Crazy Demands

Divas are gonna be divas. Ever since the first mega superstar back in Egyptian times was asked before their show, “Is there anything in particular we can do to make you comfortable?” the chronicles of divas making absurd requests has a long and very, very weird history. You might have heard of Van Halen’s “no brown M&Ms” demand. Kanye West has been known to ask for a barber’s chair in his green room. We all know Ye has some issues. Don’t get me started. Adele has banned organic honey in any of her pre-singing engagements. Organic honey. Go figure.

And the list goes on.

Now add to that list one Mr. Jack White. Check out the following link about a recent gig he did at Oklahoma University.

Is anyone really so surprised he’s made the list? The guy is pretty weird to begin with. Learning about his peculiar specifications isn’t going to rock the world to its core, but it’s still quite humorous to dissect for a little while. For me, anyway.

In the article, it says, “The most important function of a rider [aka the list of stupid demands requests] is that it lays out optimal technical specifications to ensure the audience has the best experience possible. For that, Jack hires a team of very qualified touring professionals who write the rider and attempt to execute a professional and pleasant experience for all involved.” And “Part of that is making sure that the tour personnel of about 30 people plus the local venue staff are fed. Contrary to what some believe, Jack doesn’t write the rider nor make demands about his favorite snacks that must be in his dressing room.”

My question is: How does the person at the venue (in this case a university) benefit from trying to follow a homemade guacamole recipe? I highly doubt OU hired a student from their culinary college or brought in a guacamole expert. It was probably the event planner or some underpaid (or unpaid) intern that was tasked with following the recipe to a T. The chances that they would get it right are pretty small if the “cook” never even tasted this particular type of guacamole before.

If the team has to be fed, why don’t they hire, oh I don’t know, a caterer? Or, here’s a wacky idea, order a pizza? Or, hell, buy some guacamole from the store? Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “Store bought guacamole, Wendy?” Let me tell you, these aren’t the olden days. Go to Whole Foods or other gourmet specialty grocery store and you’ll see that they make some fantastic guacs. But I digress, the question still remains, how in the world does the audience get a better show if the “team” is to be fed home-made guacamole?

And don’t even get me started on the no bananas in the building clause! How dangerous are bananas these days? Do they often show up with weapons now? Are they filled with Ebola? Are they now explosive à la the Acme Corporation? I’ve been racking my brain as to why they’re not even allowed in the building. Perhaps someone on the team is allergic or has a phobia (there are weirder fears for sure). If that’s the case how hard is it to keep any stray bananas in a bag that’s labeled “Bananas” just in case one does find its way into the green-room via a fruit basket?

Maybe Jack White has watched one too many Looney Tunes and now has a legitimate fear that a stray peel is going to go rogue and someone will slip and fall. That surely could cause the audience to have a less than optimal time. Or maybe not. Maybe it would enhance their viewing pleasure. Who knows?  The chances are pretty thin that this is a realistic possibility, but perhaps it happened in the past in which case who am I to cast blame.

One last little thought: Why do they care if the public knows their demands? If it’s as run of the mill as the PR press release makes it seem, why is it a breach of privacy and why does White’s camp seem to care so much?  It’s bad enough they have such demands in the first place, but if you’re getting paid $80,000 up front with an additional 90% of the ticket sales, you’d think you could take a little criticism.

Just another reason why I don’t understand celebrities. Does the crazy make the star or the star make the crazy?

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