VANCOUVER, Wash. — Portland is home to many unique famous people - the Unipiper, Storm Large, Darcelle, Moshow the Cat Rapper -- and the list keeps growing. 

Now, Vancouver has its own unique star: the Air Guitar World Champion.

Rob Messel just got back to Vancouver from Finland, after winning the Air Guitar World Championship. He’s been playing air guitar competitively since 2012, as “The Marquis.”

He wowed the judges with his performances, but before you judge him, here are a few things Rob wants you to know about air guitar:

  1. Air guitar IS real guitar. Air guitarists call physical guitars “THEIR guitars.” And some air guitarists become so inspired playing air guitar, that they transition to other forms of guitar.
  2. Air guitar is a physical sport. Each performance is only 60 seconds long, but it’s an intense minute. “There have been air guitarists with all sorts of injuries to their limbs, back -- it takes a lot out of you.”
  3. Air guitar can bring world peace! Competitive air guitar was actually started by a group of students working on their thesis, about how to accomplish world peace.

“And the idea was that,” said Rob, “if everyone were to stop what they’re doing, and pick up an air guitar, then there would be no more war, climate change would reverse itself, and all bad things would disappear. Because you can’t hold a gun while you’re holding an air guitar. It just doesn’t work.”

Plus, it’s fun. Rob - aka “The Marquis” - taught me some of his best air guitar moves. And even gave me my own air guitar name…

If you want to see more air guitar from Rob, or enter a competition yourself, Rob hosts the Portland Air Guitar Championships.

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