** Warning. This will be explicit and long. **
Some of you may have heard about the Limp Bizkit guitarist search. Basically, the band has been "touring" the country visiting Guitar Center stores, holding auditions for a new guitarist to replace the one who left the band.
The deal is this. From 7:00 to 11:00 AM you can sign up for a slot to try out that day. The tryouts are from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. During this time, they take you into a room to play your stuff. At the end of that time, you leave. They call three to ten people at 5:30 to come back to the place and play in front of Limp Bizkit. Out of those people, one is selected to return at 9:00 to jam with the band, and anyone who participated is invited to watch -- a free concert, basically.
So I arrive there, with a copy of our band's full CD in hand. I'm with a friend who wants to try out, so I go ahead and sign up too. We get there at 5:00 AM and we're pretty far back in line. Not incredibly bad though. Free donuts and coffee, so all isn't too bad.
10:00 rolls around. The line is moving slow, but that's to be expected. We finally get up around the corner of the building to the front of the line at about noon. Current total time there: 7 hours.
Get to the table, and I notice there's a waiver you have to sign. No problem, standard stuff. Then I notice it's a three page contract. This contract basically said that if you play, you must sign the contract. Okay. No big deal here either. So I keep reading it. An interesting note. Anything you play can NOT be copyright, and can be used by Limp Bizkit in audio, video, or recorded form of any sort. Other big words which basically translated to the fact that if you play something, they are fully authorized to steal it and use it on a CD. The artist agrees to zero compensation and zero rights over the track, and will get their name in the liner notes "if possible."
This didn't sit well, as me and the guy I was with were planning on playing something we wrote. So we sign it and decide to make something up. An annoyance at the very least, but we'd waited seven hours to get this far.
Then we got to stand in the parking lot for another two hours. We finally get inside at about 2:30, where it's another 30 minute wait for your turn. Current total time there: 10 hours.
So then we get the "rules". They are outlined for us straight out. No guitar solos. No playing cover songs. No playing copyrighted material. No playing Limp Bizkit songs. This effectively means that you're forced to play something that you made up, but don't have a copyright for. You may see where this is going.
Entering the room, there's one guy. He's got a mute button under his foot. His job is to make sure you follow the rules. If you break any, you get muted and kicked out immediately. So I go in, and there's one amp for me to plug into, and the settings are turned to "mud". It sounded awful, and was not pleasing to the ears. And it was loud enough that the awfulness didn't go away for some time. Then comes another fun part.
"You have 60 seconds to play. Starting now."
One f@#$ing minute?!
So since the thing I'd been planning was two minutes and thirty seconds, I cut most of the parts out. Kept it under time (about 57 seconds), but it still sounded worse than a handful of ass due to that beautiful amplifier (hmm). And I leave the room and the line proceeds. We're told that the winners will be announced at 5:30. And that we are to remain in the front parking lot until that time. No leaving. Period. This makes for unhappy people. We're talking 200+ people here, plus any wives / girlfriends / husbands / boyfriends / family / friends which accompanied them. But what can you do? We stay until 5:30. Total current time there: 12 hours, 30 minutes.
5:30 rolls around. People are getting ansi. The clock keeps ticking, and it's 6:00 before we notice anything going on. Guitar Center management flags all their people and security to come inside to discuss something. They go in there, and the guy in charge walks out with a megaphone. After getting everyone's attention, the guy on the megaphone speaks:
"he competition has been called off effective immediately and will not be rescheduled. The band will not be performing with nor for anyone. They most likely will not be signing autographs. This is beyond our control, but we are ending it."
The guy then proceeds to enter back inside the huge glass doors, and two cops stand behind the door. They lock the building. After about an hour, most have gone home. The radio station is completely screwed, having brought their entire broadcast booths out to cover it. Everyone is very, very pissed. Me and the other guy stayed awhile to figure out what was going on. It's now about 7:30 PM.
Limp Bizkit now has over 200 guitar parts, written by various artists around here, which are unowned and not copyrighted. Limp Bizkit now owns these riffs. Limp Bizkit just stole 200 pieces of material right out from under these guitarists' noses, myself included. If I'd played something off our CD, I would be ABSOLUTELY pissed. I *am* absolutely pissed. They have completely ripped off hundreds of people, and they're getting away with it because they can. They're on their way to their next stop, and the radio station here has given out request line numbers for the stations down there for us to call and let them know what's happening over the course of this event, to warn them. But people aren't going to buy it. They're going to go and get their shit stolen too.
To add insult to injury, Guitar Center ran a contest where the winner would get to watch the band play even if they didn't play guitar. One person and a friend. That person also won an autographed Gibson Les Paul Studio ($1500+ guitar) by the band. She showed up after a near 200 mile drive to the area. Guitar Center told her that the band refused to acknowledge the contest at this point, and so not only did she drive three and a half hours for no performance (which she took her ten year old kid to see as his first concert), but apparently the guitar wasn't given either. All because the band wanted to be one giant collective asshole.
If any of you know anyone who's considering going to these tryouts, show them this message. If they have any questions they can contact me directly. I'm doing everything I possibly can to make sure this does NOT happen to anyone else. It's not my stuff I'm concerned about -- our CD is copyrighted completely and legally -- but I'm guessing 90% of the local bands who passed Durst a copy of their CD are going to be fucked. Many bands, especially newer local ones, don't have the money or know-how to copyright their stuff, and by giving it to them tonight, they just basically tossed them a new Limp Bizkit CD if Fred wants to do that. I wouldn't be surprised if he copyrights their shit tomorrow.
It hurts to look around and see hundreds of people get excited at the chance to be able to make something of their guitar work; to have a shot at being in a popular band, making a living doing what they dream of. Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit are taking that dream and fucking it over. And anyone who wasn't there who just caught the coverage at noon and 5:00 on the news just think everything is perfect. Happy Fred Durst in front of the cameras behind the place, fenced off, saying how good the turnout is and how happy everyone seems, and talking about all the great shit he's hearing. That man is the true meaning of a music label representative. He's the perfect salesman and nice guy in front of the media, and turns around and screws everyone involved in the ass without having to take any hit in his overall popularity, and possibly gaining a shit ton of new music in the process that he's ripped from people.
Not many things piss me off, but I'm pissed off. I'm not the only one. All sorts of "this band is playing tonight at this place, and they'd like me to announce to Fred Durst that if you're still in the area and you come to this venue, you will be able to see what a REAL band is like -- right before the real band beats your skull in." This radio station is sick of the shit from this band, and so are its listeners. If this keeps happening, I wouldn't be surprised if some shit goes down somewhere really damn soon.
if this pisses you off as much as it pissed me off, post it on every forum you read.
Thanks... and don't listen to MTV trendy bands because of bulls@#t like this (and many other noteable reasons such as no talent)