Iggy Pop, the Bordeaux Connoisseur: The Funniest Food Requests on Riders
The next time someone calls you a picky eater, direct them to Weezer's backstage rider for their 2010 tour.
Weezer demands that both regular and Canadian bacon be available for breakfast, that there be almond butter but no peanut butter, that there must be carbonated water but also non-sparkling spring water and that their barbecue meat selection include whole grain buns on the spread.
The band also requires all of their food to be organic, their trail mix to be Flanigan Farms Nuts 'n Things in an orange bag, their Chardonnay to be Rombauer, their Cabernet to be Jordan, their avocados to be Haas and their bread to be Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain.
There is a hierarchy to the types of chocolate bars allowed in the dressing rooms: Teuscher, then Vosges, then that crap pile Lindt if nothing else (of 70 percent cacao content or higher, that is) is available.
And their tea must be unsweetened Pure Green tea from ITO EN. (Although, to be fair, I love that stuff too.)
Backstage riders from celebrities -- usually singers -- have long been popular fodder for conversation over at The Smoking Gun. And we thought we'd comb through the sites 300-plus riders to find the funniest food requests in the bunch.
Mr. Pop spilled some wine on himself during this performance. (Wait, what? That's not wine?)
Take Blondie, for example. Original punk rock princess Debbie Harry still requires a ton of booze in her backstage dressing room, but she's mellowed with age: There's also an emphasis on stocking local products. And her musicians are showing their age, too, requesting food for smoothies -- including lots of bananas -- as well as health food like Clif bars and Activia.
Iggy Pop -- perhaps the prince of punk to Debbie Harry's princess -- also cares about local food, going so far as to say he'll eat anything from local places, even endangered animals. The rest of his rider is similarly cheeky, except when it comes to wine:
2 bottles of smooth, full-bodied, Bordeaux-type wine. Probably French. And something we've heard of, but still can't pronounce.
Look, there's fucking loads of red wines. Ask the man in the wine shop. Or here's a number of suggestions:
1st choice Medoc, St. Emilion, Pamerol, or Pauillac, years '86, '89, '90. 2nd choice Barolo or Barbaresco '89 or '90.
Well, damn. I'll drink with you any day or night, Mr. Pop.
Van Halen's infamous rider which banished brown M&Ms also held other eccentricities as well: food scheduled on odd and even days, as if this were a day care center feeding toddlers, and the stipulation that two meals out of every five must be vegetarian or Chinese. We're not going to even get into the creepy request for a tube of K-Y Jelly.
And although I expected Kanye West's rider to be similarly picky, the food requirements were instead quite standard compared to his beauty regimen necessities. Kanye hates Coke but he loves hot sauce.
As expected, the only alcohol allowed on Donny Osmond's tour is O'Doul's. We bet he's loads of fun at the afterparties.
Like the fanciest Osmond, Clay Aiken also doesn't allow alcohol backstage. Aiken also apparently has a plethora of food allergies and/or is an extremely picky eater, as his rider demands that his freshly prepared meal must not contain nuts, mushrooms, coffee, mint, chocolate or shellfish. He also has Asian nights on Tuesdays and Mexican nights on Wednesdays. In case you're wondering, breakfast has its own days too: Lucky Charms on Tuesdays, Life on Wednesdays and -- for some reason -- Cream of Wheat on Saturdays.
As if you needed further proof that he's insufferable, John Mayer's rider has a contingency plan in place on the off chance that some poor assistant can't find Penta water. If Penta can't be found, Fiji can be substituted. And if Fiji can't be found, Volvic can be subsituted. But only if you understand that by bringing this crazy expensive water into John Mayer's dressing room, you are also bringing shame upon yourself and your family by sullying his presence with this inferior product.
Prince, on the other hand, has earned the right to order people around and demand crazy shit at will. Yet...he really doesn't. The only oddity on his tour rider is a request for Starbucks espresso pods. Oh, Prince. You deserve better coffee than that.
For all his bad boy antics, Eminem is strangely considerate of the environment, asking that no Styrofoam be used and that recycling is available for all other food containers. He also asks for things like cottage fries and local specialties on his catering menu, which makes us love him even more. What is going on?
Speaking of unexpectedly liking singers, Selena Gomez don't need shit in her dressing room except some fixings for some sammiches on white bread. That's refreshing, especially for a child star manufactured by the Disney corporation.
On the other hand, it's disheartening to see that the rider for the Ozzie Osbourne, once the Prince of Darkness, is as clean-living and clean-cut as that of Selena Gomez. Oh, Ozzie; that reality show really was the end of you, wasn't it?
Jennifer Lopez's rider isn't notable for what in includes as much as what it excludes. No tomato, apple or grape juices should ever make their way into her presence. And someone must have forgotten a few items on the list, as "Cuban food" like "beans, rice, chicken" is scrawled in the margins as must-haves.
Comfort food is a popular request, seen in pretty much every rider. But some comfort food and drinks are odder than others. For instance, I want to know which member of *NSYNC has to have an entire case of Barq's Red Creme soda and a box of chocolate Pop Tarts. Justin?! And on Snoop Dogg's rider, it flat-out states that "fried foods are a tour staple."
Meanwhile, it doesn't look like crooner Michael Buble ever read The Wine Trials, as his only stipulation for the wines he wants backstage are that they cost more than $25 a bottle. And Lady Gaga fares worst of all, asking that all wines backstage be either Kendall Jackson or Robert Mondavi.
Here's my suggestion for both: A massive, world-wide tour featuring Michael Buble, Lady Gaga and Iggy Pop. Not only would it sell out arenas and blow minds, those two kids could learn a thing or two from Mr. Pop about the right kind of hooch to keep backstage.
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