Because music stars will settle for nothing but the best
Ben Butler

15:12 20th May 2016

When you reach the level of fame that these musicians have, it's natural you'll want more than a couple of bottles of water in your green room. However: Beyonce, Iggy Pop, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Jack White, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, RHCP and more might be taking the piss a bit with their incredibly bizarre rider requests.

From boa constrictors, to kittens, to odourless cheese and oxygen tanks, these musicians have well and truly set the bar for the most insane requests. With help from The Smoking Gun, we take a look at these crazy tour riders.

  • Van Halen: Perhaps the most infamous rider of all time, Van Halen's 1980s contract stipulated that M&Ms must be provided - but that all the brown ones must be removed, and that failure to do so could result in cancellation of the contract. It's all a bit Wayne's World, right?

  • Katy Perry: KP's dressing room flower arrangement are on another level here. Perry requires only "White and purple hydrangeas, pink & white roses and peonies". And, if those flowers aren't available, she will settle for a "selection of seasonal white flowers to include white orchids". However, promoters are advised, "ABSOLUTELY NO CARNATIONS". That warning is, naturally, underlined. Chauffeurs are also not allowed to "start a conversation w/ the client" and are even directed not to look at her. She sounds like a barrel of laughs.

  • Rihanna: According to her 2010 world tour rider, Rihanna is also rather particular when it comes to candles, flowers, and seating in her dressing room. A six-foot couch needs to be "White, Cloth, Plush (No leather)" and "wide enough for her to stretch out on and sometime take a nap". And, crucially animal print throw pillows ("Cheetah, Leopard") cannot have sequins. Because, that would just lack taste.

  • Motley Crue: Requesting 12-foot boa constrictors, a jar of creamy peanut butter, some Grey Poupon mustard, and, oh, a sub-machine gun once - these guys struggled a bit to get everything on their ridiculous rider.

  • Mariah Carey: Carey's bizarrely written rider requests, "no busy patterns; black, dark grey, cream, dark pink are all fine". Because, when she's getting ready to perform, she cannot have her mind wander while looking at some crazy tartan. For a recent London performance, she also requested a Rolls-Royce, 80 security guards, 20 white kittens and 100 doves" which might be a little excessive.

  • Jack White: White's 2014-15 tour rider intensely details the provision of a "FRESH HOME-MADE GUACAMOLE" which must be "tested". He also makes sure to warn the promoter to be, "careful not to mush the avocados too much, we want it chunky". Wise words. There is also a completely bizarre final note about a specific fruit objection, "PLEASE NOTE: this is a NO BANANA TOUR", "We don't want to see bananas anywhere in the building". We guess White had a bad banana experience, perhaps a cartoony banana slip?

  • Madonna: The outrageous requests of Madonna include an ability to house a 200-person entourage, and 20 international phone lines. Not forgetting a backstage room that looks exactly like her home (don't worry she offers to ship her furniture).

  • Marilyn Manson: The insane singer once famously requested a bald-headed, toothless hooker. And, also a few bottles of Absinthe and some Haribo gummy bears on a lighter note.

  • Britney Spears: Whatever you do, don't let Britney receive a call in her dressing room. Publishing of her number or receiving any calls that are unsolicited will result in a $5000 fine payable by the promoter. That is a little steep, especially for a 5 second call about getting PPI.

  • Mary J. Blige: A clean and carpeted dressing room isn't really a strange request, nor is a private bathroom either. But, Mary J. Blige takes it a step farther when she adds that the toilet seat must be brand new. That's a new toilet seat for every show, those costs have got to rack up.

  • Coldplay: Chris Martin and co. require a variety of alcohols (following the trend) but crucially, "NOT STELLA AND NOT U.S. BEERS" - for anyone who has experienced a Coors Light they might be onto something. Socks, a bunch of flowers, and 8 stamped, local postcards are also required, which is actually kind of sweet.

  • Lady Gaga: This pop-singer has quite a few unusual needs. Gaga requests cheese, of the odourless variety (does that even exist?), a "whole roasted chicken" and at the top of the rider a reminder: "THE HONEY IS VERY IMPORTANT".

  • Beyonce: The diva%u2019s main food requirement is. "Juicy Baked Chicken: Legs, Wings & Breast only", and crucially these must be lovingly seasoned with - "fresh garlic, season salt, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper HEAVILY SEASONED!!" I guess performing so many hits, and dancing around a bit does really work up an appetite. As for drinks, the star's endorsement deal limits her beverage choices, "Beyonce can only have Pepsi products. There cannot be any competitor%u2019s products anywhere she or her entourage may be photographed".

  • Brandon Flowers: Flowers%u2019s insists on a weekly liquor schedule that alternates between Absolut Vodka ("Monday, Wednesday, Friday") and Jack Daniels ("Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday") which is what we all did at Uni when we'd been sick the last night. It doesn't end there though; Flowers has a very important jam schedule. Sundays and Tuesdays are reserved for strawberry, Mondays and Thursdays for apricot, while red raspberry jam may only be served on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. WTF.

  • Kanye West: Kanye’s requests sound more like a product list from Superdrug. West requires two tubes of lip balm, a toothbrush and paste, Neutrogena shampoo, L’Occitaine soap, Hand Sanitizer, and a load of moisturiser. Because, you cannot get bad skin when performing.

  • Snoop Dogg: Snoop Dogg's 16(!) section rider could be the most complicated here. Snoop requests a Sony Playstation with miscellaneous 1999 sports video cartridges, i.e. Madden 99, NBA, and four controllers. Which sounds pretty fun, and a pain to source. Whether, he still opts for the old console is unclear.

  • AC/DC: The members of AC/DC have gotten so old now that the band requires three oxygen tanks and three masks. That's one requirement on the AC/DC 2008 tour rider, which also features a crucial, "no beer in dressing room prior to show". Clearly, they all still can't be trusted.

  • 50 Cent: Not once, but twice does fiddy give us a reminder that "SHRIMP MUST BE KEPT ON ICE". He will not settle for anything but the coldest. It also paradoxically reads "THERE IS TO BE NO BEEF (except where noted) OR PORK IN THE FOOD OR VICINITY" of his dressing room. 50 also fancies his chances with the ladies, requesting "2 boxes of Lifestyles & Rough Riders condoms"

  • Cher: Two words: Wig room. That’s right, a dedicated area for her fake hair. What else is there to say really?

  • Foo Fighters: Described as the group's, "Field Guide To Food Coloring Book And Activity Pages" the rider opens with a drawing of frontman Dave Grohl shredding with a fork and knife in his hand. Bassist Nate Mendel talks what constitutes a delicious breakfast and drummer Taylor Hawkins explains the difference between a good and bad salad in what is one of the greatest, funniest tour riders ever.

  • Bjork: The Icelandic pop star requires promoters to line up sessions for her with either a masseuse, acupuncturist, or reflexologist, and this is obviously, "very important to her," the rider notes. The 2007 document shows she takes her own chef (Numi) with her, which probably saves the food worries of other stars.

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: A meditation room with all walls draped in a dark colour (preferably not blue) is required here, as well as aromatherapy candles to really set the mood for when they're ready to start slapping that funky bass. One pair of cotton boxers are also required, which we don't really want to think about too much.

  • One Direction: The group provides concert promoters with a 32-page production rider, a 40-page security plan, and a 23-page risk assessment report, among other documents covering its sold-out stadium shows. One highlight from the 2015 book tells us Harry Styles and those other guys are so committed to hydration that if they are going to be in a car for journeys, "Cover 15 mins duration, a cooler with refreshments (water, soft drinks) should be provided". Dessert must also be homemade and they offer choices like fruit tarts, cobblers, ice cream, and profiteroles (which are a favourite of Niall Horan).

  • Axl Rose: Including more traditional rock and roll requests like, "wines, beers, vodka, red and white roses" Axl has one rather unusual desire, an %u201Cexotic%u201D item that "absolutely can%u2019t be missed". And, that is a square melon. Whatever happened to rock and roll.

  • Iggy Pop: Iggy pop had one of the greatest riders of all time. But, his updated version isn%u2019t half bad. In addition to the longstanding demand for the provision of a Bob Hope impersonator, Iggy asks promoters for "Seven dwarves, dressed up as those dwarves out of that marvellous Walt Disney film about the woman who goes to sleep for a hundred years after biting a poisoned dwarf, or maybe pricking her finger on a rather sharp apple%u2026 or something". Its writer also said to not take any credit for the list, as it was channelled by a Ouija board.

Photo: WENN