The recipe in question:
Here, I'll let ol' Diamond Dave explain the logic behind weird contract riders. It makes pretty good sense once you hear it.
Consider the following two explanations for Jack White's refusal to grace OU with his sick guitar chops anymore:
- He's a petty prima donna who has his knickers in a twist over being publicly embarrassed. Some snotty college kid at the student newspaper wants to make a fool of him? Up yours, OU. Up yours FOREVER. Ha!
- The game theoretic logic behind strange, specific demands included in contract riders only work as intended when the punishment threat is credible. If White had folded and said "ha ha, It's just a joke you guys, I don't actually care about f'ing guacamole. It's just to keep the venue on its toes. I have a very demanding schedule what with all the traveling and writing new material and the rehearsing and whatnot. All I'm really looking for is one quick signal that the people supporting my show are being thorough and diligent," then future venues could game this bit of information to shirk consequence-free.
Naturally, these two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. I don't know White, so I can't comment on the quality of his character, but would you be able to reject either hypothesis on the weight of the evidence presented?
People, ever since Altamont (or West Warwick if you're a little younger), audience safety is a pretty serious bit of due diligence. For conscientious performers, disregarding this duty comes with a penalty. Note that White is effectively burning his own future earnings to send a signal to venues that he takes the terms of his contract seriously. He insists on accepting his BATNA to signal his credibility.
That? That's integrity. Integrity and humility. To have the world (or at least Oklahoma) think less of your character all for the safety of the audience and one's fellow performers is an act of courage. Well done, sir. Well done.