“These straws aren’t bendy – you’re fired!”

The prima donnas and the prima Madonna – ludicrous celebrity demands from new toilet seats to 100 doves.


Sit back and imagine you’re fantastic. It shouldn’t be so hard to do, plus it’s fun. Now imagine you’re really fantastic, in fact better than anyone else.

Not so fun now perhaps, but this might be an insight into the type of person who in their mind is really fantastic. You know, the type that demands all door knobs to be wiped before they enter a building.

Oh dear.

Yes, we’re talking about famous people – specifically singers. Artists that were once like you and I (actually, they probably weren’t) but are now successful, wealthy and pampered gods.

Pampered being the key word here. For it seems they don’t often hear the word “no” or the phrase “are you out of your f &%$ ing mind?!”

At least not to their face.

When on tour these superhumans are treated to “riders” which basically means a list of requests they insist on. You know, normal stuff such as bottles of water, some beer and wine, possibly a few towels and snacks. Maybe 100 doves. Purple satin curtains to be replaced daily…normal stuff.

Here are some truly special riders from some truly special people.

Jennifer Lopez

Amongst an extensive list of not so much requests as demands the Latin lovely wants her coffee stirred correctly. This means being stirred anti-clockwise and heaven help anyone who thinks they can get away with a clockwise stir because she’ll know. And someone’s looking for a job.

Does the anti-clockwise stir enhance the flavour? Well to J-Lo, yes and that’s the main thing. And because she can.

Actually she can’t, because her wacky demands meant India’s Premier League cricket organizers punted her from their opening tournament ceremony. Big deal, Indian cricket you may say. No, it’s not the Super Bowl. It’s bigger. The IPL attracts viewers of nearly 2 billion. Oopsy.

Never mind the IPL killjoys, Jen – you’ll love touring in the Southern Hemisphere. Toilets flush anti-clockwise…heaven!

Justin Timberlake

Showing an admirable concern towards hygiene Jussy boy is adamant that all door knobs at his events must be wiped thoroughly before and during his time there. Presumably after too. Every two hours, to be precise. Whether he actually uses the door or not is irrelevant but proper caution must be taken in order for him to deliver to his fans.

Naturally, such a request demands an incredible trust that the staff ordered to do so actually did so.

“Of course, Mr Timberlake – we cleaned them as you asked…snigger!”

This is exactly how it started to go wrong for Howard Hughes, Justin.


To be honest, we’d be disappointed if the Material Girl didn’t have an absurd list of demands. That’s her right as a pop goddess. Probably.

At the giddy heights of her fame, Madonna was touring with an entourage of 200 people including 30 bodyguards. Why not!

Rather than have some hapless nobody wipe her toilet seats (or bottom) at each venue, Mads simply orders new toilet seats at every venue. Easy.

Admittedly most people would prefer not to have to use public toilets but we soldier on, sigh and put paper down first.


Madonna enjoys the joys of a fresh new toilet seat with other famously down-to-earth types such as Queen Elizabeth and…er, Kim Jong-un. Yes, that North Korean dude.

Van Halen

The American hard rockers played to sold-out stadiums throughout the late 70s and 80s. The downside to tens of thousands of people screaming your name every night is that it inevitably leads to a wildly inflated sense of importance and worth.

Van Halen’s riders exemplified this, bless their whisky-soaked guitar picks.

The took preposterous demands to new levels by ordering a backstage bowl of M&M candy. All well and good except they insisted that every brown M&M was to be removed. Every single brown one, to be removed by hand. Hmmm.

The band has defended themselves by claiming they only did it to check if their tour manager could pay attention to detail.

There are plenty of ways to ensure attention is being paid to detail. Providing a list and politely reminding people is one way and demanding for candy to be removed is another.

The latter option usually preferred by self-indulgent wankers. With all due respect.


The long-legged lovely just loves ludicrous lists. When on tour she will only be satisfied if the rooms are set to 78c Fahrenheit and the candles are scented with roses. Only then can she perform.

Woe betide the slack-arse who set the room at 79c or 77c. Consider yourself fired, and probably a blessing.

Iggy Pop

The Godfather of Punk is know for his self-deprecating humour and well, looniness.

It’s with this in mind that we suggest Mr Pop’s rider is so loopy that it was surely done with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Either way, who cares. It’s entertaining!

Most likely to see if someone would actually bother to do it, he asked for:

  • A Bob Hope impersonator – with a full comedy routine prepared
  • Seven little people dressed as thought about to appear in “Sleeping Beauty”
  • A newspaper with articles about “morbidly obese people”
  • A bottle of French wine that “we can’t pronounce but want to drink”

Weird, certainly but not as grueling as having to wipe endless doorknobs or find 100 doves.

Justin Bieber

Saving the best for last is the undisputed world champion of idiocy, Mr J Bieber. The Beebs is still only 26 but the Canadian hotshot has certainly some stories to tell. None of them especially enlightening of course, but he has them.

Discovering yoga is one and driving tormented staff at Indian hotels to throw themselves in front of steamrollers is probably another.

Bieber toured India in 2017 and was adamant that:

  • His hotels were to incorporate Mogul paintings, antique furniture and signature Kashmiri bed linen. Let’s see, where did we put that Kashmiri linen again…
  • His rooms were to be adorned with purple carnations yet if his color preference was to change mid-tour then be prepared. WTF.
  • And the coup de grace: a special Indian Yoga casket (whatever that is) containing aromatic essential oils, jasmine, mogra and camphor incense sticks. Oh, and don’t forget the books on chakras and yoga asanas.

Compared to Indian hotel staff, slaves in Ancient Rome had it made in the shade.

Phew. If any of your favorite artists made the list, just remember there are plenty of others out there.

And if anyone ever accuses you of being unreasonable, just remind them that you’re not requesting new toilet seats every day. They’ll quickly see reason.


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