SF: "Air Guitar is fake, but air guitarists are real"

Despite the confusion in the media, SETH LEIBOWITZ (Justin Hypes, pictured above), won the San Francisco title.  Over the years, Hypes has performed under several different names and personae.  This year in San Francisco, he performed under the Christian name of New York City's SHREDDY MERCURY, who was born as Seth Leibowitz.  Other Leibowitzes have also performed on the air guitar circuit this year, giving rise to a viral meme: who is the real Seth Leibowitz? –ATC (All photos courtesy of Alexander Crook)


There are those air guitarists who go so far as to hire legitimate dance coordinators to help work on a routine. There are those who use performance enhancing drugs; namely absinthe or copious amounts of booze to augment their performance. Some will spend more than 100 hours throwing hot licks at the mirror, whilst still others will maintain a blank state of consciousness all the way to the stage and rely on the cocktail of crowd mixed with song to determine their fate. San Francisco of course had all of these, as well as an unintentional tribute to Glenn Danzig, a case of identity theft and of course, sex appeal.

The life of an air guitarist on the road can be challenging. Just ask Brock McRock (Taylor Fullbright), Shred Boy R D (Greg Pitelli) or Tiger Claw (Tiger Claw), who completed the West Coast Air Guitar tour of 2012 on Saturday night in true rock star fashion: tired. Claw had launched Operation “Leaving Las Vegas” sometime on Friday while attending ComicCon in San Diego and as far as we know, consumed only alcohol for three days straight. Shred and Brock never quite put into words how terrified they were of Tiger Claw, but to look in their eyes one could almost see their soul screaming “uncle”.


The evening’s competition started off with a great round from Blaze Bad Axe (Barry Rollins), who gave his best performance to date and showed the Independent what “fuck it” really looks like after drawing number one from the hat and setting the bar at an average of 5.7 for everyone to follow.


Tiger Claw managed somehow to garner legitimate boos from the crowd and decided to fight anything he could see, which at the time (thanks to a beer soaked liver) was nothing.


Dirty Airy’s (Aron Carlton’s) double or nothing “strum on the first note” backfired when his hand stroked air and no guitar came out. Twice as damaging was the middle finger that he threw to ATC but was intercepted by the crowd. When asked afterward about his performance, Dirty was heard saying, “At least I won’t have to waggle my cock at everybody this year”. After Dirty’s inevitable denial into round two, cougars were seen weeping openly in the crowd.


Today's celebrity blogger. Photo credit: Alexander Crook.


The night contained one of Air Guitar’s few legitimate faux pas, that being two competitors playing the same song. This is a horrible feeling for an air guitarist (having one’s shtick stolen), but one can also see it as practicing for round two at gun point. Though neither culprit made it into round two that night, I would like to applaud the choice in song and also point out that professional wrestling is closer to air guitar than most people realize. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again here, “Air guitar is fake, but air guitarists are real.”


Fan favorite Cold Steel Renegade received a well-trained pavlovian pop from the crowd, but it was dwarfed by the performance of Tony Dilemna- I mean Steve Lavender - I mean Houston Rock-It - I mean Seth Leibowitz, who not only played air guitar in an effort to spread world peace through the cosmos but also took part in an altruistic 5K (The Color Run) earlier in the same day.



Awesome (Alex Koll) spent 12 hours getting a weave put in for the show after he trimmed his signature fro for a job. It paid off though as he and his synth-hair were able to troll doll their way into round two, all the while no one telling him that it was his knee pads that got him the job.


Gobo (Todd Nakagawa) was the Cinderella story of the night, maintaining his composure through a surgical performance that put him into legitimate contention for Denver. Gobo is one of the few competitors who can be seen literally meditating on stage before the show, only to go Super Saiyan level 5 when the music hits.


Photo credit: Alexander Crook.


Brock McRock, who by this point was drinking beers to stay awake, shook his money maker into round two next to Shred Boy R D, who performed a slow but efficient Buckethead tune and scored 5.8’s across the board.


Photo credit: Alexander Crook.


Goldie Rocks (Elizabeth Morgan) did a blond and curly Mollie Ringwald set that no doubt would have put her into the second round of another region. Tone Def Leper (Tom Kramer) appeared to have stolen an outfit from the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit in San Francisco just to perform that night. Hot Lixx was on record saying, “Dude, I think I am most impressed with the fact that you are holding your chaps up with just your penis.”


Shred Theodore Logan (Timothy Kay) gave permission for the crowd to party on. Janine Simmons (Janine Lococo) played the shit out of her air base, despite warnings from everyone backstage not to. Shaggy (Justin Demody) and Nightwolf 5000 (the artist formerly known as Nightwolf 4000) brought their man candy to the stage but it was not sweet enough for the judges to send them through. B-Air-Rock Obama (Brian Tom) kissed the crowd's baby and even encouraged judge Caitlin Gill to want to carry his baby but alas, he too did not make it to round 2.


From 20 contestants to six took roughly 2 hours and 162 gallons of rum for the crowd, but the Magnificent Six were just that and nothing less, and after hearing the track of the night, “Killing in the Name Of”, SF’s finest let it rip.


Cold Steel pulled about 12 yards of chain link out of his pants and threw it into the crowd as his three-year reign as champ came to an end. Gobo played low to the ground and got right in the crowd’s face as if to say, “Fuck you, I won’t do whatchu tell me!” Shred Boy R D seemed to be mentally planning an intervention for Tiger Claw during his second round. Needless to say, the judges noticed, including author of Hot Lixx'es's'z' favorite book of 2010 King Dork, Dr Frank. The distraction and last year’s LA champ was deemed not in the running. Awesome, (wearing a wetsuit of course) caught a couple waves crowd surfing, but his slightly lower score in the first round kept him out of contention.


So it came down to Brock McRock and Seth Leibowitz (Justin Hypes).


McRock (still in a sleep deprived blackout), opened one last long neck with his Texas belt buckle and gave a performance that channeled both Chris Farley and John Belushi at the same time. Leibowitz, not to be upstaged by Brock’s rock hard gut, rocked a half shirt and caught a ride on Dirty Airy’s shoulders through the crowd and back (a-la William Ocean) to hang onto his 0.1 point lead and earn a trip to the finals. Freebird commenced, and longtime USAG member Crusher (John Healy) joined the team with about 200 people on stage for the finale of this year’s regular season.


A spent sigh of relief for a successful tour could be felt coming from the US Air Guitar staff. The USA has been a bride’s maid for years now without a world championship since 2008. But now, the Dream Team of Air Guitar will be on site July 21st in Denver to determine who we will send to Finland and if San Francisco’s regional is any indicator of what’s in store . . . with all due respect to world peace . . . heads will roll.


This Post was written by celebrity guest blogger DITY AIRY (Aron Carlton).