Totally True Tune Tales: Riders

If you’re familiar at all with the ins and outs of touring, you’ll know that once you reach a certain point, you can demand certain accommodations for the privilege of having your band play at a particular venue. This is the tour rider. There have been infamous stories over the years of bands who include ludicrous things in their rider mostly to see if anyone is paying attention, such as a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones picked out.

But what amused me most was this blurb from Blabbermouth regarding the black metal band Gorgoroth and their rider. They’re evil, they’re scary, and they want extra-soft pink toilet paper, goddamn it.


Catering specification:

On Arrival:

* enough assorted cheese, ham and salami sandwiches for twelve persons
* tea and coffee with milk & sugar
* one crate of assorted sodas

In The Dressing Room:

* coffee and tea
* 3 bottles of Jack Daniels, 70cl
* 1 bottle of Kahlua, 70cl
* 1 bottle of vodka, Finlandia preferably, 70cl
* 1 ltr gin, Bombay Sapphire preferably
* 2 bottles of Amarone red wine
* 2 litres of high fat content milk
* 70 domestic beers (min. 4,5%, max. 5%), 33cl
* 24 bottles of sparkling and non-sparkling water, 50cl
* 12 bottles/cans of energy drinks (Red Bull or Dark Dog)
* 4 packs of cigarettes (Marlboro Red/Lucky Strike), sigarillos and sigares.
* 24 bottles/cans assorted sodas, thereamongst Coke and Sprite, 33cl
* lots of fresh vegetables and fruits
* large plastic cups
* ice cubes
* snacks
* condoms with strawberry taste
* strawberries, champagne, pink toilet paper, extra soft.
* 25 clean large towels. White
* 5 blankets


The promoter is to pay and provide for a full dinner for five persons. No fast food or take-aways. The dinner is to be complemented by choice of beverages. Please note that there must be available 1 vegetarian for GORGOROTH and 1 vegetarian for one of the crew members.

Stage And Other Additional Specifications:

* 50 sheepheads
* 200 meters barbwire
* 1 carpenter with equipments to build racks for barbwire, barricades, crosses ect.
* 1 masseuse for the band every 3 days of the tour, this person needs to be there from arrival or during the afternoon.

Yep. Sheepheads for the vegetarians!

No less than The Smoking Gun lists the riders of a gizillion bands/artists. Really, if you thought Gorgoroth was a bit odd in their requests, it’s more amusing to see what bigger acts require. Never forgetting, of course, that rock stars are just like the rest of us. They put their pants on one leg at a time, dammit!

I remember when REO Speedwagon played my particular little backwoods part of the universe; checking out their rider, I’m surprised and amused that they were accommodated, as they apparently require two back-to-back tee times. The question is whether they were treated to Lacoma or got stuck in the backwoods of Bunker Hill.

Matchbox 20 would like some tee times as well, please.

Sheryl Crow… oh, Sheryl Crow. You and your Lance Armstrong love affair. Must be easy to handle cancer boy when you’ve got onhand 12 bottles of Groisch, 6 bottles of local beer, a bottle of Australian Cabernet, a bottle of Merlot, and one bigass bottle of booze date-specific for every day of the week. No, I’m not kidding, as it looks a little something like this:

Monday: 1 bottle of Makers Mark Bourbon
Tuesday: 1 bottle of Bombay Gin & large bottle Schweppes Tonic
Wednesday: 1 bottle Courvosier Brandy
Thursday: 1 bottle good quality Champagne
Friday: 1 bottle Silver Tequila & 1 bottle Margarita Mix & carton of orange juice
Saturday: 1 bottle Absolut Vodka & carton of orange juice
Sunday: 1 bottle Silver Tequila, 1 bottle Margarita Mix & carton of orange juice

Saturday is Screwdriver Day! But Absolut? I thought you were a rock star!

Shania Twain requires a K9 sweep of the stage area for bombs.

If you decide to keep Def Leppard in a trailer rather than a dressing room, they require the sewage tank to be pumped a minimum of three times a day.

Jimmy Buffett reserves the right to not perform if he’s not provided a completely private ninety-minute soundcheck. You open the door and he’s on the next bus to Margaritaville.

Christina Aguilera needs Flintstone vitamins. Busta Rhymes doesn’t want any pork or beef anywhere near his dressing room. J-Lo wants all white furniture and decor. The Village People MUST be paid in cash, and Queen Latifah likes the Rough Rider condoms.

Elton John hates lilies, just like I do! Damned flowers with icky tendrilly things sticking out of the middle. The Dixie Chicks, however, love them. Fuck that noise.

It goes on and on and on.

I know people in local bands who are absolutely ecstatic to get some drink tickets and possibly a towel that isn’t from behind the bar. Meanwhile, Kenny G requires five separate rooms, including one for his chef. HIS CHEF.

Honestly though, it’s amazing how even the most seemingly humble of folks have grandiose requirements. Is it understandable to expect a decent meal, some water to drink, a place to get ready and a place to clean up? Sure. But when your list of requirements includes floral arrangements with a Japanese flair, perhaps you should have an additional tour bus for your ego.

Still, if someone told me I could put whatever my ridiculous little heart desired on some silly list where I was getting paid to appear, why would I not demand two hundred and forty dollars worth of pudding? Hot damn, I could change my name to Veruca Salt.

All white furniture. Jesus.

Hang on, but I know that you’re gonna lose the fight,


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