Remember that urban legend about Van Halen wanting M&Ms during their tour but they didn’t want the brown ones? Yeah, me neither. But apparently it was true! The Smoking Gun (via) got their grubby mitts on the tour rider, which spells out all of Eddie and Alex’s picadillos.
Behold the Holy Grail. Since we began publishing backstage concert riders about 10 years ago, TSG has been searching for the most famous rider of them all, the one in which Van Halen famously stipulated that brown M&M’s were to be banished from the band’s dressing room. Well, as seen below, the hunt is over. TSG has finally obtained the 1982 Van Halen World Tour rider–typewritten and 53 pages long–containing the M&M prohibition (and a few other uniques demands). The document, which we’ve excerpted below, also stipulated that promoters provide the group with “herring in sour cream,” four cases of “Schlitz Malt Liquor beer (16 ounce cans),” and a total of eight bottles of wine and liquor. Oh, and the band also needed “One (1) large tube KY Jelly.” The rider’s “Munchies” section was where the group made its candy-with-a-caveat request: “M & M’s (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES).”
The band said that making such demands wasn’t your typical rock n’roll excess, but was a clever ploy to ensure each concert venue adhered to their strict standards for stage lightening and sound. To which we say – rock excess? What rock excess? I just don’t see why anyone would think such things about Van Halen.
(totally random comment: “There was a vote to change the name to David Lee Roth, but Van Halen won 3-to-1.” Fo’shame)