Baked Potatoes Are Evil – Foo Fighters’ Tour Rider Split Open

We’ve all heard that Dave Grohl is the nicest guy in rock‘n’roll. As it turns out, he could be one of the funniest.

Foo Fighters and their longtime tour manager Gus Brandt have induced sniggers from Foos fans with the leak of the rider for their 2011 world tour, which went viral after appearing on earlier this week. At a dizzying 52 pages it kicks the absurdity up a notch, shaming the usual pre-tour lists drawn up by bands demanding a certain brand of cheese sticks and chilled Evian in the green room.

The washer-upper in the Milton Keynes Bowl probably won’t find the goofy gags amusing, but Brandt’s satire, one-liners, preposterous demands and musings on the many permutations of the tortilla in Mexican food make the rider worthy of a glance. For your convenience, and to ditch the too-goofy rubbish, I’ve compiled ten highlights from excerpts on catering, hospitality and activities:

A salad challenge
Describing the virtues of a good salad, the Foos explain: “Like Anne Frank, we’d like to believe everyone’s generally good at heart, but we’ve seen some of the skankiest meat and potatoes gauntlets the world has ever known.” So, look at their socks and see if you can knock them off.

The anti-potato rant
Don’t you dare serve baked potatoes or they’ll “go all Jeffrey Dahmer on the staff and anyone in range if I see one more baked potato bar set up in a dank meeting room in the rectum of a basketball gym.”

The melting pot
The Foos love some international cuisine, so “lose Taco Bell’s number. Get Chi-chi’s off speed dial.” And, whatever you do, “don’t bust out some Julia Child via hamburger helper recipe, throw a lime next to it and call it beef tikka pad thai.”

The chicken breast rant
Who hasn’t been offended by lackluster preparation of this catering staple at one time or another? The Foos “can tell you about the ones that looked like desert islands or one that had something like upholstery on the bottom.” So, be wary of the tried and un-true dish, but if you do succeed, Gus will give you a t-shirt.

Theme nights!
Among their suggestions are ‘Food on Sticks!’, ‘Fair Food Through the Ages’, ‘1001 Indian Nights’ and ‘Fried to Death and Swimming in Grease’.

Hospitality room prep
Non-negotiable items include: six rich guy coconut waters with extra privilege, zero cans of Tiger Blood (sorry, Charlie Sheen), one mess of locally produced organic seasonal fruits, one jar of self-righteous peanut butter from a health food store and 108 large bath towels.

Prohibited items
Remember that time you were stopped at the door of a venue for having a camera? A sandwich? If you’re headed to see the Foos, also leave behind your garden gnomes, tridents, waist packs, large spiked chains or bracelets and light sabers.

Sympathy for wookies
Completely out of the blue, the boys express their dismay that “Chewbacca didn’t get a medal at the end of Star Wars, which is a travesty.” It has nothing to do with their sausage roll quota or other food demands, but is a nice gesture toward neglected wookies, I suppose.

Supplemental material
The section titled ‘Catering Visual Enhancement And Activities’ is just what it sounds like – mazes, word searches, coloring, lessons from animated band members. Let drummer Taylor Hawkins illustrate the differences between a good and bad salad by having you circle items that belong in a salad (i.e. not Richard Pryor). Let guitarist Chris Shifflet lead you through a ‘Catering Don’ts Maze’ and guitarist Pat Smear show you what constitutes a
tasty treat. You have to wonder when they found time to do this.

Icing it up
The activities portion concludes with an illustrated discourse on ice. They’ll “squeal like little girls with skinned knees” for the perfect ice cubes, so listen up.

Still the nicest guy in rock, Dave told Rolling Stone that the real point of the rider is to make sure the road crew are taken care of, as their hours sometimes have them up at 7AM and leaving the venue at 2AM. They write: “To be honest, that rider has more to do with them than anything else. I could survive on microwaved burritos and Crown Royal.”

So, here’s the bottom line: for your kindness toward roadies, rollicking rider and your refreshing refusal to take yourselves too seriously, we salute you, Foos. And as Gus Brandt reminds us, if their antics have offended you, “you probably weren’t that bright to begin with.”