Nashville Qualifier: Gettin' Shitty in Music City
-This is a guest post by Nashville organizer, Michael Vucovich- We run on southern time in Nashville..slow and easy. So, yeah, its been a month since our competition, but your recap is finally here. This year brought a fresh batch of talent and crowned a new southern air-guitar champion in typical Nashvegas style. Which means performers and a great crowed doing our intoxicated best to support a music-focused non-profit Notes for Notes through the AWESOME POWER OF AIR GUITAR.
We were a little light on pros this year, as defending champion Van Dammage and Cleoplectra elected to stay in their cozy Atlanta home and forgo a title defense. But the Nashville scene never disappoints in random talent, and the crowd sure as hell got their money's worth.
Our team of judges was led by the legendary Doug “The Thunder” Stroock, who also opened the show. The local Fox station was broadcasting LIVE, and he managed to get sexy enough that they shut off the cameras and ran for cover by the time he finished. Nashville Air Guitar takes pride on chasing off our guests (talking to you Miss Tennessee), so thanks to Doug for keeping the tradition going.
He must have made an impression on our first timers as well, since once they the gazed upon his sexyness the managed to come up with the following air guitar handles: “EWWWW”, “OOOHHH”, and “OH SHIT!”.
I'd love to give you a play by play of the night like my other, more focused, hosts have done. But the truth is we were too busy having a good time to write down the events as they unfolded. So here's what the Nashville team could piece together from our collective intoxicated memories:
Giant Junk, our MC, opened the show by saying “You may wonder why I'm named Giant Junk. Its because I've got the biggest dick you've ever seen...if you've only seen a couple dicks”. And with that, the nights entertainment hit the stage.
Ewww and Ohhh emerged first and gave it the old community college try. They had a lot of energy, almost no pride, and got the crowd warmed up. But the show really started with Nashville veteran Shorty McShred's neon finger picking exploding confetti performance. He gets better every year and this year made a strong statement to get into the second round.
He was followed by a new-comer...Warrior Poet. He impressed by handling Cult of Personality with style and class; not an easy feat. Speaking of feet, one judge tried to dock him points for wearing boat shoes. But all was rectified when Giant Junk, with the crowd at his back, reminded said judge that this was a fuckin' air guitar competition, not a fashion show. That was enough for him to advance to the second round.
Then there was Oh Shit. He lived up to his name. Use your imagination. Second round.
Nashville's favorite blond wig dude was back, but under a new name. Chap David Markman was replaced with a new persona named Hack Nicholson, sporting the same wig but with a brand new style. Lots of jumping and leaping and all around energy. We were proud to send him into the finals again this year.
There can be only one Mama Nashtrash. Despite crawling her way on the stage, presumably looking for some Jager or bath salts (maybe both?), she eventually rose to the occasion, threw back her bathrobe, and rocked out to some Paramore. Was she a strong enough performer to advance? No. But we sent her on anyway, just to see what would happen next. It was well worth it.
And then last year's runner up James Roquemore (his real name) devastated with his swing dance inspired air guitar style. There was some spinning, and this weird off-his-back leapfrog thing, and general awesomeness. He entered the second round the favorite.
After another performance by The Thunder, the finals kicked off. Nashville likes the standard format, so all the performers were competing to the same track. Not gonna lie, Giant Junk and The Thunder dropped the ball on this one. To quote one judge: “this track is crap”. He was right. I don't even know what the hell we were thinking, but safe to say we probably weren't thinking at all. Thinking is a lot more difficult than drinking.
Clearly we taking the drinking part of our drinking sport seriously, especially Mama Nashtrash, as evidenced by her acceptance speech. No one was quite sure why a 5th place finisher was giving a speech nor what she was saying, but we all agreed it started, ended, and was repeatedly punctuated by slurred “heey baaabbbbyy”.
Once the second round had wrapped up, Nashville crowned its new champion...James Roquemore. He walked away with some cash-dollars. Shorty McShred took second place, earning a sizeable gift certificate to a local tattoo shop. Hack Nicholson finished third. All three of these dudes got some kick ass schwag from some local rock star boutiques. Oh Shit! came in fourth, and was gifted the traditional Nashville booby prize: a bag of socks. But all was not lost for Oh Shit!, as he took the crowd favorite prize of $200 to another tattoo and art gallery.
And somewhere along the way we grossed over a grand in donations and door money for Notes for Notes, which aint bad for a bunch of southerners taking io the country music establishment with nothing but their bare hands. All in all it was a fuckin' air guitar competition, just as advertised. Y'all come back now you hear...or don't. We'll be here regardless.
-all photos by Anthony Ross Tyler-