It was late Wednesday night, I was sober, and was watching 20 or
so drunken fools perform an all-star rock jam of "Freebird." Even if
they were holding actual guitars, this would have been pretty
ridiculous, but they were instead jamming along like a group of Bill
and Ted‘s, playing only air. Surely, I could be doing something useful with my time, but this was pretty fun.
Missing from the stage was the true star of the night, Betty B. Goode,
who—like any true rock god or goddess—left Music Hall of Williamsburg
on a route straight to the emergency room. After blowing away the
judges with the high score in round 1, the air guitar vixen stunned us
all when she ran off stage in the final performance of round 2,
climbing onto the balcony, and eventually finishing her 60 seconds of
"Rock You Like a Hurricane" with a bone sticking out of her foot.
Who knew air guitar could be so dangerous?
In the first round, 19 contestants gave it their shot towards air
guitar fame. With only a 60 second window of time to impress the
crowded room, each air guitarist had their own approach. After
beginning with two weak performances, the competition took flight when
"Masturbating Booger" dove into the crowd and landed face-first on the
floor. Finally, the insanity had begun.
The judges remained unimpressed until back to back performances by
"Fender Splendor" and local favorite "Shreddy Mercury" excited
everyone. A few performances later is when the beer began to fly
through the air. Seconds after Vice Magazine founder Gavin McInnes
handed "Sanjar the Destroyer a low score, a beer flew across the room
towards McInnes, never quite reaching the balcony where McInnes stood,
but soaking quite a few of us on the floor. From that moment on,
everyone in the room had to be on guard because random cups of beer
continued to make their way through the air. McInnes continued to
provoke the crowd, and got soaked once or twice before retaliating. The
good-natured beer fight added to the free-spirited fun of the night.
Following the first round, the air guitarists with the top 5 scores
(Guitar Pick Hero, The Shred, Fender Splendor, Shreddy Mercury, and
Betty B. Goode) were brought back to the stage for a second round in
which they were each given 1 minute to air rock out to Scorpions’ "Rock
You Like a Hurricane." Guitar Pick Hero and The Shred failed to
deliver, but Fender Splendor set the bar high with a hard-to-top
energetic performance in his underwear. Then Shreddy Mercury seemed to
seal a victory with the first perfect score of the night. Betty B.
Goode then equalled Shreddy’s perfect score and took home the Brooklyn
Regional crown, edging him out by only a tenth of a point overall.
2007 National Champion William Ocean warms up the crowd with an air drum solo
Masturbating Booger seconds before planting his face in the floor
Betty B. Goode dominated round 1rocking out to Joan Jett
Shimmy Hard brought an entire entourage of air-groupies, and air-stylists
Guitar Pick Hero
Shreddy Mercury surfs the crowd
Betty B. Goode shows off her injured foot that helped make her the champion
Tragedy (an all metal tribute to the BeeGees) set the tone with an outrageous opening set.
Photos by Jonny-Leather