When last I left you, I had determined that going to work for the Foo Fighters, my favorite band in the world, was my fondest wish. The hitch for me was figuring out what I could do for them.
What skills, traits, or talents did I have that would be marketable to a rock band? I pondered and pondered this question. On the surface, I couldn’t think what practical use the band might have for a middle-aged woman who managed grants for a living. Don’t get me wrong; I’m really good at what I do, but you just don’t think ‘grant manager’ and ‘rock band’ in the same sentence. I had to dig deeper.
A mental inventory of my abilities yielded nothing at first. Zip. I despaired ever finding my Foo niche. Then one day, purely by accident, the answer arrived.
Back in 2011, on the front end of their American tour for “Wasting Light”, The Foo Fighters had a tour rider – a document outlining their wants and needs at those concert venues lucky enough to host them. My friend Lynne, knowing my fascination with all things Foo, sent it to me.
We’ve all heard horror stories about diva pop stars and lunatic rock bands with peculiar tastes and weird habits. Rockers who throw temper tantrums if even the most asinine demands in their concert riders aren’t met. I could see it now – “NO green M & Ms in the dressing room – EVER!” “All bottled water must be blessed by the Dalai Lama prior to being served!” “A dog walker and pet psychologist must be available for the talent’s Chinese Crested on a 24-hour basis!”
You know, spoiled rock star bullshit.
I approached cautiously. I felt sure I was going to read a list of outrageous mandates from a bunch of spoiled-brat, guitar-smashing, hotel-trashing rockers and my high opinion of my precious band would be crushed forever. I dreaded reading that rider, but if these guys were total dicks, I figured it was better to find out sooner rather than later.
The first thing I discovered was that the rider was funny. And it doubled as a coloring book. Tour manager Gus Brandt took the time to inject his (and the band’s) sense of humor into each page. The entire document was obviously written with tongue firmly in cheek. A few pages in, I kicked back and enjoyed the read.
There were no outrageous demands, really it all sounded pretty reasonable to me. Hot breakfasts? Makes sense – it is the most important meal of the day, you know. Hot lunch options. Dishes and cutlery NOT made of plastic. Vegetarian selections were important. Their shocking M & M demand? That the candy packages be unopened prior to their arrival.
Perhaps I’m just naïve, but if you’re a premiere rock band, do you really have to ASK that the venue not give you snacks that other people have had their hands in first? What kind of hosts were these people?
The list went on – clean socks, fresh t-shirts and a variety of reading material in the hospitality suite. Decent booze, a broad selection of beer. I read it all. And I felt sad. My band – my fucking heroes! – were having to ask for things that should have been common sense offerings from any venue. The questions kept coming up in my mind: “Why are you leaving all of this stuff to chance? Why don’t you have someone taking care of this on your end?”
The Foo Fighters needed a meal planner. A kitchen oversight officer. A den mother! Someone who could take care of them out on the road and make sure they were well-fed, well-read, well-hydrated, and well-rested. Someone who had nothing but their personal well-being in mind. If the food they were getting wasn’t up to par, they needed someone around to step into the kitchen and make it so. Did I mention that I cook? Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement – I don’t just cook. I throw down. I’m not bragging. It’s just how it is.
I knew what a Hoshizaki was. I had a subscription to The Atlantic. I knew where to find t-shirts in bulk. And if the M & M’s had been sullied, no worries. In less than an hour, I could whip up a pan of brownies that would make you weep with joy. Just point me toward the kitchen.
I finished reading that rider, and I knew I’d found my place. I knew what I could do for my band. I was the perfect person for the job. I’d been training for it since birth. And I was ready.
I was going to be the Foo Fighters’ Jewish Mother.