Backstage pass - no brown m&ms
Backstage pass - no brown m&m's

After several weeks of this column, talking about great new website doing cool things online and with music, this week we present to you a website that’s truly in line with what the internet is about. Cheap gags.

You know a site is important when it’s Google search results has it’s own search bar. Such is the awesomeness of the Smoking Gun, now in it’s 12th year of publication. If you don’t know it, you may have heard of some of the stuff that’s on there. Smoking Gun collects documents that are fascinating, shocking or damning. It slants towards legal documents. Mugshots, who’s-suing-who’s and other incriminating evidence.

But our favourite part of the site is the collection of band riders. Found in the ‘Backstage‘ area of the site, 250 lists of what artists demand when they rock into your town. The crazy excess of rock ‘n’ roll life is now laid bare. The most famous backstage demand of all – Van Halen asking for no brown m&m’s – has been preserved on this site.

Most of them are quite dry, but a couple are truly amazing. Above and beyond the occasional ridiculous demand, sometimes you have a tour manager or a stage manager who should have written for comedy.

We have two far and away favourites. Iggy Pop (requests for someone dressed as Bob Hope) and Foo fighters (one bag of Pirate Booty, not Johnny Depp’s).

Iggy Pop’s rider –

Foo Fighter’s ’08 rider –

Read ’em to believe ’em.

After several weeks of clever, innovative, practical and obscure websites in our Wednesday Web column, it’s good to just write about a simply fun site. And hey, it’s still the kind of music site that can exist in this brave new age.

The Smoking Gun Backstage –