Nashville Qualifier Recap - An epic evening of air

The following post was written by 2012 Nashville Air Guitar Champion Doug “The Thunder” Stroock: guest-blog-series


She never had a chance.


Shaken, offended, and clearly in the wrong place…. She fled the venue like cat falling into a bathtub.


But….. I’m getting ahead of myself here.


On Saturday June 22, Nashville hosted an epic 2013 US Air Guitar Qualifier.  It had drama, action, blood, sweat, tears, a monsoon, and blatant sexual harassment.  I mean, what more could you ask for from an air guitar competition ... Right?


Promoted by Michael Vucovich, and supporting the great organization Notes for Notes, the event was held on the legendary stage at 12th and Porter.  The club may not be huge, but this ain’t no wimpy venue…. Huge stage, amazing lighting setup, and a fog machine.


Did I mention the qualifier was being MC’d by the reigning Miss Tennessee Brenna Mader?  Pretty epic, right?  Well…….. Let’s start at the beginning.


The qualifier was supposed to start at 8pm, and at about 7:45pm, with a very loud bang, an epic thunderstorm struck Nashville.




Undaunted by the elements, Van Dammage and wife, Cleoplectra, made it to the club safely, though needed a few towels to dry off.


After a good 45 minutes of Noah-esque type rainfall….. the skies cleared, and the rain-delay was off!  Let’s begin!


Following a brief introduction, Miss Tennessee made her grand entrance.  Much to her dismay, her entrance was cut short when Monster Magnet’s “Powertrip” started blasting, with Doug “The Thunder” Stroock arriving on the scene.  Miss Tennessee’s air-guitar-baptism-by-metal included an epic knee-slam, significant amounts of crotch thrusting, some leg humping, an in-your-face shirt-ripping, and possibly a very public and not-so-subtle reference to blow jobs.


Following the introductions, ThunderStroock and Miss Tennessee ran through the fuckin’ rules of the fuckin’ evening and we got the fuckin’ round 1 battle royale fuckin’ started.


But first…. The drama.


Ok – some straight talk.  For any normal human being, this evening might have been too much to handle.  While seemingly invincible, even Miss Tennessee has her kryptonite… and that, my friends, is the word “fuck”.


And thus, after a seriously fuckin’ awesome intro, Miss Tennessee, and her fuckin’ handler, decided to fuckin’ flee the fuckin’ premises as fuckin’ fast as fuckin’ possible.




5 minutes in, and we’ve already lost our MC.  And wanna know what I think about that?  Fuckin’ awesome!


So, Michael Vucovich grabs the fuckin’ reigns, and dominates the fuckin’ event as a fuckin’ awesome MC.  Done.  Let’s fuckin’ move on.


So, what’s a battle royale?  It’s when musical chairs meets competitive body building meets air guitar.  In groups of 3-4, the competitors shredded to air guitar classics to help determine the order of round 2.



I’m gonna keep it short here – Van Dammage, Cleoplectra, Shorty McShred, and Bettie RamPage take the top spots in the Battle Royale.  And ...we’re off.


Going first is newcomer Poop Foot, looking swell in his flannel shirt and jeans.  Mr. Foot seemed excited about the event beforehand, but left his excitement in the green room, and basically wandered the stage for 60 seconds.  It’s always rough going first, especially in your first competition. 5.4 5.4 5.4


Oh, and thinking of judging – our judging panel included 2012 champ Doug “The Thunder” Stroock, 102.9 the Buzz’s Jami and Dagwood, and Juliana from Notes for Notes!


Going second was another newcomer, Senora Peggy Hill, who definitely did NOT forget her enthusiasm, and tore the “King of the Hill” theme song to shreds.  5.6 5.6 5.6


Wildcard Iggy Rock went #3, and rockin’ a yellow American Eagle t-shirt, power windmilled his way to a 5.4 5.6 5.6


And then….. there was Mama Nash Trash.  So, imagine your crazy hick aunt… alone on a Saturday night, drunk on Mad Dog 20/20, still in her nightgown, and shredding to some metal.  If you like that image, then you would have loved Mama Nash Trash.  She’s a newcomer, and she’ll be a force to be reckoned with ... once she figures out the technical side of air guitar.  5.7 5.5 5.5


So if Mama Nash Trash is your crazy hick aunt… then #5 Bettie RamPage is that hottie biker babe who always beats you up…..  as she arrives on the stage in a teeny frilled top, boy shorts, denim vest, some rockin boots, and huuuuuge kneepads.   And then starts rockin’ to "Deadly Sinners" by 3 Inches of Blood – whoa!  One epic knee slide later, she’s about to wrap up some great scores….. but trips while getting back up.  Air Guitar is scored on the international ice skating scale… so a trip is gonna cost ya…. But the scores still push her into Round 2! 5.6 5.6 5.7




At this point it might be good to mention that US Air Guitar is not a sober sport… and you know it’s a good night when the MC starts speaking into his beer instead of his mic.


Next up?  Cleoplectra… who, might I mention, decided to come rock out even though she’s 5 months pregnant.  She definitely shows her veteran air guitar status and brings the sexy and the technical, hauling in a 5.8 5.7 5.7 for the best scores of the night so far!




So, who of you has decided the best way to deal with getting married is to compete against your spouse in an air guitar competition?  Well this has been a way of life for the Van Dammage family for the past few years… And this year is no different, as the husband follows directly after the wife.  He finished third here in 2012…. And this year he was coming back for revenge.  Like a sexy conquistador, Van Dammage owned the stage and earned a place in our hearts….. and loins – scoring a solid 5.8 5.8 5.8.


van dammage


Newcomer James Roquemore, who possibly has the greatest air AND “There Name” in air guitar, comes up next.   He might be an actual musician by day… but by night, this man was born to air guitar.  Screaming like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert, this guy rocked hard to some Darkness, and into the hearts of the judges with a 5.9 5.6 5.8.




Nashville veteran Shorty McShred was next…. Sporting a wig nearly as tall as he is, and some awesome neon rings…. He rocked to “Crank Me Up” by the Bulletboys and pulled in solid scores of 5.8 5.8 5.7.


With a massive blonde wig, Chap David Markman rounded out the evening.  With his shirt wide open showing off his tight abs and tats…. he caused at least 1 of the female judges to blush furiously and lose all ability to speak coherently.  5.7 5.6 5.6


chap david


Round 1 complete!  And with that….. the intermission show commenced.  I’d write a long and in-depth review of this, but let’s just cut to the important details.  ThunderStroock performed some of his favorite tracks including some "Top Gun," "Master of Puppets," "American Idiot," and then…. 2012 Nashville Runner-Up Little Miss Iron Miss comes onto stage to rock some "Killing in the Name Of," and the duo finish off with a resounding rendition of Seth Leibowitz’s “Call Me Maybe” – with Little Miss throwing ThunderStroock over her shoulder and carrying him off the stage to have her way with him in the green room.


thunder halftime


On to round 3 – our competitors are (from high to low): Van Dammage (17.4), Shorty McShred/James Roquemore (17.3), Cleoplectra (17.2), Chap David Markman (17.0), and Bettie RamPage (16.9).  It’s anyone’s game!


So, round 3 is the compulsory round, and we decided to follow Brooklyn’s lead, and have the Hat of Doom decide what songs the competitors would rock out to.  They had a choice. Pick the song most recently played, or risk a new song from the hat.


Going first was Bettie RamPage, who pulls "Hocus Pocus" by Focus.  Never having heard the song before, and not necessarily built to air guitar to a song that includes some yodeling, Bettie still rocks and pulls a 5.7 5.7 5.7


Chap David Markman, undaunted, goes with the hat and pulls "Battery" by Metallica.  It’s a tough song, especially if you’ve never heard it before.  Unfortunately, metal just isn’t his schtick – 5.6 5.7 5.6… and much booing of the judges ensues.


Cleoplectra decides to stick with the same song and she shows us how it’s done!   5.8 5.7 5.8


Breaking the tie backstage, it’s Shorty McShred next… who has completed a full costume change, and is now sporting denim overalls, the same wig, and blinky sunglasses.  To the hat he goes…. And pulls 2008 World Champion Hot Lixx Hulahan’s cut.  Rough!  Never having heard this song before, Shorty nails quite a few of the hits, but can’t quite bring it… 5.7 5.7 5.8.


It’s down to the last two. Who will bring it home?


James Roquemore comes out, and looking like he’s about to pee his pants with fear…. goes to the Hat of Doom…. And pulls “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet.  Score!  Roquemore then proceeds to nail every hit, and rocked the stage like no other performer yet that evening, scoring 5.9 5.9 6.0!


So… it’s down to Van Dammage.  What’s he going to do?  Apparently this man has balls of steel (to be discussed again shortly) and instead of going with a known…. Reaches into the depths of the Hat of Doom…. And pulls…. “Gay Bar” by Electric Six.  A wry smile appears on his face as he knows this track well, as it has definitely made its rounds on the USAG circuit.  Van Dammage begins the routine looking like he’s jerking off a 10-foot cock…. And then … it’s on.  The routine is going ok, but then we get to the line “I have something to put in you” – and he proceeds to pop open a cold beer, and pour it straight…. down….. his pants.  Can you say shrinkage?  He then jumps off the stage, and proceeds to sexually harass an innocent female in the audience.  Realizing that he’s rocking to “Gay Bar” – Van Dammage recalibrates his sexual harassing to the innocent lady’s boyfriend….. and that my friends, is how Nashville was won.  6.0 5.9 6.0


Game over.


It was an epic evening, with highs and lows, and a tight competition all around.  With Van Dammage and James Roquemore heading to DC to compete in the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Semifinal in DC on July 19th the evening was complete.  A great charity was supported (donate here), and at least one Miss USA contestant scarred for life.


Wanna see all the action? Check out all the videos here – thanks to Iggy Rock!


*Much thanks to Anthony Ross Tyler for the fantastic pics!


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