Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 25: Episode 16
Saturday Night Live – Christopher Walken – CowbellT-Shirt
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Behind The Music: Blue Oyster Cult
Bruce Dickinson…..Christopher Walken
Eric Bloom…..Chris Parnell
Buck Dharma…..Horatio Sanz
Gene Frenkle…..Will Ferrell
Announcer: After a series of staggering defeats, Blue Oyster Cult assembled in the recording studio in late 1976 for a session with famed producer Bruce Dickinson. And, luckily for us, the cameras were rolling.
[ dissolve to recording studio ]
Bruce Dickinson: Alright, guys, I think we’re ready to lay this first track down. By the way, my name is Bruce Dickinson. Yes, the Bruce Dickinson. And I gotta tell you: fellas.. you have got what appears to be a dynamite sound!
Eric Bloom: Coming from you, Bruce, that means a lot.
Buck Dharma: Yeah. I mean, you’re Bruce Dickinson!
Alan: This is incredible!
Bobby: I can’t believe Bruce Dickinson digs our sound!
Bruce Dickinson: Easy, guys.. I put my pants on just like the rest of you — one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I make gold records. [ the group laughs ] Alright, here we go. “Fear… Don’t Fear the Reaper” — take one. Roll it [ he exits into the control booth ]
Eric Bloom: Alright! One, two, three, four…
[ The group starts the song: “All our times have come Here but now they’re gone…” — Bobby slaps the drums, Eric jams his guitar, and Gene bangs on a cowbell. ]
Eric Bloom: [ distracted by Gene banging the cowbell ] Okay! Wait! Wait! Stop! [ the group cuts off their instruments ] Um, Bruce, could you come in here for a minute, please?
Bruce Dickinson: [ stepping out of the booth ] That… that was gonna be a great track. Guys, what’s the deal?
Eric Bloom: Uh, are you sure that was sounding okay?
Bruce Dickinson: I’ll be honest.. fellas, it was sounding great. But.. I could’ve used a little more cowbell. So.. let’s take it again.. and, Gene?
Gene Frenkle: Yeah?
Bruce Dickinson: Really explore the studio space this time.
Gene Frenkle: You got it, Bruce.
Bruce Dickinson: I mean, really.. explore the space. I like what I’m hearing. roll it.
[ the group starts the song again, as Gene bangs more wildly onto the cowbell, gyrating his exposed belly. In the booth, Walken is smiling to keep from laughing. Before the session is interrupted, Gene misses a beat on his cowbell.]
Eric Bloom: Okay, wait! Stop! Stop! Bruce, I’m sorry, could you come back in here, please?
Bruce Dickinson: [ stepping out of the booth ] Fellas.. now, we just wasted two good tracks! This last one was even better than the first!
Eric Bloom: Well, it’s just that I find Gene’s cowbell playing distracting! I don’t know, if I’m the only one, I’ll shut up.
Buck Dharma: Nah, it was pretty rough.
Gene Frenkle: You know, I could pull it back a little, if you’d like.
Bruce Dickinson: Not too much, though! I’m telling you, fellas — you’re gonna want that cowbell on the track!
Gene Frenkle: You know what? It’s fine. Let’s just do the thing.
Bruce Dickinson: Okay, Roll it.
Eric Bloom: One, two, three, four…
[ the band starts the song once more, with Gene banging the cowbell right next to Eric’s ear until Eric pushes him, knocking over the microphone and causing Horatio Sanz to fall ]
Eric Bloom: [ stopping the song again, fighting Gene ] COME ON, GENE!!
Gene Frenkle: NO, YOU COME ON!!
Bruce Dickinson: [ running out of the booth again ] Guys, y know that that it doesn’t work for me. I gotta have more cowbell!
Alan: [ grabs Gene’s shirt ] Don’t blow this for us, Gene!
Bobby: [ cracks up ] Quit… quit being so selfish, Gene!
Gene Frenkle: Can I just say one thing?
Bruce Dickinson: Sure, baby! Just say it!
Gene Frenkle: I’m standing here, staring at rock legend Bruce Dickinson!
Bruce Dickinson: The cock of the walk, baby!
Gene Frenkle: And if Bruce Dickinson wants more cowbell, we should probably give him more cowbell!
Bruce Dickinson: Say it, baby!
Gene Frenkle: And, Bobby, you are right – I am being selfish. But the last time I checked, we don’t have a whole lot of songs that feature the cowbell.
Bruce Dickinson: I gotta have more cowbell, baby!
Gene Frenkle: And I’d be doing myself a disservice — [begins to slightly laugh. Jimmy Fallon turns away and bites down on his drumstick to keep from laughing] and every member of this band, if I didnt perform the HELL out of this!
Bruce Dickinson: Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!
Gene Frenkle: Thank you, Bruce. But I think if… I think if I just leave… and maybe I’ll come back later, and we can lay down the cowbell. [ starts to leave the studio ]
Bruce Dickinson: Aw, come on, baby..
Eric Bloom: Gene, wait! Why don’t you lay down that cowbell right now. With us. Together.
[ long pause while Gene looks around at the band ]
Gene Frenkle: Do you mean that, Eric?
Eric Bloom: Oh, yeah.
Buck Dharma: He speaks for all of us.
Gene Frenkle: Thank you.
Bruce Dickinson: Babies.. before we’re done here.. y’all be wearing gold-plated diapers.
Alan: [ confused ] What does that mean?
Bruce Dickinson: Never question Bruce Dickinson! Roll it! [ exits back to booth ]
[ Gene picks up the fallen microphone and high-fives the drummer before getting into position ]
Eric Bloom: One, two, three, four…
[ the band starts up again, this time Frenkle is playing the cowbell in tune with the band. Close-up on Gene as he bangs the cowbell to freeze-frame with graphic: “In Memoriam: Gene Frenkle: 1950-2000” ]
[ fade ]