Van Halen singer explains ‘no brown M&Ms’ contract rider

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – The Foo Fighters demand bacon. Mary J. Blige insists a new toilet seat be installed. Paul McCartney wants Ivory soap. Christina Aguilera requires Flintstones chewable vitamins. John Mayer better see soft toothbrushes in the dressing room.

But perhaps the most enduring contract rider demand was Van Halen’s requirement that no brown-colored M&Ms be found backstage during the band’s tours in the 1980s.

Singer David Lee Roth finally explained the band’s demands.

Brown M&Ms from Van Halen on Vimeo.

In a video coinciding with the release of the band’s 2012 album “A Different Kind Of Truth,” Roth said the demand was not made because of rock star excess, but as a safety measure.

With its large stage show, Roth says the band was concerned promoters might take shortcuts that would jeopardize band safety.

“If I came backstage and I saw brown M&Ms, then guaranteed the promoter had not read the contract rider,” Roth says.

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