USA! USA!! USA!!!


Hot on the heels of the Olympics in Beijing, the U.S. was also competing in another international venue, the World Air Guitar Championships in Oulu, Finland, with my air guitar mentor, Hot Lixx Houlahan representing the red, white and blue. Here's the update from the US Air Guitar folks:

VICTORY!
USA WINS AIR GUITAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

AMERICAN CHAMPION HOT LIXX HULAHAN SHINES
ON INTERNATIONAL STAGE

On August 20th, San Francisco native CRAIG BILLMEIER (aka ‘HOT LIXX HULAHAN’), traveled to the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland, carrying with him dreams of World Air Guitar glory and the flag of the United States.

Billmeier was crowned the 2008 Cuervo Black US Air Guitar presented by TouchTunes Champion earlier this month, defeating twenty-four challengers from around the country, all vying for the opportunity to represent the United States. The World Championships brought 20 more challengers – this time from all around the globe. The field included two-time defending World Champion Ochi (Dainoji) Yosuke of Japan, as well as representatives from Russia, Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. 'I honestly didn’t think I had a chance,' Billmeier said afterwards. 'Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do good, to do everyone proud, to at least look decent on YouTube.'

DAN CRANE (aka BJORN TUROQUE), emcee of the Cuervo Black US Air Guitar Championships Tour, and star of the American feature film, Air Guitar Nation, was on hand to host the event (the first time the competition was hosted by a non-Finn). Crane said of Hot Lixx’s compulsory round performance, 'He couldn’t have nailed the song more perfectly. Every move was precise and the audience was eating out of the palm of his hand.' The judges concurred, giving Hot Lixx a near-perfect score. 'I’ve never seen such a near-perfect score in the final round,' Crane said via email. His tone softened when speaking of the spirit and sportsmanship surrounding the event and its participants: 'Afterwards, everyone came up to him and said they were happy that if it wasn’t them that won, they were glad it was Hot Lixx. He’s just got that Air about him.'

'It’s certainly in keeping with the true heart of air guitar, which is World Peace,' said US Air Guitar co-founder Kriston Rucker, via text message, referring to the Air Guitar Ideology which states that if one is holding an air guitar, one cannot, at the same time, be holding a gun. 'I think it speaks to the old Air Guitar Ideology which states that if one is holding an air guitar, one cannot, at the same time, be holding a gun.' Rucker then continued to say, 'I believe this victory validates the organizational initiatives we put into place following our three year drought at the world level. It also reaffirms that our talent pipeline is robust, and will only grow stronger with the global attention that Hot Lixx is bringing to our event.'

Since its inception, US Air Guitar has sent a representative to compete for the World Air Guitar crown six times. This latest win marks the third time the United States has triumphed. 'With this win, America has just entered an Air Guitar dynasty,' said USAG co-founder Cedric Devitt. The US won the world crown in its first and second years in the world competition (2003 & 2004, respectively), but relinquished the throne in 2005 to Michael (Destroyer) Heffels of the Netherlands, and in 2006 and 2007 to Ochi (Dainoji) Yosuke of Japan. For winning the Air Guitar World Championship title, Billmeier was awarded a Finnish handmade Flying Finn electric guitar. Of his victory, he said simply, humbly, 'I certainly did not expect this.'

To see Hot Lixx Hulahan’s performances from both Rounds: http://www.youtube.com/USAirGuitar

Air Guitar World Championships Results With Scores:
1. Craig ”Hot Lixx Hulahan” Billmeier (United States) 35.5
2. Andel ”John Sniffler” Soree (Netherlands) 34.8
3. Cole ”Johnny Utah” Manson (Canada) 34.7
4 Francois-Xavier ”Master Peace” Phan (France) 34.4
4. Ichikawa the Rock (Japan) 34.4
6. Ochi “Dainoji” Yosuke (Japan) 34.2
7. Christian ”Heart Buckboard” Sweep (Denmark) 33.5
8. Clay ”Clay Bangers” Connolly (Australia) 33.4
8. Daniel ”Midnight Moses” Robertson (United Kingdom) 33.4
10. Simon ”Turak” Edwards (United Kingdom) 32.8
11. Ramsey James ”Carlos Slazenger” Williamson (Greece) 16.6
11. Maxim ”Angel of Death” Andro (Finland) 16.6
13. Daniel ”Fahnderstruck” Faranna (Italy)16.5
13. Terje ”Lord Fist” Stephansen (Norway) 16.5
15. Aikyu ”Super IQ” Kanagawa (Japan) 16.4
16. Dirk ”Lord Airness” Lüdi (Switzerland) 16.3
17. Heine ”Lord Wolmer” van der Walt (South Africa) 16.1
17. Alexander ”Devil Seducer” Gott (Russia) 16.1
19. Oskari ”Knucklefinger” Martimo (Finland) 15.4
20. Aivar Meos (Estonia) 15.1

2008 AIR GUITAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Like a polished diamond, the AGWC Network has grown and prospered to a world-wide realm of 18 official AGWC countries. The crème de la crème of Air Guitar compete in national championships before coming to Finland for the battle of the best. One person is annually hailed as the Air Guitar World Champion, the master of an invisible instrument. Countries registered to compete in the 2008 Air Guitar World Championships include UNITED STATES, CANADA, UNITED KINGDOM, NORWAY, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND, FRANCE, ITALY, ESTONIA, GREECE, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, RUSSIA, AND THE NETHERLANDS.

For the first time ever, a non-Finn emceed this prestigious event. US Air Guitar is proud to announce that our very own BJORN TUROQUE was slotted as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. We are just glad that there was no King, Lord, or Emperor of Ceremonies to whom he could potentially come in second.

For More Information on the Air Guitar World Championships, Visit: www.airguitarworldchampionships.com

For More Information on the Air Guitar World Championships, Visit: www.airguitarworldchampionships.com

TO FIND OUT MORE:

US Air Guitar official website: www.USAirGuitar.com

View The Airness at: www.youtube.com/USAirGuitar

Lets Get Friendly: www.myspace.com/USAirGuitar

Official Blog: http://usairguitar.blogspot.com/

TO DOWNLOAD PHOTOS FOR PRESS PURPOSES:
Images of Hot Lixx Hulahan: http://www.plusonemusic.net/media/HotLixx.zip

Images of International Air Guitarists that competed against Hot Lixx Hulahan: http://www.plusonemusic.net/media/AirGuitarWorldPhotos.zip

HOT LIXX HULAHAN IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS
For Press Inquiries, Interview Requests With The US Air Guitar Founders And Competitors, Or For More Information,
Contact Nat Hays nathays@plusonemusic.net or The Minner
(718) 599-3740

Hot Lixx Hulahan.
(Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy)