A Talk With Naked Cowboy
By STEPHANIE BREIJO
What says “Welcome to New York!” like a near-nude pedestrian strumming an out of tune guitar in the center of Times Square? What reflects better on our society’s obsession with talentless pop culture than an ex-stripper/ex-model/ex-actor/ex-writer whose claim to fame is standing around in his skivvies each day for the two bucks he charges for pictures?
Bullet readers, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the tighty whities, the deep-conditioned blonde locks and the strident, attention-seeking high belt of the Naked Cowboy, one of New York’s most famous attractions for the last decade.
“I’m the biggest commercial landscape value in the world,” said the almost naked Robert Burck to a skeptical Bullet editor. “You know Bill Gates? Well, he won’t be the richest man in the world once I’m through.”
The 37-year-old icon, has appeared in commercials, music videos and even documentaries, anywhere from PBS to Cake’s video for “Short Skirt/Long Jacket.”
“Naked,” as he is called, even gained a ten-gallon hatful of the publicity that he loves so much when he brought the Mars Company to court for using his image on an electronic billboard.
Their Times Square billboard portrayed a blue M&M in underwear, cowboy boots and a hat, infringing upon Burck’s “image.” And oh yes, the infringement is set to cost that blue candy’s company an estimated $6 million.
Producing music that not even drunken frat boys should be grinding to, Naked Cowboy has not just one, but two—read it—two separate music shticks. He sings rock about getting naked with his synth-grunge song “Get Naked” on his ’07 EP Year of the Cowboy, then sings in his best (but still God-awful) southern twang on “I’m Gonna Marry a Hooker,” off of, what else, his country album: What Naked Cowboy Wants to Hear.
And if listening at home to the hilarity of Burck’s completely serious shot at being “the richest man in the world” isn’t enough for you, a trip to New York could be in order to hear improvised song lyrics such as Well I’m the naked cowboy, you’ve gotta do what you gotta do / If you wanna feel the way I feel, you’ve gotta whip out your balls of steel.
Once you pose alongside the Naked Cowboy yourself (for a mere two bucks!), you have the potential to reach the tackiest pop culture nirvana. But be warned those boot-clad feet are known to frisk the inside of his ladyfans’ thighs faster than a camera’s flashbulb.