The Fate of JOHN 3:16
October 14, 2002 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Those of you old enough to remember watching sporting events in the late 70's and early 80's may remeber a gentleman with a rainbow colored wig who enjoyed holding up a sign reading JOHN 3:16. That gentleman was named Rollen Stewart and while he was ubiquitous for a time, he came to sad and bizarre end. His rise and fall detailed in this article and a short movie is an interesting cautionary tale about the nature of celebrity in a media saturated world.
posted by jonmc (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Subsisting on one meal a day, and smoking massive quantities of pot..."

Yeah, that would do it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:54 PM on October 14, 2002

At the scene police found Rollen's infamous blue, red, yellow, green, purple and pink Afro wig, along with a high caliber pistol, various incendiary devices, three days of food and Bibles.

New Bible-paks! Easy to consume! One verse a day, no muss, no fuss! Our product is enviro-friendly, and can be mixed with water to create a great-tasting wheatgrass shake, the leftovers of which can be used as a super, one might say divine, cleaning product!

*recovers from self-induced mirth*

I was on a plane landing at LAX when this nutjob finally melted down at the airport Hyatt, and drove past there with the drama in full effect. Didn't know he had planned to take potshots at incoming flights til now. *brrr*
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:06 PM on October 14, 2002

He was also chronicled in the song "Bannerman" by Christian rock singer Steve Taylor.

How I know that is a sad and twisted tale for another day.
posted by starvingartist at 2:11 PM on October 14, 2002

"...he(Rockin' Rollen)is currently supported by an underground network and may have a new ministry."

How awesome. Roving terrorist cells of Bible-freaks with guns and rainbow wigs? It's like heaven on earth!

I wonder if his style (not his message, certainly) inspired the San Francisco group Bozo Nation, who used to disguise themselves as clowns and "pie" unpopular figures (like the previous mayor).
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:28 PM on October 14, 2002

unsure -- but the "biotic baking brigade" is still at it.

nice links, btw. i enjoyed them.
posted by fishfucker at 2:50 PM on October 14, 2002

[Rollen Said] "I realize now television is a tool of Satan. I never watch TV unless it's to figure out my own strategy so that I can appear on it."

Does anyone else find this statement hilariously ironic?

Good link set, btw, jonmc.
posted by Hildago at 3:47 PM on October 14, 2002

Actually, I propose this guy as godfather of the pie-ing celebs movement --he's the guy that got Gates -- complete with his very own cry of the wild: "Let's pie! Let's pie! Nincompoop guys!" These guys are very active in my home town. I've always thought the Biotic Baking Brigades took Godin's original idea and weighed it down with too much Chomskythought and not enough fun. (Thanks for the link, jonmc -- I always wondered what happened to that fellow.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:05 PM on October 14, 2002

this guy reached the pinnacle of his pop culture career when he was parodied on futurama. i can't recall the episode details but it was a stadium scene and in the stands was an alien wearing the multicolor afro wig and holding a sign that said something like 'ZXYR 3:16'.
posted by quonsar at 4:10 PM on October 14, 2002

Isn't John 3:16 the verse on In'N'Out cups ?
posted by zeoslap at 5:20 PM on October 14, 2002

Oh, God, do I remember this guy--he was all over Seattle as well as Portland in his salad days--but it would never occur to me he was being paid to attend parties looking his outlandish self...
How did he ever escape being beaten to death in such situations?
posted by y2karl at 5:56 PM on October 14, 2002

Greatest achievement may have been getting into the Masters
posted by johnny7 at 3:37 AM on October 15, 2002 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing him too.

This is a sad story as it is so obvious the dude was mentally deranged. And what is up with the 3 life sentences??? I mean, crap, it's not like he KILLED anybody.
posted by konolia at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2002

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