Thursday, June 8, 2023

7 Musicians And Their Bizarre Backstage Food Demands

Brown M&Ms caused quite a stir back in 1982 when it was revealed that Van Halen wanted them banished from their dressing room candy bowl, as evidenced in their hand-written, 53-page rider. Little did we know, that was just the beginning of bizarre backstage food behavior. With even more types of food to chose from than ever before, today’s backstage food demands are even more specific and elaborate. Here are 7 examples: 

Pharrell Williams

The musician’s 2015 tour rider calls for Nilla Wafers, a bag of Goldfish (crackers, we assume), salted Kettle chips and grape jelly.  And a framed photo of Carl Sagan, for good measure. The rider also notes that Williams has “changed his diet” with a list of dinner ideas that includes “fish cooked well, preferably in a pan,” beef stew (grass-fed beef only) with carrots, sweet potatoes and yams. There’s also a long list of possible vegetarian items and a note that “most of the touring party is on the Atkins Diet.” Sounds fun.

Tenacious D

Mustard is the food focus of the band’s 2010 tour rider. The duo requires “1 Bottle of Brown Mustard (must be VERY tasty and delicious)” in their main dressing room and mustard that is “equally as tasty as the one in Band room” for the family room. Also on the list: a “large bar of dark chocolate (with highest percentage of chocolate possible),” and a large deli platter with “turkey based meats” and a cheese platter with “assorted cheddars.”


Adele’s 2011 rider not only asked for Marlboro Lights and a disposable lighter, but also an assortment of chewing gum, and a small plate of “freshly made, individually wrapped sandwiches” that “must NOT contain tomatoes, vinegar, chili or citrus fruit.” Adele also required her tour bus to be stocked with a selection of bite-size chocolate bars, including Twix, Aero, Milky Way, and Mars. And for boozing, to bottles of  the “very best quality red wine” and 12 bottles of “best quality European lager beer. “North American beer is NOT acceptable.”


An undated rider from the band requires “simpler meals or southern cooking” since the band is predominately southern. In fact, “anything prepared with tofu is a bad idea.” The band appeared to have a thing for comfort foods. “A good rule of thumb is that the more common the dish (spaghetti with meatballs, steaks, fried chicken, ) the happier the band and crew will be.” And to wash it all down with? A case of Hi-C assorted fruit juices. Surprise ending!

Brandon Flowers

According to the rider of his 2010 solo tour, The Killers frontman only allowed certain fruit preserves backstage, depending on the day of the week. Sundays and Tuesdays are reserved for strawberry, Mondays and Thursdays for apricot, and red raspberry jam on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


In 2009, before he realized he’d soon be sustaining on prison food, the rapper demanded “steak filet mignon butterflied well.” Nine of them. Oh, and they each had to be at least nine ounces.

Foo Fighters

One-upping their 2008 rider, which earned a place is the Rider Hall of Fame for requiring a selection of unopened cereals that are not recycled “from last night’s Dio show” and vegetarian soups, since “meaty soups make roadies fart,” the band’s 2011 rider is even more absurd, if not hilarious. Depicted to look like a coloring book titled, “Foo Fighters Field Guide To Food,” the rider disses croissants, contains a catering “dont’s” word hunt, and sketches out what a proper entree (and ice cubes) should look like — all in cartoon form.




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