Just some guys in the industry coming together to celebrate Van Halen and play the music we love
The Beatles are the only rock band who can surpass Van Halen’s influence.
There’s one thing pretty much everyone knows about Van Halen, which is that their contract rider for gigs contained the following stipulation: “There will be no brown M&Ms anywhere in the backstage area or immediate vicinity, upon pain of forfeiture of the show with full compensation.” The popular notion was that this was proof of Van Halen’s rock star pettiness, their selfishness, their capricious remove from the realities of normal life.
The reality, as David Lee Roth explained in his magnificently gonzo memoir Crazy From The Heat, was somewhat different. The M&M clause was hidden deep within the band’s technical requirements, as test of a promoter’s attention to detail. “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.”
Nevertheless, this is the kind of thing Van Halen gets remembered for. Oh yeah, and they’re kick-ass musicians!