“There was a lot of crotch-grabbing, lip-licking and tongue-flicking.”
No, I’m not describing Date Night at a College Fraternity. All this was going on during the Air Guitar World Championship, which were held in, of all places, Oulu Finland last week.
Yes, as reported by Sarah Lyall of the New York Times**, there is such a thing as the Air Guitar World Championship. And, this year they were attended by 19 men and one woman from 17 countries, each the Champion in his or her country.
Perhaps one of the highlights of the competition came when the French national champion, Guillaume de Tonquḗdec, at the end of a killer air riff, dove into the audience only to have the members of the audience (who obviously were not quite as hip as Guillaume had thought) step back and let him and to a chest and face plant on the floor.
In the unlikely event that there is someone out there who doesn’t know what “air guitar” playing is, think back to the days when you were listening to ass-kicking guitar music (often fueled by booze or whatever) and you saw some dweeb who couldn’t even play the radio standing in the corner pretending to play the killer guitar lick that everyone was listening to. If he was good – real good, he might well have made it to Finland this year.
The Swiss contestant described “air guitar” best when he said, “To me, it’s like a guitar, only it’s made of air, so you can’t see it. Pretty much.”
According to a past champion Cedric Devitt, produced a film called Air Guitar Nation, air guitar playing does not require that the player mimic the actual guitar playing [Duh, which would mean he maybe could actually “play” a real guitar], but that the “imitation is so good it transcends the art form.”
I know you’re dying to know if the U.S. of A. sent a contestant to the competition. USA! USA! USA!
Well, we did, and his name is Andrew Litz. He actually holds a real job, but he stated that he hoped to win the championship, which would allow him to quit his job and become a professional air guitarist.
The end of the competition was marked by a truly memorable moment, when the best air guitar players in the world all came on stage and all rocked it out with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
I know you’re just dying to know who won this year’s championship, but if I told you, you might not read the whole thing, which I suggest you do.
I’ve never been able to master the air guitar, but I have been practicing my air cranial surgery.
** The New York Times can publish some good stuff when it’s not pretending to report the news.
BONUS: Here is a video of last year’s champion in action.