Solo Cups And Water Crackers: Backstage With AC/DC

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It’s probably safe to say that most fans enjoy a little glimpses into the more personal sides of the lives of their favorite celebrities and performers. The tabloids have not been lining supermarket checkout aisles for decades because that can’t make a profit, that’s for sure! Lot’s of people love celebrity gossip.

Although today’s offering is nothing as salacious as you might expect to find in a supermarket tabloid (how much of that stuff is true remains a mystery for the most part), it does shed a little light on the backstage lives of hard-rocking Aussie rockers AC/DC.

It’s no secret that AC/DC presents themselves as a pretty rough bunch. With songs such as “Highway to Hell,” “Hell’s Bell’s,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “Love At First Feel,” these guys are not easily mistaken for a bunch of proper schoolboys – despite guitarist Angus Young’s wardrobe choice.

If, however, fans have any illusions about the boys hopping on stage after pounding down a few cold ones backstage, a recent peek at the group’s rider makes it quite clear that the consumption of alcohol is strictly limited until the show is over. The following information was gleaned from a rider used during last year’s tour, although it’s probably safe to assume that much of it remains the same today.

Most big-name groups have riders – documents that detail what the group requires while on the road – that often contain very specific and sometimes unusual items. In this case, we find that in addition to AC/DC’s determination to maintain sobriety until they are done entertaining their fans, we also find that the group has a particular affinity for plastic drinking cups made by Solo. Dark colored ones at that!

One of the most interesting and unusual requirements listed were three oxygen tanks with accompanying masks, which must be available at the venue. Putting on a rock show – especially for a group like AC/DC – has got to be a strenuous endeavor, and with some smokers among them, perhaps it make sense that these aging performers need a little boost from some pure O2 either before or after the show. Perhaps both!

Other items on the list include a 12-pack of Heineken (bottles only!), which must be delivered backstage only after the band has begun playing. In addition, the boys also enjoy a case of assorted pop, a large bowl of chips and another of pretzels, three gallons of spring water, five large "glass only" ashtrays in each room, boiling water so they can enjoy their Twinings tea, coffee for 10 and ceramic and silver place settings for a meal for 10 which will be prepared by the band’s own chef. Sounds nice.

In the group’s backstage “common” area they require Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, Gatorade, spring water, nuts, fruit (including bananas), natural potato chips or organic corn chips, large-size candy bars, fresh popcorn, fresh bakery bread with a cutting board and knife, English cheeses, water crackers, and all the appropriate plates and cutlery.

One cannot help but wonder how important the presence of “natural potato chips” or “organic corn chips” are to those in the group that are said to be heavy smokers. Perhaps there’s no connection at all, but it would be kind of ironic for a guy with a cigarette dangling from his mouth demanding organic corn chips.

To each his own, I suppose. The fact that AC/DC has been rocking fans for 30-plus years indicates that they must be doing something right.

For more, visit The Times & Transcript.

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