Iggy Pop’s Rider: Ron Howard’s Punchable Face, The Bubonic Plague, and More

Iggy Pop and the Seven Dwarves

Iggy Pop and The Stooges have the best rider in the world. It includes dwarves, belly dancers, and yes, punching Ron Howard in the face.

For those that don’t know, a rider is a set of requests or demands that a performer sets as a criteria for them to perform. Some are technical, some are hospitality based. Often riders become famous for their level of courageousness. Van Halen famously requested a bowl of M&M’s in the dressing room of every show with all the brown ones taken out and Queen requested a mud wrestling ring and mud wrestlers just outside the dressing room for post-show entertainment.

Iggy Pop’s rider has long been rather legendary for its insane requests, notable one-liners and asides, and random observations (the Foo Fighters are known for this as well). Iggy Pop’s latest tops all previous efforts. The rider, written by Iggy’s stage manager Jos Grain, stretches 28 pages and, according to its opening page, is “jolly exciting” like “Pirates of the Caribbean re-invented as an Ice Spectacular” and was dictated from a Ouija board.

In the section discussing the stage plan, Grain goes off on a tangent about the days of the way, the bubonic plague and missing his toy tank that was sent off to the Weapons Department where it was melted down and made into a real tank. All of which somehow transitions into Ron Howard’s punchable face:

Apparently Iggy met that Ron Howard once. You know, the ugly, baldy one out of Happy Days. Directs films. Got one of those faces you’d never get tired of punching.

The rider also requests a Bob Hope impersonator, seven dwarves, or a belly dancer. Of the dwarves the rider requests they be “dressed up as those dwarves out of that marvelous Walt Disney film about the woman who goes to sleep for a hundred years after biting a poisoned dwarf, or maybe pricking her finger on a rather sharp apple… or something.” It goes on to say that they’d accept taller people as it’s “attitude, more than altitude, that’s important.”

The rider also refers to the “Insane Clown Pussy;” showing up to Santiago de Compostela with “pickled eggs, a small blue vibrator with a jelly dolphin balanced on the shaft, a set of dog-eared encyclopedia 3/4 dia with volume E-G missing, and a screwdriver that’s been accidentally dropped in a lavatory and claiming they’re Iggy Pop and The Stooges; improving rock and roll through the inclusion of pantomime horses; and much much more.

It really makes for a fun read. Check out the whole thing for yourself at the Smoking Gun.

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