Iggy And The Stooges Rider: The Best Bits
Written by Alex Langlands on 18th December, 2012
Taking things beyond outrageous requests, the man behind the Iggy rider, Jos Grain, has created a mammoth 28-page document, which outlines the requests for the band – amongst several stories, reality television ideas, and justifications for their requests. We’ve put together the best bits of this rider for you.
Iggy, who is set to perform at next year’s massive Byron Bay Bluesfest, surely must have made an identical request, which would have resulted in many, many office laughs before some poor intern had to decipher the document and distinguish what was real and what was a joke.
Before we start, for those who don’t know, a ‘Backline Requirement’ is essentially what the artists require onstage. This may include amps, musical instruments, stage layout etc. It’s pretty easy to understand what should be on a stage, right?
Anyway, after requesting two Laney Nexus cabinets and three Laney Nexus Tube bass amps, the rider makes the following comment:
Please make sure they’re good ones or we’ll all end up as wormlike web-based life forms in the bass player’s online literary diahorrea. Honestly. He’s like a sort of internet Pepys or Boswell, except without the gout and the syphilis. For all I know. (I bet I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking “Laney Bass Gear? I didn’t know Laney made bass gear”. Well, they do! And very good it is too. Some time, you should try it out, and if you run a hire company, you should buy some and start renting them. They make Ampeg gear sound like er… Ampeg gear. Anyway that’s not the point is it? If you were thinking what I thought you were thinking, i.e. that you don’t have any Laney bass gear, we will have to have Ampeg instead, won’t we? Happy now?)
The rider later returns to the writer’s love for Laney, continuing:
I still think it’s a damn shame you don’t have the Laney’s, but never mind. I’m sure Satan will find a suitable way to punish you in the hereafter. Or the thereafter, depending on where you are standing at the time. – Note to promoters, just get the Laney cabinets and amps.
Monitors are essential for live performances; however, just like a plane is useless without a pilot, a monitor is useless without an operator. To stress the absolute importance of this, Mr. Grain delivers quite an amusing story about a tour in Spain. After requesting the need for knowledge, the rider delivers the following justification:
For example, in Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia in Northern Spain, they appear to think – if they just ignore riders like this, then supply a fat, bearded, ignorant hippy with a digital monitor desk (doh!) who doesn’t know s**t about e- cueing, and monitor wedges that would be better suited to wedging doors open, and a load of stage managers and PA geezers and promoters reps who shout a lot – that this is the same as actually providing what the band needs in order to do a gig to the best of their ability. And that if they deny that their gear is no good, it will suddenly, mysteriously, become good. Well, I would just like to say that the next time Iggy and the Stooges get booked for their festival, I’m going to turn up with some pickled eggs, a small blue vibrator with a jelly dolphin balanced on the shaft, a set of dog-eared encyclopedia ! dia with the volume E-G missing, and a screwdriver that’s been accidentally dropped in a lavatory.
And then, when they say, “That’s not Iggy and the Stooges”, I’m going to say, “Yes it is!”
And then they’ll say “No it isn’t”.
And I’m going to say, “Yes it IS!!!”
See how they like it, the f**kers!
And so, for all budding promoters out there, do not book Iggy and The Stooges if you cannot deliver, otherwise you will have to explain why some pickled eggs, a small blue vibrator with a jelly dolphin balanced on the shaft, a set of dog-eared encyclopaedias, and a screwdriver covered in s**t are onstage as opposed to Iggy Pop and Friends. If you can wiggle yourself out of that situation, maybe you should consider a profession in public relations, or alternatively speak to Heatwave Festival about where they went wrong and give them a few pointers.
Camermen (and women)
It’s clear that Iggy does not like camera personnel on stage whilst performing, and justifiably so. However, just to ensure that there is no one on stage, this light-hearted description of what will follow provided one does step on stage should surely ensure that it does not happen, you’d hope for their sake. For our sake we hope one does step onstage to see if anything actually happens; could be a decent laugh.
Please do keep the stage area clear from all liggers, photographers, anyone who thinks or pretends to be a photographer, even if they say I am the festival photographer it doesn’t matter they should not be on stage… Because the fact is, as soon as you push a camera into the face of an artiste, you completely change the nature of their performance. The Stooges do try to give their audience a great show, but I think there is nothing more soul-destroying than to see a band on stage surrounded by cameramen and their assistants scurrying about like bazooka-wielding hobbits. At a wet festival somewhere I once saw a guitarist being followed all over the stage by a cameraman and sidekick all covered in bright fluorescent plastic sheeting, including the camera. It looked like he was being stalked by a demented pantomime horse! I personally thought it looked absolutely terrible, and I speak as someone who believes that most rock and roll bands would be improved by the introduction of a pantomime horse. Take the Rolling Stones as an example; if you could guarantee that there was going to be a pantomime horse, it’ would be almost worth going to one of their concerts.
He finished off with:
Oh yes, and Iggy adores breaking cameras. Did I mention that?? So really it’s best not to get too close to him. Especially if he looks at you in a funny way. And cameramen – if he heads towards you looking like he’s about to grab the camera – he’s probably about to grab the camera. It’s a sort of clue…
Bit of a note to self: whilst photographing next year’s Bluesfest gig, don’t go anywhere near Iggy with my trusty Cannon.
Well we’ve arrived at the end; however, it just so happens that it’s the best bit: three outrageously hilarious requests for the band’s dressing rooms. I won’t say much more, but I’m glad that someone has a sense of humour in rock these days, because we desperately need it.
Somebody dressed as Bob Hope doing fantastic Bob Hope impersonations and telling all those hilarious Bob Hope jokes about golf and Hollywood and Bing Crosby. Or the baby joke “oil this kid? But he hasn’t done a 1,000mlies yet” Oh God, I wish I’d been alive in those days, so that Bob Hope could have come and entertained me in some World War 2 hell-hole before I went off and got shot. What joy they must have experienced… OR
Seven dwarves, dressed up as those dwarves out of that marvelous Walt Disney film about the woman who goes to sleep for a hundred years after biting a poisoned dwarf, or maybe after pricking her finger on a rather sharp apple… or something. What was the name of that film? Oooh, it’s on the tip of my tongue.
Was it Cinderella? Doesn’t matter, we just want the dwarves. Taller people are acceptable, of course. It’s attitude, more than altitude, that’s important here. Don’t forget the pointy hats!
If neither of the above are available we will settle for a belly dancer. In fact, she can use my belly to dance on…
Iggy and The Stooges will be performing at Byron Bay Bluesfest in March next year, alongside several sideshows across the country.
Iggy and The Stooges Australian Dates (with guests The Beasts of Bourbon)
Monday, 25th March
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Wednesday, 27th March
Festival Hall, Melbourne
Tuesday, 2nd April
Hordern Pavillion, Sydney