Wednesday 21 March 2018

Forget throwing the TV out the window, the Rolling Stones just want help working it

Band leaves hedonistic days behind with requests to hotels for clear notes on how to use technology

Antia Singh

Rock stars traditionally throw televisions out of their hotel windows in nights of debauchery. But it would seem the Rolling Stones now have an issue, in common with many people their age, with just how to turn the thing on.

 According to a leaked rider for their recent US tour, Sir Mick Jagger and co have a standard list of backstage requirements for a rock band: a never-ending flow of alcohol and cigarettes, and butlers on hand 24 hours a day. But there is a detail that belies the band’s age: they also need a set of written instructions on how to use all the electronics in their hotel rooms.

The Stones in 1963
The Stones in 1963

Management for the band – Sir Mick, 72, Charlie Watts, 74, Keith Richards, 71, and Ronnie Wood, 68 – drew up a list which was issued at every hotel they visited on the tour, the American website reported. Their chief requirements were that the bar remain open for as long as they needed it and that several butlers be supplied to handle their room service requests. A choice of Marlboro Red and Marlboro Lights cigarettes was on the list, and blacked-out windows to enable the band to enjoy themselves in privacy. The band also asked for an after-hours dry cleaning service.

 Their capacity for partying may be undimmed, but the request for instructions on how to use everything from DVD players to air conditioning and lighting indicates they have trouble mastering the latest technology. In a recent interview, Richards described himself as just like “any other old bloke” and said he was never happier than when pottering around the garden.

On previous tours, the band’s rider has included a snooker table, HP sauce, shepherd’s pie and satellite television on which to follow the cricket.

Their rock’n’roll image also took a knock in 2005 when Richards and Wood reportedly asked for their dressing rooms to be decorated with a “Casablanca lily and weeping eucalyptusarrangement” during their A Bigger Bang tour.

The rider for that tour revealed that Watts christened his dressing room “The Cotton Club” after the legendary New York nightclub, while the health-conscious Sir Mick called his “Workout”. Wood’s room was known as “Recovery” and Richards chose to call his “Camp X-Ray” in a joke reference to Guantánamo Bay.

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