Next time you're feeling rejected, take a look at this listing from Dave Marsh and Kevin Stein's "The Book of Rock lists."
Some famous turndowns:
Elvis Presley was tossed out of the Grand Ole Opry in 1954 after a show. One of the Opry honchos reportedly suggested that he go back to driving a truck.
Decca Records rejected The Beatles, as did several other labels (Pye, Columbia, HMV, EMI), before producer George Martin finally saw some potential in them.
Stephen Stills flunked an audition to be in the Monkees; he joined Buffalo Springfield instead and later formed one-third of Crosby, Stills and Nash.
The Who was turned down by EMI Records. Later, American Decca would refuse the initial master of "My Generation" because it thought the feedback solo at the end was unplanned distortion.
The Sex Pistols were dropped by A & M Records without ever releasing a record. It was misbehavior at the band's signing party in the label offices that apparently caused the dismissal, which cost A & M a pile of dough and enhanced the Pistols' outlaw image.
Boston's first demo tape, which was cut in Tom Scholz's basement but otherwise is almost identical to the group's first album, was turned down by virtually every major label in America. Finally, the tape returned for a second chance to Epic Records, which, on further listening, decided to sign the group. The almost-identical album sold 8 million copies, the most commercially successful debut LP by a rock band in recording history.
"I believe that professional wrestling is clean and everything else in the world is fixed."
--Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated