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FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH ...

Bjorn Turoque

August 12, 2004|Lina Lecaro

Bjorn Turoque, a.k.a. Dan Crane, is the host of Aireoke, a night of air guitar that will blow through M Bar (1253 Vine St., Hollywood, [323] 856-0036) on Friday. Crane, who sometimes writes for Slate.com and plays real guitar in the faux-French band Les Sans Culottes, arrived in L.A. five months ago from New York (where Aireoke was a big hit) with nothing but a plectrum and an air guitar on his back.

You're known as the "second best" air guitarist in the world? Not exactly. Last year, I came in seventh place in the world air competition in Oulu, Finland -- which, if you are thinking at all about going to Finland for a vacation, I must suggest you plan it around this event. Many fans felt I was actually almost as good as the winner, C-Diddy, but the judges felt otherwise. I have taken second-place crowns in a total of four competitions.... Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

What does it take to be an air guitarioso? First, you need an air guitar. Do not be fooled by the air guitars for sale on EBay. These are not real air guitars. A real air guitar must come from within. Second, you need to harness what is known as "airness." This is the extent to which an air guitar performance transcends the imitation of a "real" art form -- i.e., electric guitar -- and becomes an art form in and of itself. Third, you need to have consumed, or be in the process of consuming, three alcoholic beverages. This has been prescribed by two-time world champion Zac "The Magnet" Monro. Last, you need to demonstrate the ability to please a stadium full of screaming fans with your rockingness. Even if you are alone in your bedroom, the fans are there with you, and their lighters are lit, high above their heads.

Where is Aireoke most popular? Air guitar is actually the second international language. I have traveled extensively throughout the world, and I always found I could break down the toughest of cultural barriers by simply taking out my air guitar and playing, for example, Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again."

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