# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Miscellaneous - Excess All Areas

  by Melanie Smith

published: 8 / 12 / 2014

Miscellaneous - Excess All Areas


Melanie Smith reflects on new book 'Excess All Areas', which looks at some of the most extreme rock rider lists

According to Wikipedia a rider is “a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as criteria for performance.” This is usually in the form of food or drinks, but more often than not it can extend to a wide range of requests, many extreme and outrageous. Sue Richmond has managed to collate a wide range of these riders in this gorgeous little book. ‘Excess All Areas’ is a vibrant 144 page hardback book packed with a hundred rider lists of rock stars on tour, and which were originally published in ‘Q’ magazine between 1998 and 2008. It’s all done with a humorous touch, with the pages very colourfully illustrated by Wilf Hanson (this fact alone makes this book worth buying). It’s laid out in seven sections, with charming titles – ‘More Tea Vicar’, ‘Smokin’, ‘We Need Our Five a Day’, ‘New Towels Please’, ‘Champagne Lovers’, ‘The Drinks Are on Us’, ‘You Want What?’ There are some delightful little bits and bobs. For instance, Amy Winehouse wanted a sign outside of her dressing room which read 'Only Big Boys Can Enter. The Prodigy wanted Crunchy Nut cornflakes. Who’d have thought it? Elvis simply wanted ten soft drinks and four cups of water, not very excessive at all, but I can imagine his rider eventually expanded to match his waistline. Just be glad you don’t have the pleasure of fulfilling some of the more excessive requests – graffiti-covered walls, blow up dolls, seven dwarves, false facial hair, boa constrictors, 60’s bath towels! It makes for amusing reading, but surely should not be taken seriously? I don’t want to give it all away, but if you want a glimpse into the backstage demands of those high flying rock gods, and see what odd, excessive, peculiar requests they make, then this book is for you. My only gripe about the book is that it doesn’t feature many newer artists or bands. The riders aren’t given dates and I would have liked to have known a bit more about the artists, maybe with links to their websites? It’s a delightfully attractive coffee table book, and easy reading in a few sittings, or just pick a few at a time to browse through and to read out to your mates. Now if you don’t mind I am off to compile my own outrageous dream rider. I might be a while!

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