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Photos of the Food and Drink Requested by Famous Musicians Backstage

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When musicians sign contracts to perform in major concerts, their documents often contain riders (more commonly known as addendums). These are a series of special requests made by the band or musician, and outlines specifics of what they’re expecting when they arrive.

Photographer Henry Hargreaves noticed that riders often contain strange requests for the foods and drinks requested, so he decided to turn the requests into a photo project that offer a glimpse into the lives of famous musicians.

The photograph above shows one of Lady Gaga’s riders: “Small plate of cheese (nonsmelly, nonsweaty), on ice.”

Each of the requests that accompany Hargreaves’ photographs are taken directly from the contracts, and the spelling is verbatim from the riders.

Hargreaves tells us that what attracted him to the series was “the way their requests manage to say something about the performers personality that words struggle to,” and the way they “were able identify with them through what they chose to eat and drink.”

The riders were originally obtained from a section on The Smoking Gun called Backstage, which aggregates and publishes the contracts from major musicians.

The catering riders were very comprehensive, so Hargreaves decided to narrow down on some of the quirky and unusual requests found in the contracts.

To challenge himself, Hargreaves partnered with prop stylist Caitlin Levin to compose the rider items in the manner of Flemish still life paintings.

Frank Sinatra: "One bottle each: Absolute, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, white wine, red wine. Twenty-four chilled jumbo shrimp, Life Savers, cough drops."

Frank Sinatra: “One bottle each: Absolute, Jack Daniel’s, Chivas Regal, Courvoisier, Beefeater Gin, white wine, red wine. Twenty-four chilled jumbo shrimp, Life Savers, cough drops.”

Foo Fighters: "Big-a** kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious."

Foo Fighters: “Big-a** kielbasas that make men feel self-conscious.”

Mariah Carey : "Cristal Champagne, bendy straws."

Mariah Carey: “Cristal Champagne, bendy straws.”

Nine Inch Nails: "Two boxes of corn starch."

Nine Inch Nails: “Two boxes of corn starch.”

New Kids on the Block: "Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Oreo cookies."

New Kids on the Block: “Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Oreo cookies.”

Billy Idol: "One tub 'I can’t believe it’s not Butter!', Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies."

Billy Idol: “One tub ‘I can’t believe it’s not Butter!’, Pepperidge Farms Soft Baked Nantucket Chocolate Chip Cookies.”

Axl Rose: "Fresh Wonder Bread (white), Dom Perignon"

Axl Rose: “Fresh Wonder Bread (white), Dom Perignon”

Prince: "Coffee and tea setup, including honey, lemon, sugar, cream, fresh ginger root. Physician will be used to administer a B-12 injection."

Prince: “Coffee and tea setup, including honey, lemon, sugar, cream, fresh ginger root. Physician will be used to administer a B-12 injection.”

Rihanna: "Hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, at any time throughout the day. Please be prepared!"

Rihanna: “Hard-boiled eggs, turkey bacon, turkey sausage, at any time throughout the day. Please be prepared!”

Britney Spears: "Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana."

Britney Spears: “Fish and chips, McDonald’s cheeseburgers without the buns, 100 prunes and figs, a framed photo of Princess Diana.”

Van Halen: "Herring in sour cream, large tube of KY jelly, M&M's (Warning: absolutely no brown ones)."

Van Halen: “Herring in sour cream, large tube of KY jelly, M&M’s (Warning: absolutely no brown ones).”

Marilyn Manson: "Gummi bears."

Marilyn Manson: “Gummi bears.”

Busta Rhymes: "Twenty-four pieces of fried chicken, Rough Rider condoms, Guinness."

Busta Rhymes: “Twenty-four pieces of fried chicken, Rough Rider condoms, Guinness.”

Beyoncé: "Juicy baked chicken, heavily seasoned: garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Beyoncé can only have Pepsi products."

Beyoncé: “Juicy baked chicken, heavily seasoned: garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Beyoncé can only have Pepsi products.”

(via VICE)


Image credits: Photographs by Henry Hargreaves/Caitlin Levin and used with permission