Having a good solid piece of wood in your hand is often useful

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Air guitar.

Many a boyhood, and manhood, afternoon have been spent shredding an invisible axe. From Tom Cruise in his underwear shredding to Bob Seger to any number of screaming solos I have performed in the relative privacy of my own livingroom (don't take that the wrong way...), we all aspire to to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young and other guitar gods.

But until last week, it was only something I did so that my own normal duldrum suburban life had a glimpse of excitement. Then last week I discovered a documentary that could change my life: Air Guitar Nation.

It turns out there is a world championship for air guitar. In fact, one of the qualifying rounds for the U.S. Chapmion was held in our very own Traverse City, Michigan. People make a persona like Bjorn Turoque, C-Diddy, or Krye Tuff. You pick a repertoire of songs...and you commence to shred the air before a live audience. You are scored on a scale of 1 - 6, and showmanship counts every bit as much as relative realism.

Some participans took it really seriously. Bjorn Turoque, who became a tragic figure, took it way too seriously. It has apparently consumed his life that he can't win. He made this documentary. He wrote a song about air guitar. He has a whole personal philosophy built around it.

The winner, C-Diddy, doesn't take it seriously at all and called it the "weirdest 2 moths of his life."

Here's the deal. My satire chops are not nearly as good as Rickey Henderson's, so I will defer to Rickey for a comment if he's ever seen it or is willing.
But for the rest of you, see this dcumentary. It's on VH-1 or you get get it on Netflix. It is the most bizarre 2 hours of your life. And I may have found a new goal in life: to win the World Air Guitar Championship.

And while we're on this subject...if you played in the World Air Guitar Championship, what would be your song? ANswers in the comments section.


Smitty 9:54 AM  

Mine would be Whole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC. Smoking guitar solos, awesome hook.

B Mac 1:02 PM  

Tough call...

I'll have to say Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. It requires a full spectrum of air-guitar skills, and contains the best headbanging segment of any song ever written (a la Wayne's World).

B Mac 1:07 PM  

Ooooh, better answer just came to me:

Voodoo Chile by Hendrix.

George 1:09 PM  

There was a period in my life before I met my wife and after a bad split-up prior that it was Bob Mould's "Explode and Make Up" as you got to play shredding acoustic and mad lead and let out a truly nasty shout. Shouting is an important part of the experience.

Now I'm not sure what my choice would be--probably some Robert Quine (Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" or Lou Reed's "Waves of Fear"?) or Marc Ribot (T Bone Burnett's "Tear This Building Down"?).

How cool is this? WV is "axnail"!

Sopor 7:53 PM  

Well I don't know if anybody has heard of this, but "Black Clouds" by The String Cheese Incident, the live version. One of the cleanest guitar solos I have ever heard! Michael Kang really ripped it up with that one.

Joel 10:17 AM  

Since you only get a limited amount of time, I'd want to do Nigel Tufnel's solo in Spinal Tap; the one where he grabs the violin and starts raking it across his guitar strings with a discerning ear, pauses, TUNES the violin, then proceeds to rake it across the guitar again.

B Mac 10:31 AM  

In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, an ancient race of people: the Druids.

No one knows who they were or what they were doing...

Rickey Henderson 2:36 PM  

Holy hell! Finally, something that makes Guitar Hero look highbrow in comparison!

Please please please tell Rickey that this competition kicks off with everyone air guitaring to Jimmy Hendrix's version of the national anthem...

steves 7:03 PM  

Joel, you would need a wig, since you don't really have rock n' roll hair. That being said, your choice has great potential.

I would have to dig up something from the last time I was in an air band. Probably Night Ranger, Billy Idol, or Twisted Sister.

The Republic of Uzbekistan 11:44 AM  

My cousin, Yuri, plays air guitar to songs by Eddie Money. We think he is demented from kick in the head by a Yak!

We love America!

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