Arrow‘s Thanksgiving episode will include a major ode to the Piano Man himself.
When Cayden James (Michael Emerson) plans to wreak havoc on the holiday, he sets his sights on blowing up a concert venue. The concert in question? Billy Joel, who will appear in the hour via actual concert footage thanks to a request from executive producer Marc Guggenheim.
“For the Thanksgiving episode of Arrow, we wanted Cayden James to threaten a major event at Star City,” Guggenheim says. “A variety of ideas were discussed, but when we settled on a rock concert, I knew it had to be Billy Joel.”
Guggenheim, a long-time fan of Joel’s music, initially wrote in the Joel concert as a placeholder in an early draft of the script. The Arrow boss ended up writing a letter to the prolific musician to ask permission in using actual footage and a song from the Grammy winner’s oeuvre.
“Having grown up on Long Island — where, as it happens, this episode’s concert footage was taken from — I’ve been a fan of Billy and his music since I was 7 years old,” Guggenheim says. “He’s always been an inspiration to me, personally and artistically. I told him as much when I wrote to him to ask for his permission to use his concert footage in our episode and when he agreed, it was one of the happiest days of my career. I chose ‘No Man’s Land’ for the episode because I wanted to use an album track and I’ve always liked how that particular song sounds live.”
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.