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2008 US Air Guitar Championships

Sometimes, you just can’t fight the urge to have your hair shaved into lightning bolts, hop a plane to San Francisco, and stand glaring in chaps on a stage in front of 1,500 drunken lunatics. I did this at the behest of my alter-ego Windhammer and the 2008 Cuervo Black US Air Guitar National Finals last Friday while the rest of the world had decidedly less fun watching the Olympic opening ceremonies.

The competitors may as well have been made of gold. We were delivered in limos to the red carpet in front of the Grand Ballroom, clad in custom Everlast boxing robes, and escorted into the venue along a wall of photographers by Barbie doll Cuervo girls. After winning the Philadelphia regional championship back in June, I was rushed out of the double-booked venue and subsequently got zero press, so the reception in San Francisco was overwhelming, to say the least.

The show itself was even better. I had as much fun cheering on the other twenty-three members of my new air guitar family as I did performing, and I frightened the judges enough to miss the final round by just a tenth of a point, coming in seventh place overall (behind two people tied for fifth). My favorite performance from the first round was easily that of San Francisco’s Awesome (formerly Shred Begley, Jr.), whose beard, fro, outfit, build, and moves made for one of the most invigorating combinations I’ve ever laid eyes on. But Hot Lixx Hulahan’s second round performance—complete with a freshly-sprained thumb and a forward flip into the crowd—was the stuff of legend, and he deservedly carried away his second US title.

When I originally decided to compete in an air guitar competition, I figured I would do it once, and that would be that. On Friday night, I didn’t want it to end. And who says it has to? Next year’s air guitar season starts in just nine months. Windhammer will be ready. In the meantime, here is a video of my performance along with some other assorted goodies.

  • The Lightning Shave video, Part 1 and Part 2
  • Friend and hero Mark Trammell’s spectactular photos from the show
  • Hard Rock Chick’s review of the show
  • SFGate’s video coverage of the show