Musicians’ backstage demands at the VMAs

In Touch has details of the performer’s backstage riders at the VMAs and they’re really not all the demanding – except for Christina Aguilera, who is said to have had 41 items on her list, and LL Cool J, whose list is particularly expensive and detailed. I think that In Touch distilled this list down to just a few things for each musician. The Jonas Brothers prefer both regular and sugar free Red Bull, Vitamin Water and vegetarian sushi while Kid Rock wants socks and ChapStick.

Christina Aguilera
– 1 large boom box that plays CDs, no alarm clock stereos
– 1 full length mirror
– 1 space heater
– 1 table just for makeup and dressing
– 2 bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne
– 3 L’Occitane vanilla-scented candles with matches
– 1 cozy blanket
– 4 black bath towels
– 1 case of Arrowhead water

LL Cool J
– 1 black super stretch limo
– 14 airline tickets
– 14 hotel rooms
– 3 dressings (ranch, thousand island, honey mustard)
– 24 long-stem roses with no thorns, with individual water reservoir tips

– 1 lighted professional makeup mirror
– 2 Trish McEvoy blueberry candles
– 1 large, comfy sofa
– 24 Buffalo wings, hot sauce on the side
– 1 whole roasted chicken, spiced with jerk seasoning and cut into parts

Kid Rock
– 1 toaster
– 1 tube of ChapStick
– 1 pack of white crew socks
– 2 bottles of Grey Goose or Ketel One vodka
– 2 low fat yogurts (raspberry)
– 1 package of baby wipes

Jonas Brothers
– 8 Red Bull Sugarfree beverages, plus 6 regular Red Bulls
– 2 plastic bottles of room-temperature apple juice
– 12 bath-size towels (must be freshly laundered)
– 24 pieces of California sushi rolls
– 1 package of Oreo Double Stuff
– 6 bottles Vitaminwater (yellow, red, orange)
– 3 packages of Listerine Pocket-packs breath strips

[From In Touch, print edition, September 22, 2008]

I like setting up the guest room when people stay over and putting out towels, water, bath gel and hand cream and stuff. Sometimes I tie a little ribbon around the towel set, which I learned how to do in a Martha Stewart book. I think I would enjoy outfitting the celebrities’ dressing rooms and making them all special with baskets filled with their favorite things. Of course unlike the guests at my house no one would be thanking me for it and it would get tedious after a day or two. The people who do that job must chewed out regularly for forgetting small little details and/or not being able to read the privileged folks’ minds.

According, Van Halen added the seemingly strange request “no brown M&Ms” to their concert riders to make sure that all the more important requests about their technical and sound requirements were followed precisely. If there were brown M&Ms – they could be sure that the other details were skipped over too.

It’s about comfort for these stars rather than technical precision. The Jonas Brothers probably just want to get a nice caffeine buzz before they go on while Kid Rock has sweaty feet and needs new socks. I wonder what was in Britney’s rider. (Here’s what she asked for during her 2000 tour.) What would be on your list if you could get a bunch of stuff put in a room for you at work?

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44 Responses to “Musicians’ backstage demands at the VMAs”

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  1. Anna says:

    Oh I loved this post CB! I like how fun and personal and a good read it was.

    Here’s what I’d need, or rather: dream of, in my work room:

    36 fresh sushi rolls, mixed, at all times
    1 professional dresser (stocked with the entire Benefit Cosmetics range) + 1 full length mirror
    1 small closet with favourite outfits so I don’t have to go home to change when I need to interview different people
    2 cartons of mango juice
    2 loaves of German (i.e. real) bread
    1 vase with Casablanca Lillies
    1 fully equipped desk with photo printer
    1 really big, really comfy sofa
    1 TV
    1 indoor-fountain
    1 personal Tai-Chi trainer

    Ok, I’ll stop here. I think I could go on and on and that’s although I’m already more demanding than all the above mentioned stars together. Maybe it’s not so ludicrous after all, what they’re asking for, if we mere mortals can dream up such crazy lists in an instant!

  2. drm says:

    No colleagues coming sick to work…(she says up at 2:30am with a sore throat and swollen glands…) ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  3. Hilaryous says:

    Let’s see here:
    A liter of Captain Morgan
    A 2liters of Diet Coke
    Diet Pepsi Max
    1 box of Tangy Twister Mike and Ike
    1 box reduced fat Wheat Thins
    1 bag chocolate and nut trail mix
    a pack of Marlboro Lights
    A pack of Orbit Sweet Mint
    A digi camera
    flip flops
    hand held Tetris

    That’s all I can think of. I don’t know how much time I’ll have backstage, so I could go on forever and ever.
    A laptop with internet

  4. SeVen says:

    My Rider will include ( as im going to be famous one day!)

    Air Conditioned room – I hate to sweat
    A large organic cotton blanket, nice and fluffy
    A Case of Smart Water / Vitamin Water
    A Large Plate of Taco Bell food with no sour cream.

    Im such a diva ๐Ÿ™„

  5. Kaiser says:

    Baby wipes? Ewww…

    My list:
    Chilled Diet Pepsi
    Orange juice, low pulp
    10 pairs of flip-flops, all colors
    5 bags, Fritos
    1 bottle, Skyy Vodka
    Peanut butter M&M’s (10 bags)
    Lots of tulips (all colors)

    Man, I’m pretty low-maintence.

  6. My rider:

    3 vases of hydrangeas, blue & white
    5 bottles Gatorade G2, fruit punch, chilled
    1 bag peanut M&Ms
    2 sandalwood scented candles
    1 king-size Select Comfort 9000 bed outfitted with 800-tc sheets & Johnny Depp or Gerard Butler

  7. lady garden says:

    1 gerry butler-freshly washed and squeezed and 3 bottles of grey goose-job done

  8. Hollz says:

    oo, I don’t know!

    -Laptop with Internet for sure!
    -6 coffee flavored bottles of Starbucks
    -The Harry Potter & Twilight Books (my “comfort books”)
    – a pound of Mellocremes to which i’ve just become addicted
    – a case of Diet Orange pop
    – big comfy couch (ha, like the show)
    – lots of pillows and blankets
    – a white board with markers
    – cat supplies (I would so bring my cat with me)
    -chicken, lots of it
    – Kraft Original BBQ sauce

    That’s all I can think of – now. Lol
    Off to an interview, YAY!

  9. cc says:

    I would just like some towels, water, a comfy place to lounge, and probably a nice place to do my make up. Why would you need more? Maybe a robe? lol…

  10. V. I. Pete says:

    Since I was a person who stocked the dressing rooms of these types of things (mentioned above) for a while in my life, I want to assure you that rock and rollers are oblivious to the finer things of life. A red ribbon would barely be noticed. They kick ass on stage, but seem to be a bunch of farm animals in a cage where dressing rooms are concerned. When I think about it, from some of the behavior we see them display in these pages calling them farm animals is not so far from the mark. Ok Talented Farm Animals.

  11. Roma says:

    @ Kaiser: **Warning, Possible Overshare**

    My bf and I use baby wipes to clean up post-sex & they work perfectly! Maybe that’s what Kid Rock wanted them for…

  12. silentA says:

    These lists make me laugh.

    Slippers (cotton, breathable fabric)
    Large bowl of chilled Bing Cherries
    2 Lavender Yankee Candles
    Vase of lilacs
    laptop with internet
    Potbelly’s Tuna Salad on wheat (no mayo, no oil)
    Fountain Cherry Coke
    Woodchuck Ale
    A room with big windows
    Cable TV
    Squeaky dog toys
    Maybe a sweet papasan chair
    I’d bring my own blanket.

    ๐Ÿ˜› If they could make it rain, too. That would be sweet.

  13. Ron says:

    hmmmm backstage at the Mtv Awards….. My rider would contain:

    A family-sized pump bottle of lube
    A video camera

    Oh and a maybe a box of condoms…don’t need and hangers on….


  14. Codzilla says:

    Thanks for that, Roma. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  15. Nouvel says:

    Ok, so my rider would be

    3 pair of Karen Neuberger pj’s and matching socks for lounging

    The room lit only by a soft lamp and 20 candles from the Ritz Carlton Spa in clean linen

    A bed with fresh linens with a thread count of at least 1000

    The sound of rain and thunder in the room (softly of course)

    A plasma TV on at ALL times so I can watch the news or episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond.

    A massage therapist to rub my feet while I watch Everybody Loves Raymond

    Fresh fruit, including tropical and rare fruit.

    Oxygen infused water

    Aromotherapy in the room for relaxtion and focus.

    A dart baord with Sarah Palin’s face on it, and lots of darts

  16. daisy424 says:

    I’m with Xtina on the Lโ€™Occitane vanilla-scented candles, they are relaxing.

    Wonder what’s on Madge’s list besides a farrier’s file for her hooves.

  17. Anony says:

    I love browing rider lists. Sometimes the demands are really over the top (if you’re really attached to a certain brand of tea or cadle or candy, just bring it along instead of sending people across the globe scrambling). Sometimes I can understand that they have to be specific so that they’ll actually get when they can use.
    I read a rider once that had really detailed instructions on how the dressing room should be decorated (a rug, a couch, a desk, what kind of flowers etc) but even that makes sense (within reason) if the artist has been put in a bare concrete backroom at some point. If you’re living dressing room to dressing room then I can’t blame them for wanting it to feel like a living space, not storage.

    For me..
    – a tastefully decorated room with comfortable sofa, pillows, a blanket.
    – a secured wifi network (I’ll bring my own laptop)
    – a sushi platter, half vegetarian choice
    – 3 litres cooled mineral water
    – 2 litres fresh cooled orange juice
    – 1 litre cooled semi-skimmed milk
    – equipment for making tea (I’ll bring the cup and the tea)
    – a fruit platter
    – a blender

  18. Diva says:


    1. laptop with high speed wireless
    2. 2 dozen ripe nectarines
    3. Large bottle Robinson’s Summer Fruit Squash
    5. Box of Earl Grey and box of English Breakfast Tea, Splenda packets
    7. 2 gallons of milk
    8. Nachos, nachos, nachos (with LOTS of sour cream, lol)
    9. Microwave

    Man, I’m cheap. ๐Ÿ˜† and obviously hungry right now, lmao.

  19. DANA says:

    those have to be the WACKEST demands ever! they all asked for things they could have brought with them themselves. where are the ‘all yellow m&m’s’ ? or the bath tub full of avian water?

  20. Enonymous says:

    I can forgive the other celebrity request but LL Cool J’s ” 1 supper black stretch limo, 14 airline tickets, 14 hotel rooms”. Big ego much? He is not even that famous or important to make such big requests.

  21. JaundiceMachine says:

    You guys have got me craving sushi . . .

  22. Diva says:

    Mmmm…. sushi…. I know what I’m doing for dinner tonight.

    Without the rice.

  23. Cayle says:

    Here’s Mine:
    – a super-soft blanket and a down pillow)
    – a bottle of Chopin vodka (okay 2 bottles ’cause I’d take one home)
    – a bottle of very expensive champagne
    – for food I’d want Greek like flaming cheese and stuffed vine leaves
    – water bowl and Science Diet for my dog
    – Bird-of-Paradise flowers everywhere
    – Candles.. nice ones..that smell nice..

    Ohhhhh I could go on and on.. I’m sooooo not done. Good thing I’m not touring ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Enn says:

    Ha! In a past career I oversaw many greenroom requests and setups, and just can’t fathom even wanting my own. The riders I had to follow – let me just say, Xtina has toned it down a bit. (Worked on her twice.) JLo was probably the most beastly, and she wasn’t even performing at the event – just making an appearance. (Entourage of 26.) Pink was my favorite – she didn’t really ask for anything and was supercool.

    What I don’t get about things like the VMAs is, you’re usually in the audience for most of the show, so why do you need a fully outfitted greenroom of your own???

  25. Diva says:

    Enn, they were all performing, so I’m assuming there was alot of between time with rehearsals and getting ready.

  26. vdantev says:

    My Rider:

    -Case of Guiness, properly chilled.
    -case of 2 liter bottles of MT. Dew and Coke.
    -3 cases of bottled Evian water.
    -fresh grapes and apples
    -2 quarts of Ben and Jerry’s triple chocolate fudge ice cream.
    -4 large pizzas, 1 double cheese, 1 pepperoni, 1 beef and onion, 1 sausage and mushroom.
    -1 large bucket of KFC original recipe
    -ergonomic foam pillow in a 300 thread cotton pillow case and microfiber blanket.

  27. Kaiser says:

    DeadPirate & Lady Garden – You bitches better step off of My Gerry Butler!!! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    Oh, wait. He’s dead to me. I forgot. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Take him. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  28. TC says:

    I would pack my own personal items.. geez. But for the stuff that you can’t really travel with..

    1 comfy bamboo blanket
    1 white noise machine or cheap stand up fan with a remote
    Variety of feather pillows
    High thread count bamboo sheets and lightweight down comforter
    Organic cotton robe
    Make up mirror (lighted)
    Brita water filter pitcher and glasses (not plastic)
    Cottonelle rippled tp
    bath size towels, white, fluffy
    space heater if bathroom is not heated
    high quality blow dryer, ceramic or the like

    I am not such a diva, but if I had to sleep somewhere and keep a schedule that they are expected to keep, these things would make it easier.

  29. Lauri says:

    -Malibu banana flavored rum
    -Dole pineapple juice, small cans only
    -Taco Bell meximelts and beef burritos
    -a variety of magazines
    -TV with basic cable (at a minimum. Premium channels a plus)
    -Fruit20 peach flavored water
    -Catnip and catgrass
    -litter robot (for the cat, of course)
    -Large box of Godiva dark chocolate

    Ok. I’m ready to begin my world tour now.

  30. Anna says:

    Vdantev: I was waiting for your rider! ๐Ÿ™‚ Love it, btw.

    Actually, you reminded me of the thing I forgot: ice cream! I’d need lots and lots and lots of it.

    So here’s my addition to my rider:

    Peace of Cake, Caramel Chew Chew, Cookie Dough, Vermonster (all from Ben & Jerry’s obviously), Baileys, Strawberry Cheesecake, Pralines and Cream (Haรคgen-Dazs) and the Tiramisu one from Mรถvenpick. And I want two 500ml containers of each.

    I’d probably get really sick if I tried to eat all of those at once (or even half of those :D), but I’d like to know they are there.

    Oh yeah, and I forgot an organic cotton blanket!

  31. Chamalla says:

    *looks around current office*

    Chamalla’s Workspace Rider
    *chair with two arms, desk with four same-length legs
    *case of cold diet coke
    *bag of Reese’s cups
    *access to a coffee pot, sugar and creamer
    *power outlet
    *climate control

    My needs are simple. *shoves more postit notes under desk leg to balance, falls out of side of chair with no arm*

  32. Anna says:

    *pats Chamalla on the back* you can have some of my stuff too honey!

  33. babs says:

    I would ask for the following:

    128 ounce Mountain Dew Big Glup

    New metal skirting for my double wide

    Carton of GCP Methol Light 100’s

    New mud flaps for my ’89 Chevy truck

    Flame resistant hat to wear for when I light my cigarette on the gas stove cook top flame

    New denture cup for my 38 year old mama

    A new spiral perm

    $100 cash to take my 7 step kids to the carnival

  34. chaz says:

    -a folding chair
    -pump-action b.b. gun
    -a clear shot ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

  35. Mairead says:

    Chamalla – a balanced desk!!!!?!?! how feckin’ decadent are you!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Dana- I hope you’re meaning Evian water – I mean, even JLO would think that bird water is a tad specific ๐Ÿ˜‰

    vdantev – I hope you’re asking for chilled Guinness to catch the poor promoters out – Guinness should be about 16C. Anything colder is a marketing wheeze devised by Diageo in 1996. Gits ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    I love the riders section of The Smoking Gun so this is mine:

    *Clean dressing room with lit makeup mirror, with a comfy sofa and chaise lange – or recliner and cushions. Must not be leather.
    *TV with DVD player
    *Jo Malone/ L’Occictaine Verbana candle (or a nice not too flowery Yankee Candle or similar)
    *ensuite bathroom with shower facility.
    * Large clean soft towels – separate hand-towel and floor towel.
    *disposable cotton slippers.
    * pillows and duvet with 100% cotton duvet set.
    * Chilled water cooler or large bottles of mineral water.
    *1 bottle of Willow water.
    *Bottle of Robinsons no-sugar Fruit & Barley (any flavour)
    *Pepsi Max or Diet 7-Up (Coca-Cola and Sprite will incur my wrath)
    *huge container of gelatine-free jellybeans
    *honey-roast mixed cashews and peanuts and pistachios
    *secure WIFI and phone
    *tea and coffee making facilities to be intoned in the manner of Bill Bailey. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    *proper tea – Lyons or Barry’s Gold Blend ๐Ÿ˜‰ with a teapot and teacosy – proper crockery
    *a nice Fleurie/Merlot for the winter months/ a nice white or Rosรฉ for the summer month. (minimal amount of chill)
    *chilled Erdinger alcohol free beer and Erdinger Dunkel (proper glasses)
    *Murphy’s stout or similar micro-brewery stout
    *rubber gloves, washing-up liquid and tea towel

    ooooh – and a large lime Slushee ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. jess says:

    its so crazy how much you can learn about people just by reading what their riders would be

    *high quality greek yogurt (organic)
    *strawberries (organic)
    *blackberry honey (organic)
    *pineapples (precut but fresh) with grapes
    *pepperjack cheese
    *very salty cooked dill pickles (think smart and final or convenience store lol)
    *jalepeno stuffed green olives
    *diet mountain dew and diet coke
    *my boyfriend (:))
    *comfy couch
    *comfy blankets
    *perrier jouet champagne (real champagne flutes)

  37. enchantress says:

    ๐Ÿ˜† @chaz

  38. Flour says:

    Best. Post. Ever.

  39. K8 says:

    Awesome post! Here’s mine:

    -1 2-liter bottle of Sierra Mist
    -1 footlong ham and extra cheese Subway sub, toasted with lettuce and tomato
    -1 pack Orbit gum (surprise me on the flavor)
    -1 squishy lamb plush
    -1 pack of candy corn
    -1 black soft comfy blanket, warm
    -Air conditioned room
    -1 DVD player with a large-screen tv
    -1 black light
    -1 large poster of Robert Downey, Jr.

    Hmm… I think that’s it…

  40. lady garden says:

    Kaiser-i would share-but only if i got to go first

  41. gg says:

    Okay guys, lemme tell ya – if you’re going onstage that day, you don’t have a lotta time to be lolling around watching tv, eating all kinds of food and candy before you play, or taking bubblebaths. Let alone be burping or having bbq-related reflux. Sounds nice, but let’s be real. All you’re going to really do is maybe drink a beer and change your clothes. Most people are not terribly relaxed on the day of a gig, so you talk to lots of people and pace a lot. Trust me on this, I did it for 25 years.

  42. kate says:

    why in god’s name does kid rock need baby wipes?

  43. electric says:

    A shut companion and I’ve been discussing this for awhile now. Depending on a handful of in the thoughts that you’ve got set forth I’ll ought to possess the means to demonstrate to her that I”m ideal. She’s heading to owe me a drink or two. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

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