independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Kim Bielenberg: Come on One Direction – tea bags and milk? You should be more demanding

Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Harry Styles of One Direction

When it comes to pop star excess One Direction are something of a disappointment with their request for tea bags, milk and a kettle before their Irish concerts.

Come on boys, you are meant to make ludicrously extravagant demands for your dressing room. Tea bag, milk and kettles just don’t cut it.

I am not suggesting that these fragrant lads should copy the example of Marilyn Manson who, according to legend, requested a “bald hooker with no teeth”, or James Brown who wanted “two women aged under 21 and a lady’s hairdryer”.

Neither do I expect them to be quite so pernickety as Iggy Pop who insisted on a Bob Hope impersonator, seven dwarves and a deck of playing cards.

Now that they are global megastars, it really is time for Niall Horan and his One D chums to act the true celebrity diva.

They should study the habits of Ms Mariah Carey, who is quite specific in her dressing room needs.

Once,  when she appeared on an MTV show, she requested a litter of kittens and puppies for the dressing room. She has also been known to ask for Cristal champagne, a box of bendy straws, and a special attendant to dispose of used chewing gum.

Jennifer Lopez wants white flowers, white tablecloths, white curtains, white candles, white couches, and low-watt light bulbs.

Those attending to the Lopez needs should also note that she likes her coffee to be stirred anti-clockwise. Woe betide the waiter who goes in for clockwise beverage stirring. It’s an abomination.

Some years ago the organizers of the Witnness music festival at Fairyhouse listed the demands some of acts without naming the bands. They included a jacuzzi-full of Guinness, a skateboard with knee and elbow pads, 100 bags of Buffalo-flavoured crisps and three white rabbits.

If they want to be demanding, One Direction should start where it matters - in the loo.  Barbra Streisand reportedly has to have a lavatory with petals floating in it, while Mary J Blige insists on a “private toilet with a new seat”.

One Direction are not the first stars to make mundane demands of concert organizers.

Dido only likes Marmite in her dressing room, while Aerosmith go wild with corn-on-the-cob “cooked for exactly three minutes”.

Led Zeppelin did nothing to burnish their hellraising reputation when all they seemed to require was an ironing board. Perish the thought that they would have poor creases in their elephant flares.

Sometimes the hard-pressed organizers of concerts can have the last word.  When Fleetwood Mac received a lifetime achievement award at the Brits some years, they reportedly demanded that their dressing room be painted beige.

The head of the Brits agreed to the request, walked out of the room, then poked her head back round the door and told the startled band: "And just remind me which decade we're in. Oh, yes, the 1970s. Thank you."

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