After several weeks of Hot Summer Night performances, Sherman residents seem to have developed a musical fever, but this week’s performer, Blue Öyster Cult, luckily has the prescription — more cowbell.
Classic rock band Blue Öyster Cult will bring hits such “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ for You” to Lucy Kidd-Key Park on the grounds of the Sherman Municipal Building at 7 p.m. Thursday. Since forming in 1967, Blue Öyster Cult has released 14 studio albums, five live albums and continues to tour extensively.
Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, who wrote and sang lead on the band’s three best-known songs “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ for You,” recently told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune he is surprised by the number of times “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” is still used in horror movies after the famous Saturday Night Live “More Cowbell” sketch about the song.
“I thought after that, all the horror stuff would go away,” Roeser said, adding he thought the “More Cowbell” sketch was hilarious. “I really thought it was funny and I was grateful Will Ferrell didn’t savage the band. They did a sketch on Neil Diamond and really let him have it. I was glad it was funny and thought Christopher Walken was just brilliant.”
In addition to Roeser, the current incarnation of Blue Öyster Cult includes longtime singer and rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom along with drummer Jules Radino, keyboardist Richie Castellano and bass player Kasim Sulton.
While Ferrell plays fictional cowbell aficionado Gene Frenkle in the Saturday Night Live sketch, Bloom is the one who actually played cowbell on the song.
“The funny thing is that he was sort of made up to look like me with the beard and curly hair — I don’t think my stomach ever stuck out that much — but it was a hoot,” Bloom said to VintageRock.com of Ferrell’s character.
Bloom also pointed out another error in the sketch, noting Walken’s character “the Bruce Dickinson” wasn’t actually the producer of the original song.
“Saturday Night Live had a copy of a greatest hits CD, and it said Bruce Dickinson produced it, but he didn’t produce ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,’” Bloom said. “He was probably in high school then. They got the name wrong, and they got a couple of band member names and faces wrong too. But it was still pretty funny.”
Despite not being completely accurate in its portrayal, the Saturday Night Live sketch has inspired concertgoers around the globe to bring cowbells with them to Blue Öyster Cult shows and there’s sure to be plenty of cowbells at Thursday evening’s show in Sherman.