High Life / A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Refresher Course on Social Study

Author Fran Lebowitz offers the following advice for teen-agers in the "Tips for Teens" section of her "Social Studies" book:

* Wearing dark glasses at the breakfast table is socially acceptable only if you are legally blind or partaking of your morning meal out of doors.

* Should your political opinions be at extreme variance with those of your parents, keep in mind that while it is indeed your constitutional right to express these sentiments verbally, it is unseemly to do so with your mouth full--particularly when it is full of the oppressor's standing rib roast.

* Should you be a teen-ager blessed with uncommon good looks, document this state of affairs by the taking of photographs. It is the only way anyone will ever believe you in years to come.

* Think before you speak. Read before you think. This will give you something to think about that you didn't make up yourself--a wise move at any age, but most especially at 17, when you are in the greatest danger of coming to annoying conclusions.

* Remember that as a teen-ager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.

* Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.

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 leader 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 was 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, making it one of the most successful debut LPs by a rock band in recording history.

"I am not young enough to know everything." --Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

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