These 12 Famous Performers Have Had Some Pretty Wild Food Requests
Before J. Lo asked for an all-white dressing room and Beyonce requested heavily seasoned baked chicken thighs, these performers were demanding specific backstage foods from egg salad sandwiches to unshucked oysters.
Before crooning “Moon River,” Frank Sinatra required an extensive spread of food and drink, from bottles of Absolut Vodka and Chivas Regal to three dozen rolls of Lifesavers and cough drops to his favorite egg salad sandwiches (channel Ol’ Blue Eyes with this classic recipe.)
The Queen of Soul often kept it simple backstage with canapes and ginger ale, but sometimes she had a craving we can relate to: chili cheese dogs. With the $25,000 in cash she demanded from the promoter, we imagine she could get as many as she liked!
The King loved his food, including the indulgent Elvis Party Meatballs, or meatballs wrapped in bacon. In other aspects, however, he was easy to please: To quench his thirst, he asked only for an assortment of soft drinks and water.
Check out Elvis’ other favorite foods.
A bowl of M&M’s might sound like a simple request compared to some other backstage demands—except that Van Halen’s 53-page document stipulated that all of the brown candies be removed. The reason isn’t why you might think: The band was checking to see if the promoter was paying attention. If brown M&M’s appeared in the bowl, the concert would be canceled, as the band thought the safety instructions might not have been read diligently, either.
To stay hydrated before hitting the stage, Elton John requested a variety of sodas, fresh-squeezed juices and English Breakfast tea accompanied by lemons. However, Rocketman might have been more concerned with the ambiance as he was with the food: In his dressing room, he would request sofas and love seats, standing lamps and banquet tables covered with white linen tablecloths.
After the Beatles, Paul McCartney’s backstage requests became a little more specific—everything from the food to the furniture—had to be animal-free, and everyone else was required to eat vegan as well. Like Elton John, McCartney also wanted to create the right backstage aesthetic: He would ask for leafy floor plants, along with arrangements of Casablanca lilies and roses.
In his purple-painted dressing room, Prince ranged from specifics like black M&M’s to standards like pita bread, veggie chips and hummus, along with a supply of tea, honey, lemon and fresh gingerroot. Prince’s requests didn’t just include the food, but extended to how it was presented: All dishes had to be covered with plastic wrap.
While dining in their “East Indian Style” room, the “Dream On” band opted for healthier options, asking for meals of rice cakes, hard-boiled eggs, baked potatoes and chicken tikka with yogurt and mint dip (you don’t need to be a rock star to enjoy it)—no processed meat or processed cheeses allowed.
The Beach Boys
The “Good Vibrations” crooners also request healthier fare, including boiled and peeled shrimp and an array of veggies including avocado and alfalfa sprouts, with a bag of peanut M&M’s as an indulgence. However, they do have one specific request: Promoters have to make sure that there are no red nuts in their bowl of pistachios (channel The Beach Boys and whip up your own delicious pistachio treat).
Don’t stop believin’ that Journey’s backstage priorities are drinks, including classic canned Cokes, fresh-squeezed orange juice and Stewart’s Orange Cream Premium Soda. Promoters have to be careful to get the right brand, as the band will only drink Martinelli’s apple juice and spring water that isn’t Evian.
Along with specific wine requests—including Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne and vintage French red and white wine—the “Slave to the Rhythm” singer required two dozen Findeclare or Colchester oysters in her dressing room. The only catch? She wanted them unopened, so she could shuck them herself. (Here’s how we like our oysters.)
Much like Grace Jones, Pearl Jam has been all about DIY: They carry their own juicer, but require produce like grapefruits, carrots and ginseng root to be provided. They also get in their fill of pre- and post-performance carbs with multigrain bread, bagels and chips with guacamole and salsa.