On Thursday Brian called me about the U.S. Air Guitar Championships
being held at the Roxy in Hollywood. Come on now, I saw Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
just like you, and knew I could play air guitar with the best of them, so my mullet and I were in.
Brian chose not to buy the $10 tickets online due to Ticketmaster's highway robbery $4 surcharge so we headed to Hollywood early to buy some then grab a bite to eat before the show. When I pulled up in front of the Roxy at 6:45 for a 9:00 show there were already people outside, some standing in line, some giving interviews. We hurriedly threw on our mullets and hopped out while the Hybrid was illegally parked and went to check out the haps. What we discovered was that the box office wouldn't open to sell tickets until 8 o' freakin' clock! Our dilemma: Do we go and eat and risk losing our place second in line or do we park the car and camp out, all the while ignoring the hunger pangs. Fack! We parked. Parking turned out to be a good decision since we soon found out that Howard Stern had publicized the Air Guitar Championships on his show, so everyone and their Aunt Hilda came out.
So there we stood outside the Roxy waiting for something to happen. Well, not much did for a while until someone pointed out C Diddy, the East Coast Air Guitar Champion. The dude is well known through his appearances on such shows as Howard Stern and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Naturally we sauntered on over and snapped a pic with him
. After that we walked around for a bit while someone held our place in line and Brian posed next to the ride he's going to buy
if he ever becomes World Air Guitar Champion. While back in line Brian pointed out a guy with one of the smallest heads we have ever seen, so I slyly took a picture of ourselves in order to capture the freak of nature.
Unfortunately, without his body in the frame it's difficult to tell; trust me, though, Pinhead Boy was bizarre.
As the sun set we were still standing outside the Roxy box office and the line continued to grow. Keeping in mind that this was Hollyweird, you know what that meant: the freaks
came out of the woodwork. It also meant that we were going to have a blast.
So things were going well as the clock struck eight and we had our money at the ready when there was movement in the box office. Well, this is where the story takes a turn for the worse because the ticket girl tapes up a sign that read... yep, "SOLD OUT." Snap! What to do, what to do? For starters we tried to buy extra tickets but only found one, and this one was snapped up quickly for 20 bucks. I reminded Brian that was a bit steep, you know, considering that this was freakin' air guitar!
There were scores of people waiting to buy tickets, and the fact we were second in line for nothing was a bit disheartening and meant we wasted 90 minutes of our lives. Next we unsuccessfully tried to bribe/smooth talk/bullshit one of the guards at the side door. Then we tried to get in with someone who was friends with one of the competitors, but again, to no avail. So we waited....
While waiting Brian again became chummy with the security. But these guys were rent-a-cops
not LAPD so he only got a picture, not a ride on the bike (see the Matrix story
sfor the inside joke). I told Brian that I wouldn't be bitter about not getting in as long as the doofus with the tinsel wig and derby
was equally unsuccessful. While standing around outside we were interviewed by several different news agencies, including the Los Angeles Times
, San Francisco Examiner
, Under the Radar magazine
, some people doing a documentary on the event, and even some Asian reporters. One of the cool things about this was the guy from Under the Radar looked exactly like the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan when he had hair
. After each interview and picture we hit up the reporter for tickets but got the same answer each time: "I'll see what I can do." Yeah, whatever. What they did
do was use us for our deep insight and philosophy on air guitar and runway-model good looks and then forgot us as they went in to enjoy the show. Indeed, fame is a fickle mistress.
We were back to square one and the outlook was like the bleak December with our hopes now a dying ember (a little Poe for ya). But the pendulum of luck swung back our way as we began to formulate a plan for the rest of the night. Some guy came outside and informed the crowd that he had two wristbands
left for admission to the show. There were about 50 people still milling about so it was going to be tough. But then the proverbial clouds parted, the sun shone, and the birds sang as the guy said he would have a mini air guitar contest right here on Sunset Boulevard to decide who would walk off with the prize. Immediately some Barney jumped into the ring and proceeded to give a weak-ass performance that would have gotten the Wild Stallionz kicked out of San Dimas High School. So I jumped in after him and busted out a combination of Randy Rhoads and Yngwie Malmsteen, with a dash of Ted Nugent. The crowd went nuts and I was handed a wristband. *needle screeching across a record* WTF? I thought I was competing for both admissions but the guy said one per person. Uh oh. Brian and I exchanged looks and I pulled him into the ring and my boy went to town. Dude went freakin' guitar hero on the crowd with some Hendrix and Pete Townshend pulled out of his ass. Then, just to make sure victory was secured, this crazy mutha busted out the air guitar version of the Curly Shuffle right there on the sidewalk of Sunset, spinning like he had just seen a mouse and was about to start panting, "Mo, Larry, cheese. Mo, Larry, Cheese!" Legendary. Suffice it to say we both walked into the show moments later.
When we got in we were mobbed by people giving high fives, congratulating us, and asking for the details. I was hoarse after telling the story several times. Some old guy approached me and Brian and gave us each a guitar pick
(the only prop allowed on stage), evidently thinking we were contestants. I guess the mullets gave us a certain aura. Now, should anybody doubt that this was our destiny, notice the initials E and B on the pick (for Eric and Brian, naturally). Suhweeet! We then took a picture with a group of freaky chicks
who, coincidentally, were the ones who had the extra ticket outside. As we were posing for the photo the chick on my right says to me, "Should I show my tits?" Damn! Well, you know me, mister smooth operator, so as Rico Suave as I can be I say, "Um, sure." The ladies man in full effect, fo sho. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, I'm still not sure) just as the guy was about to take the picture some camera crew turned their big spotlight on us and the chick's shirt stayed in place. Oh well. Here is another picture of them
, and yes, that is a chick with the long mohawk. Let the show begin.
The joint was hoppin'
and the three judges were introduced, with one of them being Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. We got right up to the stage
to get the best view. There were 20 participants and I don't remember all of their names so I'll just give a brief description of many of them:
said he wanted to create a "big brown sound."
She went by Cherry Vanilla.
I learned one thing this night: girls suck at air guitar.
Other than a nasty crotch shot
, she sucked
was an early favorite because the people who were first in line in front of us were his friends. He was very boring.
looked like a Vegas magician but he was cool.
had a mullet that looked a lot like mine - only hers was real! Classic. When she was playing
and giving high fives to the crowd, Brian yelled out, "You rock, dude!" and he got a high five. Party on, Garth!
Ok, this dude was a serious freak.
His cape was a McDonald's flag
and he dove into the crowd,
which was against the rules.
Rebel. Then during his second set he came out dressed like a human condom
or a sausage
with the end opened up. Different strokes....
This guy was dressed as a mechanic
and proceeded to throw himself on the stage.
Then there was a guy was moved like Mick Jagger
and even wore a Rolling Stones shirt
but played a song from somebody completely different. I guess he doesn't dig Keith Richards' guitar riffs.
This guy clearly knew how to work the crowd. He had his lady friend take off her panties
, then she proceeded to shove them down the front of his pants
. I don't even remember if he performed....
This pimp daddy
knew how how to work it. His lady friend had been standing by the stage
getting quite a bit of attention so when she appeared on stage all eyes were focused. He was all right,
even with the look, but she may have been too much of a distraction.
But this dude
really knew how to maximize his use of chicks as they took off his coat
after freakin' crawling out onto the stage. Then he pointed
and they crawled
right back off. Here's a closer shot
for the guys. On top of it all he played Iron Maiden.
He's my hero.
This guy kind of scared me.
This is Turoque.
Apparently he came in second behind C Diddy in New York and flew out to L.A. to try to win the West Coast crown. He finished third. Oh well, you have to applaud his dedication. Right?
was the most controversial. At first I thought he rocked for doing all this in a wheelchair.
Plus he looked like Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. He even went the extra mile by falling onto the stage
and still playing. But then he stood up
and I felt betrayed. Bitch. It was funny when Eddie Murphy did it in Trading Places
, but this is the U.S. Air Guitar Championship, for heaven's sake. Is nothing sacred? When he came out for his second set he was then wearing just a speedo and boots. That was just wrong.
Then, to add insult to injury, his wig fell off.
He was wearing a wig! So he can walk and doesn't really look like Nikki Sixx. Pussy.
After everyone performed, the top five scorers
were chosen and then they had to play to a new song: "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead.
who won the West Coast title was good. He had great stage presence and classic technique
that even brought one fan out of the crowd.
Yep, that's one of the chicks
Brian and I took the photo with earlier. It's a small world after all.
As we were waiting for the announcement of the West Coast winner and the person who would duel it out with C Diddy for the U.S. title, my cell phone rang. It was Michelle, Brian's 8 1/2 month pregnant wife, saying that she might be going into labor. So we high-tailed it back to the Hybrid and headed home, with Brian calling
again to make sure all is well.
So what did Brian get out of this? Well, on June 30th of 2003 he became the father of Matthew Brian Day.
And me? I invested the 10 bucks I would have spent on the ticket and purchased a boss new t-shirt.
So, in the words of Danny Zuko: "That's cool, baby..You know how it is...rockin' and rollin' and what not."
Post Script: C Diddy ended up winning
(Hello Kitty and all) and will go on to Finland to represent the United States in the World Air Guitar Championship. USA! USA!