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Classical File: Blue Oyster Cult and “More cowbell”

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Paul Farhi wrote a hilarious story for yesterday’s Washington Post about Blue Oyster Cult, still touring and playing their signature 70s song, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.”

Ever since April 9, 2000, when Saturday Night Live broadcast a skit written by Will Ferrell parodying “Reaper’s” recording session, with Christopher Walken portraying “legendary” record producer Bruce Dickinson repeatedly pleading for “More cowbell” and Ferrell banging away on the cowbell in response, a cult has steadily grown, centering on the skit and the two magic words.

Here’s the transcript.

Walken said in the article that the six-minute sketch was “career-defining.”

Whenever he goes anywhere, people come up to him and say, “More cowbell.”


The actual members of Blue Oyster Cult love the skit.

Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, co-founder and lead guitarist of the group, said, “We all thought it was phenomenal. I’ve probably seen it 20 times and I’m still not tired of it.”

I must admit, I only saw it for the first time a year or two ago, and it cracked me up.

Oh, yeah, you wanna see the skit now, don’t you?

OK, just go here. (requires Windows Media Viewer)

Can’t see it?

No problema: listen to it, then; it’s almost as good as the video.

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About bookofjoe

  • That SNL skit is great.

    Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” has another place in pop culture lore by way of the film The Stoned Age. There are several lengthy passages where the song is featured, including one at a live concert in which one of the characters has some kind of a mystical vision.

    At another point, an older “cooler” guy advises his young protege that cool bands like BOC put out songs like Reaper as a test to ferret out the cool from the, well, pussies I think it was.

    Anyway, it’s a fun flick that’s also significant in its many references to the Schnapster…

    Eric Berlin
    Dumpster Bust: Miracles from Mind Trash

  • Gav

    That link isn’t working any more, me don’t think!

    It is hillarious though…