Rock’n’roll, vanilla candles and bacon

2014-12-14 15:00

"Well, of course we love bacon!” Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins exclaims.

He’s not joking: the American band describe bacon as “God’s currency” in their rider, a tongue-in-cheek 40-page document that lets concert organisers across the world know what they need.

Tens of thousands rocked when the Foos – as their fans call them – hit the stage in Cape Town on Wednesday and in Joburg last night.

City Press met Hawkins, lead guitarist Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel, pianist Rami Jaffee, rhythm guitarist Pat Smear, and the band’s enigmatic frontman Dave Grohl – ­­­­­­­ ex-drummer of the cult grunge band Nirvana – at Cape Town’s posh One&Only Hotel on Tuesday.

They were exhausted – the band arrived from New York via London that morning. “Sightseeing? Man, we could use some sleep right now. But hey, we’re so happy to be here, it’s beautiful,” said Grohl.

He’d recovered enough by Wednesday morning to borrow a Harley Davidson from the brand’s dealership in Green Point. The musician went on a joy ride to Cape Point and Franschhoek in the winelands before the show later that night.

The shop’s sales executive, Julian van Heerden, also joined the band on a ride to Stellenbsoch for lunch on Thursday.

“We just really got on well, what nice guys. I mean, they invited me to visit them if I’m ever in California,” said Van Heerden.

The band has been on the road to promote their eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, which was released last month. Their rider prioritises booze, bacon and vanilla-scented candles in their dressing rooms at concerts.

Before shows, they require a bottle of vodka and Jägermeister, and two vanilla scented candles – “no flowery scents as we’re men, after all”, according to the document.

They also need 24 large bath towels – and “if they are new and unwashed, you will receive a wedgie”, concert organisers are told.

It notes a preference for vegetarian soup over meaty options as their “fat” roadies are prone to flatulence.

“Bacon, I call it ‘God’s currency’.

“Hell, if it could be breathed, I would. Bacon in any form is great, not as an entrée, but just in general,” reads the document. On Tuesday, the band’s tour manager Gus Brandt took credit for the hilarious document.

He said he was particularly proud of the rider’s colouring-in section, which is intended to amuse concert promoters who have some quiet time on their hands.

Asked about the secret behind the band’s longevity, Hawkins said: “In effect, this is Dave’s band. He is just such a fun, good guy and supergenerous in the way he conducts the business, so it works.”

Grohl founded the Foo Fighters in Seattle in 1994 after Nirvana’s troubled lead singer, Kurt Cobain, committed suicide.

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