Billy Idol noms on tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! before he goes on stage.
Now that we’ve got your attention, on to the boring stuff: The ‘rider’, made largely (in)famous by Van Halen’s iconic request for “no brown M&Ms,” is a sort of contractual addendum that includes a list of agreed-upon terms between two or more parties. For example, if someone was preparing a hotel room for the Foodbeast team as we toured the country in an all-inclusive Sriracha/coffee/weird-Tic-Tac-tricks convention/vacation, we might include with our contract a rider politely requesting rooms full of Macbooks, In-N-Out burgers and Jameson.
Riders can be seen anywhere legal jargon exists, but are most often used as instructions on how to prepare musicians’ equipment and/or green rooms. And while many are outlandish (wait ’til you see what the Foo Fighters requested in official, written, black-and-white words), most are also safety measures. David Lee Roth, for example, explains that he included his infamous proviso to ensure people were actually reading Van Halen’s tiny print.
Clever, guys, but now the world hates brown M&Ms.
Anyway, now that the factual stuff is out of the way, onto the fun! Photographer Harry Hargreaves says his photos capture “what famous musicians eat backstage,” but he really just read a whole bunch of riders and shot the weirdest requests, like Billy Idol’s unexplained desire for “One tub I can’t believe it’s not Butter!, Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies [sic]” (pictured above). Presumably, Britney Spears does not actually choke down a framed picture of Princess Di, and that really is just “corn starch” the Nine Inch Nails asked for. You know. For aesthetics.
We are, however, willing to bet ol’ Frankie Blue Eyes really did drink his way through seven bottles of booze. You go, Frank.
Britney Spears: Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.
Frank Sinatra: One bottle each: Absolute, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, white wine, red wine. Twenty-four chilled jumbo shrimp, Life Savers, cough drops.
Foo Fighters: Big-ass kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious.
Nine Inch Nails: Two boxes of corn starch.
Click here to see the full series of photos.
H/T + PicThx Vice