A Treatise On Guacamole

By now we assume you’ve all heard of the “Great Guacamole Incident.”  This article is more about what it’s really about rather than a retelling.

For those who haven’t heard, the University of Oklahoma got into a spot of trouble when it hosted a Jack White show.  The college newspaper, OU Daily, got a hold of White’s rider and contract, which are public records, but published them with all the verve of discovering the Pentagon Papers. In it where salacious items like a guacamole recipe for the crew and White’s fee of $80,000.

The article was published prior to White’s Feb. 2 show at the campus’ McCasland Field House. He made comments onstage and then, afterward, the university learned that WME was strongly considering never working with it again.

The OU Daily took it as the harsh byproduct of investigative journalism.

“Two of our standards, as outlined by the Society of Professional Journalists, are to seek truth and report it and to minimize harm,” the paper responded. “We reported the truth of what the university paid White and what White requested in his contract. Journalism must hold public figures accountable.”

Kudos to the journalists. However, sometimes people in the concert business don’t really care about Edward R. Murrow. What they care about, especially agents and managers, is protecting their artists, and the student newspaper reporters learned a quick lesson in how people conduct “bidness.”

However, although there was apparently a threat that WME would never bring an artist to the school, chances are that it will see more shows from WME, just not promoted by the university.  Meanwhile, White’s management company, Monotone, explained why everybody got bent out of shape, and it wasn’t because of guacamole.

“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,” Monotone said in a statement. 

“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.”