The spectacle's inventors have designed a rubric for measuring this skill, employing three judges—think The Muppet Show's Statler and Waldorf with unlimited drinks and a third, equally critical sidekick—to drink heavily and rate the contestants on technical merit, stage presence, and airness. Airness is that certain je ne sais quoi that launches an air guitarist from novice to virtuoso. Although no scientific studies have been done on the subject, it's likely that alcohol plays a role in one's airness (or lack thereof). Alcohol also enhances one's ability to be a fair and critical judge. Like the last two years, judges Marc Hawthorne (Onion AV Club), Jennifer Maerz (SF Weekly), and John Trippe (FecalFace.com) were completely hammered by the end of the night.S.F. Jukebox: 25 June 2008 - U.S. Air Guitar, San Francisco Regional Championships
Plaid-pants-wearing Stoney Iommi may have been the Black Sabbath guitarist's namesake, but this Iommi's "Iron Man" was tedious, albeit accurate. Lieutenant Castille's followed with an inspired but horrific version of the theme from Miami Vice. Aside from the white Members Only jacket, the only thing remotely Don Johnson about it was the cheese factor. Dan the Man's rendition was more Bill Nye the Science Guy than Freddie Mercury, and a hirsute Bad Ass Blondini, sporting a black vest with no shirt, tight black and white pants, and the world's worst mullet wig, just didn't have what it takes to impress the judges, who were starting to get tipsy.