Published Feb 06, 2015As the University of Oklahoma has learned, you don't mess with a man's secret guacamole recipe, especially if that man is Jack White, whose booking agency has blacklisted the educational institution from hosting any future gigs of his after the Oklahoma Daily newspaper printed the contents of his contract and rider.
As Consequence of Sound points out, the newspaper had published an article ahead of White's show at the Norman, OK campus's McCasland Field House last Monday (February 2) that revealed how much the show had cost the university. It apparently spent over $80,000 U.S. to put together the performance, with costs including hiring professional sound and lighting, setting up hotel accommodations and "artist hospitality as mutually agreed upon."
White did, however, pay for airfare and cover the costs of the opening band.
The article also printed details on White's rider, which included a special guacamole recipe to be prepared for White's crew. A request was also made not to make the guac too early in the day, aiming for a 5 p.m. snack time. Oh, and White apparently has a no-banana policy ("We don't want to see bananas anywhere in the building," stated the contract).
Understandably, White was upset with the details going live and called out the Daily in concert. While the paper defended itself with the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, White told the audience, "Just because you can type it on your computer doesn't make it right."
The aftermath of all this is that White's booking agency, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, has reportedly blacklisted the university from booking any of its artists henceforward. The agency also represents artists like Pharrell, Kid Cudi, Alicia Keys and 2 Chainz.
While the institution may need to "Weep Themselves to Sleep" over the gaffe, at least we all have this sweet, kicked-up guacamole recipe to work with. Stock up on avocados, everybody.
UPDATE: Jack White's management team has since issued the following statement [via Pitchfork]:
To the students and staff of University of Oklahoma:
Jack White would love to thank all the concert attendees at his performance at the University of Oklahoma. The crowd was incredible and Mr. White played an extensive two and a half hour show for them. The students who helped organize the event were wonderful. Playing in, and for, the people of Oklahoma is one of Jack White's favorite tour stops. At no time did Jack White or White's management say that we would never play there again, that is untrue.
The incidents with the OU 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. The show was one of many on this tour directed at playing for university students in their own environment. And the band were all completely thrilled with the performance and the crowd.
Incidentally, the most important function of a rider is that it lays out optimal technical specifications to ensure the audience has the best experience possible. For that, Jack hires a team of very qualified touring professionals who write the rider and attempt to execute a professional and pleasant experience for all involved. Part of that is making sure that the tour personnel of about 30 people plus the local venue staff are fed.
Contrary to what some believe, Jack doesn't write the rider nor make demands about his favorite snacks that must be in his dressing room. We're not even sure he likes guacamole but we do know that the folks who work hard to put on the show do enjoy it.
(By the way, now that's it out there, we recommend you try Lalo's guacamole recipe. It's delicious.)
We hope those present for Mr. White's performance are able to maintain their good memories from the experience and he looks forward to seeing them again soon.