29 Strange Rider Requests

rider requestsRider requests: so often the the subject of exaggeration that I decided to do a bit of research and find out some of the more interesting cases in history. As it turns out some of this stuff you couldn’t even make up if you tried – and I think that’s a very good thing. Then there are those acts that just seem to be a bit up themselves with the kinds of demands they make. Still, if you’re young and famous and used to getting what you want, I suppose you would try it on everyone now and then. As always, if you’ve got any more interesting rider requests you know of please let everyone know in the comments section below.

1. Slayer
The band once asked for 50,000 live bees, 100 snow-white goats for slaughter, blood-proof umbrellas, and a sandwich platter arranged in the form of a pentagram. They also required “a Halaal butcher to slaughter the goats”, “freezer bags and coolers to preserve the goat meat” and “four yoga ball chairs, black”. No reports on whether it was supplied.

2. Mötley Crüe
Standard rockers request: A jar of creamy peanut butter, dates for local Alcoholics’ Anonymous meetings, a sub-machine gun, a 12-foot-long boa constrictor, and a jar of Grey Poupon mustard. Yup…

3. Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)
No idea why (maybe I’m naïve) but he once asked for two boxes of corn starch.

4. Metallica
Bacon has to be available for every meal of the day (they consider it “very important”. On the 2004 tour they apparantly they also required a $5,000,000 insurance policy per show, no alcohol before or during the show and a 16 banquet tables ranging from six to eight feet long for backstage.

5. LL Cool J
There’s romance and there’s … You don’t need too much imagination for a request that was for 24 long stem roses and a small bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby oil.

6. Van HalenThe legendary “No brown M&M’S” line was apparently to make sure that promoters read the rider request thoroughly. Other requests have included Herring in sour cream and a large tube of KY jelly.

7. Deadmau5
The request of “one large inflatable animal, inflated and at least 5′ tall” to be provided backstage at each and every show he performs isn’t that strange I guess.

8. Pearl Jam
Why would you ask for “Four cartons Epsom salts” for “medical purposes”? Eddie know, I don’t.

9. Marilyn MansonThe legendary request for a bald-headed toothless hooker has done the rounds, but Manson has also requested Haribo brand gummy bears, fine cheeses, high quality chocolate, top of the line champagne and two bottles of Absinthe.

10. Cher
She once requested a separate room for her wigs. Were there that many? Or does she have a problem with them just being in the same room?

11. Guns N’Roses
A stand request of “an assortment of adult magazines”, citing Penthouse and Playboy as examples (this must have been many years ago!). Axl Rose has also asked for orders of angel hair pasta, pasta primavera, fettucini alfredos and a fresh large pepperoni pizza as suitable food items.

12. Britney Spears
Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana. No comment necessary.

13. Madonna
Post Madonna gigs you should be able to pick up a bargain dunny seat as she asks for all toilet seats to be brand new.

14. Al Jolson
Interesting riders started early. The legendary star reportedly made it essential to hang a plaque in the star’s dressing room to read, “Al Jolson: World’s Greatest Entertainer”.

15. The Bloodhound Gang
It’s almost disappointing that the only request I could find from The Bloodhouse Gang was for a rhesus monkey.

16. Prince
Keeping it clean: “All items in dressing room must be covered by clear plastic wrap until uncovered by main artist. This is absolutely necessary.”

17. Foo Fighters
A 2008 rider requested a bag of Pirate Booty, four bottles of Gatorade in “wacky colors”, a selection of cereals, and DVDs that don’t have Jamie Kennedy, Martin Lawrence or sports on them.

18. Ozzy Osbourne
Not really surprisingly, a request for three oxygen tanks to be available at load-in along with a “real ear, nose and throat doctor” who was also able to inject a B-12 shot for energy with a Decadron kicker for anti-inflammatory reasons.

19. Red Hot Chili Peppers
I guess riders change through a band’s career. RHCP have asked for aromatherapy candles, fresh ginger, fresh papaya juice and 24 one-liter bottles of still “glacier water” from either Hawaii or Australia. During this period they also requested one small, carpeted room for meditation that had to have its walls painted in a medium-to-dark color, but not blue.

20. Iggy And The Stooges
Now THIS is a rider: “something with testicles in it”, a Bob Hope impersonator, and seven little people to dress as the dwarfs from Snow White. Thanks Iggy.

21. Rufus Wainwright
A rider that tells you what not to do more than what to do: No bread, no pasta, no red meat, no sugar, no dairy (including no butter or sour cream), no nuts, no plastic cutlery, no chocolate, no Evian water, no alcohol.

22. Billy Idol
One tub “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, Pepperidge Farms soft-baked Nantucket chocolate chip cookies. I wonder if that’s a nod to John Lydon? (link to weird promos)

23. Johnny Cash
Apparently requires an American flag that can be seen by all members of the audience.

24. The Rolling Stones
A room specifically provided for their travelling snooker table.

25. Beach Boys
Three BIC type large lighters, preferably without “child guards” and absolutely not green ones. Uh huh…

26. Jakob Dylan (The Wallflowers)
I can actually understand why Jakob Dylan’s rider demands “absolutely no reference to ‘Bob Dylan’s son’ in any and all advertising and billing (including print and radio)”. He apparently also likes and carrot juice that must be fresh squeezed and tuna that isn’t Chicken of the Sea.

27. Eminem
A wooden pond to be constructed in his backstage area and filled with koi carp. I wonder if this was to be enjoyed before or after the show?

28. Peter Gabriel
Gabriel must have been hanging with the RHCP guys as he once requested a one-hour female-only relaxing deep muscle “hippy style” massage in an incense-filled room. The masseur was not to be a sports therapist or chiropractor.

29. The Who
Coffee, an English breakfast, chamomile tea and milk. They are getting on a bit…

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