While recent studies have suggested that there are a number of health benefits associated with rock music, some of the tour riders on this list are about as far away from healthy as you can imagine. From bald, toothless hookers to boa constrictors – not to mention copious amounts of alcohol – some of these tour riders have doubtless driven venue managers to drink themselves. Check out our list of ten of the craziest rock riders of all time.
Jack White – Back in his White Stripes days, the riders requested from Jack White included pretty standard fare like Jameson whisky, Corona beers and various chips and dips. More recent tours demonstrated that as a solo artiste Mr White has refined his taste somewhat. Now the guacamole dip must be freshly made to a customised recipe, and the champagne and wine glasses must be made from real glass. One unusual item – or rather its absence -caught a number of people’s attention back in 2015 when he also insisted that there be ‘no bananas’ in the building. In fairness, apparently this was due to an allergy suffered by one of the crew rather than particularly diva-ish behaviour.
Ozzy Osbourne – Some of the stories about Ozzy Osbourne on tour were legendarily excessive, but the Prince of Darkness seems to have seen the light since then. More recent tour rider requests have included three oxygen tanks along with an ear, nose and throat doctor. Ozzy also insisted that the doctor be able to administer a B-12 shot for energy should he need a bit of a boost mid-performance.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers – The Vegas band were known for their hard-partying back in the day, as anyone who’s read Anthony Kliedis’ autobiography would know. However, 2000 rider request demonstrates that those days are long gone. Rather than drugs and alcohol they requested fresh papaya juice and aromatherapy candles, as well as a carpeted room painted in any dark colour (except blue, for some reason) to be used for meditation.
Guns n Roses – Another band to have turned their back on excesses of the past are the Guns. While riders back in the early nineties largely consisted of Jack Daniels, these days their backstage area is an alcohol-free zone. Instead their rider now includes such necessities as a porcelain toilet, yoga room, square melon and ‘silky soft’ toilet paper.
Marilyn Manson – The goth-rocker’s request for a “bald-headed, toothless hooker” in his rider certainly grabbed the attention, although the remainder of his requests were considerably less dramatic. Besides the two bottles of Absinthe and one of champage, the remainder could have featured on the menu at a kid’s party: Haribo gummy bears, Doritos, cereal and mini chocolates are hardly what you would expect from the self-styled Antichrist Superstar.
Rolling Stones – Whatever pact Keith and Mick signed with Beelzebub seems to be working out pretty well for them, as despite being in their 70s the Stones insist that the hotel bar stay open all night, fully stocked with the band’s favourite cigarettes and booze. Windows are to be blacked out so as not to let dawn interfere with any partying, and butlers are to be on hand 24/7 to deal with any urgent requests. The only hint that they’re not as young as they used to be is that each member of the band is to be given written instructions on how every electronic device in their hotel room works!
Van Halen – Van Halen is the originator of the famous ‘No brown M&Ms’ rule of rock rider lore. However the reason for this particular demand may be a little more sensible than it first appears. The singer buried this clause in the middle of the health and safety section of his rider. This meant he knew that if there were no brown M&Ms in his dressing room then chances are the health & safety directions had been adhered to as well.
Iggy Pop – Evergreen Iggy has certainly got a sense of humour, asking for a Bob Hope impersonator and “a copy of USA Today that’s got a story about morbidly obese people in it” as part of his rider. Apart from the standard issue rock-star alcohol stash (beer/wine/vodka) he requested seven dwarves dressed up like the Disney cartoon as well as cauliflower or broccoli to be specially cut into florets and then thrown into the trash. Not a fan of his greens…
Motley Crue – The fact that the definitive biography of Motley Crue is called: ‘The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band’ gives you some idea of what these guys were getting up to in their ‘80s hey-days. Times change though, and recent tour riders have included a request for the location of the nearest AA meeting taking place that night. (Although all is not lost, as they did also request a 12-foot boa constrictor and a sub-machine gun as part of the same rider).
Slayer – The California rockers have certainly got a sense of humour. In 2011 at the Fun Fun Fun Fest they requested 50,000 live bees, 100 white goats for slaughter and blood-proof umbrellas. The boys from Slayer aren’t just interested in ritualistic animal sacrifice though, as they also requested a Hogan’s Heroes DVD box set, four yoga ball chairs and a ping-pong table. Plus, two shoe-boxes ‘to hide our Grammy awards’ in, with the band helpfully suggesting that the organisers refrain from writing ‘Grammys’ on the boxes so as to maintain the subterfuge!