Top five riders

Ever since Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel experienced immense difficulty figuring out his miniature bread, the backstage rider has been a source of considerable mirth to mere mortals like us. Back in the day, Blur used to ask for four pairs of clean socks, bless 'em. We've chosen our top five request lists — which naturally reveal more than intended about the guilty parties.

Elvis Presley: Pot roast with gravy, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn bread, yes, with gravy, 36 chocolate donuts

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Pharrell Williams: 20 (yes, 20) crates (yes, crates) of Grey Goose vodka; 20 (yes, 20) crates (yes, crates) of Bacardi rum; 15 magnums of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque; belly dancers; a Rolls-Royce (to drive artist wherever)

Liberace: La Sonic Supreme jewellery cleaner; twenty-two 24-carat gold candelabras and 132 candles; coat rack; cape rack; two assistants (preferably boys between 15 and 19 of Filipino descent)

Maria Carey: Cristal; one box of bendy straws; tea for eight; two air purifiers; a bunny rabbit; one puppy; kittens; one special attendant to dispose of used chewing gum

Pink Floyd: one miniature golf course

For more, see The Little Red Riders Book (Portico)