NEW YORK – After eight years of playing guitar in nothing but cowboy boots, a hat and a pair of briefs (crudely marked "Naked Cowboy," to point out the obvious), Times Square's most famous street performer is taking his naked ambition to the next level. He's working on a debut album as part of his plan for "dominating the commercial landscape of the world."
The disc, expected to be released next year, is a "little bit country, little bit rock 'n' roll," the Cowboy (real name Robert John Burck) said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
"There'll be blues, R&B down the line and Naked Cowboy — it's its own genre of music," he added.
Some of the tracks have eyebrow-raising titles, the most printable, perhaps, being "Get Your Ass Kicked by a Man in His Underwear."
"Every major record label is gonna compete to be the one to represent this project. Once again, Beatles, Elvis Presley, Naked Cowboy," boasted the Cowboy, calling success "guaranteed."
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, NC tried his luck in other cities before bringing his act to Manhattan, where he's only been arrested twice — one time for trying to lead the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and another for crashing a red-carpet event. He makes a comfortable living from tips, licensing deals with local novelty stores, TV commercials and "checks from countless people, I don't even know where it's coming from," he said.
The Naked Cowboy predicted that — not if, but — "when" his album is a hit, he'll become "a multi-gazillionaire with castles in every major city."
And, yet, he plans to continue entertaining tourists and commuters at ground level.
"My passion is still to go directly to the people every single day," he said. "Again, we live in a world where Puff Daddies come down the street and say `I am somebody because of my security guard, my fame, my fortune, my everything.'
"I want to re-communicate to the masses, literally, that the power does not come from what we have, but what we are," continued the Cowboy, sounding a bit like a motivational speaker. "And by being simple, innocent and with the people on a daily basis, that is the power."
Well, there goes the invitation to Diddy's White Party.