Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What's Up With That? #39: Sha Na Na no-no

A convicted child molester recently attended a Southern California charity fundraiser in support of abused children, posing as Bowzer, the gaping-mouthed greaser from the '50s nostalgia band Sha Na Na.

Bowzer himselfaka Jon Bauman — is reported to be "outraged beyond words."

I had to read this story several times before all of the implications fully penetrated my consciousness.

First: Of all the D-list celebrities in the world, who'd imagine that Bowzer is the one someone would choose to impersonate? You'd think this sex offender would have picked a star with more current cachet, especially if he's trying to get close to kids.

Second: Although Bowzer is understandably outraged at being impersonated by a child molester, deep in his heart of hearts he's got to be at least a little bit jazzed that a guy walked into a event and introduced himself as Bowzer, and everyone present didn't say, "Who?"

The last time I recall seeing Bowzer — the genuine article, not the sex-offending fraud — was about 20 years ago, when a fresh-scrubbed and degreased Jon Bauman hosted a short-lived revival of the game show Hollywood Squares. According to his official Web site, the Bowz still actively performs with a new nostalgia act, promotes oldies shows, and lobbies for legislation targeted against knockoff acts that tour using the names of musical groups from the '50s and '60s. (Now there's irony for you.)

As strange as the Bowzer's-pedophilic-doppelganger story is, it's only the second most bizarre fact connected with the formerly famous flexer. Top of the list? Sha Na Na was the penultimate act at Woodstock, immediately preceding Jimi Hendrix's legendary show-closing set. Of course, Hendrix once served as the warmup act for the Monkees, so I suppose turnabout is fair play.

Remember, kiddies: Grease for peace.

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1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Anonymous offered these pearls of wisdom...

Ha! Funny you say Monkees in this story about Bowser, cuz someone was arrested for impersonating people in CA, one was Mike Nesmith he impersonated. Or is this the same person?

8:37 PM  

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