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Van Halen and the brown M&Ms clause.

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posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 05:21 PM
I found a neat article about Van Halen and the controversial clause in their contract that said they would always get a large bowl of M&Ms backstage with all brown M&Ms removed.

Apparently they had a REALLY good reason for this.

Righting The Wrongs: Van Halen and M&Ms

The 1980s was a heady and decadent time for rock stars. Stories of bad behavior by some of rock’s finest - be it trashing hotel rooms or simple prima donna demands - were splashed all over the headlines. And few of those stories were as famous as the “Van Halen and M&Ms” story.

In case you weren’t around during the 80s, the rock supergroup Van Halen had a clause in their concert contracts that stipulated that the band would “be provided with one large bowl of M&M candies, with all brown candies removed”. Once the “M&Ms” story leaked to the press, social commentators jumped all over it as an egregious example of the pampered and spoiled behavior that rock artists demanded. It was yet another sign of the decline of Western Civilization. And to this very day, any time a story about a celebrity acting like a diva surfaces, my mother rolls her eyes, clucks her tongue, and says “well… did she want the brown M&Ms taken out of the bowl, too??”

The staff at venues in large cities were used to technically-complex shows like Van Halen’s. The band played in venues like New York’s Madison Square Garden or Atlanta’s The Omni without incident. But the band kept noticing errors (sometimes significant errors) in the stage setup in smaller cities. The band needed a way to know that their contract had been read fully. And this is where the “no brown M&Ms” came in. The band put a clause smack dab in the middle of the technical jargon of other riders: “Article 126: There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation”. That way, the band could simply enter the arena and look for a bowl of M&Ms in the backstage area. No brown M&Ms? Someone read the contract fully, so there were probably no major mistakes with the equipment. A bowl of M&Ms with the brown candies? No bowl of M&Ms at all? Stop everyone and check every single thing, because someone didn’t bother to read the contract. Roth himself said:

“So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.”

Everybody always thought they were a bunch of spoiled rock stars but, it turns out this was just their way of making sure everything had been set up right.

No brown M&Ms? Better check everything; if they screwed that up, then they weren't paying attention to detail and more things are likely to be messed up.


posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 05:31 PM
That was a brilliant move on the bands part

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 05:40 PM
Cool I heard sometimes they wanted all green MnMs after a while cause green makes you horny

posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 09:25 PM
Pick up a copy of Roth's book "Crazy From The Heat" if you can find it, that article is almost verbatim.
Apparently a basketball arena floor was destroyed because nobody read the contract and the weight of the equipment crushed it, there were brown M&M's in the bowl backstage.

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