12 mega-sized tour rider requests

by Mark Teo

November 15, 2013






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The average touring band’s rider isn’t typically glamourous—most ask for a cheese plate, fresh pairs of socks, and, if they’re lucky, any beer that doesn’t come in brown bottles. The riders of veritable megastars, though, reveal a different story: For instance, Van Halen’s famous requests, including their famous bowl of M&Ms, were exacting, mostly because the band wanted to ensure that venues were actually reading the damn things.

Turns out, people were reading those riders—and, if we’re to believe site like the Smoking Gun, which curates touring requests, we’re plenty obsessed with ‘em. Why? Because stars ask for the craziest (and often most exorbitant) things. So, inspired by Samsung’s larger-than-life phone, the Mega, are 13 absolutely absurd—and absolutely true—things we’ve spotted on band riders.


A chinchilla

Photo: Flickr user Terrio

Requested by: Grimes
Wait, what? Turns out, Claire Boucher—who divulged this request on
her Tumblr—isn’t so ludicrous after all. She requested a chinchilla (or a cute bulldog, or a Pomeranian), which she requested be returned before the loud music started. Also, she’s adamant about having an eco-friendly rider, complete with reusable items and locally sourced food. Never change, Grimes.


A charitable donation

Photo: Flickr user Orinrobertjohn

Requested by: Adele
Wait, what? The English songwriter requests that everyone on her guest list, whether they were Adele’s or the venue’s guests, donate a non-negotiable $20 to charity. It’s the only odd item on her stripped-down rider; beyond that, she just requests cigarettes and candy bars—the usual stuff.


100 snow white goats

Photo: Flickr user Joannao

Requested by: Slayer
Wait, what? It’s true: Tom, Kerry and co. requested 100 snow white goats “for slaughter.” They also request blood-proof umbrellas and snack platters with sandwiches arranged in the shape of a pentagram, because… SLAYERRRRRR!!!!!


Food from Calgary’s Tubby Dog

Photo: Flickr user Andreelau

Requested by: Elton John
Wait, what? It’s not necessarily a rider request, but this one’s a worthwhile inclusion. Calgary’s
Tubby Dog is known for their gutbusting take on junk food, all-ages concerts, and their artful-meets-kitschy décor. Sir Elton is evidently a fan, too—he once requested they cater one of his chartered flights.


A silverback gorilla

Photo: Flickr user Lorenjavier

Requested by: Diplo

Wait, what? You heard us. A silverback gorilla—and it’s only one of the things requested by Diplo on what we’re nominating as the best rider ever. Things also listed: A Malawian orphan, a dart board with Nicholas Cage’s face, and a violinist to play while the band consumed its cheese platter.


A meat-free venue

Photo: Flickr user Rebeccajbrown

Requested by: Morrissey. Who else?
Wait, what? After having barbecue smoke waft onstage during Coachella, Morrissey had enough. (Indeed, many vegetarians hate the smell of cooking meat, but Morrissey’s comments at the festival—
“I can smell burning flesh, and I hope to God it’s human”—might’ve been a tad excessive.) He requested that all McDonalds be shut down at the Staples Centre, where he was performing, and that all no meat be served a full 24 hours before his concert.


An inflatable raft

Photo: Flickr user Degilbo_on_flickr

Requested by: Steve Aoki
Wait, what? If you’re not familiar with Aoki’s incendiary sets, this might come as a surprise. Yes, he asked for an inflatable raft. Yes, he was serious. He also asked for two cakes emblazoned with “DIM MAK.” He was serious about those, too. Because he’s been known to
surf across revelers in an inflatable boat, and he’s been known to smash cake in their faces. He’s also been known to whip out his dingle, but that’s story for another time.


A private jet

Photo: Flickr user Vxla

Requested by: Lil Wayne
Wait, what? As if his rider wasn’t ludicrous enough. Along with demanding a presidential hotel suite (
“1,000 square feet or better”) and security escorts from the airport, Weezy’s requested a private jet—just in case he needs to charter an emergency flight to Seychelles.


An obnoxiously expensive luxury car

Photo: Flickr user Kenjonbro

Requested by: Jay Z
Wait what? Turns out, Jay Z doesn’t like being far from his $8 million dollar Maybach. (Seriously, he has an $8 million ride.) According to his 2009 rider, which also includes wines from the Bolgheri region of Italy and Armand de Brignac champagne, Jay requires a black, tinted-window Maybach—a 57 or 62 only. Can’t dispute Jay’s tastes.


More condoms than anyone would ever need

Photo: Flickr user Paulk

Requested by: DMX
Wait, what? Arf arf. While condoms are commonplace on plenty of riders, X’s request is only notable for the volume he requested: His rider asks for three boxes, or 36 condoms. Say what you will about Earl Simmons, but dude has stamina.


An ice pick

Photo: Flickr user Mister Skeleton

Requested by: Foo Fighters
Wait, what? Dave Grohl and co. have some of the
best riders in music—the last time we checked, in 2011, they included a colouring book and word searches in their rider, detailing their love of well-stocked salads and their disdain for sweaty meats. Our favourite request? That venues invest in an ice pick to proper cool down the Foos’ beverages.


Red toilet paper

Photo: Flickr user Gaijin Seb

Requested by: Beyoncé
Wait, what? Who even knew that
red toilet paper existed? It, along with a brand-new toilet seat, are among Bey’s rider requests. Cosmo did a little digging and found out that the paper did indeed exist—and also provided a luxurious poo-wiping experience.

Tags: Music, News, Adele, Beyonce, Diplo, Elton John, Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Marilyn Manson, Morrissey, Samsung Mega, Steve Aoki






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