Too Much

Too Much
Reviewer: mdurshimer
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Excess All Areas:
A Lighthearted Look at the Demands and Idiosyncracies of Rock Icons on Tour
128 pages
October 28, 2014
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Takes readers on a roller-coaster, backstage ride into the surreal and unpredictable world of the band contract rider.

When I first read the description for Excess All Areas: A Lighthearted Look at the Demands and Idiosyncrasies of Rock Icons on Tour, I had a déjà vu moment: Haven’t I seen this book before?
Yes, this book had already been written - by a Brit. It’s called The Little Red Riders Book: The Backstage Requests of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Most Famous Artists. But I’ve not read it and since the concept of both books struck my fancy, I decided to give Excess a look.
And a look is about all I gave it. There’s little in the way of substance in this book (some might say the same of the people in these bands and their music). It’s graphically appealing, and then some, but it won’t hold your attention for very long. It’s just a list of things that bands want in their dressing rooms while on tour. I haven’t heard of about half of the bands, and I try to stay fairly current since A) I’m reviewing books for this site and B) I am the parent of a 19- and 20-year-old with eclectic musical taste.
The lists are unbelievably specific. For instance, Elton John wants 8 Diet Cokes and they must be in cans. Why eight? Why in cans? Is this legit or is this just an example of someone making a request because they can? Nikki Six of Motley Crue wants a fully suppressed Heckler & Koch MP-5 SD sub-machine gun and 500 9mm rounds. Why? Who gets this for him? What does he do with it?
Busta Rhymes needs 2 boxes of Lifestyles and Rough Rider condoms. Amy Winehouse, may she rest in peace, wanted a sign on the door that read Only Big Boys Can Enter. Iggy Pop wants seven dwarves. Are all of these requests sexual in nature? Could be.
Def Leppard does the politically correct thing and requests that all leftover food be donated to a food center for the homeless. Meanwhile, Public Enemy only eats kosher food and wants a bucket of KFC (as a Jew, I’m a little surprised that fast food is kosher, but since I don’t keep kosher, what do I know?)
If you’re really into music and need a good addition to your coffee table for when your guests need something to page through while they’re waiting for you to get drinks and appetizers, buy this book. But don’t be surprised if you end up putting it in your garage sale pile a few months later. It’s amusing, but that’s about it.