage to grab a giant cardboard poster of the Impala advertising the convention from a stand in the hallway on the last day of the con because I didn’t have the guts to – it still hangs in my office at the university to this day. Thanks, Dave.
Nashcon 2011 was also an incredible experience because it was the first time I got to witness Jensen Ackles and Steve Carlson play together. They did a jam session for a small group of people, and it was amazing – even though Jensen was clearly anxious. I caught up with him in the green room later and he asked with trepidation if it had been “okay”. OKAY?? It was fangirl heaven – and it seems even more special now, almost a decade later, as Jensen and Steve have released their amazing Radio Co collaboration. Here’s a small excerpt from my write up of what we were treated to that day (alas, no photos were allowed):
The last song they saved until last for a reason – it was the first song they ever played together. Steve was working on it one day and Jensen came over and started singing harmony. So Steve threw him in the woodshed (aka studio) and that’s how they recorded “Come Around More Alabama”.
Steve: He thought he was coming over for a beer, and I threw him in the woodshed and put him to work! And now that’s one of the most requested songs on itunes, because of Mr Ackles’ popularity.
Jensen (interrupts): And your genius writing skills.
Their rendition of the song was incredible, the harmonies spot on, everyone in the room pretty much riveted. Afterwards, Jensen gave a heartfelt thank you to the fans for their donations (proceeds in part going to charity).
Jensen: It’s humbling and gratifying to be around people who are so supportive. You guys are awesome.
As he and Steve got up to head out, Jensen stopped once again, and sounding a little choked up, shook his head and said, “Best fans in the world.”
We couldn’t agree more, but it goes both ways. Right back at ya, guys.
2011 was also the year we spent a lot of time in the green room doing interviews for our first two books, Fandom At The Crossroads and Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls. We were chatting with talented singer and great guy Brian Buckley while Jared was also in the room, so we got to witness him starting his Twitter account and hear the conversation that led up to making it @jarpad! We were privileged to be there as he watched his follower account slowly start to take off. Hard to believe that now, in 2020, he has 3 Million followers!
This seems to be the one blurry photo I managed to take in 2012 at Nashcon, but I remember it being a special convention for it being the first con after one of our books had been published, and how gracious and supportive the entire cast was about wanting a copy.