Thursday, September 02, 1999

Naked Cowboy gets even more exposure




BY JIM KNIPPENBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Going to prove once again, there might not be fortune, but there's definitely fame to be found if you run around nekkid a lot.

        Witness one John Robert Burck, a k a the Naked Cowboy. He's the one who shows up around town in cowboy boots and tightie whities, plays his guitar, sings and worries the authorities half to death because they never know what the heck he's going to do next.

        He's a regular at Wednesdays' Parties in the Park (people actually go looking for him now), He's done Inside Edition, Hard Copy, Jenny Jones, Regis and Kathie Lee and scads of local shows in markets all over the country. All in undies.

        So here he is freshly back from a Midwest and Southern tour that took him to 28 cities, got him on the news in Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Charleston, Baton Rouge, San Francisco, Reno, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and a bunch of smaller markets — 44 interviews in all, since Aug. 1.

        But what's really got him excited is, “people are starting to invite me places instead of me just showing up and half the time getting kicked out, like they did at Cinergy and Tri-County Mall. Or in Lafayette (La.), where they arrested me.”

        Because of the most recent tour, he was invited to do the Minnesota State Fair (Aug. 26). He'll also do Riverfest Sunday (probably opening for Leap Skyward at 7:45 in Newport), then a country music festival called Rick and Bubbapaloza later this month.

        In his undies, of course.

        SPEAK OUT: Who would have thought it? Another place throwing poetry night and filling the house. Launching marriages, even.

        That would be downtown Thursdays at Cafe Cin-Cin for the Love Jones Thursday poetry readings.

        Orchestrated by Wayne “Box” Miller, a local author who also markets jocks, Love Jones has been going since July “and we haven't had a dead night,” Miller says.

        Some have been livelier than others. Last week, for example, when Miller wrote “A Poem for My Lady” for friend Tony White to read to Delicia Williams. He did, then proposed from stage. She accepted.

        “What I didn't know is there's a ton of talent out there. We have readings (with breaks for jazz) 7 to 11 — I quit early 'cause I'm too old to stay up late — and we fill the stage. Even the first night.”

        Miller, author of Soul of a Man (Pen-Soul Publications; $14), thinks “It will go on forever.”

        NO RECORDS: What we were wondering in these pre-Oktoberfest days, is the status of last year's World's Largest Kazoo Band with Guinness Book of Records.

        Wellsir, says Downtown Council PR director Buz Buse, it's somewhere, but hard to say where.

        He has a stack of letters from Guinness asking questions: 25,000 kazoos were handed out, but were they actually played? Was there a sign-in to verify numbers? Is 25,000 real or estimated?

        He also has a May 21 letter from Guinness researcher Amanda Brooks turning the request down because she decided the 25,000 was an estimate. And a July 12 letter saying she has reconsidered and sent the request back to the research department.

        Which is where it stands now.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.