riding this one out

Most people know by now that Van Halen’s infamous “No brown M & Ms” stipulation in their rider was a way of checking that the promoter had taken note of safety requirements for their equipment. But there are still plenty of whimsical demands being made by other performers such as these ones tracked down by Danny Canak.


Iggy Pop once made a bizarre request for seven dwarves. To top it off, he also demanded American Spirit cigarettes (which he doesn’t smoke) and broccoli (which he hates). Questioned about this request, his response was that he wanted the broccoli so he could throw it in the bin – obviously to express his hatred for it. It’s anyone’s guess as to why he wanted the dwarves.


The diva award goes to Mariah “doesn’t do stairs” Carey. Some of her demands have included bunny rabbits, puppies, and kittens to keep her company backstage, Cristal champagne and a box of bendy straws to sip it with. She’s picky about the kind of water that may be kept in the dressing rooms. The rider states, “16-oz bottles of Evian are the only acceptable bottles of water.” There are many fascinating stories involving this diva. Once during a tour of China, she apparently needed four vehicles to carry her sixty pieces of luggage – including the 350 pairs of shoes that she brought with her. Another time she sent 20 assistants to redecorate the toilets in a music store before an album signing to ensure the toilet paper was in her preferred shade of pink.


Other memorable requests include: a monkey for the Bloodhound Gang, Flintstone vitamins for Christina Aguilera, “fresh ears of corn on the cob: cooked 3 minutes only” for Aerosmith, and a sea of alcohol for Queens Of The Stone Age. Then there’s the large supply of napkins for P Diddy with his name printed on all of them, corn starch for Nine Inch Nails, toilet seat covers for Live, two female dancers for “Weird Al” Yankovic to swivel with, and underwear for Moby and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Even Modest Mouse ask for socks to be purchased for them as they “don’t do laundry” and throw them all out.


Britney Spears demands a private phone line in her dressing room for outgoing calls only and fines the promoter $5,000 for any unauthorised incoming calls. Hellbilly rocker Hank III has obviously taken a leaf out of the Van Halen book with his demands which include a monkey, a half-gallon of milk, cereal, Oreos, Lunchables, squeezable mustard and ketchup, and a great white shark. Limp Bizkit make a point about the lights in their dressing room having to be “dimmable” while the Beastie Boys demand mountains of condoms in assorted rainbow colours.


More riders found in Stuart Coupe’s book “The Promoters” include Sir Paul McCartney’s wine request which stipulate the vintage, order of service and temperature of his favourite tipple. The band Yes ordered six dozen cream pies for food fights backstage. The Police wanted a quality ping-pong table with spare paddles and balls of superior quality. Elton John demands large flower arrangements but NO chrysanthemums, lilies, carnations or daisies.


Slick 57 supplied Stuart with this rider:

2 cases of beer, 1 growler of chilled Tuaca, 6 burritos, 3 packs of Camel Light, 6 bottles of spring water, 1 each of the latest Maxim, Playboy, Blender, High Times and Rolling Stone, 1 pre-hung pinata with 120 ‘Truckers Love It’ brand ephedrine pills, 1 box 12 gauge shotgun shells, 1 full length mirror, 1 gross of 18 years+ local girls to hang out with (model types preferred), 2 couches and 1 big screen tv.


Stuart did get them the 2 cases of beer……..

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 7:15 am  Comments (50)  
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  1. It just goes to show you that fame does, indeed, turn people into egocentric freaks. No matter how famous I got though, I’d be totally happy backstage with a morphine drip and 3 midgets.

    • What? no table tennis?

  2. Apparently, P Diddy likes to wipe himself with himself. I’d say he’s missed quite a few spots.

    • P Diddy is such a ponce

  3. I suppose it’s just not rock and roll to want a cup of tea and comfy slippers….

    • and a hot water bottle

  4. With so many fun treats (I particurlarly like poetic ‘sea of alcohol’ and ‘mountains of condoms’) I doubt I’d ever make it out on stage.

    • The adulation and applause would lure you out I’m sure

  5. Back when I played in a band that toured small nondescript clubs, we opened for another band who played the same places we played. Our manager, a hippie who forgot what it was to be straight by the time he didn’t graduate from low school, told the club we wanted a case of beer backstage. What we got was an empty case with the words, “Fuck You” written in magic marker on the top.

    I think the four of us made a grand total of sixty bucks that night, bar tab not included.

    We did play a lesbian bar one time, and had the best time we ever had playing.

    • Did you get a rider from the lesbians?

      • Sadly my ex was there, so just free beer . . . sigh . . .

  6. One ‘growler’ of chilled Tuaca? I know growler isn’t what I’m thinking it is.

    • What are you thinking Alex?

      • My eyebrow was elevated somewhat when I saw that as “growler” means something else entirely to me as well.

      • As usual my minds gone straight to the gutter. A ‘growler’, and keep in mind the rest of the english language and its resplendant beauty, is another name for vagina.

        Now unless you’re stupendously rich finding a lady to store even one chilled Tuaca in her ‘growler’… well I do beleive thats some in the region of holy grail territory.

        And sadly it doesn’t really surprise me I’m the only one that knows that usage of the word ‘growler’…

  7. To replace Desert Island Discs and Margaret Throsby’s prog where she interviews people and gets them to say which music they’d like her to play, I think we should have a radio programme where people are asked to give the details of their ideal rider. And anyone who wants to drink champagne through a bendy straw should be ejected immediately from the public eye. My dear, it’s just not done.

    • It’s so low rent. But then again so is Mariah

  8. The joys of having obscene amounts of money will often turn you into an eccentric.

    Wish I was like that.

    • I’m not so certain you are correct, G. Would you please supply me with obscene amounts of money so I can do some research? In the interests of science, of course.

  9. What? Elton doesn’t like daisies? He can suck my stamen…

    But The Bloodhound Gang deserves a monkey for their brilliant song “The Lapdance Is So Much Better When the Stripper is Crying”. brings tears to my eyes, it does…

    • The lyric from that song I remember most: “I never knew missing children could be so sexy.”

    • Elton also hates baby’s breath. And he loves yellow roses. I know this because I used to stalk him. Sort of.

  10. Makes a great list doesn’t it? There should be a “if you were a rock star, what would you ask for in your dressing room?” questionnaire somewhere. There probably is. You can learn a lot about a person from what they want in their dressing room.

  11. mmmmmm….Iggy… (tee hee!)

  12. There are not nearly enough celebrity plane crashes anymore.

  13. I’m with Weird Al, bring me two women to swivel with. Preferably wearing corsets and knee-high boots.

  14. I believe that quite a few of those demands fall under the umbrella of ‘urban myth’. This statement comes from my intimate knowledge of stars and celebs ….. or it might have been from Doris in the corner shop ……

  15. I’m still pondering the gross of “model type” girls to hang out with. A gross is 144 last time I checked — that’s a lot of people in your dressing room.

    What in the world does any person need 350 pairs of shoes for? And 60 pieces of luggage seems excessive to me. I believe I could almost pack my entire household into 60 pieces of luggage. Well, except the kitchen equipment, I suppose.

  16. I remember a big name actress who insisted on expensive bottled water (this is back in the late 80’s when bottle waters wasn’t readily available). They bought her a case and for the rest of the movie just filled up the bottles with tap water. She never knew the difference.

    • C’mon bearman, spill the beans. Who was it?

  17. “1 gross of 18 years+ local girls to hang out with” sounds like my workplace.

    When they’re telling mucky stories in the staff room that is.

  18. I think it’s a mis-reporting…he wanted gross 18 year olds. Not *one gross* of 18 year olds.

    Has anyone noticed that less talent equals more bizarre behaviour?

  19. The island villa we stayed in for our honeymoon had previously hosted J-Lo. The resort manager told us that she’d complained about the water in the lagoon being too cold, and asked him to fix it. The next morning he told her that the whole crew had worked all night, and they’d made it warmer for her. She didn’t bat an eyelid.

    He had the most fabulous stories – the really rich are bonkers.

    • More queenie more!

  20. Challenge! Find a picture of Iggy Pop with a shirt on

    • Impossible. It’s in his contract that all photos must be shirtless

  21. OK, this is one of my favorite posts ever. So much to comment on.

    1. I’d want dwarves around me too. I didn’t know that this was possible, but I guess if I become famous, I can have them.

    2. Britney wanted lunchables? There’s something about that I love.

    3. Mariah Carey got bunny rabbits and kittens to keep her company, and the diva don’t do stairs?! Inspiring.

    I’ve been thinking quite a bit about it, and perhaps I’ll post about it in the future, but for now, I know for sure I’d want someone to pick out all the green in my food and candy. So, for example, no cilantro, no green Skittles, no green gum of any sort, etc.

    Excellent post.

    • But but but… I love cilantro 😦

      • Of course Spears wanted lunchables. It just makes a perfect sort of unexplainable sense.

        If I was ever rich and famous, I would be pretty normal except for one or two REALLY weird things that would upset the less open minded types. Don’t worry, I won’t go full on Richard Gere.

  22. If I was one of them I’d probably ask for a Foosball table. I sure need to upgrade my skills on that.

  23. I think we all have a guess as to why he wanted the dwarfs…

  24. For some reason I find this stuff fascinating…

    I remember there used to be a website where you could find out what death row inmates wanted for their last meal.

    I swear, one guy had almost the exact same request as Slick 57…

  25. I will posy my rider on the pages in due course.

  26. Boy oh gosh. You clazy lady.Convoluted cacophony of word copulation. Sent email copy to mi amigo, Timothy Leary(he’s on the outside looking in). He say back “WTF?” Invite you my blog. Me clazy too but you beat me hands down!

  27. I heard a term today on NPR called “imaginary audience.” Who are these people trying to impress wih their bizarro requests? Yeah, they’ve made names for themselves in various ways, but really, pink toilet paper? How ’bout a round of pepto bismal?! Let’s see…what would I request? It’s a good conversation starter…

  28. I can’t see myself requesting anything stranger than a squat rack and a succession of gourmet vegetarian meals.

  29. Model types preferred here as well. I have heard of Mariah being difficult. The others surprising in some ways but when you make it big, I guess this behavior can be called eccentric.

  30. This was delicious gossip! I think I might even have to read it again just to savour it slowly…ah, the lives of the rich and fucked up…..

    ( I have heard the Mariah stuff before, which is why it was so difficult for me to reconcile finding her so awesome in Precious)

  31. Madonna demands a hermetically sealed toilet at every concert. I’m full of useful knowledge today.

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