To add more cowbell to your guitar sound, check here
The phrase “I want more cowbell” originated with Christopher Walken, guest hosting the long running American comedy skit show Saturday Night Live.
The setup was classic Walken. He was supposed to be Mr. Dickinson, the music producer for the band, Blue Oyster Cult.
So he would show up and he had this dazed look in his eyes and he would tell the musicians to start recording the sounds.
So these other SNL cast members started playing their instrument and you can hear the classic Blue Oyster Cult song “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” It’s really an amazing song.
So they started playing the song, and then Dickinson, played by Christopher Walken, would interrupt the practice session by saying “I want more cowbell.” And so the band would stop and then they would play again, and then he would interrupt again.
Generally speaking, if you were going to read this as a script, you probably won’t find it funny. You probably might think that it was kind of weird, awkward and, let’s face it, stupid.
But the way Christopher Walken said that phrase “I want more cowbell,” it just resonated on so many levels. It’s partly awkward, partly weird, but also partly genius because Christopher Walken has a weird way of delivering lines at the right time to produce a strangely comedic effect.
In fact, “I want more cowbell” is just one of his stock comedy lines. He actually delivered a lot of otherwise serious dramatic lines in his own unmistakable way, and that’s why they’re comedy punch lines.
If you need proof of this, just look at his one scene from the classic movie “Pulp Fiction.” There was a scene where Christopher Walken says to the young version of the character played by Bruce Willis of his time with Bruce Willis’ dad.
He said that they were caught as prisoners of war in Vietnam, and his dad had a watch that he wanted to pass on to Bruce Willis. So far so good, right?
Well, it turned out that when Bruce Willis’ dad died of dysentery, he gave the watch to Walken, who then kept it in safekeeping by sticking it up where the sun don’t shine.
People did not get that joke the first time when they were watching in the movie. But now, every Pulp Fiction fan counts that scene as one of the highlights of the movie. And it worked because Christopher Walken delivered the line.
There’s really something about adding more cowbell that has really impacted the collective American imagination.
It is no surprise that a lot of people now say that phrase when they want their friends to pick better musical instruments or play their musical instruments at a much higher level.
It’s not uncommon for people to say, “Okay, you’re doing a great job playing that acoustic guitar, but I need more cowbell.”
So do yourself a big favor, to add more cowbell to your guitar sound, check here. You will only thank yourself for it later. It’s pretty basic, but it works.