By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

BRIGHTON (CBS) – It’s not easy being a rock star — even a make-believe one.

Just ask the 12 local men…and one woman…vying for the title of best air guitar performer on Earth.

Hundreds of fans packed the Brighton Music Hall Friday night to witness the spectacle of the Boston regionals for the 2011 U.S. Air Guitar Championships.

The performers are judged by professional air guitarists in three categories: technical merit, stage presence, and something called “airness.” While “airness” is impossible to define, those devout air guitarists describe it as that certain something that can turn what would otherwise be an embarrassing public spectacle into a kind of an art form.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

Performers are allowed to have roadies hand them their make-believe guitars, but no one can be on stage for the 60-second shred — not even make-believe back up players.

The rules also explicitly say that your guitar must be invisible; no one wants a prop broomstick getting in the way.

A few hours with these would-be rock stars and you see how fun this lifestyle can be. No one takes themselves too seriously, but deep down inside, everyone wants to win.

The best air guitarist in Boston gets a free trip to compete in the National Championships in Chicago next month. The top American gets to compete against representatives from approximately two dozen other countries at the World Finals in Finland in August.

Comments (4)
  1. Matt says:

    Lame. Very lame.

  2. Brett W. says:

    I can understand how some people think this is a waste of time but I was one of the performers last night and although my socres were low, it’s a fun time.

  3. Brett W. says:

    Also, I should mention a couple of the air guitarists shown in the clip were “wild cards” who just signed up that night to perform and their efforts weren’t really typical of the ones who practiced ahead of time.

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