We all need more cowbell

  • A group outside of Taylor’s Tavern makes some noise banging pots and pans outside Friday afternoon in Greenfield as part of the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Taylor’s Tavern makes some noise banging pots and pans outside Friday afternoon in Greenfield as part of the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A group outside of Taylor’s Tavern makes some noise banging pots and pans Friday afternoon in Greenfield as part of the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon. From left to right are Ken Mills, Lauren Hansen, Christine Lapan, Autumn Tidlund and Nancy Donoghue. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A group outside of Taylor’s Tavern makes some noise banging pots and pans Friday afternoon in Greenfield as part of the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon. From left to right are Bonnie Brown, Nancy Donoghue, Lauren Hansen and Christine Lapan. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Bonnie Brown makes some noise with a group outside of Taylor’s Tavern banging pots and pans Friday afternoon in Greenfield as part of the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Lauren Hansen, left, and Christine Lapan make some noise with a group outside of Taylor’s Tavern banging pots and pans Friday afternoon in Greenfield as part of the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 3/22/2020 4:16:13 PM

GREENFIELD — While a group of Greenfielders were making plenty of noise clanging deep kitchen pans outside of Taylor’s Tavern Friday afternoon, what couldn’t be heard was the countless other people spread across the country who were simultaneously banging their own cowbells or kitchen pans for the “Cowbell Challenge” started by the Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon.

The group of Greenfield participants was comprised of Taylor’s Tavern customers, employees and owner Nancy Donoghue. Bonnie B’s Country Kitchen owner Bonnie Brown was there making noise with her own frying pan and spoon. Donoghue led the cowbell charge locally, after being inspired by Fallon’s light-hearted humor.

“Jimmy Fallon makes me laugh,” Donoghue said. “I thought — I wanna laugh.”

The comic and TV host famously starred in the classic “More Cowbell” sketch while on “Saturday Night Live.” The sketch, a spoof of VH1’s documentary series “Behind the Music,” follows the recording of the song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. It featured Will Ferrell as the fictional cowbell player Gene Frenkle, whose overzealous playing annoys his bandmates.

Fallon appeared on the Today show Thursday and announced the Cowbell Challenge, which he said was being conducted in a show of support for first responders “and each other.”

A secondary goal for the Greenfield group, according to Brown and Ken Mills, a regular customer at Taylor’s Tavern, was to “make some noise and have a little fun” as neighbors. Brown said she enjoyed making people smile, or frown and tilt their heads as they questioned what was happening on Main Street.

“Kids don’t have to have all the fun banging pots and pans,” Brown said.

Donoghue reached out to other local businesses, neighbors and family, encouraging them to take part in the Cowbell Challenge at 3 p.m. Friday with their own cowbell, pots or pans at their own homes or businesses.

“While we’re not congregating, it’s a way for all of us to be heard as a group,” Donoghue said. “Its a rough time for everybody and we need to have some fun.”

Residents scattered along Main Street in Greenfield and across the county could hopefully hear clunking and clanging across the county for a few minutes, reminding them that they weren’t alone. Donoghue said she knew people who were participating across Greenfield, including her family.

“My kids were doing it, too, but they’re over in the other part of town,” she said.

Taylor’s Tavern is currently open for pick-up or curbside order from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is delivering between 5 and 8 p.m. daily. Bonnie B’s Country Kitchen is currently open for to-go orders from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Speaking on the TODAY Show, Fallon said he was inspired to start the Cowbell Challenge after seeing viral videos of people in Italy singing together in large groups from their balconies.

“I want everyone to get out your cowbell, get out a pot and pan — open your window or door — if you have a balcony, good for you!” Fallon said.

The Tonight Show halted regular production during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and Fallon has been broadcasting the “Tonight Show: At Home Edition” on YouTube with his family. In the interview, Fallon said he felt it was important to continue the show in some capacity, to keep inspiring unity and providing a laugh to those across the country.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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