The US is home to the world's most dominant air guitarists. And as such, the AirForce is home to the US' elite air guitarists. The AirForce was born out of the SF/Bay Area, in 2010, after an immortal showing at the legendary Fillmore West, and comprised of the Bay Area's most dominant airists, the Original 12, formed by SF master air guitarist, Tiger Claw.

The family first started out with a world champion (Hot Lixx Hulahan), a legend (Bjorn Turoque), and several veterans of the trade, of which four from SF went on to win multiple regional championships over the years since the US Air Guitar Competition came to SF in 2006. In 2010, US Air Guitar issued an award - the Profile of Excellence in the Field of Magnificence, to two individuals, both from SF.

2011 saw the expansion of the AirForce as a show of appreciation, a way to honor, and an effort to bring those who would express the same appreciation, honor, love, passion and dedication to the art the AirForce holds so dearly, together as one.

The AirForce is proud to be represented in other regions, in addition to SF's Golden Gate Chapter, throughout the US: Capitol (DC), Cascadia (Seattle), Chi-Town (Chicago), Mid-Atlantic (Charlottesville), MidWest (Kansas City), NorthEast (NY), Pacific Coast (Los Angeles), PacNorWest (Portland), SoCal (San Diego), SouthBay (San Jose, closed), Southern (Houston), Twin Cities (Minneapolis), the UK, and Russia.

We are the jedi masters of air guitar. AirForce Command, is strong, with the force.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

news and updates...

Thursday, June 2 -

First things first, the past. Claw missed a comedy performance by Awesome, in the Mission, last week. Hopefully, it went well. Is there a video of the performance floating around anywhere? Although not air guitar-related, there's always the possibility of an impromptu air performance. Claw will gladly take that chance. Which necessitates the usual reminder: if anyone's got something coming up, whoever you are, or wherever you hail from, or whatever you're doing, air guitar or not, cuz there always exists the chance of a lick or two of air, drop Claw a line, and the word will be passed on to the rest of the force. And so on. And so on. Like an exploding supernova, before retracting into a super-massive, magnetic black hole, sucking in everything within its vicinity. There's no return from the event horizon. Except Claw's right hand. From the wrist down. Hurdling through time and space. Fingers flailing like there's no tomorrow...sorry, tangent alert.

Secondly, the post on Joe Cocker a week ago, that appeared in the SF Parade section of our Sunday paper, that highlighted a question about him being the first to do air guitar - well, he was definitely a force, but there was also the mention of Bill Reed of the Diamonds in 1957. After seeing the video, which you can see for yourself below, Claw agrees this is most definitely the first exhibition of air guitar in recorded history, but by far not enough to be billed as the Godfather of Air Guitar.

That distinction remains with Joe Cocker, based on his performance of With A Little Help From My Friends, at Woodstock, 1967. Bill Reed was also a bass player, but that's beside the point. Air guitar is air guitar, whether it's electric guitar or bass guitar. The form is the same. Watch the video. It's only 1:54, and the moment in question, is at the :55 second point. It's actually pretty cool, when you witness it for yourselves. Clearly, it was totally improvised by Bill Reed, based on the shrugged-off reaction of the dude standing next to him. Obviously, dude couldn't handle it. Hint of jealousy for the spontaneous, attention-grabbing action that would become air guitar decades later? Claw thinks so.

Here is the defining moment in air guitar history, that firmly cements Joe Cocker as the Godfather of air guitar, from the :30 second point:

Unfortunately, Claw could not locate a video archive of Joe Cocker on Dick Cavitt, explaining what he was doing with his hands when asked by Dick. It IS in the Woodstock movie, though. As mentioned before, Dick asked what he was doing with his hands, and Joe replied, "I always wanted to play the guitar, but never learned." That alone represents probably 80%+ of air guitarists' reason for what we do.

Lastly, we are mid-season into the US Air Guitar Competition. It's busy here at the SF AirForce headquarters. Check the site regularly for the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Claw continually strives to clean up, update, enhance and add to the site. It occurred to Claw while updating the AirForce ranks, that Shred Nugent, a regional winner for the short-lived San Jose competition, and multiple competitor in SF, not to mention an all-around killer mofo, and hailing from his home turf down south. Even though San Jose is considered a separate market in various industries (radio, TV, etc), it is still part of the 9-county metro that makes up the Bay Area. But since San Jose was represented as an official region, outside of SF, Claw believes Shred has earned the distinction of representing, as Commander of the SouthBay Chapter, out of San Jose. Claw has an upgraded credentials badge waiting for our next path crossing. Bjorn, your upgraded credential is in the mail. Upgraded from Major-General to General. Claw wishes everyone the best of luck in their upcoming competitions, and hopes to be upgrading as many of you as possible.

Celebrities continue to exhibit the 5-second air guitar. none of which is available on tape. You have to catch it when it happens. Just the same, everyone does it. LOne could almost say, you're allowed to air guitar, without being mocked, if it is kept under 5-seconds. (Another aspect of the 5-second rule.) Which prompted the Claw to watch, again, the Colbert air guitar tribute. The link is on the site, on the right sidebar. Scroll down. Click on it. And drag the bubble to the 3:50 mark. A 30-second montage of Colbert air guitaring. Not just a fluke performance, or 5-second exhibition, but a bonafide collection . This montage was put together for the sole purpose of honoring air guitar. It's why Colbert was honored as an SF AirForce civilian media correspondent. He got his badge and kit. Sooner or later he will have no choice but to honor us with an appearance...on the Colbert Report. As far as Claw is concerned, much more worthy and attractive than half the books promoted on the show.

Pretty lengthy, but 'tis the season. More to follow in the coming days...

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