Featured Column:Relix Rider Winners Judged!
Real True Confessions With Padre Pienbique
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude towards everyone that participated in the “Relix Rider” competition from last month’s column. More thanks to my master/disciplinarian Jon Schwartz from Relix for sponsoring such a contest. Truly, the General of Jam!
The true fun about writing a rider is that modesty, truthfulness, and hell, even integrity, are thrown out the window. Although we’d like to think of rawkmanship as a “me first” career, the truth is that everybody owns your ass for as long as you’re on tour. If you’re the type of person that can live on the road- one out of a thousand- then you’re entitled to little bit the high life. Literally.
I judged the entries on originality, excessiveness, and not much else. Rock-n-roll is an exercise in comedy and endurance: How long can you go before you realize that everything is a goddamn joke? After all, if you can disappear from your own house for weeks on end, endure nightly verbal brawls with everybody in the tour van, and survive on a diet of tacos and wits, you’ll need a little TLC to get by.
Among the winner’s entries were some truly absurd requests:
*Vegan pot pie – Use extra virgin olive oil – FIRST PRESS ONLY.
Padre Says: I know we got a jokester on our hands. As we all know, nobody intentionally puts anything vegan in their mouths, and surely not for the purpose of eating it.
The “first press only” stipulation is a nice touch. But why not simply ask for a whole bottle of the good stuff? (You never know who’s going to join in on the fun.)
*I of course will need an expert in fashion, preferably a gorgeous girl who knows what other gorgeous girls like. This person will pick out clothes for me not just for the nights concerts, but for during the day as well as for going out after. This person will have the authority to purchase whatever clothes to keep me in the latest style. The clothes to be worn on stage will be separate from all others.
Padre Says: Now here’s a man that appreciates orange bell-bottoms and skinny neon green ties. Separate from all others, indeed!
* A facialist is a must. Stage lights make one sweaty and are not good for the skin. This facialist should also be a full on cosmetologist who knows how to cut/style hair as well as give straight razor shaves.
Padre Says: I was more than tempted to just cut and paste “facialist”. I don’t doubt for a second that he needs one. What he doesn’t know is that the work of the professional “facialist” would generate more cash on the internet than twenty sold out tours combined.
*3 luxury Simpson’s towels (a different character on each, please)
Padre Says: Nothing states “I’m a prick and you’re paying me for it” like the details. When you want a different character on every towel, you’re saying a lot. But what you’re not saying is this: Moe? Moe!!!! Fuck that! When I said different characters, I meant “DEEP”! The Sea Captain or maybe Gil, but not Maggie!!! God, I can’t perform under these conditions! I’ll be in my room- The one with the STAR on the door! Don’t even think about knocking until you’ve redeemed yourself!
* 12 pair of Leggs panty hose – size Q (nude)
Padre Says: Yessssss! This is why more women should play music. Of course, I’m guessing that the hose aren’t for the performers; they’re for the after show man-groupies that will do anything for the artist. I’d expect that the next day the female artists will share all the ludicrous details of the man-groupies affections, laugh at what suckers they are, and ultimately never answer their phone calls.
*A yoga instructor on -call 24 / 7. No Scientologists.
Padre Says: This is from the same writer that asked for the panty hose. If you’re going to mock man-groupies, why not throw Scientologists under the bus as well? Like Tipper Gore, show no mercy!
* I would also need one person whose job it is to be a gofer, gopher (I’ve never eactually spelled the word) This employee would be responsible for picking things up from drug stores, supermarkets etc.
Padre Says: Evidently, he’s never actually spelled the word “actually”, either. But that may be the biggest stroke of genius yet. Any promoter that brings it up will automatically be subjected to a 30% up charge on the guarantee for such insubordination. That’ll teach em.
* 1 riding crop
Padre Says: Yes ma’am! Actually: “Yes, Mistress Ma’am”.
* 1 case of EZ Rider rolling papers
4 large cans of silly string
2 packs Marlboro red
Padre Says: The best part about this is that the smokes aren’t intended to go into anyone’s mouth, the silly string is defiantly headed towards places it shouldn’t go, and since we all know that musicians don’t have any traditional uses for rolling papers, “where it goes, nobody knows!”
* 1 bottle of Flintstones Vitamins *NO PURPLE DINOS – THIS IS A MUST. IF THERE ARE ANY PURPLE DINOS FOUND, THIS CONTRACT IS NULL AND VOID AND SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATELY CANCELLATION.
Padre Says: Just like brown M&Ms, purple Dinos ruin art. Period. Just ask Van Halen.
* A gourmet chef who is also trained in nutrition. The crew and such are welcome to partake in this as long as I get what I need. (Once again a healthy musician I would assume I might be able to power through some not so energetic nights better than one who has been living off of fast food for a month and a half…)
Padre Says: Ooooops! One can never become a BIG STAR if they haven’t suffered through- and acclimated their body to not only accept, but crave- fast food. Amateur hour ahoy!
Instead, one should demand a Crave Case or two from White Castle. The promoter will become so terrified that the artist is on the brink of malnutrition that they’ll hire the best sushi chef in Blowhard, WI (or wherever said artist is performing.) Of course, the Crave Case (with full brakes on the sliders) will be delivered to the bus- only after the show.
* I will need a shower very close by. Sometimes, not always, I may want to hop in the shower between sets, yes between. I take extremely quick showers and it often refreshes me. Of course a completely new set of clothes will be laid out when I am in the shower. If I do not take a shower at least I will change shirts between sets if not pants as well. The toiletries will of course, be specific and have their own clause specifically outlining what each product is as well as possible substitutes in case they can not be obtained.
Padre Says: There we go- a series of off-handed explanations for a simple request. That’s rock-n-roll. Now what’s missing is the details of how many possible showers are to be taken, along with why somebody- actually anybody- should care.
Example: “Artist may require up to, but not limited to, seven (7) showers per day of performance. Upon each shower, four (4) new sets of clothes shall be laid out for artist to choose from. Although one (1) set of toiletries- as per request- shall be laid out while artist is in the shower, same products shall never be laid out two (2) showers in a row. Preference for “Old Spice” brand products shall be honored, yet only offered after odd-numbered showers, on even-numbered days only. If performance takes place on months ending with “y” (January, February, but not March, etc.) reverse order of odd-numbered product placement is mandatory. If performance is on a leap year, please reverse that order. IMPORTANT: Mennen products are to be placed on even-numbered days of non-leap year, odd-numbered, and non-“y” months, unless preceded by a blue moon in the Southern Hemisphere.
Must have more towels than Judy Collins, but less than Michael Jackson.”
Now that’s a real rock-n-roll rider stipulation. Get with the fucking program.
* 8 copies of We Jam Econo so our bass player can meet his future replacement once we get big.
Padre Says: Good way to shaft the chump of the band. Ironically enough, I sometimes get the opportunity to replace Mike Watt (Minutemen bassist featured in the film We Jam Econo and subject of the Big Wu song “The Kings of Bass”) in Banyan, an experimental group with Stephen Perkins and Willie Waldman.
Whether or not she’d follow through with the threat to can the bass player is irrelevant; bassists are hard to find, thus are accustomed to a sense of security. Nothing keeps us on our feet like the threat of Watt joining yet another band, kicking us out on the curb.
* Minimum three framed photos of Bea Arthur (preferably signed) must be displayed prominently (scratch and sniff also preferred)
Here’s an example of ridermanship worth noting! First, no promoter would contest the need for photos of Bea Arthur. Secondly, these are worth securing just to find out why anybody would want a scratch-n-sniff version. In fact, I want to know now.
Now that daylight savings has passed, spring is officially here. With spring comes summer a/k/a festival season. Stay tuned for Padre’s Festival Guide ’07, where I tell you what’s wrong with every gathering I’m not playing at. Ha!
Drive safe, be nice to your Mother, and drink your milk!