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Rock Star Hopefuls Jam Limp Bizkit Auditions

After hearing thousands of unknown hopefuls in a series of minute-long auditions, hard rock band Limp Bizkit may ask a few potential bandmates back to see if any strike the right chord, the group’s manager said on Tuesday.

The band, fronted by Fred Durst and best known for its raging blend of punk, heavy metal and hip-hop, may sign a new guitarist through the open-call “Put Your Money Where Your Guitar Is” tryouts, which began in January. But the group has never guaranteed it would fill the spot left vacant when Wes Borland quit last fall.

Of the nearly 5,000 musicians who turned out for the 60-second auditions in 22 U.S. cities, about 30 hopefuls were called back to jam with the band, which has sold more than 16 million albums in the last five years. The band may now invite back some of those musicians for a second jam session, said Peter Katsis, a spokesman for the band’s management company, The Firm.

“This isn’t a contest and there’s no winner, but hopefully, we’ll find a guitar player,” Katsis said.

David Weiderman, director for artist relations at Guitar Center Inc., which hosted the auditions, said, “Whoever gets the spot will have to fit in with the band. A band is like a family.”

Some 150 to 600 hopefuls, including a few sporting Durst’s signature reversed baseball cap and goatee, stood in line at each of the group’s audition locations. The tryouts concluded on Monday at Hollywood’s landmark Guitar Center store.


Since label executives and band managers could only listen to about 300 audition on any given day, it was a first-come, first-serve gig for the wannabe stars who showed up early enough to strum their stuff.

“About 150 people were sleeping out the night before,” said Weiderman, adding most were grateful for the opportunity to shine in front of label executives and talent managers. The largely male group ranged in age from 13 to 40, he said.

At the end of Monday’s auditions, three musicians were chosen to jam on the spot with Limp Bizkit, including Monte Pittman, 26, who lives near the Guitar Center.

“It was amazing. We had a good time. It’s good to jam with good musicians. I felt like I really locked in with them from the beginning, and we’re going to get together again to jam,” said Pittman, a native Texan, who also teaches guitar.

“I think what’s best for the band is what should happen, but I think we could make some amazing music together,” he said. “They really made me feel really warm and welcome and I hope to do it a lot more.”

While most auditions were harmonious, a few candidates apparently groused about the process or accused Limp Bizkit of using the auditions to generate publicity or even steal musicians’ material.

Durst posted a notice recently on the band’s Web site saying that “anyone who is mad about their experience trying out for Limp Bizkit” had “simply and plainly 100 percent sucked.”

The band has asked those auditioning to sign a release form so that their images can be used in a documentary, he said.

“In no way whatsoever would Limp Bizkit ever steal or take anything (music, riffs) from anyone on this planet!! And remember the only person who watches a thief is a thief,” he wrote.

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