The Little Red Riders Book

NIGEL:…look this, this miniature bread. It’s like…I’ve been working with this now for about half an hour. I can’t figure it out…let’s say I want a bite, right, you’ve got like this…

IAN: You’d like bigger bread?

NIGEL: Exactly!

(This Is Spinal Tap, 1984)

I recently came across a book called The Little Red Riders Book, which is a compilation of notable band’s and artist’s riders from the past fifty years. For those unaware of what a “rider” is, a rider is a list of backstage requests from bands that is sent to every venue they perform at (The Bloodhound Gang’s rider is prefaced with a quote from the band: “Remember, a satisfied band means a satisfied audience.”). According to Steve Lamacq, who wrote the foreword to The Little Red Riders Book, a rider is “primarily chosen on the basis of three different things. One is pure largesse, the ego-driven diva style demands of the post-Spinal Tap generation. Another is based on the evil sense of humor (‘Where are they going to get Heinz baked beans in the middle of Texas?’). The third is straightforward practicality. Even at their Britpop height, the obviously hygiene-conscious Blur used to ask for four pairs of clean socks – not to mention four postcards from the city they were playing in. Who they were writing to I have no idea. Maybe they just needed to know where they were” (Lamacq).

The Little Red Riders Book contains highlights from all three separate categories that Lamacq cited: the ego-driven, the humorous, and the sensible. The following is a list of my personal favorite requests from the book:

 

MOTLEY CRUE

Kraft Mayonnaise

Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard

Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter

12-foot long boa constrictor

Submachine Gun

Local AA Meeting Schedules

KEITH RICHARDS

Guitar Straps

Chicken Sandwiches

Diet Coke

Cigarettes

Norah Jones

 

PRINCE

A Physician

All food must be covered in clear plastic wrap

JAMES BROWN

2 girls under the age of 21

Hood Hair Dryer

 

SAMMY DAVIS, JR.

An assortment of groovy chicks

 

AL JOLSON

A plaque on the dressing room door that reads: “AL JOLSON – World’s Greatest Entertainer.”

 

JANET JACKSON

Male catering staff

 

THE BEATLES

Coca-Cola

An ice cooler

Portable TV Set

Mirrors

Clean Towels

 

JENNIFER LOPEZ

White flowers

White tablecloths

White drapes

White candles

White couches

Coffee to be stirred counter-clockwise

Skittles

LIBERACE

132 Candles

22 Candelabras (24 carat gold)

Cape Rack

2 assistants (preferably boys between the ages of 15-19 of Filipino descent)

 

BUSTA RHYMES

24-piece bucket of KFC

2 boxes of Rough Rider condoms

 

FLEETWOOD MAC

3 bottles of Dom Perignon

1 bottles of Chateau-neuf Du Pape claret

Pimm’s No.1

Chivas Regal Scotch

Jose Cuervo tequila

Bombay Gin

ELVIS PRESELEY

Pot roast with gravy

Mashed potatoes with gravy

Corn bread with gravy

36 chocolate donuts

 

OASIS

Lots of Guinness

Lots of beer

Lots of red wine

Lots of vodka

Lots of whiskey

Doritos and dip

 

An actual document of the decadence of rock ‘n roll, the rider continues to enthrall the public and frustrate venue staffs. The following document is a recent rider obtained from Lady Gaga’s dressing room.

E.

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