When you’re a musician on top of the world, it’s easy to get a big head. And when you can request basically anything you want to be waiting for you backstage before a concert, sometimes it’s difficult to not get, shall we say, a little bit carried away.
What’s a Rider?
When a music act goes on tour, their tour manager usually sends out what’s called a rider to each venue in advance of the performance there, listing what the band and other tour personnel requires backstage. In general, they’re pretty tame: some chicken or pasta for dinner, maybe a cheese spread, usually some tea and cough drops for the singer.
Some bands take their backstage requests to the extreme. Frank Sinatra, for example, wasn’t happy unless his dressing room came outfitted with a bottle of Absolut, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, red wine, white wine, shrimp cocktail, and Life Savers.
Other acts are very specific about what they want: Beyoncé demands juicy baked chicken “heavily seasoned” with sea salt and black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper, with only Pepsi products to drink, and Rihanna asked that hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, and turkey sausage be made available to her at all times.
Billy Idol loves his cookies
Billy Idol was oddly specific in what he needed backstage. His demands included a tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Pepperidge Farm Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies. We reckon he’d probably be a big fan of our Florentines, after all, they are a bit nutty, just like Mr Idol!
Marilyn Manson has a sweet tooth
The goth king demanded a food item that seems a little out of character for such a dark guy: Haribo gummy bears. We reckon he’d love our Caramel Slice. Sweet but a bit Dark!
Britney Spears has unique tastes
Then again, you probably knew that already based on her previous boyfriends! On her most recent tour, Britney needed there to be exactly 100 prunes and figs, an order of fish and chips, and cheeseburgers without the buns in her dressing room. She seems to be a lover of the cheese and beef so we reckon she’d love our Beef & Cheese Pie.
Van Halen love their chocolate
Possibly the most infamous rider request of all time, Van Halen demanded that there be a big bowl of M&Ms backstage, with all the brown ones removed. As opposed to this being a sign of mental illness, Eddie Van Halen just wanted to make sure that the venue was paying attention. How about a Jaffa Mud Cake for the boys from Van Halen?