This week, Jack White played a show at University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. During the show, he took a minute to blast the school’s newspaper because the paper published his contract and tour rider. And honestly, his anger seems reasonable. White is a superstar musician who is notoriously private, and financial agreements are an awkward thing to be made public. But then you look at the documents and you start to get an idea of why he may really be upset, and it has nothing to do with money. It has to do with guacamole.
Included in his tour rider is not just a request for guacamole, but an entire recipe that he asks the University follow and make. So now every student not only knows how much he was paid to perform, but also his top secret guacamole recipe. Smh. White also explicitly asks for NO BANANAS (“This is a NO BANANA TOUR. We don’t want to see bananas anywhere in the building”), no fluorescent lighting in the VIP areas, and eight champagne flutes, eight wine glasses, and eight highball glasses, all of them “real glass.” A copy of the rider is below.
As a result of The Oklahoma Daily publishing the two documents, White’s booking agency, William Morris, has blacklisted the school. “The company said they won’t book anymore bands or other talents to come to OU because the article mocked Jack White and they don’t want any other artists treated that way,” the article states. However, the paper has defended their actions, reasoning they were merely reporting how the student’s money was being spent.
UPDATE: Jack White’s management has released the below statement in response:
To the students and staff of 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.
(Jack White’s management)