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Air Guitar National Championships

Any die-hard rock-and-roller can understand the primal urge to whip out the air guitar and shred a few chords.  The in-front-of-the-mirror pursuit moved into the limelight last Friday at the 2008 Cuervo Black US Air Guitar Championships, held for the first time in San Francisco. 

The competition brought 25 of the best guitar-less shredders from all over the U.S. to the Regency Center Grand Ballroom, which was filled to capacity with devil-horn waving, judge-booing air fanatics.

To describe it as raucous would be a gross understatement.  Symbols and words were shaved into chest hair, fake blood was spewed, clothes were ripped apart, and there was enough beer-on-head action to rival a Superbowl.  Absolutely awesome.

“Awesome,” in fact, was the phrase that payed – it’s the “air name” of San Francisco’s hometown hero Alex Koll, who made it to the final round amid chants of  “Awesome… Awesome!”  But alas, his swan dive into the crowd was no match for Alameda’s Craig Billmeier’s (a.k.a “Hot Lixx Hulahan’s”) front flip over an inflated Orca whale.  For the second time in three years, Hulahan left with the title and a chance to represent the U.S on the worldwide air guitar stage at the World Championships in Oulu, Finland (which is going down August 20-22).  We’ll be waving fake lighters for you, Hulahan.  And Awesome, your time will come.  Yes, your time will come. 

Check out our photos from the competition: