Van Halen and the 'Brown M&M Clause'

It’s an established fact (and this is one established fact that is actually true) that on their tours van halen had a clause in their contracts saying that all the m&m dishes at the venues should be without brown ones on pain of cessation of the show (and large damage bills generally). Not many know why this clause existed, most hear about it and think ‘m&m’s don’t taste much different due to colour, why brown ones?’. Well the reasons for this were simple, the van halen contracts were like encyclopedia britannica in size and density, so they decided they needed to put a small clause in there to make sure that people read the contract. If brown m&m’s were found, it wasn’t often that they actually cancelled the show, they just line-checked the production and there were always other errors found, a lot of the time there were life-threatening ones, if these errors were fixable, they were fixed and the show went on, however if they weren’t the show was cancelled (and sometimes had a bit of fun doing a bit of damage to the venue). It is worth noting that claudia schiffer had a clause in her contracts that asked for all the purple skittles to be removed, I can’t comment on whether ms. Schiffer’s reasons were the same as messrs. Lee Roth, Van Halen, Anthony, and Van Halen’s however.
Just a useless fact that i thought i should post.

I’ll agree it’s established as far as Snopes goes…anyone who’d like to see the whole thing can go to

Can’t say anything about the Claudia Schiffer (sp?)as I haven’t heard…
but please please PLEASE don not email this to everyone you know!!! I hate loathe despise those mass forwarded emails that only serve to clog and slow down my pos dial-up service while I wanit for all this crap to download from my server! Be witty and bring it up in an actual face-to-face conversation :slight_smile:

Well, I don’t doubt this is a bit of creative writing, nor do i consider Snopes to be worth much in the way of definatively debunking things since their research is usually sparse, relying on the Occam’s Razor approach.

I can say that I know many bands (rumor has it that its just a tradition that has existed for quite some time) put clauses in their contracts for silly things. These are usually for nothing more than a novelty and a chuckle. I’ve never seen anyone refuse a show based on that type of detail, and I doubt anyone would.

But, bands do tend to do silly things on occasion, but never doubt that business is first and formost amongst most. They probably don’t even see the contracts once they reach elite status.

Former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has a morning show where I live, and he was just talking about VH’s riders. Appearantly they had a lot of them. When TS toured with them, VH had another stipulation that they get a bowl full of “Coney Island White Fish”. Promoters would go out of their way giving VH elaborate spreads of seafood. Well, it turns out, Long Island White Fish were a nickname for used condoms that would float in the water near a lover’s lane in Brooklyn. The only city that got the joke was New York. When VH played there, they had a bowl of water and unwrapped condoms (unused). At least thats what Dee said.

…and to think, when the Beatles came to the US, all they wanted was 4 folding chairs and a case of Coke!

Back in the 80’s, I heard a bit from Rick Dees’ radio show where he pretended to be Michael Jackson’s tour manager and called a local arena to set up a concert. The “manager” gave the arena manager a list of “demands” ranging from a separate romm for Michael’s glove to a conference table surrounded by seated mannequins. The mannequins were also to have a dinner plate in front of them on which a single corn flake was to be placed. Needless to say (then why I am saying it?), the arena guy was extremely pissed.