The magical tour rider—getting to a place in your career where you can ask for what you want when you get to a club/theater/arena, and also getting to a place in your career where you can annoy and alienate a city’s promotors and road crew and hurt your career by being a pretentious jerk. Still, what fun to see the heights of insanity our heroes and soon-to-fall heroes can find.
I still play a lot of high schools with the charity I founded. At some of these schools, the kids barely have enough food, so we ask for very little. But when we play a festival or theater, we send over our full rider, which is very basic: fruit and veggies, water, maybe some red wine… But for acts bringing in the really big bucks, things get fun real quick. We will go from the sane to the insane and finish with our fave rider from Mojo Nixon.
SOCKS AND POSTCARDS
Two things I have seen other artists ask for that I thought were awesome: fresh socks and local postcards. I can’t remember the bands, but they wanted fresh socks everywhere they went. Wasteful, yes, but I gotta say after running around the cities before the shows and loading in, fresh socks are a damn miracle. The other was a request for postcards from whatever city you are in so you can write a few friends and stay grounded. I collect and adore postcards. They are getting harder to find, so this may never make our updated rider. 🙂
VAN HALEN and the GREEN M&M’S
There is a story that Van Halen used to request M&M’S with all the green ones removed. They took a ton of flack for this—I know I made fun of it and said how insane people get once they are huge and rich. What I found out later from another tour manager was that they put it in there as a test. If they saw green M&M’S, they knew that other things in the show might have been missed. When you are dealing with multiple trucks, hundreds of people working, and millions of dollars on the line, I get why they would want to see that the people that booked them were paying attention. I’m just gonna leave that to my wonderful tour manager Tyler “Colossal” Cossel so no one has to throw green M&M’S at us.
These are courtesy of Business Insider, Kerrang!, and my gossip with other tour managers…
Beyonce requests her room at 78 degrees and can have no Coke products nearby (she was sponsored by Pepsi).
Marilyn Manson’s rider included both Gummy Bears and absinthe.
Rihanna’s rider includes black drapes layered with icy-blue chiffon and four white tulips. (This sounds so peaceful, I kinda love it. Maybe we can put these up in the back of the bread truck; it will feel just the same, I’m just sure of it…)
Drake wants Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap. Says it clears the mind. Note to self: Go find that soap.
I heard Barbara Streisand once asked a venue to carpet the aisles ’cause she didn’t like the reverb. Yikes.
An early guitar hero of mine, Eric Johnson, is rumored to be able to hear whether it’s a Duracell or Energizer nine volt inside his distortion pedals. If this is true, then three other things are true: (1) He is otherworldly, (2) He might be miserable half the time being that aware of tone, and (3) I need to work on my tone. (I can hear Jesse making fun of us guitar players right now … MY TONNNNNE, DUDE!! MY TONNNNNNNE!! I gotta turn up to get my TONNNE!)
Of all these I have seen, heard about, and looked up, Eminem was actually the most headache-free—some basic food stuff, water, and 25-pound weights to work out with. Awesome.
Finally, here’s a quick one-page rider from Mojo Nixon that my friend Syd sent me. It made me laugh out loud several times. See you next Weds for more tomfoolery. Please sign up at all sites @goodingmusic and let me know any great rider requests you have seen. 🙂
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