No, no he’s probably not.
You probably already called him a pussyface or a diva on the internet. It’s fine. Much like myself, you may have been uneducated on the subject. There’s a distinct possibility that Jack White didn’t even get a chance to try the guacamole.
Who writes a rider?
Not Jack White. That’s the short answer. A large act like Jack White has a large road crew. They can ask for guacamole or to be tongue bathed in Fiji water while being serenaded by Beyonce.
They don’t get to sit around and eat home cooked meals. They live on the road. The rider and the money associated with it are as much for them as it is for White. Their requests were fairly tame if anything.
Why did the contract say no bananas?
At it’s most basic, it’s a litmus test. If the staff can’t be trusted to make sure there are no bananas around, how can the road crew trust them with thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
A rider’s purpose is to ensure that the staff doesn’t spend the whole day taking selfies and Instagramming food pics.
A good example would be Van Halen’s provision to have all brown M&M’s removed from the backstage area. Here is David Lee Roth’s explanation on why this happens.
“The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say “Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes …” This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.”
So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl … well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.”
What OU Daily did wrong?
Mostly being over dramatic. Oklahoma is sometimes viewed as a flyover state. A lot of amazing touring artists pass over Oklahoma because they hadn’t had the chance to see the kind of positive response Jack White did at OU.
White headlined Gov Ball NYC last year. Since he played OU last week, he has played The Tonight Ahow, won a Grammy. He is now gearing up for another international tour before headlining Coachella this year. In my opinion he is a home-made guacamole level artist.
That being said, music journalists are notoriously underpaid with high pressure jobs. You have to put something out on the line every day with the expectation that people will care enough to not only read, but share with their friends. You do this for much less money than a waiter makes.
Why did Jack White blacklist OU?
Well, he didn’t. WME, his booking agent, are the ones that said they would never work with OU again. The music industry is very small. If you paint someone’s client as a diva who is hard to work with over standard requests you have delivered a pretty low blow. You can expect a response from someone.
What did Jack White say about OU?
Not much really. He said, “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right.” He could be referring to the OU Daily presenting the teams contract in a presumably intentional misleading light. He could be protecting his crew. When Jack White plays, it takes a team of people. They are not all millionaires. They are most likely not deeply thrilled with a local paper mocking their nut allergies, take home pay, and making them seem like general d-bags.
His management, if anything, handled the situation gracefully and with professionalism. They complimented the way in which the students at the University handled show. They went further to point out that Oklahoma was one of Jack’s favorite tour spots
Jack White would love to thank all the concert attendees at his performance at the University of Oklahoma. The crowd was incredible and Mr. White played an extensive two and a half hour show for them. The students who helped organize the event were wonderful. Playing in, and for, the people of Oklahoma is one of Jack White’s favorite tour stops. At no time did Jack White or White’s management say that we would never play there again, that is untrue.
The incidents with the OU Daily student newspaper reporting the financial terms of the show, the private tour rider information, along with unsolicited photographers from their staff were unfortunate, unprofessional, and very unwelcoming. The show was one of many on this tour directed at playing for university students in their own environment. And the band were all completely thrilled with the performance and the crowd.
Incidentally, the most important function of a rider is that it lays out optimal technical specifications to ensure the audience has the best experience possible. For that, Jack hires a team of very qualified touring professionals who write the rider and attempt to execute a professional and pleasant experience for all involved. Part of that is making sure that the tour personnel of about 30 people plus the local venue staff are fed. Contrary to what some believe, Jack doesn’t write the rider nor make demands about his favorite snacks that must be in his dressing room. We’re not even sure he likes guacamole but we do know that the folks who work hard to put on the show do enjoy it.
(By the way, now that’s it out there, we recommend you try Lalo’s guacamole recipe. It’s delicious.)
We hope those present for Mr. White’s performance are able to maintain their good memories from the experience and he looks forward to seeing them again soon.
(Jack White’s management)
8 x large, ripe Haas avocados (cut in half the long way, remove the pit—SAVE THE PIT THOUGH–, and dice into large cubes with a butter knife. 3 or 4 slits down, 3 or 4 across. You’ll scoop out the chunks with a spoon, careful to main the avocado in fairly large chunks.)
• 4 x vine-ripened tomatoes (diced)
• ½ x yellow onion (finely chopped)
• 1 x full bunch cilantro (chopped)
• 4 x Serrano peppers (de-veined and chopped)
• 1 x lime
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, careful not to mush the avocados too much. We want it chunky. Once properly mixed and tested, add the pits into the guacamole and even out the top with a spoon or spatula. Add ½ lime to the top later so you cover move of the surface with the juice (The pits and lime will keep it from browning prematurely.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until served.
Now, enjoy your guacamole and act like a grown up.