Lists — June 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Inside The Weird Backstage Food Requests of Famous Musicians


Henry Hargreaves is a New Zealand still life, art and fashion photographer working out of his studio in Brooklyn, NYC. While he has always had a passion for photography, he actually worked as a high-end fashion model for four years before switching to the other side of the lens full-time.

In a recent feature on Vice, Hargreave’s went through the concert riders of the some of the world’s biggest musicians and decided to photograph what he found were the most interesting/ridiculous demands. The catering riders were very comprehensive, so Hargreaves decided to narrow down on some of the more unusual requests found in the contracts.

“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.”

Hargreaves said that what attracted him to the series was “the way their requests manage to say something about the performers personality that words struggle to,” and the way they “were able identify with them through what they chose to eat and drink.”

The riders were originally obtained from a section on The Smoking Gun called Backstage, which aggregates and publishes the contracts from major musicians.



Axl Rose

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.


Billy Idol

One tub I can’t believe it’s not Butter!, Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies.



Britney Spears

Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.



Busta Rhymes

Twenty-four pieces of fried chicken, Rough Rider condoms, Guinness.



Foo Fighters

Big-ass kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious.



Frank Sinatra

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. 



Lady Gaga

Small plate of cheese (nonsmelly, nonsweaty), on ice.



Mariah Carey  

Cristal Champagne, bendy straws.



Marilyn Manson

Gummi bears.


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!



Van Halen 

Herring in sour cream, large tube of KY jelly, M&M’s (Warning: absolutely no brown ones).