Van Halen and the Legend of the Brown M&M’s
When touring around the States, musicians (particularly the really popular ones) tend to give venues a list of demands or requirements for their backstage dressing rooms and areas. Known as “Riders,” these lists have recently come to light through sites like The Smoking Gun.
One great rider/rumor was that Van Halen wouldn’t allow brown colored M&M’s backstage. For the longest time, I thought this was just some ridiculous over-the-top thing that stemmed from being an iconic rock group, too used to having their way. Turns out though, this particular request was more of a test to determine whether the venue promoter actually paid attention to their requests. If they found brown M&M’s backstage, they knew that other aspects of the rider (things related to lighting, security, stage safety) were potentially neglected as well.