Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Eric de Boer

In January 2009, the eye-patch-wearing guitar player for the rock band Kansas, Rich Williams, was reported to have died. Williams’ obituary ran in a number of newspapers in the New England area and briefly appeared at the online obituary reference site – Legacy. But the real Rich Williams was still alive and rocking. The person who had died, Eric de Boer of Kingston, New Hampshire, had been impersonating Rich Williams (apparently convincingly so) for several years. Not only did de Boer claim he was Williams, he claimed he played for the band Kansas, and even that he wrote their hit song “Carry on My Wayward Son” (which was written by real Kansas member Kerry Livgren). De Boer also claimed that he joined Kansas after he returned from Vietnam where he was held as a POW. The fact that de Boer was impersonating him was known by Williams for several years. But Williams did not pursue it out of respect for de Boer’s service in Vietnam, and because he had forgotten about it. In fact, it was later determined that de Boer probably never served in Vietnam.


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