Punk music might have died, but the timeless act of rebellion that is synonymous with many music cultures remains very much alive. It could be argued that backstage riders present artists with another opportunity to demonstrate their creative intrigue. If this aspect of showbiz interests you, then you’re in for a right treat. Banter Shack’s Steven Brooks takes the reins on this week’s guest post about the most infamous backstage riders.

These Backstage Riders Are Beyond Ridiculous

If This Isn’t A Lust For Life, Then What Is?

Iggy Pop takes pride of place in many a list. But it would be shameless not to mention his ludicrous rider from 2006. It was 18 pages of preposterous demands. Some of the most notable include:

  • Someone dressed up as the late comedian Bob Hope. This person was also required to perform impersonations.
  • A copy of the magazine USA Today that featured stories of grotesquely obese people.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower which was to be cut into individual florets, then immediately thrown into the bin.

Tainted Love Indeed!

Many critics would contend that you can’t be a real rockstar unless you’ve got a few controversies under your belt. Marilyn Manson sure ticks that box, by what about his backstage riders? Well, they do nothing short of raising eyebrows either. In fact, the most down-to-earth element of the shock rocker’s rider is the Haribo gummy bears. At the other end of the spectrum: a bald prostitute with no teeth. Apparently, Manson has made this request before every major concert since the early noughties. However, it has yet to be consummated. Luckily, Manson’s management insists this request is a running joke. Albeit, the sight of Marilyn Manson feeding gummy bears to a toothless, bald prostitute would make fantastic YouTube content.

If Van Halen Sing “Jump”, You Ask, How High?

While Van Halen’s request may come across as awkward, it was entirely justified. In 1982, they infamously requested M&Ms as part of their “munchies” roster. The clause was that if any brown M&Ms were found, the promoter would have to forfeit the show and still cough up the full price. In an interview in 2012, the band’s lead singer, David Roth, explained there was more to this than arrogant entitlement. The purpose of such a time-consuming request was to determine whether the promoter had read the contract thoroughly or not.

These Backstage Riders Are Beyond Ridiculous

Where Does This Charming Man Get Off?

Approaching the twilight of his union with The Smiths, frontman Morrissey made numerous obscure requests. His career is awash with controversial statements, largely directed at the public, politicians, and the royals. In short, he holds most in contempt. However, Mozza being at one with nature stipulated that nature must be brought to him during their final UK tour. It was insisted that a young sapling between four and six feet tall must occupy his dressing room at every show. From what I gather, he wasn’t too fussy about the type of tree. Thus, sparing promoters further waves of his meticulous disposition.

Ghosts And Inflatables And Stuff

Deadmau5, along with almost every other DJ must get a little lonesome when they’re on tour. These people usually work alone. The “Faxing Berlin” superstar is also specific in terms of height parameters. He has repeatedly requested a fully-inflated animal of at least five feet in height to accompany him in dressing rooms.

Strawberry Fields…Any Field…Just Not Too Tall!

Paul McCartney is also known for his affection for nature. His backstage riders typically consist of 19 plants not exceeding six feet tall. Unfortunately for promoters, he refuses to perform if these requirements are not met. The strict scouser falls into a glaring contradiction, though. Macca is renowned for his pro-vegan sentiment, something that repeatedly peppers his backstage riders. He refuses to sit on any furniture consisting of animal print, God forbid it should be made from leather. Additionally, no meat products are allowed to be served in the dressing rooms, or anywhere else backstage for that matter. Yet by contrast, Macca likes to cleanse himself in Ivory Soap, a cosmetic primarily manufactured from animal fats.

Kickstart My Heart If I Get Bitten

One of the most notorious rock bands on Earth, Mötley Crüe, is no stranger to obscure backstage riders either. Some of their most eye-watering demands include sub-machine guns, boa constrictors, and schedules for local AA meetings.

Any Other Backstage Riders Worth Mentioning?

Most congregations of music lovers must have had this conversation. And now that I’ve written a post on the backstage riders of famous artists, I’m tempted to concoct my own imaginary rider. Perhaps you see yourself in the limelight in the not-so-distant future. Will you take the humble approach like Ed Sheeran and opt for inexpensive privileges? Or would you prefer to act like Justin Beiber and demand meals named after your own tunes?

See also…

» Five Reasons Why Kids Should Write Songs
» Top 10 most played along songs
» 5 Legendary Drum Parts
» Why artists use ghost producers
» Top 10 Songs With A Smashing Bass Intro
» 5 Female Drummers You Should Know About
» The top 10 most well-known harmonica solos

Guest Blogger Steven Brooks (Banter Shack)
A keen lover of hip-hop and electronic music, Steven Brooks founded Banter Shack in 2021. He has written poetry since childhood and is an experienced copywriter. He worked as a DJ for several years and is now hard at work promoting upcoming and unsigned artists. In his free time, he practices the guitar and studies music theory.
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