What’s a Backstage Rider? A rider is the list of things that a band asks a promoter or venue to provide when it plays. You know the Van Halen thing with “No Brown M&Ms”? Smoking Gun has a great list of riders, too.
So I guess I am the Backstage Writer. Why?
I once lay on a bed with Richey Edwards, guitarist from the Manic Street Preachers (who disappeared in 1995), and we made fun of the videos on MTV together.
I drank wine backstage with Spiritualized in San Francisco. I snogged Mike Doughty from Soul Coughing in Buffalo. I cooked a Sunday roast for Irish band Therapy? in Toronto. I taught Lou Barlow from Dinosaur Jr/Sebadoh how to use Twitter in Vancouver. I danced with Keith Flint from the Prodigy, while Massive Attack DJed, and Jarvis Cocker looked on, in London. I took infamous classical violinist Nigel Kennedy on a pub crawl in Copenhagen (and stole some of his violin strings).
I met the Cult when I was 14 and interviewed Steve Earle when I was 17. I’ve gone to a house party with Dean Wareham and Luna, sat with Green Day in a kebab shop and The Verve in a coffee shop, been on a tourbus from Seattle to Vancouver with Dinosaur Jr and Henry Rollins, taken a cruise with Weezer, watched both The Charlatans and the Beautiful South play footie, danced on stage with L7, asked Oasis why they thought they were such hot shit, chatted with Skinny Puppy’s Ogre while he was covered in fake blood, seen The Cure 10 times, had Leonard Cohen tell me I was a beautiful person, been kissed twice on the cheek by John Taylor from Duran Duran and I have had a beer with almost every cool Canadian band popular during the 90s. I have kept a journal and every single gig ticket of every single show I went to between 1984 and 2000. The rest of the tickets are now framed on my wall.
But I’m not a groupie. Not really.
This is a blog about (mostly rock/indie/alternative/techno) music and my life in and around it.
Besides the regular reviews and interviews, Backstage Rider is about history lessons, cult heroes, crazy characters, loud gigs, silly decisions, awesome albums, dumb conversations, fun chats and the musicians or DJs that make the songs that make the whole world (or at least record-store clerks in ironic t-shirts) sing. I’m a music writer and photographer, and have also written and shot photos for Consequence of Sound, The Guardian, NME.com, Vancouver Sun and others.
I also used to handle press, online publicity and marketing for indie-rock legends Sebadoh and my pics of the band have appeared in the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix the Washington Post Express, The Northampton Valley Advocate and more. Other band pics have appeared in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight and Vancouver Sun. I’m also an occasional speaker on things rocktacular (and social media). I’ve got an actual B.A. in Journalism and have won some awards. But don’t hold that against me. Come and rock on with me. \m/