Was Bruce Dickinson Really the Producer Who Wanted “More Cowbell” on “Don’t Fear the Reaper”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Bruce Dickinson was the producer who added cowbell to the Blue Oyster Cult song, “Don’t Fear the Reaper”

One of the most famous Saturday Night Live skits of all-time is the 2000 sketch written by and starring Will Ferrell as a fictitious member of the band Blue Oyster Cult, whose job is only to play the cowbell, something that doesn’t come up very often, but when legendary producer Bruce Dickinson decides that the only thing that the song “Don’t Fear the Reaper” needs is “more cowbell,” then Ferrell’s character really gets into it, much to the dismay of his bandmates…

Besides the made up band member that Ferrell played, the skit tried to be as faithful as it could to the Blue Oyster Cult at the time (including the fact that the song does, in fact, have cowbell in it), depicting the band members very accurately (although they had the wrong member of the band singing lead and made a few other minor errors). However, what about Bruce Dickinson? Did he really produce the song and ask for the cowbell?
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Was Maya Rudolph Referenced in the Song “Loving You”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the music urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC URBAN LEGEND: Maya Rudolph is referenced in the song “Loving You.”

Maya Rudolph was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1999 until 2007.

She’s appeared in a number of films, perhaps most notable as the bride in Bridesmaids…

She is currently co-staring in the sitcom Up All Night with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett…

Rudolph is the daughter of songwriter and producer Richard Rudolph and singer Minnie Riperton.

Riperton tragically died of breast cancer at the far too young age of 31 when Rudolph was just shy of her seventh birthday.

Riperton’s biggest hit was the lovely tune, “Loving You,” whose lyrics appear on her gravestone (“Loving you is easy because you’re beautiful.”


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Did a Sketch Written for a 1975 Saturday Night Live Episode Go Unused Until 1989?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: A sketch written for a 1975 episode of Saturday Night Live ended up being used fourteen years later on the show.

Tom Davis and Al Franken were early writers on Saturday Night Live, staying with the show for its entire first five year run.

They were working on the show when, during the 18th episode of the first season, the actress Racquel Welch hosted the show.

That particular show is famous for being the episode where Lorne Michaels first made his “offer” to the Beatles to reunite for $3,000.

During that episode, according to Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad’s book, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, Franken and Davis wrote a sketch called Planet of the Enormous Hooters, which would be a take-off a Twilight Zone episode where a beautiful woman is ostracized because everyone else on the planet is hideous. In the sketch, Racquel Welch’s breasts would be considered puny to the people of the Planet of the Enormous Hooters. The sketch ran at dress, but Welch did not like it, so it was dropped.

You would figure that would be it, right?

Wrong!
Continue reading “Did a Sketch Written for a 1975 Saturday Night Live Episode Go Unused Until 1989?”