The eighties were the time of Van Halen. Whether it was touring or when he was at home, someone that was famous around the world needed to know he was staying safe. He had plenty of bodyguards, but he also hired two dwarves as extra security during a tour, dressing them in small S.W.A.T. Team uniforms, complete with handcuffs and sunglasses.
He called it a comfort, knowing that he could wake up in random hotels in the middle of nowhere and see his little friends watching over him. Having someone you can rely on is pretty important.
M.I.A. Wanted Three Backup Dancers
Yeah, that's the kind of title that raises an eyebrow, but it's not what you think – the Sri Lankan rapper requested the women to be backup dancers on stage. Usually, tours hire backups for the entire list of performances, but for some reason, M.I.A. wanted three different women every time she took the stage.
They had to be between twenty and twenty-five years old and had to be able to groove to the music – that's a direct quote. Maybe she was interested in getting people from the area, making each performance special. We guess there was a time when M.I.A. could make this kind of demand, but it wasn't a very long time.
The Foo Fighters Requested No Rocks
When The Foo Fighters hit the road in 2011, they sent out a fifty-two-page list in their rider. Among the coloring pages and games, one reasonable request was that the food served to the band should not include any rocks. They didn't want any lame food, which also included sandwiches and pickles.
The manager for the tour, Gus Brandt, came up with the rider, and Dave Grohl has said that Brandt always takes opportunities to show off his humor. Their first choice was to do a laminated Waffle House-style menu with suggested servings, but it proved to be too fiddly. Instead, they went with the coloring book.
Pharrell Williams Wants a Picture of Carl Sagan
For those of us who were around while it was on, there are plenty of fond memories of the Carl Sagan show “Cosmos.” Williams was one such fan and recounted that he was often blown away by what he learned on the program.
He now requests that his dressing room contains a framed photo of Sagan at all of his shows since it reminds him of how lucky we all are to be on a planet that supports us and lets us do what we love and what Williams loves specifically. A reminder of our small part in the universe at large and to make the most of it.
Adele Needed Her Cigs and Gum
Adele has one of the most powerful and famous female voices in the industry, so it's strange to hear that she often demanded Marlboro Lights in her tour rider, along with a lighter. Maybe there was some sort of special recipe that she did to get her voice so beautiful – we don't recommend trying it, though.
But Adele didn't want a smoker's breath right before going to meet with fans, so she also requested chewing gum to freshen up. Finally, the singer usually requests red wine – twelve bottles of the best quality possible. Hopefully, that's to celebrate another great set after performing.