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  #1  
Old 04-10-2015, 08:34 PM
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Default My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Don't be hatin'... ;) And I know that the drummer might not have played the cowbell in studio, but he or she gets the credit.

In honor of the news that Mike Portnoy will be replacing the late AJ Pero on the new Twisted Sister tour, the ZM drummer presents you his original and totally biased list of the top rock and roll cowbell moments of all time: (off the top of his head, with minimal googling!)
Btw…AJ Pero is on this list and Portnoy is not. And all this stuff is on youtube if you’re bored.

10. Sheila E- “The Glamorous Life” Sheila Escovedo is from a long line of renowned percussionists and drummers. This Prince protege is master of the timbale and cowbell, and can probably play the best drum solo in the world in stiletto heels. She is also a serious and accomplished jazz musician while holding down her spot as an international sex symbol on the side. Bravo.

9. Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann- Grateful Dead- “A Million Dead Songs But You Probably Heard Touch of Grey” This duo played the crap out of a huge traveling drum percussion rack for decades with the Grateful Dead. Many cowbells were struck, so we’ll just give them a blanket place on the list.

8. Neil Peart- Rush "Witch Hunt" Neil Peart is of course a top drummer in rock history, but this list is basically one of popular cowbell songs. So he’s a bit further down the list than you might expect. The broken cowbell rhythm in the first verse of this “Moving Pictures” rock classic is a fabulous display of dexterity and musical placement.

7. John Bonham- Led Zeppelin “Good Times, Bad Times” Bonzo opens this song with a deceptively delicate cowbell/hi-hat part. It was the bass drum triplets done with one foot against the hi-hat later in this opening groove that went down in history, but it was the cowbell that rang it in.

6. Michael Shrieve and Santana- "Black Magic Woman"- I don't know exactly who played the cowbells in this hippie classic, but there are a lot of them. Reference 16-year-old drummer Shrieve's solo that is a highlight in the iconic "Woodstock" live movie.

5. Don Brewer- Grand Funk Railroad "We're An American Band"- again the cowbell starts the song, along with a perfect double bass fill in this 70s classic. It comes back in for the verse to really suck you in. Google It- it's badass.

4. AJ Pero- Twisted Sister "We're Not Gonna Take It" AJ's most famous beat and a basic food group of 80s glam metal. A chicken drumleg of a bass drum/cowbell moment to chomp on, immortalized for all history in a great MTV video. Featuring the frothing maniac Niedermyer.

3. Alex Van Halen- Van Halen "Dance the Night Away" A lot of people thought VH sold out to disco around this point, and they were right, but it's a catchy part that starts this song. And AVH has a secure place as a cornerstone of modern rock drumming.

2. Charlie Watts- Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman"- it starts the song, you know the song, the song is legend. Enough said. Ever notice the tempo about doubles in this tune? You won’t see that in the modern age of computerized quantization and click tracks. But nobody remembers tempo.

1. Albert Bouchard- Blue Oyster Cult, "Don't Fear the Reaper"- this is no contest. It brought the phrase "more cowbell" into the public lexicon. It immortalized forever in one Saturday Night Live skit the sex appeal and magnetic allure of the humble cowbell. We salute you, Albert Bouchard the most famous drummer you never heard of.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2015, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

I can forgive you for overlooking The Beatles "Everybody's Got Something To Hide" with cowbell 16ths running through most of the song, but how could you forget BJ Wilson on Procol Harum's "Power Failure"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htyVq1yCgyE

Stay tuned for the classic '70s solo at 1:40. Also, looks like he got stuck with the child's drum throne... I've never seen anyone sit that far below the snare!

Bermuda
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2015, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Ah...the Beatles song was an omission! The Procul Harum song I am not familiar with, but I'll check it out.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

IMO, Mississippi Queen by Mountain and Hair of the Dog by Nazareth should be on this list...........................whenever I think of "cowbell songs" they are the first ones that come to mind.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

What about Lowrider?
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Let's not forget Chris Slade and Manfred Mann's Earthband Time is Right:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIUWy_bl0qY

Karn Evil Number 9 from ELP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLS0Med0s6E

J. Geils Band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYgZ3-h2E1g
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

My totally irreverent top cowbell moments:

Steven Alder, Guns and Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1tj2zJ2Wvg
I hate to admit this, but Appetite for Destruction was the sole reason I bought my first cowbell. Never mind I was surrounded by great Latin players in San Francisco.

Sal Abruscato, Type O Negative "Black No. 1"
(although the Cowbell section was edited out of the radio and mtv version)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYxIMOODrvg
The middle of an weird epic ride of sounds, suddenly slamming cowbell. It shouldn't work, but oddly, it does.

Also special mention to Sal on Type O Negative's "Christian Woman" but again, the radio and MTV version edited out the cowbell section.

Mike Portnoy, Dream Theater, "Trail of Tears"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0C0DFgXonk
About 1/2 way through the song, Mike switches up to the Cowbell, which lays a nice simple foundation for the keyboard solo.

Aynsley Dunbar , Jefferson Starship "Jane"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPRN89El7DQ
While clearly an over dub in the studio version, it gave an excuse for the actors to rush the stage and play the cowbell part when the Jefferson Starship appeared on the short lived TV show "Fridays".
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Ian Paice's cowbell on You Fool No One, (Deep Purple, Made in Europe).

Last edited by Nostromo; 04-11-2015 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:19 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Bill ward on black sabbaths the wizard, makes me smile every time
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

A more obscure choice, but I love what the cowbell can do to change the mood of music, and this is one of my favorite examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAsUPSG7OcI&t=4m36s
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Nicko McBrain on Can I Play With Madness?, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-WPwrSuTc4
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Old 04-11-2015, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Going way back in time ,the Jaggerz with Donnie Iris doing the Rapper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fYV3dJp-k4
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Good stuff! I see the 70s very well represented.

DrumEatDrum- I tried to think of a Portnoy number to add to this list, but couldn't. I hadn't thought of that song.
Something tells me that Bruford has done a great cowbell part, but I can't think of any outside of Earthworks, which I didn't include because it's jazz.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

I love the cowbell and sneak it in as often as I can!
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
but how could you forget BJ Wilson on Procol Harum's "Power Failure"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htyVq1yCgyE

Stay tuned for the classic '70s solo at 1:40. Also, looks like he got stuck with the child's drum throne... I've never seen anyone sit that far below the snare!

Bermuda
Yeah, he's way down low. I was amazed that he didn't whack his elbows on the snare or floor tom's batter hoops. That snare drum was chest high on him.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
8. Neil Peart- Rush "Witch Hunt" Neil Peart is of course a top drummer in rock history, but this list is basically one of popular cowbell songs. So he’s a bit further down the list than you might expect. The broken cowbell rhythm in the first verse of this “Moving Pictures” rock classic is a fabulous display of dexterity and musical placement.
Dumb thing about this song is in the last few years Neil has talked about the Cowbell being an overdub in the studio, and he can only now play this song live because he can trigger the cowbell with his left foot, as seen on the Time Machine tour and DVD.

Yet, on the Grace Under Pressure concert (which used to air on MTV back in the day, and is now on DVD) he is clearly playing the cowbell with his hand, in, as you said, a fabulous display of dexterity. Apparently Neil doesn't always remember his own dexterity. lol

Quote:
6. Michael Shrieve and Santana- "Black Magic Woman"- I don't know exactly who played the cowbells in this hippie classic,
That would have been José "Chepito" Areas playing the cowbell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post

DrumEatDrum- I tried to think of a Portnoy number to add to this list, but couldn't. I hadn't thought of that song.
Dumb thing is I know Mike had a cowbell on his drum kit on the Awake tour, and I think maybe the I&W tour as well, but I can't think of a single song from that era where he actually uses a cowbell.
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

This little diddie from Ringo/Beatles may pre-date any on the list so far. (my guess is George Martin is playing it).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUIcEGH1ICE

What's the earliest use of cowbell?
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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What's the earliest use of cowbell?
I believe that it occurred the day after the Earth's first shepherd had to tell his wife that he had lost his flock.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
I can forgive you for overlooking The Beatles "Everybody's Got Something To Hide" with cowbell 16ths running through most of the song, but how could you forget BJ Wilson on Procol Harum's "Power Failure"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htyVq1yCgyE

Stay tuned for the classic '70s solo at 1:40. Also, looks like he got stuck with the child's drum throne... I've never seen anyone sit that far below the snare!

Bermuda
LOL! The strangest I've seen. How low can you go? Here's a Wikipedia quote re his child's throne seating: "He had a powerful, distinctive style – he sat very low behind his kit (often side-on at the side of the stage) and was once referred to as like an 'Octopus in a Bathtub'." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._J._Wilson

Apparently, so great a drummer "Wilson was voted Best Drummer in the popular Playboy Music Polls of the early 1970s. He declined an offer by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to be the original drummer for Led Zeppelin.[3]"
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Bill ward on black sabbaths the wizard, makes me smile every time
Would definately win the "Less cowbell!" award. It's also brilliantly placed and has a nice syncopated feel to it.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

First I have to 2nd B. J. Wilson's "Power Failure" work. B. J. was one of my earliest influences. A really great player with a wonderful feel for the dynamics of the songs.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the iconic cowbell song, "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Not quite rock and roll, but Daniel Sadownick does rock the congas and cowbell (1:45 and then later at 2:10)!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRn0s6h33zg

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Old 04-11-2015, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Dumb thing about this song is in the last few years Neil has talked about the Cowbell being an overdub in the studio, and he can only now play this song live because he can trigger the cowbell with his left foot, as seen on the Time Machine tour and DVD.

Yet, on the Grace Under Pressure concert (which used to air on MTV back in the day, and is now on DVD) he is clearly playing the cowbell with his hand, in, as you said, a fabulous display of dexterity. Apparently Neil doesn't always remember his own dexterity. lol



That would have been José "Chepito" Areas playing the cowbell.



Dumb thing is I know Mike had a cowbell on his drum kit on the Awake tour, and I think maybe the I&W tour as well, but I can't think of a single song from that era where he actually uses a cowbell.

I have th p/g DVD and I know what you're talking about. He must have overdubbed it and then gone back and learned it. For some reason that's probably my favorite live DVD from Rush. Those red Tama Artstars were badass...
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
I believe that it occurred the day after the Earth's first shepherd had to tell his wife that he had lost his flock.
Hahaha....that is funny!

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Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
I have th p/g DVD and I know what you're talking about. He must have overdubbed it and then gone back and learned it. For some reason that's probably my favorite live DVD from Rush. Those red Tama Artstars were badass...
Mine too. WhenI was a kid, I taped that concert off of MTV and I used to watch it constantly. It's my favorite too. It really has the best camera angles and best lighting of the earlier filmed concerts. And yeah, the red Artstars!
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Tony Brock with the Baby's Looking For Love


They used to open their live shows with that song, very effective.






Quote:
I can forgive you for overlooking The Beatles "Everybody's Got Something To Hide" with cowbell 16ths running through most of the song, but how could you forget BJ Wilson on Procol Harum's "Power Failure"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htyVq1yCgyE


You can 'sit in' but don't touch nothin'. Yeah, riggggght!!!



............................................

Last edited by Les Ismore; 04-12-2015 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by Brian View Post
Nicko McBrain on Can I Play With Madness?, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-WPwrSuTc4
Indeed.

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Old 04-12-2015, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Intro to 'Working for the Weekend'..Loverboy..?

BwaHaHaHa!!..Eww.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Intro to 'Working for the Weekend'..Loverboy..?

BwaHaHaHa!!..Eww.

Mmmmmm... that 'should be' the last G rated simple 1/4 pattern example posted, or least I hope so.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by Nostromo View Post
Ian Paice's cowbell on You Fool No One, (Deep Purple, Made in Europe).
The studio version is cool enough https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXTopchIrNY
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by pgm554 View Post
Let's not forget Chris Slade and Manfred Mann's Earthband Time is Right:

Karn Evil Number 9 from ELP
Someone posts prog....YASSSSSS!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
My totally irreverent top cowbell moments:

Steven Alder, Guns and Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" -
I think 'Night Train' might outdo WTTJ as a good GnR cowbell song.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by longgun View Post
IMO, Mississippi Queen by Mountain and Hair of the Dog by Nazareth should be on this list...........................whenever I think of "cowbell songs" they are the first ones that come to mind.
These are exactly the two songs my band started covering once I got my cowbell and we were searching around for more songs to use it in! The song I got the cowbell for in the first place is Me and Mary Jane by Black Stone Cherry.
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:27 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
2. Charlie Watts- Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman"- it starts the song, you know the song, the song is legend. Enough said. Ever notice the tempo about doubles in this tune? You won’t see that in the modern age of computerized quantization and click tracks. But nobody remembers tempo.
FTR, that's not Charlie playing the cowbell. Some producer thought it would sound better with a cowbell intro so he just added it. Which is why it's entirely out of time. :-P

Edit: LOL, I just saw that in your first line you mentioned that this is irrelevant. Oh well.

Last edited by AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken; 04-16-2015 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:49 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Dumb thing about this song is in the last few years Neil has talked about the Cowbell being an overdub in the studio, and he can only now play this song live because he can trigger the cowbell with his left foot, as seen on the Time Machine tour and DVD.

Yet, on the Grace Under Pressure concert (which used to air on MTV back in the day, and is now on DVD) he is clearly playing the cowbell with his hand, in, as you said, a fabulous display of dexterity. Apparently Neil doesn't always remember his own dexterity. lol



That would have been José "Chepito" Areas playing the cowbell.



Dumb thing is I know Mike had a cowbell on his drum kit on the Awake tour, and I think maybe the I&W tour as well, but I can't think of a single song from that era where he actually uses a cowbell
.
"Caught In A Web" 3:33-3:45 !
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Here comes the feeling intro-Carl Palmer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVB8SfRMhao
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by Canyonero View Post
"Caught In A Web" 3:33-3:45 !
Ooh, good call.

..........
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

"Live wire" - not too much cowbell, but I like it.
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:41 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

The bridge to "In the Street" by Big Star. Good old Goldtone.

Man I miss those guys.

Last edited by KamaK; 04-23-2015 at 04:01 AM.
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  #38  
Old 04-24-2015, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Pigs (Three Different Ones) by Pink Floyd with Nick Mason on drums was the only reason I bought a cowbell way back when. Nice high pitch one too, anyone knows what cowbell that might be?
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:09 AM
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Dhango Dhango is offline
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

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Originally Posted by Zero Mercury Drummer View Post
Ah...the Beatles song was an omission! The Procul Harum song I am not familiar with, but I'll check it out.
The Beatles "Drive my car" has a cowbell too...
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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
This little diddie from Ringo/Beatles may pre-date any on the list so far. (my guess is George Martin is playing it).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUIcEGH1ICE
Nope, that's Ringo...
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:29 PM
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supermac supermac is offline
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Default Re: My personal list of rock and roll's top cowbell moments

Neil Peart's unique use of cowbells to play little tunes during his solo, 1970s-90s.

Ian Paice: You Fool No One

John Bonham: Houses of the Holy album track. Really embellishes the groove when it comes in for the 3rd verse onwards...
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