Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Clapton, Page, Van Halen and Ocean Guitar Thunder

It's big and bad — it's Air Guitar!!!

Gas prices soaring, global warming, food skyrocketing, but who will be the new "King of the Air Axe Slingers"? You got it, people — grown (or is it "groan"?) men in spandex, grunge or hippie attire, traveling from all over to duke it out with each other, but never actually "playing" a lick on the air guitar. 

With the current problems in airplane travel chaos, not having to really carry a guitar is pretty advantageous. I'll have to admit, all of us real music fans have probably taken our turn on the ol' air guitar (most likely in the privacy of our own crib, with the volume up extremely high), or you persons of libations overload may have strummed in public.

The facial expressions are very important to pulling off this visual virtuoso performance. This massive national championship is no doubt sponsored by Cuervo Black (tequila, man — tequila). The defending champion, Andrew Litz, even has a "stage name" — William Ocean (sounds pretty Barry Manilow-ish to me), unlike the 2005 king (the Rockness Monster), or even the 2006 champ Hot Lixxx Hulahan.

It's not too late for you to go to San Francisco August 20-22 for your 60-second set of strutting, strumming and stunning. In the spirit of the Olympics, you could represent the good old US of A in Oulu, Finland, to bring home the world title. No hassles at customs with your Gibson or Fender, just keep your fingers and face limber on the plane. But remember the judges at the world championships tend to reward technique over theatrics — so practice, practice, practice...

In Memphis, I was hearing the real thing — BLUES — what a guitar was made for!

* * * * *

My favorite Food Channel program, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", featured the Tea Room Café in Memphis, Tennessee, and last week I got to eat lunch there. It was every bit or more than I had imagined — the choices overwhelmed me!

Narrowing it down, the meat loaf had a unique flavor with superb texture. Beets — I know most people don't like beets, but I grew up on them, as Grandma Cosper was the all-time best cooker. The Tea Room beets were way up there on the scale.

Now the killer — the scalloped tomatoes (no, I'd never heard of that before, either) were off the scale. Cheeses, spices, fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers all converged for the ultimate taste extravaganza. Topped off with corn fritters and Southern sweet tea, it all led to the sad part of no room left for dessert (I took mine to go). Peach cobbler — light, flaky, sweet and marvelous.

On a scale of one to ten, I only gained six pounds from this place. (Ha! Ha! Ha!)

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