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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Rock stars' odd requests revealed
Madonna is said to request a specific colour scheme
Riders - the list of requests provided by bands to venues of their backstage requirements - have long been the source of stories of rock and roll excess.

The riders can include anything - stage design, sound systems, and food and drink. But over the years they have also included snooker tables, washing machines, or the entire redevelopment of the stadium's dressing rooms.

"The bigger stadium bands are guilty of asking for some very ridiculous things," music journalist Julian Spears told BBC World Service's The Music Biz programme.

For example, the rock group Jane's Addiction, on their latest tour of America, asked for a room with an "earthy, velvet/velour-type atmosphere."

They also asked for washing machines and a room to jam in for two hours before going on stage - which had to have a "contemporary black leather atmosphere with potted indoor plants."

Repainted hotels

Pop icon Madonna once demanded - and got - her hotel room painted in a different colour.

Meanwhile one opera star - sadly anonymous - told her promoters that her dressing room was not big enough. Consequently a wall had to be knocked down and the room rebuilt.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
What's that smell? Ah, that'll be the aromatherapy candles...
With some stars, no is simply not an answer they want to hear.

"The bigger the star you are, the more you can have what you like," Mr Spears said.

US singer Christina Aguilera insists on different types of Flintstone sweets wherever she goes.

American group Korn, meanwhile, ask that a "rock-friendly" lawyer, doctor and dentist be present at all times.

Tales of rider excess range from extravagant to the bizarrely picky.

US rock band Limp Bizkit insist that all the lamps in their rooms be dimmable, while Mariah Carey insists on having bendy straws as she will not use straight ones.

And rockers Van Halen insist that back-stage celery is trimmed and not peeled.


Smaller bands can be demanding too. British band Mogwai once asked for a framed picture of Star Wars' Princess Leia.

Pop group The Polyphonic Spree ask for 200 bottles of water at the end of every performance - although given the size of the 23-strong group that may not be too outrageous a request.

Trimmed, not peeled, please
Dance star Moby, meanwhile, is particularly keen on fresh underwear being available for the end of his sets. In fact, socks are very popular on riders for many acts at festivals - due in part to the conditions the bands are often playing in.

However, one band most famous for their use of socks - US rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers - prefer a meditation room and a selection of aromatherapy candles.

Even those without such a rock star image can be demanding.

As well as demanding a plain dressing room - so his dedicated fan club can turn up and decorate it - American crooner Barry Manilow requests that the air temperature in the auditorium be kept at a regular 65 degrees.

Not all stars are so demanding, however.

US singer Beck, for example, contents himself with two packs of rice cakes, a container of hummus, bottles and cans of water, and some plain yoghurt.

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