OKLAHOMA CITY — Big name entertainers often come with big demands. We’ve heard the stories about celebrities coming in for concerts with what seem like wacky requests. It happens everywhere; including their stops in Oklahoma.
NewsChannel 4 has done a little digging on the wild backstage requests.
There are some crazy tales attached to some of these rock stars and performers that tour the country and globe but I also learned that some of the things, that seem a bit nutty, have a very specific purpose.
When celebrities go on tour they come with a list of demands. You’ve heard of strange requests like Van Halen not wanting brown M&Ms.
Most recently there were reports of Beyonce’s tour demands such as red toilet paper and titanium straws.
We found the person in Oklahoma City who often negotiates the high stakes contract and deals with star requests. Leigh Shy works for DCF Concerts in the metro. She has met so many famous people and has seen and heard it all.
“I left school to do an internship for a record label and it just kind of progressed from there.”
She takes care of what is called the “rider” in the contracts.
“A rider is attached to the contract and what it has in it – is their production needs, but it also has their hospitality needs. Some of them are kind of funky. Some of them sound funky but aren’t,” Leigh Shy says.
Shy said Pedialyte is almost always on the list. It sounds weird, but makes sense because it keeps them hydrated during shows. Candy is also on many lists, but not for sugar cravings.
“Another thing that a lot of artists have on are gummy bears; gummy worms and stuff like that. There’s something in the guymmy product that is lubricant on the vocal chords,” Shy explains.
Shy said she is always learning new things as well. Recently she had a band that had to have ham cubes on the side of the stage.
“Apparently the fat in the ham does the same thing as a gel and lubricates the vocal chords,” Shy says.
According to Teen.Com, Justin Beiber has been known to ask for three packages of socks and four packages of t-shirts. Shy said that is common.
Shy says, “When they travel they live on the road, so it’s their home and there are certain things they need like anyone else would. Promoters and venues are asked to kind of get them for them.”
Then there are the stories of bands like Motley Crue who allegedly asked for a Boa Constrictor and an assaul weapon. Shy said those types of requests probably aren’t serious.
“People get a little crazy sometimes and I think that they ask for things just to see what people will actually get. We’ve been asked for 50,000 live bees,” Shy says.
Shy said they didn’t fulfill the bee demands, but have secured some other interesting requests.
Shy added that, “A band that I worked with a few years ago requested a local chess player. They wanted somebody from a high school team or something to be on hand in case the band wanted to play.”
So back to the removal of the brown M&Ms for Van Halen. The real reason for that and some other wacky things bands request Shy said often have validity.
“Basically seeing if the person reading the rider and fulfilling the rider was really paying attention. Because if they didn’t notice this special M&M request, what else were they not paying attention to,” Shy explains.
It’s all about the details when it comes to these multi-million dollar performances.