Jack White is about as private as big rock stars get, and he does not like his private info getting leaked. The University Of Oklahoma found this out after a school paper printed White’s tour rider before he played at the school’s McCasland Field House on Monday. White was paid $80,000 for the show, and he also had a long list of backstage accommodation requests. Those contract riders are pretty standard-issue for rock stars, even if they do sometimes relax those requirements for college shows, and the paper probably shouldn’t have printed it. Those requests are silly, but airing them out in public is more than a little disrespectful. And because of that disrespect, William Morris, White’s booking agency, is refusing to allow its acts to play the University, as Pitchfork points out. During the show, White mentioned the article, saying, “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right.” So: Bad move, The Oklahoma Daily! Still: There is a whole lot of funny shit in here. For instance:
• “This is a NO BANANA TOUR. (Seriously.) We don’t want to see bananas anywhere in the building.”
• Eight champagne flutes, eight wine glasses, and eight highball glasses, all of them “real glass.”
• There needs to be one pound of “freshly sliced, high-quality prosciutto and aged salami with a sharp knife.”
• “NO FLUORESCENT LIGHTING” in the artist and VIP areas.
• No photos of White inside or directly outside the venue.
• A New York strip steak, cooked medium, that needs to be made or picked up just before the show ends.
• And, most infamously, White wants homemade guacamole, and he’s got a half-page-long recipe for exactly how he wants it made.
You can see the full contract here; the rider stuff is towards the bottom. So what’s White’s issue with bananas? Does Dan Auerbach love them or something?
UPDATE: Jack White’s management is reversing the decision and has released this statement:
To the students and staff of University of Oklahoma:
Jack White would love to thank all the concert attendees at his performance at the University of Oklahoma. The crowd was incredible and Mr. White played an extensive two and a half hour show for them. The students who helped organize the event were wonderful. Playing in, and for, the people of Oklahoma is one of Jack White’s favorite tour stops. At no time did Jack White or White’s management say that we would never play there again, that is untrue.
The incidents with the OU Daily student newspaper reporting the financial terms of the show, the private tour rider information, along with unsolicited photographers from their staff were unfortunate, unprofessional, and very unwelcoming. The show was one of many on this tour directed at playing for university students in their own environment. And the band were all completely thrilled with the performance and the crowd.
Incidentally, the most important function of a rider is that it lays out optimal technical specifications to ensure the audience has the best experience possible. For that, Jack hires a team of very qualified touring professionals who write the rider and attempt to execute a professional and pleasant experience for all involved. Part of that is making sure that the tour personnel of about 30 people plus the local venue staff are fed. Contrary to what some believe, Jack doesn’t write the rider nor make demands about his favorite snacks that must be in his dressing room. We’re not even sure he likes guacamole but we do know that the folks who work hard to put on the show do enjoy it.
(By the way, now that’s it out there, we recommend you try Lalo’s guacamole recipe. It’s delicious.)
We hope those present for Mr. White’s performance are able to maintain their good memories from the experience and he looks forward to seeing them again soon.