Sunday, July 29, 2001
Naked Cowboy back in New York
Hometown boy makes weird in big city
The Associated Press
NEW YORK Just when you thought Times Square had cleaned up its image and lost its wacky edge, Cincinnati's own Naked Cowboy is back.
John Robert Burck II wearing nothing but cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and white briefs reading Naked Cowboy in bold letters on the rear has taken up residence in the heart of Times Square, playing a guitar and singing songs like I'm the Naked Cowboy.
Nearly two years after he first appeared in Times Square on a chilly autumn day, Mr. Burck said he has come to view New York as his new home and the place where he can most likely become the most celebrated entertainer of all time.
John Robert Burck II, the Naked Cowboy, plays guitar in New York's Times Square.|
(Associated Press photo)
| ZOOM |
I'm going to be out here for six to eight hours a day, 365 days a year, playing my tunes, he said, now one month into his return gig.
Mr. Burck, 30, a muscular man with flowing blond hair and the unshaven look popularized by Don Johnson in Miami Vice, created the scantily clad persona 2 1/2 years ago while performing in Venice Beach, Calif.
I went out there fully clothed, mind you and I was virtually ignored, he said Friday. A friend suggested I play in nothing but my underwear, and I made about $150 the first day. It's just taken off from there.
Mr. Burck, a Cincinnati native, has since crisscrossed the nation, appearing at festivals and on street corners from Las Vegas to Baton Rouge, La.
He said he has been arrested 44 times but has never been charged with a crime or fined.
Mostly, they take me in, and I have my photo taken with the police chief, he said, and then they let me go.
In April, he scrambled onto Cinergy Field during the second inning of a baseball game between the Reds and the New York Mets. He was handcuffed in center field and escorted from the park.
It was kind of funny. I'm scrambling there and here comes this Chippendale guy, Mets pitcher Al Leiter, who was being shelled by a barrage of Reds hits, said at the time.
So why give up the excitement of the rest of America to settle down in Hackettstown, N.J., and commute to Times Square every day?
I get paid tons of money, but that's not important, said Mr. Burck, who claims to make nearly $600 a day by charging a dollar to let people take his picture.
I'm getting paid to get famous and to build up my American icon status. What could be wrong with that?
A child scarred by violence
Peace rally echoes calm following fatal police shooting
Price wars fierce at the pump
BP vs. Speedway: a battle for turf
After 11 days, flood cleanup rages
Debate over bridge colors isn't new
Future of ATP center up in air
Job fair draws about 100 hopefuls
Olympic proposal difficult to score
Players' group is a United Nations in miniature
Tristate A.M. Report
Looking back to when they were looking up
Summer jobs aid transition to adulthood
CROWLEY: Ky. Politics
PULFER: Paul betrothed
Cleanup needed after flooding
Indicted city manager still at job
Landfill site debate on way to court
New library a focal point
Black officer faces profiling charge
Lake Erie cleaner, but sewage runoff persists
Naked Cowboy back in New York
A legacy of two families
Critics say Patton slights farmers
Group eyes Newport changes
Judge, prosecutor recuse selves in trial
New school superintendent oversees shakeup
Taxi drivers say state not being fair by not paying fares
UK program gives teen girls exposure to science careers