Anyone who has wasted an afternoon at work bouncing around The Smoking Gun's collection of hospitality riders — an artist's list of demands, like towels, booze, food, guest tickets — understands that musicians can be fairly particular about what they ingest before, during, and after their performances. Indie bands are usually happy with a modest meal buy-out, but chart-toppers (even former ones) put venues through the ringer.
For example, we know one fairly big band who used to have puppies on the rider. Puppies were actually provided on more than one occasion, which the band members found amusing. They weren't ingested, but nonetheless elicited the sort of wide-eyed, all-consuming pleasure only puppies can bring, even to the hearts of hardened road-dogs. On the food tip, another less prominent band we know asked for a salad and received raw, white mushrooms. The band again begged for greens; greens were denied. The band revolted, unscrewing every light they could find — in the dressing room, around the venue, in the bathrooms — and impaling mushroom caps on to the sockets.
We're sure there are some great ones we missed, but turn the page for five of our favorite edible rider requests from well-known artists and bands hailing from the greater Los Angeles area:
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers, circa 2000: This band known for popping cherries and exposing twigs (and berries) asks for “medium-sized bowls of fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries), grapes, and cherries,” and adds: “Please serve in separate bowls.” Why a band known for mixing coke and heroin might worry about a little inter-berry mingling is beyond us. Still, Jamberry on.
4. Snoop Dogg: Helpfully, Snoop's management labels the items the hungry rapper considers important as “Important!” That would be: Vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit (“Very Important!”), and dinner rolls. He also likes his grapes greener than OG Kush and his beans (also green) prepared “Almondine,” an American bastardization of “Amandine,” a French vibe involving almonds and brown butter.
3. Guns N' Roses: Not sure if these demands come from the 80s incarnation or the most recent touring unit, but how can you not applaud Axl's personal request for a large jar of Hellman's mayonnaise, Wonder bread, and a chilled bottle of Dom Perignon? It's very high and so, so low, which pretty much sums up the band.
2. Jane's Addiction: In the section regarding the “Tuning Room,” we notice that the band's management has crossed out Camels, Bic lighters, a vase of fresh flowers (“stargazers preferred”), and underwear but still insists on honey, sugar-free protein bars, uncut ginger root, and soy milk. Keep in mind this is the “Tuning Room.”
1. Tenacious D: As you might expect, comedy-oriented dudes tend to be self-aware about the whole rider thing. Management, or as one would prefer to imagine, the duo itself, makes a few funnies. Deli meats should be “turkey-based,” a cheese plate should consist of “assorted cheddars,” and both requested mustards must be “VERY tasty and delicious.”