Mariah Carey wants Cristal Champagne and bendy straws, Lady Gaga won't eat your smelly cheese, the Foo Fighters demand "big-ass kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious," and Rihanna may want turkey sausage at any time of day. Please be prepared!
A rider is a contractual proviso that outlines a series of stipulations or requests between at least two parties. While they can be attached to leases and other legal documents, they’re most famously used by musicians or bands to outline how they need their equipment to be set up and arranged, how they like their dressing room organized, and what types of food and beverages they require. Anyone who’s seen Spinal Tap knows these requests can be extremely outrageous and unreasonable. (And, in the case of Iggy Pop's, unexpectedly hilarious.)
I was inspired to create this series after reviewing a few riders from some of the biggest acts in the world, all of which were ridiculous. But what I found most interesting about them is that they offered a glimpse into their larger-than-life personalities.
I initially thought I would try and shoot all of the items listed on the catering riders but quickly realized that this would become an exercise in wasting money. So I decided to focus on the quirkiest requests and shoot them in a Flemish Baroque still-life style because I felt that there was a direct connection between the themes in these types of paintings and the riders: the idea of time passing and the ultimate mortality of a musician’s career as the limelight inevitably fades—they only have a short time in which they are able to make these demands and have them fulfilled.
Photography and Direction: Henry Hargreaves
Prop Styling: Caitlin Levin
Twenty-four long-stem (dethorned) red roses.
Fresh Wonder Bread (white), Dom Perignon
Juicy baked chicken, heavily seasoned: garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Beyoncé can only have Pepsi products.
One tub I can’t believe it’s not Butter!, Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.
Twenty-four pieces of fried chicken, Rough Rider condoms, Guinness.
Big-ass kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious.
One bottle each: Absolute, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, white wine, red wine. Twenty-four chilled jumbo shrimp, Life Savers, cough drops.
Small plate of cheese (nonsmelly, nonsweaty), on ice.
Cristal Champagne, bendy straws.
New Kids on the Block
Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Oreo cookies.
Nine Inch Nails
Two boxes of corn starch.
Coffee and tea setup, including honey, lemon, sugar, cream, fresh ginger root. Physician will be used to administer a B-12 injection.
Hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, at any time throughout the day. Please be prepared!
Herring in sour cream, large tube of KY jelly, M&M's (Warning: absolutely no brown ones).