Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Van Halen's Legendary M&M Concert Rider

By now, everyone has heard of Van Halen's legendary "no brown M&M's" concert rider back in the 70's (a concert rider is an addition to a performance contract that covers the needs and wants of the artist). If you haven't, The Smoking Gun actually has a copy of it, and it clearly states under the Munchies category, "WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES."

This received a lot of publicity way back when and has gone down in rock history as one of the most self-indulgent demands during a period of perhaps the most self-indulgence ever in the business, but I believe that this demand was strategically placed with a special purpose in mind.

If the band would get to the dressing room and see that their M&M's still had the brown ones left in, they could be pretty sure that their rider wasn't read that closely by the promoter and it was a sign to look for other places where the promoter cut corners. Brilliant!

Concert riders have tamed down a lot in these days of corporate, ultra-professional touring. Lady Gaga's rider, for instance, calls for "a roast chicken, a plate of cheese on ice with a tray of assorted meats, low-fat milk, salsa dips and whole-wheat bread and crackers." Not exactly party material.

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1 comment:

Peter TOriello said...

Ironic, though, since Eddie is known for his "brown sound"

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