The Air Guitar World Championships and the Press

When I got on the bus to go to Air Guitar bootcamp, I was surprised at what I found. There were about six others on the bus with me and only one to two others had any experience playing the air guitar. But all were working on a story. Jack from the Times, who actually turned out to be a pretty mean air strummer, was working on a feature. Marian working on one article for three German mags: Maxim Germany, some other national monthly and a girls magazine. Two days later I did a full on photo shoot for Marian’s photographer in a parking lot in Oulu. There was one of those big umbrella-flash thingys on a stand and I struck air guitar poses as the camera man circled around me. I only hope I can get my hands on that German girls magazine! Andrew was the other Canadian. He had a documentary crew following him around too. The NFB must be in our blood. There was also Cedric and Kriston from Vice. On the way to bootcamp, we had to pick up Ronan from German TV at the Oulu airport. At this point I wasn’t feeling too keen on this whole bootcamp thing. Seemed like a whole lot of navel gazing by journalists. The first big event of bootcamp consisted of a few lectures. Oikku, the world’s first ever Air Guitar champ, gave us general trips, which had to be translated from Finnish into English for us. Then Zac Monro, then current and once again reigning world champ from London, came to give us a talk on some of the more wider social aspects of air guitar. Right behind him came the press. Yes, there were even more press covering this thing, including Martha, Scott and Mike. That’s right, they came to the camp with all-access press-passes hanging around their necks. They were all happily drunk on the press-power. So the bootcampers air guitared for the press. I got some tips from Zac which I quickly forgot. Zac even roped Martha into a air guitar performance. She was wicked! I think Mike has it all on film. Geoff, you’ll have to forgive me, but I spoke a bit to the other Canadian docu-team. I was intoxicated by the attention.

After the media circus, the bootcampers were taken to some rustic Finnish digs. We had a full on traditional sauna. It’s not often I can say I got naked and sweaty with a bunch of strange guys. Jumping into the Baltic was intense. A wicked party. I think this event and the following days made most bootcampers a little more serious about the art of air guitar. It was weird, but for the next three days we’d all (bootcampers, other players, the press, the posse) be talking very seriously about the practice. More on that later.

Comments are closed.