Tales from the road

Strum Face

We all love the odd bout of air guitar but, as Adi Vines discovered to his horror, it’s all about perspective

Festival season is almost upon us again and a certain type of guitarist will no doubt be looking forward to the Oulu Music Video Festival in Finland, as this is the home of the Air Guitar World Championships. Justin ‘Nordic Thunder’ Howard will surely be looking to defend his 2012 title against stiff competition from around the world and everyone, both competitors and audience, can all bask in the competition’s utopian philosophy that ‘wars would end and all the bad things would go away if everyone just played air guitar’. Its a nice thought but not entirely accurate as I have nearly brought shame upon myself because of air guitar and a situation with my local postman.

I must say, firstly, at 48 years of age, air guitar is not something I do very often anymore but occasionally, when in a good mood and if the music is right, I might pick up the invisible axe for a bar or so. Perhaps when waiting for the kettle to boil, for example.

Anyway, the postman had a package that I had to sign for and had likely been hammering at the door for a while. I couldn’t hear this as I was in the kitchen making pancakes while listening to Metallica; the postman could probably hear all this noise too, which is why he knew for certain that I was in. The solo during Creeping Death is one of my favourite Kirk Hammett moments and I was with him all the way. It was only when I triumphantly stepped back from the imaginary monitor that I have in my kitchen that I noticed a figure waving at me from the front garden.

You see, if you take a couple of steps to the left from my front door and stand in between the rose bush and the flower bed (say if, for example, you wanted to see if there were any lights on or anyone actually home) you then get a great line of sight through the window, across the living room and into the part of the kitchen bordered on three sides by the oven, sink and worktops. Or the ‘stage thrust’ as I like to call it.

After I had noticed the presence of a person in my garden and hit standby (aka pressed pause) then signed for my package without meeting the postman’s eye and retreated back in doors, it occurred to me, to my horror, that I would have been almostbut-not-quite side on to him for the whole solo and therefore he would have not been able to see my fretting hand at all and would have only been able to see the elbow and arm of my picking handwhich was waggling away frantically at round about groin level as I tried to match Hammett note for note.

It may be more an indicator of my dirty mind, and certainly doesn’t reflect anything that I know about my postman, but I was certain that these actions could have been misconstrued. This was worrying because I live in a small town and you know what they are like. People talk. I may have to put a notice on the church message board explaining the circumstances and assuring the good people that I’m not a depraved onanist. Although, come to think of it, listening to that horrible satanic heavy metal music is probably a bigger crime round these parts anyway…

Adi Vines has worked with Radiohead, the Sex Pistols, the Darkness, Razorlight and others. See www.xselectronics.co.uk

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