Iggy Pop's Contract Rider
October 24, 2018 8:04 PM   Subscribe

Of course it is. Mostly written by Jos Grain, producer. Long, so keep reading or skimming. Very funny except when it's not.
posted by MovableBookLady (48 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Heh.
Catering Requirements

First of all, can I say what a pleasure it will be to work with you all. Probably.
Secondly, and rather more importantly, I will be working for the Stooges on the day of the show. I personally do not drink alcohol, I don't like soft drinks, I am rather too fat to be allowed near chocolate and cakes, and I get paid enough to buy my own drugs and dinner. So I would like you to donate, say, 50 U. S. Dollars to a local homeless charity in lieu of the stuff I could possibly have consumed.
It's not much I know, but it's better than nothing...
Oh, and I'll need a receipt.
posted by Thella at 8:24 PM on October 24, 2018 [25 favorites]


Whatever it is, it works great. Great band, amazing music. The Alpha and Omega.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:28 PM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Jesus I hated hospitality riders like that. When you're doing a show at a small venue and the artist asks for something that's a real pain in the ass (obscure equipment, mythical substances like "banana juice," oddities like organic Brazil nuts). Invariably the artist doesn't even know those things are in the contract, doesn't want or use whatever was asked for, or (in one exciting example) doesn't know how to use the equipment that was specifically requested in the rider. Prime!
posted by 1adam12 at 8:50 PM on October 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


No brown M&Ms.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 8:53 PM on October 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Last updated in '06. I'm sure they've dealt with their hatred of digital consoles by now.
posted by mikelieman at 9:00 PM on October 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


Are we sure this wasn't Ben Elton working for Ig under an assumed name for a minute?
posted by droplet at 9:18 PM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I hated hospitality riders like that.

Eh, that one wasn't bad. The only really exotic thing was one specific type of tea. I dealt with far worse from far less notable bands, with one notable memory of a group insisting they needed all $500 or so of their spoilable rider requirements and then eating next to nothing of it. The ones that were like this one that just request some good local food were usually fine to work with.

I did get some nonsensical tech riders where they copied some words they saw on other people's riders without understanding what they were. This one they knew what they were asking for and had a specific sound in mind.
posted by Candleman at 10:02 PM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


"Every amplifier must have PRESENCE, BASS, MIDDLE, TREBLE, PRE- and POST- GAIN.
And there should be TWO (2) inputs - a HIGH and a LOW. Which I think refers to their impedance, not their geograpical position on the amp."

Can someone explain what pre and post-gain is on an amp and what the two impedance settings do?
Ha ha just noticed my amp only has a volume and gain knob so I'd be sacked as Iggys' roadie.
posted by Narrative_Historian at 10:57 PM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


For the sidefills, can we have two great big huge enormous things please, of a type that might be venerated as gods by the inhabitants of Easter Island, capable of reaching volumes that would make Beelzebub soil his underpants, and driven by amplifiers that could provide the power for a Monster Truck Rally. With dinosaur drivers.

I'd say this is a contractual obligation to produce permanent hearing loss, though I suspect the ship has long since sailed on that one.
posted by zachlipton at 10:58 PM on October 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


To be sure, he only says "capable of."
posted by rhizome at 11:48 PM on October 24, 2018


First of all, I'm glad to see someone there's a League of Gentlemen fan ("local food for local people").

Second of all, I once read a rock star interview where he explained that the legendary "no brown/blue/red M&Ms" rule saved them checking every damn little thing in the rider when they arrived. If the venue had paid attention to even a daft request like that, chances are they'd have gone through the whole rider with proper care and got all the rest of it right too.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:15 AM on October 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


Previously, Previouslier

Fun to compare the old threads. I could have sworn someone brought up the M&M thing before, but apparently not...
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:51 AM on October 25, 2018


Can someone explain what pre and post-gain is on an amp

oops misread your comment you do have a volume knob - post-gain is just volume
posted by atoxyl at 1:17 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


once upon a time gain (which you wanted for distortion) and volume were one knob even on big amps - the reason they added the second volume knob should be pretty apparent
posted by atoxyl at 1:21 AM on October 25, 2018


I've been listening to Iggy's Post Pop Depression over the last two or three months, and it's really great, and definitely a grower. Catchy songs, well performed, and some pretty introspective lyrics.

Where is American Valhalla?
Death is the pill that's tough to swallow
Is there anybody in there?
Who do I have to kill?
I'm not the man with everything
I've nothing but my name.

posted by paleyellowwithorange at 1:37 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain what pre and post-gain is on an amp and what the two impedance settings do?

It's more accurate to say that you have a pre-amp gain and a volume gain. If you want distortion but not to be blastingly loud, you set the pre-amp gain so it's overdriving the pre-amp circuits but set the master volume at something reasonable. Or crank up both and you get a lot of volume and distortion.

The two inputs on this model are actually more than just an impedance difference - the low impedance input does not use both gain stages, so it's closer to having a clean channel and dirty channel. Ostensibly, you'd chose the input to use based on the output volume and impedance of your guitar and/or pedals, but in practicality you'd chose the one with the sound that you want.
"This is the High Sensitivity input of the amp – in theory,
such an input is supposed to be used for low-output
pickups. This said, 99.9% of all 2203 users ignore this
and plug guitars loaded with high-output pickups into this
input, because it enables them to drive the pre-amp even
harder." - 2203 manual

But what they're (probably) really saying here is not that they want an amp with two inputs and two gain knobs but saying that they want a JCM800 model 2203 and no other and providing a visual guide as to whether your backline rental company has provided the correct amp or not. There were multiple amps called the JCM800 but they wanted this specific model and if you're not an amp aficionado, the number of knobs and inputs was a good way to tell them apart (though it wouldn't help differentiate the 2203 and 2204).
posted by Candleman at 4:41 AM on October 25, 2018 [9 favorites]


I didn't catch when this had last been updated, but the references to Ron were a bit hard since he died in 2009. It's also funny how British so much of this sounds, given that the Stooges are from Detroit.

As for the thing with unusual stuff in riders, this mostly reads like a list of things they actually want. The whole thing about "an entire bowl of green M&Ms" is a visual cue for the band to let them know when they arrive that the venue actually read their rider and can expect things to be set up properly.

This was a fun read, thanks for posting!
posted by bile and syntax at 6:21 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


It doesn't seem to me this style of document is the one you would use if you wanted to maximize the chances of actually getting the things the band needs to put on a good show in reasonable comfort. But I'm sure the author of it has more experience with these things than I do, so there's a good chance I'm wrong.
posted by layceepee at 6:22 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Dressing Room One for Iggy Pop: You know what would be really nice? If you could make this room look less like a typical rock & roll dressing room and more sort of.... Interesting? Are you with me? Just let someone loose with a little bit of artistic flair... Er, do you know any homosexuals? And am I allowed to say that? Probably not.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:29 AM on October 25, 2018


Re: Iggy's dressing room, it's nice to know that however crazed and frenetic Iggy is, Jimmy is a pretty reasonable, down to earth rock star. Gunpowder tea, a copy of today's paper, fresh towels and a couple of decent reds. Simple man, really. (Aside from the Bob Hope impersonator.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:02 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


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.
posted by spudsilo at 7:03 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


This is still entertaining every single time it gets posted.

Can someone explain what pre and post-gain is on an amp and what the two impedance settings do?
This has already sorta been explained, but on many bass amps the high and low inputs are for active vs. passive instrument pickups.

funny how British so much of this sounds
I forget where Jos Grain is from, but all his spellings and references are British.

I seem to recall the M&M's thing originating in Van Halen's rider, for the reasons mentioned (and possibly because they were sorta dicks).
posted by aspersioncast at 7:10 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've always thought that David Lee Roth's explanation for the brown M&Ms bit in the rider was kind of horseshit for the following reasons: 1) I'm going to assume that almost all promoters would read every word of the rider, because presumably they'd be on the hook for a lot of money if they didn't fulfill the requirements; 2) simply because a promoter fulfilled one (very small and easily fulfillable) term of the rider doesn't mean that they'd fulfill all of them; and 3) isn't checking to see that the promoter did their job the job of the tour manager, anyway? (DLR told the story by way of rationalizing why he tore up the backstage area at a gig, not explaining how that had anything to do with the promoter not doing their job.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:24 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just recently read Please Kill Me for the first time, and am dealing with a lot of cognitive dissonance about the gap between the "Elder Statespunk" Iggy Pop of today and the toxic, horrible asshole that he comes off as in that book. Like, I always knew that he was in rough shape int he early 70s, but reading specific documentation of it is extremely queasy. And a lot of that was heroin, but that doesn't excuse much. I guess it's a story with a happy ending, though, since he does legitimately seem to be a much more positive presence now.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:26 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


I remember reading Please Kill Me 7-8 years ago and literally checking Wikipedia at least twice to assure myself that Iggy Pop was indeed still alive.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:37 AM on October 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


I'm going to assume that almost all promoters would read every word of the rider,

That's a heck of an assumption. FWIW, I have no problem with "canaries" to tell if they actually read it, but I would go with more "When you get to this section, email me..."
posted by mikelieman at 7:42 AM on October 25, 2018


I'm going to assume that almost all promoters would read every word of the rider,

Hahaha NO.

Well, it's less that they don't read the rider so much as they mostly glance at the rider and then just figure, "Well, if they're asking for A thru J, I'll just give 'em C, E, and H and that'll be close enough. Also a lot cheaper."

A big part of the booking agent's and tour manager's and production manager's job is negotiating the riders before and day of show.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:37 AM on October 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


Dressing Room One for Iggy Pop: No shirts are to be present in this room. If I find one single fucking shirt the show is canceled.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:41 AM on October 25, 2018 [9 favorites]


Well, the guy who wrote the rider is kind of funny so there's that.
posted by AugustWest at 8:42 AM on October 25, 2018


I'm kind of surprised they don't bring their own drum kit. Are drummers less picky and personal about their instruments than other musicians?
posted by tavella at 8:51 AM on October 25, 2018


I would be happy to get a chance to work on fulfilling this rider. It would be a totally insane gig. I may also need better ear plugs.

I've worked on some pretty complicated backlines but once an artist gets to a pro touring level they're usually actually really reasonable and logical. Vocalists want a lot of water, tea, and honey and that kind of thing. There's usually not really that much booze or food going on. Maybe some beers or wine or a preferred liquor, and it's not usually top shelf plonk - they're working and trying to make money, not spend it. Food tends to be simple, light and healthy snacks. Fruit, nuts, veggies, snack/meal replacement bars, occasionally candy.

A lot of pros that aren't yet famous enough to get mobbed seem to prefer going out to eat somewhere healthy and local pre-gig anyway. Most of the green rooms I've been in have little more than a flat of water bottles, some really basic healthy snacks and maybe a bunch of hand/face towels. That's what being back stage is actually like. It's mainly just people sitting around and waiting to get to work or getting to work, because stage work means hitting your cue marks even when it's just a random indie rock show.

t's actually pretty damn boring, but granted I've never worked a Led Zeppelin or Guns N Roses show.

The really difficult part of riders is usually getting the equipment right, and in the right place at the right time. I've been on shows where stuff like a giant organ amp shows up late and a posse has to try to wrestle it up/down stairs into the back stage area in the middle of the opening acts, which is lots of fun when it's a relatively quiet ambient/experimental show full of quiet movements.

This is also why I essentially refuse to move pianos at any time, any where. That needs to be left to professionals with piano moving equipment.

You know what's really fun? Watching an internationally known New Classical or advant garde composer go bonkers trying to solve a ground loop issue causing a lot of noise or hum on an audio channel. Power conditioning isn't something you find on most riders, but if you ever see it take it seriously. It usually means they have some fussy analog gear that hates polarity and grounding issues and they'll go fucking bonkers if the venue is near, say, a whole bunch of TV/radio transmission antennae and towers and the crew can't make the noise stop.
posted by loquacious at 8:55 AM on October 25, 2018 [12 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised they don't bring their own drum kit. Are drummers less picky and personal about their instruments than other musicians?

So in the case of this rider, this looks like it's the full travel rider which usually means that the full rider is for a unsupported, non-touring fly-in gig where they want to travel with as little gear as possible, thus as much of the heavy, bulky stuff like amps and drums should be sourced locally adjacent to the venue.

The rider would be modified for a tour or supported/local-to-the-artists show and the managers involved will negotiate a rider and contract specific to that show that stipulates who is actually providing what, when and where and then they sign off on it and that's the working document.

Public facing riders like these are often more about having a reference. In this case, you want Iggy and the Stooges? This is what the backline and rider actually looks like. It's intentionally complicated and off-putting because it weeds out the amateurs and slackers and tries to make it really clear that they probably can't handle supporting a Stooges show. This cuts down on random half-assed promoters wasting a bookers time.
posted by loquacious at 9:03 AM on October 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


And if you can't bring the mounting to us, we'll have to send a bloke called Mohammed to the mounting.
posted by TedW at 9:04 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


ALL OF THIS LOT FOR A START.

Yeah, that's not how people from Michigan talk.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:11 AM on October 25, 2018


I had someone ask for grape flavor Hubba-Bubba brand gum for a gig. He found it sitting on the mixer and was shocked - apparently in 15 years of touring this was the first time anyone had given him the only thing that was on his hospitality rider.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:13 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's not how people from Michigan talk.

[stage whisper] Because he's a Brit
posted by Maaik at 10:16 AM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


You know what would be really nice? If you could make this room look less like a typical rock & roll dressing room and more sort of.... Interesting? Are you with me? Just let someone loose with a little bit of artistic flair... Er, do you know any homosexuals? And am I allowed to say that? Probably not.

This had me cracking up, because who the hell in the entertainment industry doesn't know LGBT folks? Also Iggy Pop isn't quite in the same category as David Bowie was, where I still regularly have (allegedly) straight men come up to me on the regular to tell me how much they want to get it on with David Bowie, but he's close. And he's has had sex with David Bowie, so... I dunno, this is turning into a weird tangent, but my point is that Iggy himself is not the most heterosexual person on the planet.

Maybe there's some obscure stereotype about bisexuals only being okay at decorating?
posted by bile and syntax at 10:20 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


My bad.

[exits stage right]
posted by humboldt32 at 10:29 AM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of surprised they don't bring their own drum kit. Are drummers less picky and personal about their instruments than other musicians?

It's not uncommon for artists at this level of their career to travel without backline, especially when they're doing a lot of flying. Buses and trucks are expensive as is shipping a drum kit on a plane - while this rider makes mention of a bus, it sounds more like that was borrowed from a previous version of the rider and they were touring in a few cars.

If your drum style is not the most discerning, something like this is fine. You might carry a snare with you if you were picky about that and maybe some specific cymbals.

Maybe there's some obscure stereotype about bisexuals only being okay at decorating?

No, just the not so obscure one that gays are better at decorating than straights. Queer Eye was popular at the time this was written. The joke here was not that people wouldn't know gay people but that it was no longer politically correct to voice that stereotype even though it was big in pop culture.
posted by Candleman at 10:30 AM on October 25, 2018


aspersioncast: I remember reading 'Please Kill Me' 7-8 years ago and literally checking Wikipedia at least twice to assure myself that Iggy Pop was indeed still alive.

I let my guitar-loving kid hear some of Keith Richard's voice, and told him a little about the man, and he was amazed. Now every Wednesday, when we stop at the library after guitar lessons, he runs over to the audiobook section to utter a strangled "'Ullo, Keef" to the slipcase of Keith's autobiography, "Life."
posted by wenestvedt at 12:52 PM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


No, just the not so obscure one that gays are better at decorating than straights. Queer Eye was popular at the time this was written. The joke here was not that people wouldn't know gay people but that it was no longer politically correct to voice that stereotype even though it was big in pop culture.

My attempt at making a joke about how ridiculous queer stereotypes are is a bit of a lead balloon, sorry. I always forget about Queer Eye, because the way it posits gay men as useful to straight men when performing emotional labor so that straight men can woo women really grosses me out and I don't think it does anything for us as a community.
posted by bile and syntax at 1:08 PM on October 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'd say this is a contractual obligation to produce permanent hearing loss, though I suspect the ship has long since sailed on that one.

Yeah, more like - these guys need it because they have probably been half-deaf since 1973.
posted by atoxyl at 1:53 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, more like - these guys need it because they have probably been half-deaf since 1973.

Iggy is pretty open about that part.
posted by atoxyl at 2:02 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I say this every time there's an Iggy thread, and I'll say it again now. Kill City, his 1975 album with James Williamson, is a neglected classic. If you don't know it, you really should.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:49 PM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


I've always thought that David Lee Roth's explanation for the brown M&Ms bit in the rider was kind of horseshit for the following reasons: 1) I'm going to assume that almost all promoters would read every word of the rider, because presumably they'd be on the hook for a lot of money if they didn't fulfill the requirements;

I seem to recall the story of a major tour that didn't use oddities in their riders. Then one of their band members almost got killed plugging in his equipment because the venue didn't follow instructions.
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:34 PM on October 25, 2018


1) I'm going to assume that almost all promoters would read every word of the rider, because presumably they'd be on the hook for a lot of money if they didn't fulfill the requirements;


Supposedly Van Halen were pioneering doing big tour stage setups in secondary markets, and they were dealing with venues that weren't used to that level of production. Opinions varied, iirc, about whether or not the whole story from Roth's book was bullshit or not.
posted by thelonius at 7:45 PM on October 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


The contract writer guy is totally right about cameras (professional videography) at concerts.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:14 AM on October 26, 2018


My recollection of DLR's comments about the brown m&m thing was that their presence meant the rider probably had to be checked all the way down, but their absence didn't necessarily mean anything.
posted by uberchet at 12:05 PM on October 29, 2018


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