Jack White has taken umbrage at The Oklahoma Daily‘s decision to publish the tour rider corresponding to his Monday night show at the University of Oklahoma. William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, the booking agency responsible for booking White and other acts, has notified the university that it will no longer book any artists at university-affiliated venues because, a campus activities leader told the paper, the article was seen as mocking White in what the agency saw as an unacceptable manner.
White himself commented from about the article when he was onstage, saying, “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right.”
Tour riders are customary parts of contracts for music acts to perform at venues: the riders specify food, space, and general amenities that are to be provided for the artists as part of their compensation for the gig. Riders range from the very simple (see Hüsker Dü’s rider for a mid-1980s First Ave show) to…well, Jack White’s.
The rider seems to have been written with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek sensibility: it begins with the command that “This is a NO BANANA TOUR. (Seriously.) We don’t want to see bananas anywhere in the building.” There’s no joking, though, about the carefully enumerated beverages and snacks—or about the medium New York strip steak White commands for his dinner.
The piece de resistance of White’s rider, though, is a complete recipe for the guacamole White and his band like to enjoy with their pita chips. The best sentence was pulled by the Oklahoma Daily for its headline: “We want it chunky.”
Here’s the recipe, so you can have your very own Jack White guacamole party.
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.
Update Feb. 7, 2015:
Commenters (Thanks, Trisha, Andrew and Natalio!) and other news outlets are sharing this statement from Monotone, Inc., Jack White’s management company.
To the students and staff of the University of Oklahoma:
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.