The thing is, while bands like The Stooges and Prince have a little bit of fun with their tour riders, for the most part, riders are boring.
They’re effectively an agreement between a promoter and an artist about what is to be provided for said artist and their crew before, after, and during the gig.
As A Journal of Musical Things notes, the bulk of a tour rider consists of mundane load-in and load-out times, electrical requirements, equipment breakdowns, catering requirements for the crew, and general logistics involved with staging a performance. Most of the time, even dressing room requirements are fairly tame.
That’s why extra props have to be given to the Foo Fighters. The Smoking Gun obtained their 2011 rider and it might just be the best ever written… or drawn, for that matter. Yes, part of the Foo Fighters’ 2011 tour rider was in fact illustrated, coming in the form of a hilarious activity book – the kind you’d get as a kid with small box of crayons.
After a set of rules instructing promoters to use coloured pencils, “don’t cheat on the maze”, and “stay OUTSIDE of the lines”, the “Field Guide To Food Coloring Book And Activity Pages” open with a crude drawing of frontman Dave Grohl with a knife and fork in his hands.
The pages essentially summarise what’s detailed in the equally hilarious food requirements section of the band’s rider, but with mazes, word searches, and spot-on line drawings of Foo Fighters members Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins (who explains the difference between a good and bad salad), Chris Shiflett, and Pat Smear.
Check out the Foo Fighters’ rider for yourself below. Better yet, print out the pages and have a go at the word search. If successfully completed, the “leftover letters will spell out a hidden message from the Foos and crew!” Hint: Bacon is involved.
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