From Bedroom Performance to Performance Art: The Rise of Air Guitar and the Dream of World Peace

Air guitar = freedom.

Nerd Nite 17, entitled "Faking it, Breaking it, Making it" took place on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in the Alton Ballroom at Pachamama's in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. Nerd Nite 17 featured presentation on the grueling, international competition of air guitar, Monty Python and how they broke all the roles of comedy and fame, and a local comic writer speaking on iconography.

When Eric Melin was 15 aping Ace Frehley licks in his bedroom with his invisible axe, he never thought that his love for air guitar would give him the opportunity to be worshiped like a rock god in cities all over the globe, gain a cult following, attract national media attention, and make him a published author. But the international phenomenon of competitive air guitar is so much more than that. We traced the history of the sport of air guitar, its connection to freedom, its development as a true art form, and explored its hugely supportive and nerdy community's push for world peace.

Eric Melin - rock drummer, social media marketing manager, film critic, game-show TV slut, and four-time US Air Guitar national finalist - has a plethora of nerdy preoccupations, but none produce or require the equally high levels of endorphins and shamelessness as his obsession with air guitar. His strategy in life is the same as his strategy in air guitar: More, better, faster, louder - and has left him with damaged hearing and an only slightly less damaged sense of idealism.