You don't have to be a musician to be a rock star. In the case of air guitar, you don't even need an instrument. Since 2003, faux axmen with stage names like Bjorn Turoque, Rockness Monster, McNallica and Derek Not-So-Smalls have been living out their rock star fantasies competing in the annual U.S. Air Guitar Championships. Who';s got the pseudo skills to take the imaginary crown away from last year's winner, Milwaukee's Matt “Romeo Dancecheetah” Cornelison? The rules are simple: Play for 60 seconds in two rounds (freestyle and compulsory), where you'll be judged on technical merit, stage presence and airness, which is defined as the “extent to which a performance transcends the imitation of a real guitar and becomes an art form in and of itself.” The regional winner then goes off to the finals in Chicago, followed by the Air Guitar World Championships in the official land of make-believe — and international rock capital — Oulu, Finland. No air roadies on stage, air groupies, air drugs or other air instruments allowed, even if they are invisible. Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs., July 14, 8:30 p.m.; $16 to air watch, $20 to air play. (310) 274-5800.

Thu., July 14, 8:30 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly