U.S.’ World Champ Live on BBC – Schools Cambridge



MEAN MELIN (Eric Melin), broadcast live across the globe on BBC World News, waxes academic with a hotshot from Cambridge University.  Melin, who actually read the professor’s recent paper before the interview, confronts its author for claiming that air guitar is “useless” (06:15).  Melin then takes a couple eggheads to task when he asserts – in what academics are now calling the Melin Inversion – that not only can an air guitar transcend traditional instruments, but in fact a there guitar’s truest purpose is to be at once supportive of and subservient to the air guitar itself (and not the other way around).  “The song that I mimed to” in the Air Guitar World Championships, says Melin, “I actually wrote that specifically for the air guitar . . . I put the music to work for the air guitar.”


After a lively debate, Professor Rink acquiesces, “that was a quote in the paper and I have to say it wasn’t accurate” (07:45).


Professor John Rink, D.Phil, is the author of six books, dozens of published articles and papers, and numerous chapters of the world’s leading English-language textbooks.  He directs Cambridge University’s Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice, a £2.1 million ($3.4 million) department that studies how music in performance takes shape over time.


Eric Melin is a dude who gets flown all over the world to play air guitar.

15 Responses to U.S.’ World Champ Live on BBC – Schools Cambridge

  1. John Rink says:

    Sorry to disappoint everyone, but our research in Cambridge was not about air guitar as such, nor did any of our own publications ever refer to it as “useless” (or even refer to it at all!). What happened was as follows. A passing reference in the University’s press release to both air guitar and singing in the shower attracted the attention of two of the UK’s national newspapers and the BBC; the frenzy that followed misinterpreted this and instead claimed that our research had “proven” that air guitar helps musicians be more creative. This might well be the case, but it isn’t actually what we studied or concluded. On the BBC interview, Eric referred to a **newspaper article** in the Times (not to my “research paper”) in which a colleague of mine was quoted as saying that air guitar was “useless”. But this isn’t at all what she had said to the Times reporter, which is why I wanted to set the record straight.
    It was great to meet Eric and to talk musician-to-musician. My team and I are now thinking about starting a new research project, and it’s just possible that unlike the last one it really will focus on air guitar! Thanks to the website for putting up the Global interview and thanks to the BBC for putting Eric and me in touch.