Monday, August 10, 2009

New York City! "The Naked Cowboy"

Yep! It's true! There is a naked cowboy wondering (ooops Wandering) the streets of New York City with little more than a guitar, cowboy hat, and boots. And he's quite the attraction. I just wonder - where does he keep his car keys, wallet, and cell phone?

I snapped these photos of the naked cowboy while strolling through NYC.

On an educational note...

I learned a new word as a result of seeing this guy.
The word is: Busk
It's chiefly a British term and it means -

to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.

Our infamous cowboy is actually named - Robert John Burck. He was born December 23, 1970 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is known as an American busker and prevails primarily around New York City's Times Square. He wears only cowboy boots, a hat, and briefs, with a guitar strategically placed to give the illusion of nudity.

(Wow! I learned a new word!) Fascinating!

According to Wikipedia:

Burck began busking in 1998 and first appeared on Venice Beach, Los Angeles. He immediately became a big hit after a friend suggested to him that he dress only in his underwear in order to generate higher earnings. Burck earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. Burck is also a regular in the streets of the French Quarter during the New Orleans Mardi Gras season. He also makes appearances in his hometown of Cincinnati, at the Memorial Day weekend Taste of Cincinnati festival and the Riverfest Labor Day Festival. He has also made an appearance in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Music Conference, and on January 25, 2009 he performed at a Leinster Rugby game in Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland, singing his theme song "I'm the Naked Cowboy" before 18,000 spectators.
(Where does he keep his Passport?)
In a 2005 online interview, Burck cited Nancy Reagan and Garth Brooks as two of his leading inspirations. During the 2008 American presidential election Burck was a staunch supporter of John McCain, remarking that the Republican candidate was "older and wiser" than his opponent Barack Obama.[citation needed]
(I never said Burck was a smart guy)
Additionally, on November 22, 2008, he became an ordained minister, and on December 10, 2008 he was officially registered as a marriage officiant by the City of New York.

So in reality, he's not just another naked guy playing the guitar on the corner for chump change.
Play on Cowboy!
There's still a glimmer of hope for the rest of us!


Jane Turley said...

I've heard of the Naked Cowboy - his fame has spread far and wide. I'm surprised you've not heard of the term "to busk" though! Do you have another term for it in the US? Or is it not a common practice? Over here buskers can be seen everywhere, from large cities to small towns. Most of them are pretty good - often music students trying to make some cash but sometimes you'll even see them with electric pianos and CDs to sell! (I guess that less "busking" and more "marketing" though.) Either way, street music is quite popular here. It was certainly a light relief on the Underground in the days where I worked for a living:)

intrepidideas said...


Thanks for the illumination... Remember, I'm not as well-read as some of my blog buddies. But - by the way, you still work for a living. The pay is different. :)

Heather Dugan ("Footsteps") said...

~Saw a variety of buskers when I passed through San Francisco, but no Naked Cowboy! I remember reading about him a while back when he was just starting to generate media coverage -and now he's built a media empire without much in the way of start-up costs... Guess he won't be deducting dry-cleaning on his taxes (but I guess the underwear could qualify as professional wear?).
My question may be beside the point, but... is he any good on the guitar?

intrepidideas said...

Heather, ha, ha,....

You're always thinking. I didn't hear him play the guitar or sing. That's a good question. Maybe someone else will chime in.

Bowie Mike said...

Strange. After readying your explanation of busking, I happened to come across a blog entry this week that described busking as something swans do when they are about to attack (

I also heard a story recently that the Naked Cowboy wants to run for Mayor of New York.