The weirdest music riders of all time

By Dan Prince, Illustrations by Ernesto Kofla May 2016 SPECIAL FEATURES Read in PDF format N9/2016
BACKSTAGE DIVAS A DJ’s rider in 2016 is pretty much boring shit. Good sound specs, drinks, towels and maybe some fruit – dull as you like. Sure, you get the odd exception such as Steve Aoki with his inflatable dinghy which used to be mandatory when he’d go crowd surfing or Annie Mac who used to list a pig on her requirements for a joke until a promoter in the UK actually had two piglets waiting for her. But it’s hardly rock star behavior; no machine guns, rose petals in the toilet or hookers on demand. So here we take a look at some of the craziest, most self indulgent and downright stupid things some of our favourite performers have asked for over the years.

Mötley Crüe

A schedule for the closest Alcoholics Anonymous meeting
A sub-machine gun
A 12-foot-long boa constrictor


A $300,000 bulletproof Mercedes-Maybach

Kanye West

Versace towels
All chauffeurs to wear only 100% cotton clothes – no manmade fibres 

Marilyn Manson

A bald-headed, toothless hooker


A late model Mercedes-Maybach (’57 or / ’62) with tinted windows
Two bottles of red Italian wine from the Bolgheri region
Nobody to vacuum within earshot


20 international phone lines
Personal dry-cleaning service
Yoga instructor
Light-pink roses that have stems trimmed to precisely six inches


A wooden pond to be constructed in the backstage area and filled with koi carp /

Mary J. Blige

Every hotel room to have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign punctuated with 26 exclamation points
A loveseat
Matching table lamps
Private toilet (with new toilet seat)

Lil Wayne

A police escort

James Brown

Two girls under 21
One ladies’ hair dryer

Pink Floyd
A miniature golf course

Jennifer Lopez
All coffee to be stirred only counterclockwise

The Rolling Stones

A room for their travelling snooker table

Mariah Carey

20 white kittens and 100 doves
Rolls Royce
Pink carpet and pink podium
Confetti shaped as butterflies
No busy patterns in the living room space, which has to be heated to 75 degrees
Bendy straws

LL Cool J
K1200 RS SE motorbike

Foo Fighters

Famous for their non-permitted items on tour:
No light sabers, garden gnomes, fireworks,
weapons, tridents or spiked bracelets

Iggy Pop and The Stooges

Seven dwarfs dressed as if they were due to meet Snow White
A BMW K1200 RS SE motorbike
One monitor man who speaks good English and is not afraid of death 

Paul McCartney
Nineteen leafy six-foot plants, four leafy four-foot plants, vegetarian catering only and absolutely no animal by-products anywhere


A luxury fivebedroomed home to be built within the grounds of London’s 02 Arena for him to use


Mini Babybel cheese
Small, clear, square vases with white tulips, if in season, and strictly no foliage (second choice: white Casablanca lilies with no foliage; third choice: white Freesia with no foliage)
A clean rug so she can walk on it in her bare feet


An American sign-language interpreter for their deaf fans /
Un intérprete de lenguaje por señas americano para sus fans sordos

Lady Gaga

One pink mannequin with puffy pink pubic hair
Old rock posters of David Bowie, Queen, Elton John and Billie Holiday
One smoothie station
Non-smelly, non-sweaty cheese 


Hair trimmers
Four dozen natural-scented incense sticks

Britney Spears

A framed photo of Princess Diana
100 figs and prunes 

Def Leppard
Very, very small plums

Lil’ Kim
Three walls covered in pink fluff

Pharrell Williams

One framed picture of Carl Sagan 


“Ideally – no less than 10 percent of all security personnel should be female.”

Gnarls Barkley

24 long-stem roses
A small bottle of Johnson’s baby oil

Christina Aguilera

“No Styrofoam or plastic goods shall be used in preparation of food, because of the state of the environment” Flintstones chewable vitamins

Ozzy Osborne

Three oxygen tanks available at load-in and the doctor must be able to administer a B12 shot.
Plenty of fire extinguishers.


A container of organic dried blueberries
A box of quality assorted olives
A variety of quality chocolates such as
Ferrero Rocher

Barbra Streisand

Rose petals in her toilet 

Jordin Sparks

A small jar of kosher dill pickle spears

Steven Tyler

A six-foot long mirror and a three-foot razor blade


A wig room 

David Hasselhoff

A life-size cardboard cut-out of himself

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Whole, pitted dates and raw unsalted cashews


Three boxes of condoms and one gallon of Hennessey

Nicki Minaj

Scented candles that must smell like baked goods
Buckets of spicy fried chicken – no thighs, lots of wings 


Juicy baked chicken, heavily seasoned with fresh garlic, season salt, black pepper and Cayenne pepper 

Katy Perry

A coffee table must be in Perspex in a modern style
A pair of floor lamps in a French ornate style
Two comfortable egg chairs
All drivers must not converse with her and be directed not to stare at the backseat through the mirror


Marlboro Lights
European lager beer, sandwiches without tomatoes
No citrus fruits or
Any fan scoreing free
tickets has to make a
donation to charity
– no exceptions

One Direction

Soft toilet tissue

Queen Latifah

A 12-pack of condoms and a bucket of KFC

Barry Manilow

That his fan club is given backstage access at 11am on the day of a show to decorate his dressing room

Jack White

No bananas in the building
A homemade guacamole recipe

Michael Bublé

A hockey puck from a local team wherever he plays

Guns N’Roses

An assortment of porn magazines





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