Unexpected Backstage Demands

A sneak peek into celebrity backstage riders.

Ultimate Guitar
Unexpected Backstage Demands

As we may learn from various tabloids if you’ve made it to the top you are free to behave a bit wacky and demand anything you can put your mind on to your dressing room.

When you’re constantly on tour, I guess, it’s the only way to feel at home. Some items in celebrity riders still seem a bit unnecessary to the lesser mortals. It’s just jealousy, isn’t it?

Blink 182 need to be provided with boxer shorts (J.Crew brand only), cigarettes, movies, “X-rated lesbian-themed magazine” and other essentials.

An old school British rock band Status Quo, refuse to play a show without their rider-requested Marks & Spencer white tube socks delivered to their dressing room.

Sir Paul McCartney is an animal-rights' supporter. He doesn’t tolerate fur, leather, and meat anywhere near him. He also enjoys being surrounded by plants. His rider includes 6 “full and leafy” floor plants (no trees). The plants must be as full on the bottom as the top, specifically stating no tree trunks. If you want Sir Paul to perform you would also need 1 large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies with lots of foliage, 1 long stemmed arrangement of pale pink and white roses with lots of foliage, 1 arrangement of freesia. According to the raider freesia is his favorite.

Jack Whites 2014-15 tour rider includes a bowl of homemade guacamole (exact recipe included), aged salami, a pound of “high-quality” prosciutto, beef jerky, dried fruit, cashews, and almonds. The performer’s alcohol requirements include bottles of red and white wine, Veuve Clicquot champagne, and Bulleit Bourbon (aged 10 years). Also, it was strongly noted that there must be no bananas in the same building with the star.

Mötley Crue, who are famous for trashing hotel, once requested a crazy list of sub-machine gun, a 12-foot long boa constrictor, a supply of clean ice, a list of local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, 4 self-contained candles, 1 machete, 1 stainless steel double-bladed combat/survival knife (not serrated), 1 fully suppressed Heckler & Koch MP-5 SD sub-machine gun and 500 9mm rounds.

The Rolling Stones request the standard rock ‘n’ roll alcohol and cigarettes, as well as butlers on hand 24 hours a day, smartly dressed well-groomed hostesses. All band members require a set of written instructions on how to use all the electronics in their hotel rooms. In 2005 Richards and Wood reportedly asked for their dressing rooms to be decorated with a “Casablanca lily and weeping eucalyptus arrangement” during their A Bigger Bang tour.

Iggy Pop has an 18-page long raider with everything he needs. For example, a Bob Hope impersonator, a copy of USA Today that’s got a story about morbidly obese people in it, a pack of cards, seven dwarfs, pizzas to give to the homeless and other cool things. If you want further details, you can easily find his rider online.

Stereophonics, allegedly, had a 1 ass-shaped pinata filled with Cuban cigars and dark chocolate Cacique rum liqueurs, 1 box of indoor fireworks, 1 roll of black gaffer tape in their rider. Also a DVD from this selection: “Twin Town,” “Goodfellas,” “Alfie” (Michael Caine original), “Wild Geese,” “Where Eagles Dare,” “Enter the Dragon,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Deep Throat.”

Prince used to demand every item to be covered in plastic shrink wrap (furniture, plates, wardrobes, etc.) He stated that is necessary for him to uncover everything by himself.

James Brown also was a diva. Along with many other things he requested hooded hair dryers, various hair products, pricey campaign (Cristal or Dom), 1 electric golf cart.

Van Halen used to prohibit brown M&Ms anywhere near them during their tour in the 70s. If the brown sweets were found in the building, the band could easily cancel the entire show. Much later David Lee said in an interview that the M&Ms ban was included in their health and safety stipulations so that they could find out that some of the more significant demands may not have been met. Quite a smart move, to be honest.


27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If you keep on folding it, its breaking, and everything has to be folded.  I dont want this.  I want large bread!
    But why would you keep folding it!? Thanks for making my day
    And the Oreos with one side taken off of each cookie. "Don't know whats going on here..." haha
    All right, A, Exhibit A. Now look, who's in here? No one. And in here, there's a little guy.
     "So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweets shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me, and Keith Moon, and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweets shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shopowner and his son... that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business, really. But, sure enough, I got the M&Ms, and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show"
    Any questions? Agh, yeah, when did you become so mental.. One of the best movies of all times!
    HAHAHA nice addition! so good!
    That's you with Led Zeppelin... Yeh. My old lady put that together. We must've toured every concert hall and venue in America. Me, my old lady, and the road... Is that you and Bob Dylan? Who's that old lady?... That's my old lady. Dude I can keep these going all day hahaha 🤘🏽🤘🏽
    With the exception of the bananas thing, Jack White's is pretty common and not to outrageous, sounds like he just likes nice snacks haha
    It might be an alergy. I did a first aid course where the instructor was alergic to bananas, and asked us not to eat them in the same room as him. 
    I've heard that sometimes something will get added to the rider. For example, one night someone has a craving for some fried chicken. It gets added to the list, and nobody ever takes it off. So for the rest of the tour, they get an order of fried chicken backstage everynight and nobody eats it.  I'm sure that some of the stuff foodwise goes to the techs and some of the higher ups in the road crew.
    Dang. Sometimes we give these celebrities too much celebration. You're already getting paid for doing the show, what the hell do you need an ass shaped pinata full of cuban cigars for?
    The best/weirdest one I've heard is Marilyn Manson asking for this: "How am I ever going to find a bald headed hooker with no teeth?" I think he never got one.
     Van Halen used to prohibit brown M&Ms anywhere near them during their tour in the 70s.
    I was sure the Iggy Pop one was written with the intention of making sure that the person reading was paying attention? And that the real items were requested were at the bottom of the list of ridiculous stuff.