Artists are entitled to obscene requests

By Molly Brown

Writer

There exists somewhat of a cult behind vocal artists and their pre-concert demands, whether they include Janis Joplin’s much-acclaimed two bottles of Southern Comfort or the much tamer Pop-Tarts and Fruit Loops of Britney Spears. Numerous online editions of news outlets carry headlines reading things like “Top Ten Craziest Performer Demands,” which poses a question about performers’ demands. Do singers and/or artists have the right to ask for these things? Is it an abuse of their star status and power to have interns running about fulfilling their every whim? Or rather, are these demands well-deserved for the performers on often grueling concert circuits as testaments to how hard they’ve fought to be able to ask for specific food items or entertainment options before shows? Frankly, I say let ’em.

Part of the popularity behind pop stars is their often larger-than-life personas. Look at Lady Gaga. One does not only associate Lady Gaga with her music but also with her fashion, both onstage and off. For artists like Lady Gaga, their backstage demands might be one way to create some mystique for themselves. Wouldn’t it be cool if you were the particular someone who saved the day by bringing in the right kind of flowers or chocolate or take-out for someone whose music is played everywhere? Pretty soon the person whose job it is is to fulfill the every wish of that night’s star will tell their friends and family, “Hey! Guess who I met last night?” and recount their tale. Their family will tell other families who will tell others. If artists make the same demands at each and every venue they play, their demands become legends in their own right, which only helps to boost the artists’ persona.

I think that artists should be allowed to ask for something before a show (in reason, of course, and preferably legal). The music industry is highly competitive, and it has probably taken years for a particular artist to rise to fame or some level of it. Artists deserve some of the perks that go along with the difficulties of that lifestyle. After countless hours practicing, rehearsing, writing songs and traveling to venues, they need some moments of relaxation, and if asking for an iPad and a puppy to play with does the job for someone, then let them spend those couple hours or so of down time the way they wish.

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