The ‘Air Guitar Guy’

Yesterday I was walking through Brisbane when something caught my attention from corner of my eye. I saw a man with a sign that read, “I’m NOT HOMELESS I’M Lookin’ for SEXY SEXY GIRL Yusuki (Osaka)” complete with a smiley face and Japanese flag. Anybody that knows me will appreciate how hard it is too walk away from something like this.

Fortunately I was carrying my video camera, so I pulled it out and shot a very hurried interview with him. I uploaded it last night and got a few comments from other people who had witnessed his presence.

Today I saw Yusuki again. So I pulled pen and paper from my pocket and started firing questions at him.

The ‘Air Guitar Guy’ was set up in a different spot but dressed in the same women’s clothes with the same colour lipstick applied clumsily, but generously to his face. I found it hard to believe he is still on his first tube of lipstick.

He’s a 23-year-old political student from Hyogo – not technically Osaka – who came to Melbourne late last year. He left Melbourne for Sydney and soon ran out of money and did what anybody in such a dire situation would do. Yes, he rode a bicycle up to Brisbane. After a brief stint picking cherry tomatoes in Bundaberg, he decided he wasn’t living the way he wanted to. So he came back to Brisbane and three weeks ago picked up his iPad, a portable set of speakers and his air guitar and air microphone stand (broom stick) and headed into the city to start busking.

Yusukii didn’t bother getting a busker’s licence and it has caused some problems for him. Big Issue vendors and other vendors are not his favourite people. The vendors were the ones he said who hassled him about not having a licence and threatened to call the police. He wasn’t concerned. “Police never come.”

Well-wishers drop an assortment of gifts in a large aluminum baking tray that he sets out on the ground. Today I saw two people drop in a couple of cigarettes. There was also some foreign currency and chocolate. Somebody once gave Yusuki a beer. VB. A normal day brings in somewhere between $60 and $100 and takes up four to six hours of his time.

His next two big goals are attending the world air guitar championships and getting his hands on a ‘SEXY SEXY GIRL’. Yusuki said he hasn’t been intimately involved with an Australian woman.