The infamous "Cow Bell". Well...here's the story. Number one, it is a real cow bell. It came from my Aunt & Uncles farm that was in between Vinton and Shellsburg Iowa. They gave it to me when I was roughly 14 years old. I was a drummer, and I was of the mind that you could never have enough cow bell years before Christopher Walken coined the phrase for SNL. I started using the cow bell with my tip jar one evening and, it has become the long standing tradition at our shows that the cow bell "must" be rung when leaving a tip. It is considered bad luck not to do so. After dropping your tip in the jar...."Ring it loudly and proudly!" It's an 8 second ride you'll never forget!
"Proper cow bell etiquette"
We can't stress enough the importance of ones cow bell ringing technique. There are many variations of cow bell ringing techniques. You will through trial and error find your method to cowbell bliss.
"Rodeo Cowboy Cow Bell"
Some folks like to hold the cowbell between their legs jumping up and down to ring it as though they are at a rodeo competition on a bull named "Killer". Usually they hold a hand up in the air assuming the bull riding or bucking bronco position, letting out a "YEE HAW!" then hop up and down with spurs a blazing for that 8 second ride. Then they place it back next to the tip jar and look for the judges score.
Others use the the sneak attack method by keeping low to the ground too shy to show their face and quickly and quietly ring it, but HEY HONEY!!! I hate to break it to you, but......."YOUR BUTT" was sticking out for the entire audience to see! Then they quietly place it back next to the tip jar and scurry away.
"Are you experienced?"
Experienced folks in cow bell etiquette walk right up, deposit their dollars in the tip jar, smile, pick up the cow bell by it's handle, and hold it up in the air or by their side, turn and face the audience with a smile and ring it loudly for approximately 3 seconds. Then they place it back next to the tip jar and walk away with a big proud "Well look at me!" smile on their face and parade through the audience. Well done!
When tipping, the cow bell must (with out fail) be rung by you the tipper. Failing to ring it after tipping is "BAD". So bad. Really, really, really, really bad! Bad karma, bad juju, what ever you want to call it. It's just bad luck if you don't ring it! Audience members have actually picked up someone up and carried them back to make certain they rang the cow bell. They are the "believers". We are not dealing with just any cow bell people. It is "THEE" one and only infamous cow bell! Behold the supreme power of the cow bell!
(Wow! Who writes this stuff?)
It is strongly advised that you not throw the cowbell for any reason as great bodily harm could be inflicted on a participating audience member or the performer(s) and their instruments. (This actually happened at a show where someone got hit in the head.) And besides, getting bonked in the head by a bovines metal dinger bell, and possible law suit frankly hurts like hell! Not to mention the damage to ones guitar would for certain cause tempers to flare. So to recap...Do NOT throw the cow bell under any circumstances. It hurts!