The Arizona Desert Lamp

Keep the hecklers close: you know them smokers will test you

Posted in Campus by Connor Mendenhall on 10 April 2009

PB&Jay-ZIn today’s Daily Wildcat, reporter Shain Bergan performs an annual ritual for student media: picking through the concert rider of whichever big name performer’s been booked by student government. This year, it’s Jay-Z, whose demands seem downright pedantic compared with the rambling whims of artists like Iggy Pop, or even Kanye West, who performed at McKale Center last year.

Where Kanye wanted Caribbean Tabasco sauce, fruity “Slenderize” energy drinks, and curiously, a copy of first-grade favorite “Connect Four”, Jay-Z seems to be content with quality peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Their tastes in booze diverge as well: Kanye requested Stella and Sky, while Jay-Z prefers Sapporo and Belvedere. Both artists asked for a bottle of Patron–and as usual, both had their alcohol requests flatly denied by the university. (No wonder we haven’t had a big name concert since 1977!)

But there’s one more item purged by the powers that be that stands out. From the article:

Per university addendum, the artist will have no use for the following items that were also requested: eight wine glasses, 12 champagne glasses, a martini shaker, 12 shot glasses, a pack of Marlboro Lights Hard Pack and a package of lighters.

The glassware’s fair enough, but why scuttle the smokes? Is UA trying to avoid the new dollar-a-pack federal tax? (Note to President Shelton: “SCHIP recovery surcharge”) Or are they just playing choice architects and protecting Mr. Carter’s delicate, Grammy-award winning lungs? Dare I detect the occult hand of SHAC?

It’s even more odd, considering that the outdoor areas of Arizona Stadium, where Jay-Z is slated to perform, are one of the few exceptions to university smoking regulations. Come on, UA! It’s bad enough to deny a guy seven bottles of super-premium liquor, a cooler full of beer and enough assorted crystal for the class of 2010. But nixing a pack of Marlboros and a few lighters? That’s crossing the line.

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6 Responses

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  1. Laura Donovan said, on 10 April 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I am an ally for smokers, but its understandable to have smoking regulations when people are standing so close to each other. As someone who has been burned by another person’s cigarette at a crowded event like this, I would be furious to see it happen to anyone again. It’s a hazard to the people standing nearby and it forces them to inhale possibly unwanted smoke. There is no option to move to another seat. So no, this is not an absurd regulation.

  2. mattstyer said, on 10 April 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I’ve gotta disagree – I’m all for rough concerts. I go back and forth on smoking bans at bars (leaning more towards nay), but definitely not at concerts. What else can we have left that’s a raw experience?

    In any case, props to Jay-Z on Sapporo and Belvedere. That alone makes him better than Kanye.

  3. A. Hill said, on 10 April 2009 at 10:47 pm

    More like they can’t bear to provide someone with such crappy cigarettes.

  4. Bergan said, on 12 April 2009 at 1:50 am

    Why don’t you guys have a “Shain Bergan” tag yet? I mean, we cover pretty much the same beats. haha. But in all seriousness, you guys do a great job.

  5. Connor Mendenhall said, on 12 April 2009 at 4:27 am

    Ask, Shain, and ye shall receive. We are a strange little microcosm of the internet ecosystem, aren’t we?

  6. […] dancing, shouting, and trying not to fall into anyone. Weed and cigarettes reeked all over, and the “no smoking” regulation didn’t stop anyone from smoking cigarettes despite being uncomfortably close to […]


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