POSTING BY JB MADDAWG
I must admit, when I first learned of the details of Britney Spears’ contract for her upcoming gig on television’s X Factor, I chuckled a bit at all the stuff she demanded backstage. In case you need to catch up to speed, Brit has included in her $15 million dollar contract a few items be present behind the curtain. Doritos snack packs, a dozen Snickers bars, four pints of potato salad and an endless supply of fried chicken. Oh, but it’s not for her, it’s for her family, since Britney is on a strict diet. Riiigggght. Just point of fact, Britney also requested 12 vases of magnolias and no less than 34 Herve Leger dresses. You know, those are the dresses that have the built-in Spanx that run around $1500 a pop. Well? Something has to keep the Dorito hips all nice and tight. Still, as riders go, this one is pretty tame compared to some.
Now, it’s no secret that performers have long since had riders, or contract attachments, included where they may be performing. Some of the more famous riders had the band Van Halen requesting a bowl of M&M candy backstage…minus all the brown ones while on tour. It had been argued if such a small detail as that had been missed, what else was overlooked? Safety? Wiring? Lighting? You get the point.
This is honestly a bullshit excuse. Our own Johnny Rants has some background in this area, and would be the first to bring up the fact that the poor sap that gets stuck rummaging through a bowl of candy is most certainly not a person that’s involved with stage prep. Those folks are usually part of several separate companies, and unions. There is no candy sorting union. The guy that had to do a menial task like M&M removal more than likely doubled as a gopher for the venue Van Halen was performing at, and the band would most certainly be aware of this. Following this line of thought to its logical conclusion, one must be left to determine the obvious. Van Halen is made up of self-indulgent assholes.
Curious about some other riders, grasshopper? Well, Katy Perry went on tour last year with a 45 page rider. The venues she played at were asked for simple things. A refrigerator with a clear door. Floral arrangements in Katy’s dressing room, NO carnations, which is understandable, being she is allergic to them. Also, two designer creme colored egg-shaped chairs and the entire dressing room piped with pink. Wait..what?!? This is the point someone should have told Katy to bring her own goofy chairs if she can’t sit her sweet ass on something normal. If celebrities and performers are just “normal people” like many love to argue, then maybe they should start acting like it. Case in point? The band U2 also has a famous rider. In the document, it says, “just feed us”. Simple, and to the point.
In fact, I’ll go one better. I’m “normal people” and work just as hard as these goofy performers. I think I should start making contract demands to continue here at The ThrowDown. Here are my list of demands to keep me performing at the best of my abilities:
- a cold cut and veggie tray provided before every typed post, or remote location video shoot.
- filtered water (strained through some sort of Brita device, no less than seven times)
- various packs of Topps baseball cards, with ALL Chicago Cubs players removed, but leave the chewing gum.
- a copy of Styx’s Kilroy Was Here, signed by all band members, including Dennis DeYoung.
- a various assortment of iPads, iPhones and an iTouch all loaded with every version of Angry Birds.
- a first run, original Stretch Armstrong action figure
- a circa 1960’s Gibson Les Paul, any color except sunburst or tobacco burst.
- a full case of beer. Nothing shitty like Keystone or Old Milwaukee, either. It better come from Germany or Ireland.
- dance lessons with either Kym Johnson or Lacey Schwimmer from Dancing with the Stars.
Think that about does it. You know, now that I look at my list, the other celebrities don’t seem so bad. I guess I’ll keep going here at the ThrowDown for free. And a copy of The Incredible Hulk, issue #180. Valued at either mint or near mint condition.