Bob Barker’s Microphone

Damn it’s small.

Anyway, on to other news: A little recap of the USA Air Guitar Championships.

First I have to say CONGRATULATIONS to Fatima “Rockness Monster” Hoang for his amazing performance at the USA Air Guitar finals. It was a powerful performance that really blew me away. (Pun most definitely intended.) There were contestants from Denver, New York, Austin, Minneapolis, Boston, Chicago and of course good ol’ LA.
I love this snapshot of Rockness Monster dominating the stage. He’s in total control. Although his outfit was not the most elaborate (except for the $0.50 streamers on his wrists) he was just all around COOL. (You may be asking why he’s wearing a t-shirt with Tony Danza on the front. At the event we asked the same question. The answer was: “It’s not Tony Danza, it’s my cousin.”) OK.
rock ness

To see his performance on the TODAY SHOW go here:

Here are some other moments from the event.

Here is William Ocean of Chicago, with his mom, Hew, and I before getting on stage. His mom passed out bumper stickers all night to everyone. That is what I call devotion. When Courtney, Hew, and I told her we went to school at Northwestern she told us to come into the Chicago fan section and just “scream for Andy.”

will ocean

She reminded me a little bit of this mom in Oulu, Finland last year who came to support her son, Irish air guitarist, Smell Gibson. Here is Kay with her Irish flag and Smell’s roadie, Denis.

MOMS: the essential accessory for Air Guitarists World Wide.

This is a picture of Smell Gibson with Takashi, Japan’s air guitar champion, in Oulu in 2004. I’ll let you figure out who’s who.
smell gibson

Here is Courtney, Brian, and Hew with the Mime. Make some noise!!!!!!!!

And finally all the Air Guitarists on stage (as well as an Air Drummer at the top of the shot) rockin’ out to “Keep On Rockin’ in the Free World” at the end of the night.
air guitar

So August 26, 2005 Rockness Monster will be hitting the C chord up near the Arctic Circle in Oulu, Finland. He will be facing Sonyk-Rok, the reigning champion and fellow American. Here she is with her American mentor C Diddy (the 2003 World Air Guitar Champ and my favorite air guitarist of all time) and of course Takashi.
c diddy

If Rockness brings home the gold this year (and by gold I mean the Flying Finn Guitar worth 2500 Euros) this will be three years in a row that the USA is home to the #1 Air Guitarist in the world. Good luck, Fatima!!!

Oh yeah and this year is the 10th Annual World Air Guitar Championships. How does one celebrate a decade worth of airness? Easy. A minute of noise will be observed the night of the finals.

Unfortunately I will not be attending this year but Hannu, an Oulu native who was nice enough to host me at his place last year, will be there. Here he is with you know who and myself.

When staying at Hannu’s place he gave me the low down on Finnish culture and in return I introduced him to the world of air guitar. (He had never been to a competition before 2004 and after witnessing the finals, vowed never miss another one again.) Aside from the WAGC, Oulu is a great city located only 200km from Santa’s house. Hannu taught me some Finnish words and informed me that Oulu natives get a kick out of the fact that the zip code 90210 in Oulu is home to the Oulu’s mental hospital. He also introduced me to Matti Nykanen, Finland’s infamous ski jumper turned pop idol star turned jail inmate for assault and attempted murder. During his prime ski jumping days Matti was known for his profound statements such as …. “Life is…Life” and “Every time I get to the top of the mountain I get this sort of Bon Voyage feeling, like I have done this sometime before” and “Germany, Austria….my home country.” A brilliant man indeed.

Here is a picture of him after an alleged brawl with his wife. When asked what happened to his face he said, “I fell in a rose bush.” Sure….

Oh the Good Ol’ Days of Matti.

Gotta love Finland.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world.