Last night I watched a terrific documentary called Air Guitar Nation (you can catch it on VH1 on Wednesday afternoon, if you're interested). It's about the 2003 Air Guitar World Championships, held in Finland each year for the past eleven years. 2003 was the first year that Americans competed in this truly international event. The Finns who founded it say that if hands are occupied playing air guitar, they cannot hold rifles -- they're pretty much serious about this, too. Air shredding for world peace!
I love to do karaoke but there are numerous songs I won't sing, because they are saddled with big long guitar solos where there's nothing to sing, and I just have to stand there hoping to not look too dorky. So I have often thought about developing some rudimentary air guitar chops, to get me through that awkward passage in the middle of Heart's "Magic Man." Back in high school I was proficient in the art of air drumming (I can still do a decent job on Pretenders II) but so far air guitar eludes me -- or let's put it this way: my body doesn't bend backward far enough for a truly bravura performance. Maybe I should take up yoga first...
The best competitors treat air guitar almost like performance art, with awesome costumes and 60 seconds of primo rock god posturing. It's the names that capture my imagination: Sonyk Rok! The Rockness Monster! The Red Plectrum! Roxy McStagger!
One of the imaginary-ax-wielding maniacs featured in the documentary goes by the magnificent stage name of Bjorn Turoque, and he's written a book about his career in air guitar (in real life he writes for the NY Times). I'm even going to buy this one at a real bookstore at full price, that's how much I love this guy.