Tiger Claws his way to the top (photos)

  When you’ve dedicated your life, as some of us have, to staging air guitar competitions across the United States, you’re bound to hear a lot of bad ideas from a lot of good people.  So when TIGER CLAW (Dan LeFever) – the guy who followed the tour cross-country (and bailed out many a performer in routinely volunteering to go first), the guy who includes on his resumé nights he’s spent incarcerated, the guy who wakes up to a breakfast forty whenever there’s something left from his dinner eighty – told us he wanted to host a performance-slash-art thang in SF’s tenderloin district, we shrugged our shoulders and said why not.  For when the Claw requests, U.S. Air Guitar abides.


Tiger Claw, this could have been your Waterloo, France. Instead it was your Waterloo, San Dimas.  Seems to me that since we at USAG can’t be everywhere at once, maybe Claw’s concept of regional lead-in parties is a really – dare I say it? – good fucking idea.


For the following play-by-play of Saturday night’s success and cosmic chaos, USAG extends its heartiest appreciation to returning celebrity blogger DIRTY AIRY (Poopdick):


February 9th was host to some cosmic happenings on the corner of Post and Leavenworth in San Francisco. Before I begin and just to show that I am not using the term “cosmic” lightly, lets look at some of the events Fate conspired to bring about:


  1. A man named White Chocolate met another man named White Chocolate
  2. A not once rehearsed pre-halftime show went flawlessly
  3. Tiger Claw remembered his name
  4. Singar the Goat Demon got the biggest pop of the night
  5. ATC wasn’t there and the sound still worked! (mostly)
  6. Dirty kept his dick in his pants! (mostly)


Airy shows up and spots Tiger Claw standing at the bar with a drink in his hand and a 40oz hanging out of his backpack. Set up proceeds smoothly and Airy figures out how two play two back to back youtube clips and an Mp3 all in a row for Tiger Claw’s opening performance. “No problem it’s what I do.” Airy was heard saying. “I’d like to see ATC pull that shit off!”


Performers begin to show up. Crusher enters the bar and I have to run up and sniff his butt to make sure it’s him. This guy is LEAN and MEAN! Sadly, Crusher will be leaving for Florida soon, so get arrested now while you can still get bailed out by your favorite bondsman and mine, Crusher.


Shred Theodore Logan arrives and promptly begins typing on a computer strange enough to look like a prop from the movie Brazil. When asked what he does as a hobby (being a professional air guitarist) Shred shrugged his shoulders and said, “Oh, I’m writing a novel.” Of course you are Theodore.


Dirty continues his duty as the substitute ATC and loads tracks into the mainframe as people show up. Cold Steel Renegade arrives rocking his usual leg wear which is white and damn near transparent. Judas Priestess (who constitutes the entire female portion of the evening) brings the confidence of a stripper at a frat party knowing that the crowd will be whipped mercilessly by her hair before the night is through. Singar the Goat Demon lets everyone know that he is willing to participate if a spontaneous orgy breaks out, but first he has to go pound shots out of his water bottle in front of the venue.


Photo credit: Zona Foto www.zonafoto.net


When Singar the Goat Demon gets up his track starts with a motorcycle rev and it’s off to the races. He gives the crowd a money shot of confetti half way through and they go nuts. This, by far, was the biggest pop of the night. IRoq-Z graces the stage in attire that would make Motley Crue blush and delivers the goods. By this point, the crowd is into it big time.


Photo credit: Zona Foto www.zonafoto.net


IRoq-Z (who’s physique resembles a wrestler in the WWE) comes to the party and chats with Airy about being a software engineer. Upon hearing this, Airy wonders where Bjorn Turoque is and what he looks like in a thong. Veteran and eternal San Jose champion Shred Nugent comes in and admits to being hung over all day like a real rock star. Upon hearing this, Tiger Claw laughs and says, “I’ve been drunk all day!” Of course you have Claw.


Photo credit: Zona Foto www.zonafoto.net


Shaggy comes in wearing a cape at the last minute with no track to play. Airy gives him a competition length cut of Master of Puppets and the show is ready to begin.


Photo credit: Zona Foto www.zonafoto.net


Claw begins the night coming out to none other than Rick Flair’s intro music. Like the apes in 2001, his two imported air drummers smash the shit out of their skins while Claw sets the pace for glory. Shred Theodore Logan takes the stage next and despite his nerves (due to a later than planned start) he refuses to blow his wad until the time is right and the crowd is left with their knees shaking. Shaggy takes up the stage for just a minute and leaves the crowd hot and bothered that there wasn’t more of him to enjoy. Next time he vows to give em the extra three inches...I mean minutes.


Airy and Cold Steel join forces for the first time and perform a Body Count song. Dirty damn near breaks one of the spot lights above him while hitting note and gives CSR a lap dance while the Renegade powers through the only drum solo of the night. After that there is a short half time for the crowd to enjoy a refractory period.


Crusher starts off the second half and looks like the predator about to crush Arnold’s skull. After his performance, he was heard saying, “that was too long” to which Airy replied, “there’s no such thing”. The only sound snafu came when Shred Nugent went up to play and the signal chain didn’t cooperate. After a couple false starts, his track kicked in and the crowd went nuts. At this point it would have been nice to invite some of the spectators on stage to try their hand at our craft, but there was to be no break in the storm as Cold Steel Renegade brought the thunder down like Thor himself and left Airy to mop up the mess. The finale track was a montage of all rock and included every performer of the night. While showing off his Batman Underoos, the tip may have popped out just a bit, but no spectators were harmed.


The build was substantial enough to get everyone in front for a few licks and provided enough instrumentation for all the performers to play both supporting and lead roles. After Journey’s Ask the Lonely faded out, and Airy had put his keytar away, final thanks and congratulations were given to the crowd and Christine Zona for making the night possible.  A spontaneous Claw chant broke out that could not be stifled even by the Rage Against the Machine that was playing through the house speakers. First time witnesses came foreword and pronounced their love for air guitar. Videographer Tearsa Joy captured the whole thing in HD and whenever it’s uploaded we’ll share it here.  Somehow Tiger Claw was still standing after 18 hours of malt liquor consumption, and no one complained about the judging.


After the show, yours truly went to a bar called the Kozy Car to find some girls for his security guard White Chocolate. Upon entering, Dirty noticed some vintage boobies on the ceiling and on his way to the pinball table in the back, discovered that all the TV screens played vintage porn cut with old Atari commercials. The dance floor was covered in laminated porn and White Chocolate found a birthday girl who was so drunk that when asked her name she responded with, “I am a gorilla.”


CSR (left), in the acoustic shadows of Dirty Airy's BO, fears the sleeveless pit stain that never gave up. Photo credit: Zona Foto www.zonafoto.net


His work done, Dirty left the bar and went to In-N-Out Burger. The next day, his whiplash set in and confirmed that he had damn near rocked his head off. It has been said that air Guitar is like the porno in the Kozy Car: you’ll know it when you see it. I would add that Air guitar is like sex: if you’re not sore the next morning, you didn’t give it your all.


We gave it our all, and that crowd won’t be walking right for a week.


Big thanks to Zona Foto for all today's shots: www.zonafoto.net