If you’re unaware of procedure, most bands will provide a rider to whatever venue they agree to play, be it a club date or festival gig. More than just requests for expensive cheeses or a certain brand of bottled water, these lists offer insight into the nature of each artist. For instance, you might assume that Van Halen were either having a laugh or flexing their pompous rock diva muscles when they asked for brown-less bowls of M&Ms. Or, that 50 Cent keeps plenty bust post-show thanks to his three boxes of condoms and a Kimono.
So, then, what does The Smiths’ recently unearthed rider from 1986 say about the celebrated English rockers? Well, they were pretty boring. Instead of a giraffe or sushi person, the band requested a whole lot of cheese, beer, soda, and other goodies you’d expect to find at your mom’s birthday and not a rock show.
However, the list does reveal that, as one might expect, Morrissey is a bit divergent from his bandmates. For instance, Johnny Marr’s list contained mostly Coke and cigarettes, with a nice cheese and tomato sandwich to boot. Bandmates Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke, and Craig Gannon made similar requests, with the addition of tuna salad and some tasty biscuits. Morrissey, on the other hand, asked for wine, gin, a selection of nuts, and the sports drink Lucozade. (Not to be confused with Gatorade. Now could you just imagine that commercial?)
The band broke up the very next year, and I have to wonder: does this list represent Morrissey’s growing disconnect with the rest of the band, perhaps some sort of food-based sign of things to come? Probably not, but it’s totally hilarious to think mayo played a significant role in the break-up of these Britpop pioneers.
Also, the crew bus required two bottles of Jack Daniel’s. Hmm, I wonder why that might have been?