When guitarist Wes Borland left Limp Bizkit in 2001, the world stopped rotating. It was in all the papers. Ok, fine, it wasn’t that big a deal but, remember, this was 2002 and, back then, some people still cared about Limp Bizkit. (No, seriously). So erroneously believing they still had a lot of gas left in the tank, they decided Borland’s replacement would be hired not by referrals, a help-wanted ad or lottery. No, Limp Bizkit would hit up Guitar Center locations in 22 cities through the U.S. (dubbed “Put Your Guitar Where Your Mouth Is”) and have wannabe Bizkit members try out to be the band’s next axe wielder.
By all accounts the publicity stunt was a disaster: Not only did the contest not produce a new member, but those who tried out complained that the three-page contract all contestants were forced to sign included a provision that all original riffs the aspiring Bizkit guitarist played were now the property of the band with no potential compensation in return (Below is an MTV News report about the contest).
In the end, even though thousands of musicians tried out for the spot, the band wound up hiring ex-Snot axeman Mike Smith, who lasted only one album (2003’s Results May Vary) before Borland—who trashed the band after he left—returned in 2004. By then pretty much everyone stopped caring.