Thread: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

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  1. #1
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    Default the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    http://thirdmanrecords.com/news/for-god-sakes/

    There is a hubbub over Jack Whites rider right now. I've linked his response above.

    I still am not fond of the idea of riders being published for the public as they aren't the sort of thing the public tends to need or understand. In fact, not much happens other than to misconstrue everyone as a DIVA just because of rider requirements.

    I'd worked with Jack before and it was a great show and everyone was really cool, no DIVA there.

    I see a LOT of riders in my job. In the end most of what they want actually makes sense if you understand why they are asking for it. Some things might be impossible, some things only make sense when you factor in the idea that someone on the crew or in the band is allergic to bananas or that in the course of a 12 to 18 hour day to do a single show there are folks who need to eat. The road is their home and a nice meal isn't an unreasonable request.

    Like all work rules I encounter, everything on a rider was probably put there for a reason. Something led to that needing to be spelled out in black and white. Sure, there are a few DIVAs out there, and in my experience they are the minority.

    I have a distaste for the spirit in which the rider was presented. Having to knock an artist of his high horse - when he wasn't on one to begin with.
  2. #2
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    Back when I was in college, the student group got a national group with minor hit booked. They thought it would bring in major money, becuase everyone just loved this band. Not really, the ended up taking a bath on ticket sales.

    The student paper at the time did piece about a band's rider. They didn't print it, but did a very good job of describing why a tour asks for what seems like odd things. A good writeup, it explained why they are not being divas. "Unless you know the town well and have extra time to get to a good place to eat, you would be stuck with McDonald's every day." "Unless you ask for it explicitly, either a promoter may cheap out, or some intern will forget something basic. Java needs cups, spoon, creamer, etc...."

    Even when I email a band's tech requirements, stage plot, input list, monitor mixes, etc, I still like to follow just before the gig with a phone call to make sure they have no questions. I could just not call and wait to the day of the show and then have everyone running around trying fix the missed things.

    One guy a few years ago was surprised I called. He said that eveything we had was pretty standard, and no problem. I told him, I had too many times with the tech info never made into the right persons hands, or someone couldn't met the simple needs.

    Like you said, if it is in a rider, it is there for a good reason, that may not be obvious to someone that has never been involved with a live show.

    (Now I have to go call a casino about a show this Friday)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    Even if an artist IS on a high horse, it's not because of some 'secret tour rider THEY don't want you to know about!'

    Or whatever.
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  4. #4
    Has Many Personal Intergritys Expensive Boat Anchor
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    Seriously. It's all about nothing

    if you and your 6 friends were invited to a conference and were asked 'what should we get for you for lunch and for your waiting room and for dinner and for afterward...?" You might very well find that one of you wants coffee and another wants green tea and some weirdo wants cocoanut water and someone wants Oreos but someone else is trying to eat healthily and wants carrots and so on.

    Add to those 6 friends a support crew of up to 100 who no doubt have very different wants (and yet some are going to be inevitably vegetarian or gluten free or lactose intolerant), and you can see where the need for a rider sent ahead becomes the way to do business

    on the cher tour we had 125 traveling with the whole show.
    that's a lot of variable needs and wants. And not ONLY for the two stars and the bands and dancers and such.
    there are also truck drivers and riggers and security people.

    And yes some of what we in the bands, or the actual stars, want is clearly coddling.
    But when you're bringing the promoter 15000 ticket buyers to pay to see you a little coddling in return isn't too much to ask. The promoter isn't going broke, you may rest assured, by buying me a bottle of tequila and a jar of peanut butter backstage.

    And if you the public seriously resent my bottle of tequila or the fact that Cyndi wants no onions in her food for HER dietary or health reasons that's really your psychological problem.

    But i'm sure this student 'journalist' has a bright future making up controversies where none exist for Fox News.
  5. #5
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    I have the same bad reaction to commenting by people not in the industry when they approach other topics like payments, costs of touring, piracy, and so forth. It's fair enough that if you aren't doing this for a living you are unlikely to know anything about how that works. In that same way, the average person can't understand a rider. Even folks in bar bands don't know the what or why in contracts and requirements to do a stadium gig. It's too much of a totally different beast. In the meantime I'll just be disappointed that I find articles like the one about Jack Whutes rider were written with intent that is s little ugly.
  6. #6
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    The other way I look at it...

    The people that buy the tickets want to see the a top notch show. They want to see the artist give his all. And then the next night in a different city they want the same thing. After sleeping on a bus and not sure what city you are in, if you feel that certain food, brand of food, flowers, a nice looking dressing room, etc gets your head back in the game so you can give your all in a few hours, the so be it.

    It is not being a diva. No one looks at sports star and questions the workout equipment and food he needs for his body to give his best, why would you not think that a performer has those types of physical needs as well as mental.
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  7. #7
    Frustrated Chick Rock singer...now doing jazz standards poorly! Fletcher's prison bitch
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    I dunno much, but as an occasionally-performing-musician, I know I'd love to walk into a blind-date deal and find out Pounce or Spock were in charge.

    Some of the best shows I've been involved with - as a musician or tech - were immersed in stress.

    Years ago, on a "tech-assist" gig, I tripped over myself to find Evian for Edie Brickell. Was made to understand that the show WOULD NOT START until I made this happen. I got it done, and I don't remember clearly... but I'd almost be prepared to swear in front of a jury that she never drank a sip of it.

    I once had the guitarist in the headlining band we opened up for bark: "Leo, get your amp" when his own rig died mid-set. I complied with 0% hesitation. I was aiming to please/impress/suck-up, yes, but I also couldn't bear the dead air. The show had stopped. The performer needed an assist.

    Make It Happen. Fight About The Money/Politics/BS later. Who wants to go to bed at night knowing they didn't give their all?

    If "ALL" happens to include indulging the artist some essential comfort, then so be it.

    That said, it's fun to read the Riders of The Greats.
  8. #8
    Comfortably dumb Commissioner of Rock and Roll!
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    The other way I look at it...

    The people that buy the tickets want to see the a top notch show. They want to see the artist give his all. And then the next night in a different city they want the same thing. After sleeping on a bus and not sure what city you are in, if you feel that certain food, brand of food, flowers, a nice looking dressing room, etc gets your head back in the game so you can give your all in a few hours, the so be it.

    It is not being a diva. No one looks at sports star and questions the workout equipment and food he needs for his body to give his best, why would you not think that a performer has those types of physical needs as well as mental.
    This is certainly the beginning of the misunderstanding.
    People don't now what it means to have to live up to huge expectations under surprisingly different circumstances on a day-to-day base. You have to basically carry along your comfort zone and unfold it successfully daily.
    It's funny, in Germany we had a huge outcry over the discussion of a weekly veggie day in canteens, but the same people snicker about other peoples demand for guacamole...

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    When I toured a lot, one thing I learned very quickly was how easy it is to take the comforts of home for granted. There is so much that is part of your daily routine that you don't realize you can't take with you. For a couple of weeks here and there it can be a fun adventure - but when you're on the road for several months out of the year, your home is what you bring with you + what's at the venue.

    Venues with a restaurant attached are amazing because then you get free food that isn't taco bell or Denny's. Hell, even Cracker Barrel became something of a treat, just because there's consistency from place to place.
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  10. #10
    Has Many Personal Intergritys Expensive Boat Anchor
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    At the level I'm touring, or jack white is, there is on site catering.
    But that too needs to be what makes you comfortable.

    And what you can eat.
  11. #11
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    My point is at that level, even Jack 'look-at-me' White needs some consistency. Because he is a human being.

    It is his job. I wonder if the same people who object to the contents of the rider would object to any perks from their employer.
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    There are some riders that are ridiculous, where the demands made don't match the level the artist is performing at (usually people who had a single hit in the 80s and have done nothing since). These, however, are rare. The majority are sensible when you look at the reasoning behind them. And the only rider that should ever be made public us Hayseed Dixie's, because it was hilariously entertaining to read (in a good way) and obviously written by someone who has been around the block a few times and just wants to have a good gig. That particular gig was one of the most fun gigs I've done in my time.
    I'm probably talking shit.

    "Mixing most 'heavy' records is like trying to find order and lucidity in a recording of a Cathedral Pipe Organ, all stops out, randomly veering between Handel's Messiah, Ginestera's 2nd and a coupla Bach Fugues, in a Titanium kitchenware foundry, while a gaggle of enraged PCP snorting gorillas with bullhorns conduct a demolition derby with cement mixers against the soothing cacophony of a nearby landslide/tsunami/heavy artillery exchange."- Slipperman
  13. #13
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    Default Re: the hubbub over Jack White's rider

    It doesn't take more than a quick talk about realistic cost of services to realize most 19/20-year olds (presumably, the approximate age of that school paper "journalist") have absolutely no clue.


    otek
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