Monday, November 13, 2017

More Cowbell!

One of my old cowbells come back to haunt me. Years ago when I worked at the career center, a musician came in wanting to know if I could make him a cowbell. Sure, why not? He was involved in overdubbing television commercials from English to Spanish and whoever was in charge wanted Latin rhythms to go along with the Spanish voice track. Anyway, this guy was looking for a specific sound and he gave me some dimensions and I made him a cowbell. And then I made him about ten more, including one out of brass. Since I was in the cowbell business and my son was a drummer, I made him one also. And a couple of the students wanted one as well. And when I changed jobs a couple of the students decided they wanted to ride bulls, so I made a couple more to hang from their bull ropes. I did get a chance to hear one of my cowbells on an Old Style beer commercial on one of the Chicago Spanish channels - that was pretty cool. Didn't understand a word they were saying but I knew a cowbell when I heard it.

The one in the photo is the one I made for Surly. It's probably 25 plus years old now. Still sounds good if you tap on it. According to Surly it's a little too loud, actually. Since I'm a welder rather than a musician, I'll stick to the you can never have too much cowbell and if a little bit's good, a whole lot is better still. All I need to do on this one is change the mounting for it. He's thinking sandblasting and a fresh coat of paint as well. No reason not to. Clean it up and bang away for another 25 years.

One of the reasons I went to FABTECH the other day was to pick up my 25 year award from the American Welding Society. If you pay your dues for 35 years you get a lifetime membership and you no longer have to pay dues. I need to maintain my membership at least two more years to keep my CWI active. I'll have to decide then if I want to renew the CWI or my membership. At age 67 if I pay dues for 10 more years I might not get much of a return on the lifetime membership. If I had joined the AWS when I first started welding, however, I would have gotten my 50 year award. There were several people there who received them. Fifty years is a long time to be involved in the industry - any industry as far as that goes. Lots of good, dedicated people in the welding field. It was an honor to be seated with them the other day.

While I was at FABTECH I talked to a welding salesman about a plasma cutter and the conversation went to Jeeps. Seems he used to work for an outfit that makes radiators and he said they are supposed to start shipping them to Jeep August of next year. Said they look good, as well.

Put my aunt to rest the other day. She made it to 95. The last years haven't been good but she was a sweet old gal. Rest in peace, "Bets".


Surly said...

Being loud isn't necessarily bad in a rock band but sometimes it hurts the dynamics. This one also has a fairly high pitch so give it a good whack and POW cowbell all over the place. For rock music, a little lower pitch and slightly shorter length allows you to adjust the volume with the intensity of the strike. The concept is perhaps hard to understand if you're not a musician (or a drummer). This is why there are many different styles/sizes/shapes/materials of bells.

Surly said...

I forgot to add this one is cool simply because of the story behind it.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

If you ever need another one, you know who to call.

Surly said...

I might take you up on that.

Traveling Pirate said...

Who would have guessed you were once in the cowbell business? Well I should have because if I know one thing by now, it's that you've dabbled in pretty much everything. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get signed up for another Spanish class - turns out they'll let me renew my Chemistry & Physics licenses with Spanish.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

I've definitely dabbled over the years. I've been welding for 50 years now - run across most everything at least once.

Glad to see you're keeping your license up. Not sure why Spanish would qualify you to teach physics but as long as the state will accept it, who cares. I would think that you should be able to teach Spanish now with the classes you've taken and the immersion program you went through, not that you would want to go back into the classroom.