From: Saturday Night Live
Who said it?: Bruce Dickenson
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from a Saturday Night Live skit. In a supposed video recording of the actual creation of Blue Oyster Cult’s hit song “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” a legendary record producer named Bruce Dickenson (played by the guest host Christopher Walken) sits in the session. The band starts playing, but they are distracted by (fictional) band member Gene Frenkle’s (portrayed by Will Ferrel) playing the cowbell too loud. However, Bruce Dickenson disagrees and actually wants more cowbell to be played!
Bruce Dickenson then tells Gene to really play up the cowbell on the next try. The band now find the cowbell playing even more annoying but Bruce tells them that it was actually better because of the excited playing of Gene’s cowbell. Gene then volunteers to pull it back on the next take. However, he plays it in a passive-aggressive manner and explodes in anger. Bruce Dickenson steps in and says that the cowbell is really necessary to make (Don’t Fear) the Reaper a great song.
Gene Frenkle then gives a speech that it’s his duty to play the cowbell to the best of his ability, to which Bruce Dickenson agrees wholeheartedly. The band then agrees that they should work as a team and record the song to the best of their ability. The last shot of the skit shows that fictional Gene Frenkle died in 2000.
You can also watch the entire clip below:
Geek wisdom: The thing that you thinks as annoying or bad? Well, there are going to be some people who are going to like it. In fact, they may even love it! While the band members of Blue Oyster Cult found the cowbell annoying, Bruce Dickenson heard the same thing and actually wanted it to be more prominent in the track. This is because everyone is different.
If you think about the way we geeks talk about comics, toys and the like, we show a lot of passion and love for these things. But we do know that a lot of people cannot understand why we love these things and just find those topics silly and a waste of time.
This goes both ways as well. You may have a friend that likes something that you do not care for. Maybe it’s talking about how their Fantasy NFL team is performing or maybe they have to rush home to watch the latest episode of Glee.