Friday, September 30, 2005

Sheer Heart Attack

Rock fans have laughed at the weird stuff rock stars demand backstage — what’s known in the trade as “contract riders” — ever since David Lee Roth revealed that Van Halen requested a bowl of M&Ms every night with all the brown ones removed. As you’d expect, demands since then have gotten both sillier and more extravagant, as a quick survey of the riders posted by The Smoking Gun indicate.

Still, nothing on that list prepared me for this little bombshell, dropped by Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida. His band opened for the Stones at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, and as he told the student paper at Villanova, “They had a defibrillator backstage for Keith Richards — or just for whoever was feeling it at the time. I'm serious.”

It sounds like a joke, I know. In fact, there was a Rolling Stones defibrillator joke on the internet weeks before the Maida quote turned up, one of many “gosh, they’re old gags” that trailed in the wake of the current Stones tour. Fortunately, we’ll likely be spared the “Start Me Up” association in real life, if only because they’ve already licensed that one to Microsoft.

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