Steve Martin’s Tour Rider

Every touring act has a concert rider – those additional documents stating needs, wants and desires that bands and artists expect to be filled before they even step into the venue. But not every rider is like Steve Martin’s list of demands.

Probably one of the most famous concert riders is the old Van Halen list of requirements from the early ‘80s specifying that a bowl of M&Ms with the brown candies removed be placed in the band’s dressing room. The method behind the madness was that the M&M requirement was placed at the end of the rider following all the tech needs. If the band walked in and found the M&Ms minus the brown ones, they knew the rider had been read and (hopefully) followed to the letter.

Photo: Larry Hulst /
Denver Botanic Gardens – York St., Denver, Colo.

But Martin’s rider for his banjo tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers isn’t about brown candies or catching promoters skipping a few crucial technical details. Instead it’s about who tunes the instruments, trophy delivery schedules and “waterproof guyliner” as well as one whole roasted chicken provided at every show “for Steve to use as dancing puppet.”

Other requirements include the need for one “hostile-looking, biggish guard who tells repellently boring stories” for watching over the instruments, security personnel equipped with blankets and pacifiers and iceberg lettuce imported from Scandinavia, Canada or the Russian Arctic.

Since riders are often written based on previous experiences, you gotta wonder what prompted the specifications for “bendy” straws provided with the required “thoughtful assortment of meads.”

“IMPORTANT NOTE: Bendy straws must be strong enough to be able to be used as blowguns. ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT NOTE: Local paramedic aid may be required.”

As to the last item on the rider, well, that just might be the best of them all. After demands for swim trunks (in case there’s a pool on stage), “giant whimsical eyeglasses” and scoreboards reading “Steve 1, Bluegrass 0,” Martin has a very simple request at the very bottom of his rider – a booklet entitled “How To Make Money From The Banjo.”

However, there is a catch. Martin’s rider demands that the booklet must be more than two pages long.

Click here for Steve Martin’s website and his complete concert rider.