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2008 US Air Guitar Championships

13 August 2008
Wednesday, 1:32 PM

Sometimes, you just can’t fight the urge to have your hair shaved into lightning bolts, hop a plane to San Francisco, and stand glaring in chaps on a stage in front of 1,500 drunken lunatics. I did this at the behest of my alter-ego Windhammer and the 2008 Cuervo Black US Air Guitar National Finals last Friday while the rest of the world had decidedly less fun watching the Olympic opening ceremonies.

The competitors may as well have been made of gold. We were delivered in limos to the red carpet in front of the Grand Ballroom, clad in custom Everlast boxing robes, and escorted into the venue along a wall of photographers by Barbie doll Cuervo girls. After winning the Philadelphia regional championship back in June, I was rushed out of the double-booked venue and subsequently got zero press, so the reception in San Francisco was overwhelming, to say the least.

The show itself was even better. I had as much fun cheering on the other twenty-three members of my new air guitar family as I did performing, and I frightened the judges enough to miss the final round by just a tenth of a point, coming in seventh place overall (behind two people tied for fifth). My favorite performance from the first round was easily that of San Francisco’s Awesome (formerly Shred Begley, Jr.), whose beard, fro, outfit, build, and moves made for one of the most invigorating combinations I’ve ever laid eyes on. But Hot Lixx Hulahan’s second round performance—complete with a freshly-sprained thumb and a forward flip into the crowd—was the stuff of legend, and he deservedly carried away his second US title.

When I originally decided to compete in an air guitar competition, I figured I would do it once, and that would be that. On Friday night, I didn’t want it to end. And who says it has to? Next year’s air guitar season starts in just nine months. Windhammer will be ready. In the meantime, here is a video of my performance along with some other assorted goodies.

  • The Lightning Shave video, Part 1 and Part 2
  • Friend and hero Mark Trammell’s spectactular photos from the show
  • Hard Rock Chick’s review of the show
  • SFGate’s video coverage of the show

Filed under: Music, Travel

Comments Closed (18)

1. Travis Isaacs says…  |  13 August 2008 / 1:50 PM

What song was that?


2. Jared Christensen says…  |  13 August 2008 / 1:53 PM

I want you on my chest.

3. Mark Trammell says…  |  13 August 2008 / 1:58 PM

I am humbled and honored to have witnessed this. Truly.

4. Erin says…  |  13 August 2008 / 2:14 PM

Ah, Windhammer. Finland would totally have understood you.

5. Shane Riley says…  |  13 August 2008 / 2:43 PM

How did you manage to keep your glasses from flying off for so long? That's ridiculous.

6. Peter says…  |  13 August 2008 / 3:13 PM

That was no ordinary rock: that was diamond. A thing of purest crystalline beauty.

7. Ian Corey says…  |  13 August 2008 / 3:15 PM

This is awesome. I should have been there. Next year I vow to contribute to your success.
Long live Windhammer.

8. HardRockChick says…  |  13 August 2008 / 3:35 PM

Windhammer in '09!

9. Brunsvold says…  |  14 August 2008 / 12:51 AM

As a long time follower of Happy Cog/ALA/AEA and all their associations... I have to say I am fucking scared of you. Rock On.

10. Zia says…  |  14 August 2008 / 10:15 AM

Awesome rob! I like that you went with the scare tactic. The more intimidating, the better.

11. Hot Lixx says…  |  14 August 2008 / 4:26 PM

Next year, assuming it is in SF again, you should keep the chaps but lose the pants underneath. And yeah, how did you keep those glasses on?

12. Ian Lloyd says…  |  14 August 2008 / 8:09 PM

That. Was. Awesome!

I was absolutely crying with laughter watching that. Look! It's Rob! Taking crazy to a whole new frickin level!

13. Juris Rocktor says…  |  15 August 2008 / 9:39 AM


Bettie and I were IM'ing this morning from opposite sides of the Atlantic. Main topic: how you F'N BROUGHT IT in SF.


14. KJ says…  |  15 August 2008 / 10:40 AM

Dude, that is awesome. Is that Bjorn Turoque next to you?

15. Aaron Gustafson says…  |  15 August 2008 / 11:42 AM

Yet another amazing performance Rob. I wish I could have been there... hopefully next year.

16. Matt Johnsen says…  |  25 August 2008 / 2:30 PM

Why, it feels like only yesterday that I told you about Lost Horizon. You have done us all proud, Windhammer.

17. ken says…  |  28 August 2008 / 8:40 PM

watching this is WAY better than watching Obama!

18. Rob Weychert says…  |  28 August 2008 / 10:50 PM

Thanks all for the kind words. To answer some questions, the song was Lost Horizon’s “Sworn in the Metal Wind,” the emcee was indeed Björn Türoque, and my glasses stayed on my face for the same reason the guy from the Onion gave me a 5.8: sheer terror.

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