When you’re a musician on top of the world, it’s easy to get a big head. And when you can request basically anything you want to be waiting for you backstage before a concert, sometimes it’s difficult to not get, shall we say, a little bit carried away. We tracked down the food that 10 world-famous music acts requested backstage, and it ranges from the hilarious to the downright bizarre.
When a music act goes on tour, their tour manager usually sends out what’s called a rider to each venue in advance of the performance there, listing what the band and other tour personnel requires backstage. In general, they’re pretty tame: some chicken or pasta for dinner, maybe a cheese spread, usually some tea and cough drops for the singer. Billy Joel, for example, asks for a light meal left up to the caterer, juice and sodas, sugar-free hard candy, Twizzlers, popcorn, and a fruit and vegetable tray, and that’s pretty much the norm (Justin Bieber only asked for some tea, Swedish Fish, and potato chips).
Some bands, however, take their backstage requests to the extreme. Frank Sinatra, for example, wasn’t happy unless his dressing room came outfitted with a bottle of Absolut, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, red wine, white wine, shrimp cocktail, and Life Savers. Other acts are very specific about what they want: Beyoncé demands juicy baked chicken “heavily seasoned” with sea salt and black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper, with only Pepsi products to drink, and Rihanna asked that hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, and turkey sausage be made available to her at all times.
While demanding that turkey bacon always be on hand might sound a little crazy, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Take Madonna, for example, who demanded 20 international phone lines, white and pink roses with six-inch stems, new toilet seats, a personal chef, an acupuncturist, and an on-site dry cleaner. Some acts use the rider as an opportunity to be a bit silly, like Iggy and the Stooges, who demanded that Snow White’s seven dwarves, in costume, be waiting for them backstage (no word on whether their wish was granted).
When it comes to being picky, though, food is usually the area in which musicians really let their fame get to their head. Read on to learn 10 of the most hilarious and bizarre backstage food demands that musicians have ever made.
While refinement might be the last thing you’d associate with this rowdy hair metal band, they apparently wouldn’t settle for regular yellow mustard: only Grey Poupon would do. They weren’t joking around, either: In 1988 frontman Vince Neil discovered that he’d been given the wrong mustard so he threw it at the wall. It shattered, severing an artery in his thumb. They also specify that only creamy peanut butter is acceptable.
The goth king demanded a food item that seems a little out of character for such a dark guy: Haribo gummy bears. He also asked for venues to track down a bald, toothless hooker, because he always wanted to see one (no joke).