The 12 Craziest, Booziest Riders in Celebrity Contracts
You can tell a lot about a celebrity by their rider, the list of a performer's dressing room necessities. Van Halen famously demanded every venue supply them with a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed, and while this was actually a technical safety measure, celebrities have been one-upping each other ever since, requiring increasingly egregious supplies. Here, the craziest, booziest celebrity riders.
Skip the velvet couches and silk divans. Yeezy opts instead for a barber’s chair backstage. While the equipment may ostensibly be for freshening up his look on the go, we like to think of the freshly shaven Kanye kicking back in the chair, sipping on some of the many spirits he requires everywhere he goes, including Hennessy, Skyy or Absolut, Patrón Silver and Heineken.
Meek just can’t make up his mind when it comes to backstage sustenance. According to Hot New Hip Hop, the rapper receives an eclectic feast at every show that’s anything but meek. It includes several kinds of fish, Chinese stir fry, BBQ chicken and shrimp, oxtail and jerk chicken, three types of pasta, veal, collard greens, red beans and rice and peas, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and all manner of grilled entrees. To wash all that down, the performer opts for seven bottles of Moët & Chandon, three bottles of Ace of Spades Champagne, five bottles of Cîroc, and two bottles of Patrón Silver. We sure hope Meek has help to take down that banquet, or else he’ll have to add “wheelbarrow to roll me onto the stage” to his list of demands.
Like Meek Mill, the Rae Sremmurd duo appreciate Champagne. TMZ reports they order two bottles of both Ace of Spades and Moët & Chandon, plus a bottle of Hennessy for good measure. They also require super soakers, beach balls and $300 in single dollar bills—you know, for tipping. Oh, and their airport pickup van has to be outfitted with a stripper pole and more Henny.
We can’t speak to white wine-spiked fruit smoothies, but we bet Lady Gaga can weigh in. Her 2009 rider specified two bottles of white, preferably Kendall Jackson or Robert Mondavi, plus a smoothie station, complete with frozen berries, Fuze, whey protein and nonfat Greek yogurt. On other tours she has also requested a bottle of Jameson, which we think would make a much better spiking choice for her fruit slushies.
Smell is nearly as important to a drink as taste, so creating an olfactory haven in a dressing room is a sure way to improve the rest of your provisions—as Katy Perry is well aware. While she requests just a few bottles of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio in her room, her preference for certain flowers goes way deeper. Her rider specifies: “Arrangement of fresh flowers—consisting of pink, white and purple hydrangeas, pink & white roses and peonies. OR if above is not available, selection of seasonal white flowers to include white orchids–ABSOLUTELY NO CARNATIONS.”
The next time you’re looking to arrange a romantic evening at home, follow Mariah Carey’s lead. Throw on “We Belong Together” on YouTube, dim the overheads, light Joe Malone vanilla candles, arrange a couple vases of white roses, pour a bottle of Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon—and heat up some fried chicken. Cary requires all of that before every show.
For some artists, the rider has become a creative work in itself. Unsatisfied with a simple laundry list of perks, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters annotated their rider, adding snarky commentary to their requirements. For instance, on the utmost important issue of Solo cups, the band members had this request: "Solo red or blue plastic cups. If Solo Cups are not available please find a store that sells 16-oz plastic drinking cups and then offer the shopkeeper some currency in exchange for said cups. Once again, you have the time of our booking to find this stuff. No snippy ass, tiny tim, two drops of dew in a cup sized cup, please. (This seems to be a European issue, so redneck caterers, don’t be offended.) I will call out a catering jihad if we do not have these cups.”
Similarly, the band expressed particular thoughts on limes—”By cut up limes, I mean teeny glistening green citric wedges”—and ice—“This is very important. No matter what country you live in (i.e. if you have McDonald’s, Best Buy and porno, then you gotta have ice).” But it’s not all jokes. The guys mean business when it comes to booze. Their rooms are stocked with 3 cases of Coors Light, half a case of microbrew beer, six 16-oz cans of Guinness, 12 bottles of Corona, three bottles each of red wine and white wine, and a bottle each of Crown Royal, Jägermeister and Skyy.
Ron Burgundy may prefer scotchy scotch scotch, but Will Ferrell prefers the black stuff. During a promotional tour for Semi-Pro in 2008, the comedian called for Guinness along with a few other items: a three-wheel electric mobility scooter, one flight of fake stairs, “one fake tree (approximately 15’-20’ tall) on wheels,” and “one rainbow (can be painted on canvas) on wheels.”
After hosting performer after performer, dressing rooms can get pretty gross. While some artists request spotless rooms scrubbed cleaned by a team of OCD Navy Seals—punctual cleanliness is especially important for Jay-Z, who doesn’t allow a vacuum within earshot of his room—Ne-Yo requires that his dressing room be cleaned in a very specific manner. The singer repurposes vodka, requesting a bottle of Ketel One be provided to be “used for cleaning.”
It should come as no surprise that Manson requires a bottle of absinthe in his dressing room—see: Mansinthe, the artist’s own brand of the devilish green spirit. But his rider also specifies Champagne, red wine, “imported light beer” and Pernod—absinthe’s wormwood-free cousin. It also specifically notes Haribo Gold gummi bears (“Must be Haribo Gold Bears.”) It’s rumored that Manson occasionally requests the venue provide him with a “bald hooker with no teeth,” but only as a joke.
CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse know how to appreciate the simple things in life. All they really need is some Henny, some Grey Goose, and some Magnum condoms. Oh and the supplies for PB&Js.
Even after they stopped drinking, Mötley Crüe members acted like, well, a motley crew. To avoid temptation, they requested a map of the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous meeting locations, plus non-boozy entertainment to keep them distracted, including a 12-foot-long boa constrictor, a jar of Grey Poupon mustard, and a sub-machine gun. You know, just the essentials.