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Air Guitar Champs Sound Off

On July 14, a chosen few artistes from such exotic locales as Asheville, North Carolina and, er, Denver, will converge on West Hollywood’s Key Club for the final showdown—The 2005 US Air Guitar Championships. Contenders will take the stage, some with roadies, and blaze the necks of their invisible axes as Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption,” or anything by Yngwie, blares behind them. Contestants are judged on technical prowess, stage presence and “airness,” an inexplicable quality transcending mere air guitar. Last year’s champion, Brooklyn’s MiRi “Sonyk-Rok” Park, went on to play at the World Air Guitar Championships in northern Finland, and subsequently defeated her guru, for the second US win in this decade-long event. On a Late Night With Conan O’Brien appearance (available on www.airguitarusa.com), Park performed Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” and admitted to studying the song’s guitar tablature, to make sure her airy beast, a white Fender Stratocaster à la Wayne’s World, no less, would be up to the test. O’Brien was just happy to see a guitar neck that could actually bend like rubber. Anybody want to start an Air Drums competition?