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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

(Air) Guitar Heroes: A Look at the SF Finalists

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 12:19 PM

For the first time, the US Air Guitar Championships are gonna go down right here in San Francisco. That means the winner from last month's invisible ax battle at the Independent (the awesomely named Awesome) will go against two dozen other "o-faced" actors when the competition goes big time at the Grand on Friday, August 8. Of course we want someone from San Francisco to win the national champs so we can send one of our own to the World Finals in Finland. To give you a little taste of the characters taking the stage in August, though, we're running Q&As with some of the more colorful contestants involved.

click to enlarge air_guitar_awesome_misha_vladimirsky.jpg

First up: Awesome. (See video we got of him in action at the SF Finals here.)

Name: Awesome AKA Shred Begley Jr.

City where you live: San Francisco, CA

City where you qualified for the Air Guitar finals: San Francisco, CA

Song used: "Ass, Gass or Grass" by Mensclub (Classic SF Band.)

Personal motto: LIFE OVER QUICKLY, EGGS OVER AWESOME! - Ancient Mayan Proverb

How’d you first hear about the U.S. Air Guitar Championships? I was riding the lightning and a class six hurricane handed me a flyer.

Number of years you’ve competed: There can be only one.

First time you ever air guitared: Would you like to see the ultrasound?

Air Guitar vs. Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band: Which rules and why? My unbeatable fingers and awesome style rule supreme.

Best real guitarist (technically): Madonna

Most entertaining real guitarist: Old Madonna

Other air instruments you play: LEAF BLOWER!

Brief thoughts about San Francisco, host city for the Air Guitar national finals: San Francisco is not for Half-Wimps, Full-Wimps, or people who don't like onion rings...TELL YOUR FRIENDS, JACK!

Why you need to represent the U.S. in Finland for the world championships: I will scissor kick the flavor out of their lip-balm. I'm talking to you too, Greece.

Boxers, g-strings, briefs, or granny panties: COMBO MOVE!

Complete this phrase: To air is human, to ________ divine. Hand-Plant to Poseur FACE-MELT!

click to enlarge air_guirar_betty.jpg

Second contestant!

Name: Bettie B. Goode (nom de air), Taryn Kapronica (nom de non-air)

City where you live: Brooklyn

City where you qualified for the Air Guitar finals: Brooklyn

Song used: "Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar

Personal motto: "Air or Death"

How'd you first hear about the U.S. Air Guitar Championships?: Phoned a friend on a whim one evening to see what she was up to. When she said she was off to watch the 2006 U.S. National Air Guitar Championships and offered a free ticket, how could I say no?

Number of years you've competed: 2 (2007-2008)

First time you ever air guitared: There is no "first time". There is just "always". I have always air guitared. It's a phenomenom that perplexes some of the greatest minds in quantum physics. String theory ain't got nothing next to me.

Air Guitar vs. Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band: Which rules and why?: Air Guitar. We do not speak of "The Others".

Best real guitarist (technically): Joe Satriani

Most entertaining real guitarist: Jimi Hendrix

Other air instruments you play: None. There's just enough room in my heart for one and one only.

Brief thoughts about San Francisco, host city for the Air Guitar national finals: As much as I would have liked to perform on the hometown front of NYC, a change of scenery can reinvigorate a show. Little birdies tell me that San Fran's audiences are one of the best in the country for an air guitar competition. Very eager to see them live up to the acclaim.

Why you need to represent the U.S. in Finland for the world championships: I lost a toe in a gruesome freak accident during the first 10 seconds of my chance to nail a regional championship. I knew it too, but continued and finished out the whole round because just I wanted it that bad. And I won. As far as anyone knows, I am the only air guitarist to have lost a body part during competition. I may not be the most polished air guitarist out there, but I'm damn committed.

Boxers, g-strings, briefs, or granny panties: Oh, a girl's gotta keep some secrets. Speaking of which, why isn't 'commando' an option?

Complete this phrase: To air is human, to _choose air guitar over tending to a severed toe_ divine.

click to enlarge air_guitar_airisol2.jpg

Third up: Cami "Airisol" Phillippi

From Minneapolis, won in Mpls

Song: "Eruption" and "You Really Got Me" Van Halen

Heard about air guitar how: Through a friend and lots of writeups in the paper.

This is my 2nd year

My first time air guitaring was at Grandma's, less than 30 years ago: The Doors, Beatles, and Ozzy

Air Guitar vs. Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band: Which rules and why?: Obviously Air guitar Rules! I've never laid a hand on a game operated guitar....overrated!

Best real guitarist:....HENDRIX!

Most entertaining: Prince

Other air instruments you play: While camping....I can play a mean air banjo.

Brief thoughts about San Francisco, host city for the Air Guitar national finals: San Fran should be good times! But put me anywhere, and I'll forget where I am as soon as Airisol puts it into gear.

Why you need to represent the U.S. in Finland for the world championships: It's a ladies turn again! Oh and it's time for the Midwest to show up! We're from the heart of America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boxers, g-strings, briefs, or granny panties: commando

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Ian S. Port

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