Thursday, June 25, 2015

Van Halen and the "No brown M & Ms" clause - read the fine print of any contract (Terms and Conditions apply)

The rock band Van Halen had a clause in their concert rider stipulating that there should be kept in their dressing room a bowl of M and Ms with no brown M and M's.

For those who don't know what M and M's are, they are small chocolate candies coated in a layer of coloured sugar. The name stood for “Mars & Murrie” the co-creators of the candy.

The clause, their singer David Lee Roth later explained, was to make sure that the concert arrangements were being followed to precision, especially since they had specific requirement s for the light and sound and safety requirements. They had previously been an incident where they had electrocution and damage to their equipment due to incorrect specifications and safety procedures.

If the bowl of M&Ms was present, then the band members could safely assume the other, legitimate, items in the technical rider were being fulfilled to their satisfaction. Conversely, if the bowl was missing, or brown M&M's were present, then the band members would be within their rights to have the venue inspect the work, ask it be redone, etc

The band really took this very seriously. There was the M&M riot in New Mexico where the band did thousands of dollars of damage to a hall when they were served brown M&Ms — their contract said the brown ones had to be removed.

Read the following newspaper excerpt :
The folks in Pueblo, Colorado, at the university, took the contract rather kinda casual. They had one of these new rubberized bouncy basketball floorings in their arena. They hadn't read the contract, and weren't sure, really, about the weight of this production; this thing weighed like the business end of a 747.
I came backstage. I found some brown M&M's, I went into full Shakespearean "What is this before me?" . . . you know, with the skull in one hand . . . and promptly trashed the dressing room. Dumped the buffet, kicked a hole in the door, twelve thousand dollars' worth of fun.
The staging sank through their floor. They didn't bother to look at the weight requirements or anything, and this sank through their new flooring and did eighty thousand dollars' worth of damage to the arena floor. The whole thing had to be replaced. It came out in the press that I discovered brown M&M's and did eighty-five thousand dollars' worth of damage to the backstage area. 
In a recent interview with Billboard, Eddie Van Halen let out some interesting facts :

Did guitar picks give him cancer ?

Eddie and singer David Lee Roth aren’t friends
He knew Gary Cherone wouldn’t last with the band pretty quickly
It’s unlikely Van Halen will record new music following 2012's A Different Kind of Truth.
He’s not sure smoking is to blame for him getting tongue cancer.

“I’m a T-shirt and jeans guy,” he says while compulsively vaping. He no longer smokes cigarettes, having surgically lost one-third of his tongue to a cancer that eventually drifted into his esophagus. Still, he’s not certain if the cigarettes were totally to blame.
“I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer,” he says. “Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that’s filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”

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