William Morris Entertainment allegedly blacklisted the University of Oklahoma’s student newspaper for publishing award-winning artist Jack White’s tour rider.
The university invited White to perform at the McCasland Field House on Feb. 2. Before the concert, the OU student newspaper the Oklahoma Daily ran an article that revealed his contract with the university, requiring a ban on bananas in the entire building and a detailed recipe for fresh, homemade guacamole.
White’s management and booking agency did not respond well to the incident and showed their disapproval of the newspaper’s actions.
White and his representation declined an interview with the Oracle, but when asked about the incident the disapproval seemed to come from the leaked information regarding the $80,000 pricetag for the show and the way the rider was portrayed.
“The incidents with the Oklahoma 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,” White’s management team later said in a statement.
OU responded by saying the rider was public information that anyone could gain access to. The editors insisted that they were free to publish the information due to the Freedom of Information Act.
The reason for the banana ban and guacamole requests is hard to say, but tour riders in general do serve a specific purpose.
“The rider includes all the requirements in a show. It’s the appendix to the contract,” said Ian Courtney, staff writer for “Celebrity Access.”
White’s rider is not the only one that requires strange requests. Van Halen famously requests M&M’s with the brown ones removed. Jennifer Lopez is rumored to request her coffee stirred counter clockwise, and Prince makes the unusual request for a doctor to administer a vitamin B-12 shot before every show.
Most of the time artists like to keep their riders private and out of the public eye.
“Never in my 20 years of playing shows has my contract and tour rider been published in the paper that I recall,” White said in a letter to the media.
The incident concerning OU’s release of White’s rider may have ruffled the feathers of his booking agency, but it didn’t seem to deter him from coming back. White’s management team indicated that they hope those who attended the concert will “maintain their good memories from the experience,” and White said he looks forward to performing for his OU fans again.