Author(s): Dave Hickey
"Air Guitar" is Dave Hickey's "memoir without tears"--a journey through the vernacular cultural landscape of the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. Looking back from the vantage-point of his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, Hickey speculates on everything from jazz and rock-and-roll to basketball and professional wrestling--from magic and psychedelia to gambling and the culture of "little stories"--from automotive design to series television to Saturday-morning cartoons. The emphasis in these twenty-three essays is on the way "the arts" function in the drift of everyday life, outside the venues of official culture, and on singular "lives in the arts, " lived outside those venues, with meditations on the careers of Liberace, Hank Williams, Chet Baker, Andy Warhol, Johnny Mercer, Norman Rockwell, magicians Siegfield & Roy, and wrestler Lady Godiva. Underlying Hickey's writing is an abiding belief that cultural life in a democracy can, and occasionally does function in a democratic manner, sustained by the whims of affection and the commerce of opinion.