SuperDee's House

Friday, August 17, 2007

Air Guitar is here to stay, whether we like it or not.

Last night I had a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) experience at Irving Plaza at the Air Guitar National Championships. NYC local "William Ocean" was crowned the winner and he will represent our country at the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland (yes, I said "world.") Currently Japan has the title, apparently, and judging from the sold-out crowd last night, USA is ready to take it back. (I say let 'em keep it.) With the exorbitant amount of press in the house recording every last moment, this seemingly was a pretty big deal. As the emcee / mastermind (or complete and absolute idiot depending on your perspective) Bjorn Turoque said, "If you're holding an air guitar, you can't be holding a gun." Air guitar for world peace. Right on, man.

Anyway, I went out in support of a good friend of mine from my college years who was the regional champion from Columbus, OH. We shall call by his stage name, Derek Not So Smalls (DNNS's qualifying peformance). Derek was criticized pretty harshly by the esteemed panel of judges who included Malcolm Gladwell of "The Tipping Point" fame (I wish I was kidding you), ACLU attorney Ben Weisman (who's best line of the night was, "Air Guitar is not a novelty act."), Rachel Dratch from SNL and 30 Rock, and the Daily Show's Jason Jones (who probably got his ass kicked after the show.) Contestants are judged on technical merit, stage presence, and "airness." And, of course, there may be no actual guitars on stage.

Beer cans were thrown at judges and contestants alike as crowd favorites and villains took the stage to show their... um... stuff. Standouts were Ricky Stinkfingers from San Francisco mostly because of his name and his seven pieces of flare and the 2006 champion Hot Lixx Hulahan because lets face it, if you don't come up with a good name, why are you really doing this? The two guys from Texas, Stryker and Big Rig, were the winners in my book due to their display on balcony during the "Freebird" finale. Stryker, clad only in gold shiny tights, almost took a nose dive before the caring and daring Big Rig, himself wearing merely a stars-and-stripes speedo, pulled his air brother to safety. But only one of these brave individuals can be named winner and this year the honors went to the local fave, William Ocean, who graciously accepted his prize while bleeding from his face. (Beer can injuries seem rampant around these parts.)

As Jason Jones reminded the crowd with his final thoughts while flipping everyone the double bird, "Just remember, there are no winners. You are all losers. All of you."

A few photos in case you don't believe me:

Ricky Stinkfingers from San Francisco

The smack-talkin' judges

Derek Not So Smalls in action.

More Derek...

...and one more.

Derek and some fan

2007 Champion William Ocean is crowd surfing on stage during the "Freebird" finale.

People who definitely have really bad hangovers today.

Last but not least, the darling Texas boys who stole my heart.


Blogger Greg said...

Thanks(?) for sharing, I, too, hope it was a once in a lifetime event( for you)!

9:23 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

Derek No-So-Smalls in 2008!!!!!

2:56 PM  

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