Remembering Paul McCartney’s hilarious concert rider requests

Having an extravagant rider is essential to being a rock ‘n’ roll star, and Paul McCartney certainly pushes the boat out. However, his rider is not only full of typical ointments one associates with those in his line of work, but it’s exactly what you’d expect from the clean-living Beatle.

When you’re an artist operating on the level of McCartney, in all likelihood, the rider isn’t written by him but by an assistant on his behalf. Therefore, while they may seem like a diva list of demands, it’s worth remembering that it probably wasn’t McCartney’s idea. However, the requests are undoubtedly fine-tuned to create the optimal environment for the former Beatle based on his tastes.

McCartney was barely an adult when The Beatles became the biggest band in the world. Therefore, as a result, he has always had people on his payroll willing to do anything to make his life easier and allow Macca to focus on his music.

Artists often forget the cost of their rider is taken out of their fee for the concert and later face the repercussions for their greedy actions. However, when you’re Paul McCartney, each concert pays you an extortionate fee, making it impossible for them to severely your payday.

In 2002, McCartney returned to the road after a nine-year absence for his Driving World Tour, which included 58 shows in total. After so long away from the road, Macca’s team wasn’t prepared to take any risks, and they made sure that every possible situation was perfect for the performer. Somehow, his rider request from the tour later surfaced and spread online. McCartney allegedly asked for the backstage area to be kitted out with halogen floor lamps with a dimmer switch. Furthermore, there was an insistence on using only animal-free materials and for there to be no trace of animal prints or skin to feature on the furniture.

His team also told venues they must arrange a dry cleaner before his arrival, which stands out as one of his most diva-ish requests, but it does make sense. They also asked for “six full and leafy floor plants, but no trees” and elaborated: “We want plants that are just as full on the bottom as the top, such as palm, bamboo, peace lilies, etc. No tree trunks!”

Interestingly, there was no food or drink request for the show, which usually makes up the full extent of most band’s riders. However, with a production of this scale, they likely had their own catering team who travelled from city to city with them.

See the full list of demands below.

Paul McCartney rider demands:
All lamps must be halogen floor lamps with dimmer switch
Only animal free materials (cottons, denims, velour, etc.)
Do not provide furniture made of any animal skin or print.
Do not provide artificial versions of animal skin or print either.
No leather seating is allowed in the black stretch limousine either.
Arrange for a dry cleaner before arrival.
6 Full and leafy floor plants, but no trees.
We want plants that are just as full on the bottom as the top such as palm, bamboo, peace lilies, etc. No tree trunks!
$50.00 – One large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies with lots of foliage.
$40.00 – One long stemmed arrangement of pale pink and white roses with lots of foliage.
$35 One arrangement of freesia. It comes in various colors so please mix them up. Freesia is a favorite.
20 dozen clean towels outside of the production office.

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