Iggy's Rider
October 5, 2006 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Seriously, why don't they have their own equipment? Too cheap to pay roadies?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2006

Saw this yesterday. What a hoot.
posted by notsnot at 11:46 AM on October 5, 2006

This is awesome!
posted by brundlefly at 11:59 AM on October 5, 2006

Seriously, why don't they have their own equipment? Too cheap to pay roadies?

I was wondering that too. Is it because they're touring Europe and want to spare expenses of lugging gear abroad?
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:08 PM on October 5, 2006

You gotta love Iggy.
posted by NationalKato at 12:21 PM on October 5, 2006

It's true, you do gotta love Iggy.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:22 PM on October 5, 2006

A lot of the gigs I see here in NYC seem to be played using a house drumkit these days.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2006

And here's another thing. Why is it that lighting men switch the strobes on for ages, and when you ask why, they say they are "testing them"? Strobes are designed to be intermittent, aren't they? So how can they tell they're not fucked?
posted by NationalKato at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2006

Riders are fun reading. All riders are written by frustrated tour managers who've had the unpleasant experience of dealing with hundreds of sub par venues with flooded bathrooms, broken equipment, inadequate electical power, so they've learned that every detail has be spelled out to the point of "we need instrument cables... for an ELECTRIC GUITAR"

I think (I read somehwere) at the end of the day the artist ultimately has to pay for everything they demand in the rider. So the bathtub of green M&Ms is not really free, it still comes out of the artist's pocket and years later they wonder how they ever ended up bankrupt in rehab.
posted by StarForce5 at 12:28 PM on October 5, 2006

Jesus. Dog Island.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:28 PM on October 5, 2006

StarForce5, while many riders can be fun to read, most are quite droll. This one, on the other hand, is full of such creative tangents it's the first rider I've read every single word of.
posted by NationalKato at 12:36 PM on October 5, 2006

Dog Island +++
posted by dersins at 12:40 PM on October 5, 2006

The Wikipedia says pandas are bears, not pigs. Hell, they're not even the same order, let alone family.

There goes my fun fact for the day.
posted by revgeorge at 12:48 PM on October 5, 2006

Oh, and that's 'are not quite droll' in my previous comment.
posted by NationalKato at 12:54 PM on October 5, 2006

Strangely enough, my iTunes just started playing Iggy's 'I Felt The Luxury.'
posted by NationalKato at 12:54 PM on October 5, 2006

I will chop it into a hundred pieces, and each of those pieces I will chop into a hundred pieces... so that's like, er... tenty hundred?

I'm gonna steal that line.
posted by jefbla at 12:56 PM on October 5, 2006

Very funny! I was just looking at some pictures of Iggy. That guy's fucking scary looking! I like it.
posted by OmieWise at 12:59 PM on October 5, 2006

Years ago, our rider for the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow was printed in USA Today, as it contained things like crickets and meal worms for The Enigma, who ate them. It was great publicity. I suspect that with the Smoking Gun publishing them commonly now, it was just a matter of time that a rider like this appeared, obviously intended to garner free publicity for Iggy.

I'm not knocking it by the way, it's funny stuff.
posted by Tube at 1:24 PM on October 5, 2006

I had to fulfill contract riders as a part-time job in college.

(I was the "hospitality director.")

some of them were a royal pain in the ass for college students with no parking. but it was always a good story by the end of the show.

a rider this funny would have been much more fun to fulfill. and we would have all wanted to seek out the joker who wrote it, to buy him a beer.

(and StarForce5, we had to pay for all rider requests out of our budget)
posted by pinky at 1:33 PM on October 5, 2006

It's not only to cut expenses, also to have an easier time at customs. Imagine you have the guitar player bringing his beloved 1957 guitar that somehow cannot make it through customs in Argentina, or Australia.

Any piece of equipment can become a huge crisis, and replacing things that easily available (and sometimes not that easily) makes life easier for everyone involved.

I know these things 'cause my sister organizes concerts. She's had her share of infernal experiences getting gear through customs.
posted by micayetoca at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2006

A friend told a story about Iggy backstage using one of the jokes from the rider. Not sure which came first, but when he asked Iggy if he could get him anything, he said: yeah, some broccoli, chopped up nicely, steamed, put on a paper towel and then thrown in the trash because i fucking hate broccoli.
posted by cell divide at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2006

Riders are fun reading.

Agreed. I used to intern at an events promotion company. When I got bored, I'd go to the back file room and read contracts. I think it was Elton John who required a black toilet and towels. My Bloody Valentine had insane sound system requirements. They wouldn't play a club if the sound system wasn't capable of generating a certain number of decibels (way above the local noise ordinance).
posted by lunalaguna at 2:25 PM on October 5, 2006

Why has 'Dead Dog Island' not been made yet?
posted by MrMustard at 2:43 PM on October 5, 2006

backlines are for bands going overseas or whenever someone is flying to the show. if you dropped 5,000$ on a set of drums you don't want baggage tossing it around. not to mention road cases of a high enough quality that would keep something safe enough are really, really expensive in themselves. but mostly it's that anyone that's a musician takes the instrument they use pretty seriously and everyone i know uses equipment you can't just find anywhere. i used to go on tour quite a bit as the roadie/mgr and everyday was spent looking for music stores. and i mean that literally, if you weren't driving or at the venue, you were at the music store (and i don't mean guitar center) looking for the right tone from that perfect head (that's the box w/ all the tubes and such). for example i saw my friend sell his car over the phone from across the country to get a bass cabinet and head, because it had the tone he'd been looking for for years. so if a band is making enough money they'll just have the backline for all the generic crap they don't care about, but bring certain pieces of gear that are unique to them, like cymbals or a head for the amp. it totally depends on the person, some equipment they use sounds no different to them regardless of vintage, analog/digital, etc so they don't mind so much. but certain things will always sound off if they don't have just the right gear. musicians are some of the most maddeningly fickle, nonsensical people ever. it's like any artist. some painters will use only one kind of brush, with hair from one kind of horse, etc
posted by andywolf at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2006

either that or the drummer couldn't give a shit and thinks he's still clearing a few thousand a day so fuck it. he'll just bring a drum tech to tune it right and he can beat the crap out of it. like people leasing cars as opposed to owning. they probably generate at least 50,000$ a day (that's probably really low), what's a few hundred in that?
posted by andywolf at 3:07 PM on October 5, 2006

while many riders can be fun to read, most are quite droll.

droll adj. Having a humorous, whimsical, or odd quality.
posted by ChasFile at 6:13 PM on October 5, 2006

That is hysterical! Thanks.

I've seen an awful lot of shows, but Iggy in his old age still puts on one of the most intense, manic, highly choreographed performances (and I mean that in the best sense of the word) I've ever seen. And now, after reading this rider....(((swoon)))
posted by stagewhisper at 7:30 PM on October 5, 2006

I couldn't stop laughing at that article.

"Imagine you have the guitar player bringing his beloved 1957 guitar that somehow cannot make it through customs in Argentina, or Australia."

This is not right. No guitarist would ever play the house guitar in anything less than an emergency. Note that there are no guitars or basses specified -- in fact, there aren't even any mics specified, which means that Iggy probably brings his own SM58's -- the one time I saw him live, he destroyed at least one (not wilfully! he just gets excited!) and that's what he seems to use in the pictures I've seen.

It's always fascinated me that drummers never seem to have much of a problem playing the house kit. I can play kit drums but I'm not really good enough to have strong preferences -- but any instrument I'm halfway good at, I'm far far happier on my own axe.

Iggy Pop anecdote: I had always wondered whether he was smart or simply a dumb guy with a really good aesthetic -- it was entirely unclear from what I'd seen of him.

When I saw him in concert about ten years ago in New York, I was blown away -- he was a man possessed, "enthusiastic" as in god-within-you, he'd sing songs I never heard before into the microphone with such incredible focus on the mic that I could understand every word (and I always have trouble with lyrics live), then when done would simply lose track of the microphone and throw it away so he could dance around.

He did everything wrong, he ran in front of the speakers with the mic (the soundman muted the whole side), he'd just drop his guitar on the ground when he finished it (and we clapped when one of his two security-guard/handlers caught it on the first bounce -- note that those two are also not on the rider).

I've seen so many stage dives but Iggy didn't stage dive so much as run out of stage and hurtle off into space -- each time the poor handlers looked petrified with fear, too.

There was a moment when he was trying to run forward and his mic cable caught on a wedge. He didn't even turn around to see what it was -- it wasn't clear he even realized what had gone wrong -- he kept trying to run to the front like a dog whose leash was caught -- until one of the two handlers released the wire and he went staggering forward.

The audience, myself included, was in his hand. But I still had no idea: smart or brute?

The Roxy always stopped shows by midnight sharp. After the first encore, the band started to troop off again. Iggy held up his hand to them, "Stop", then turned to the audience and smiled, shrugged and nodded his head at us.

The message was completely clear: "I really appreciate your great applause and I know you'd keep clapping but let's not do that game and I'll just play till we run out of time."

I've never seen a gesture of more subtlety and power, and of more graciousness, from anyone else.

I live for such moments. If I have managed to achieve any moments of musical freedom (warning: self-link) in performance it's due to the shining examples of performers like Iggy, the Butthole Surfers or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum who exhibit a combination of great musical discipline and supernatural energy and freedom.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:04 PM on October 5, 2006 [3 favorites]

When we played in Amsterdam at the Melkweg, a backline was provided (guitar amps, drums and PA). We also get a backline whenever we have to travel over 100 miles to a show. It is just a huge pain in the ass to haul a full (read: Good) PA in addition to everyone's intruments without having to take a food sized hit financially. Backlines make the shows that much easier.

We also have contract riders where we "request" specific things. At first I thought this was all star-bullshit but it was and is, for good reason. We've done many shows where we were told that certain neccesities would be provided (toilets, dressing area, water) only to end up playing in a fucking tent in 120 degree heat and none of the above in site. Now we get the bare minimum and in writing. It makes for a better show all around.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:07 AM on October 6, 2006

Oh, Lord, I'm gonna fire up Iggy right now.
posted by toma at 3:01 AM on October 6, 2006

I guess ChasFile didn't read my correction. But thanks.
posted by NationalKato at 6:51 AM on October 6, 2006

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