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The Cowbell Still Rings For Blue Oyster Cult

Of the Oakland Press

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Blue Öyster Cult was done making hits by April 2000. Instead, the veteran rock group entered the 21st century consciousness courtesy of a “Saturday Night Live” skit depicting the recording of the group’s 1976 hit “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” In it, a producer, played by Christopher Walken, called for “more cowbell.”

“I was sitting at home watching TV,” recalls singer-guitarist Eric Bloom, “and when that came on, I almost feel off the couch. It was hysterical” — even if, Bloom notes, “that wasn’t exactly how it happened in the studio.”

“More cowbell” actually took on a life of its own, with T-shirts and even lengthy articles about the place of the instrument in popular music.

“It’s become part of the English language,” Bloom, 61, notes, adding that it’s also become part of the Blue Öyster Cult concert experience, too.

“Yeah, people bring cowbells to the shows,” he says. “They bring homemade T-shirts or whatever. We get people holding up signs that say, ‘More cowbell!’ So it still lives.”

Blue Oyster Cult performs at 8 p.m. Friday (August 11) at Rock in’ on the Riverfront at the GM Renaissance Center Plaza in downtown Detroit. Admission is free. Local band the Dream with Kellyann will perform at noon while Mark Pasman will host a Paz Man S

Web Site: www.wcsx.com

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