Today I learned that Van Halen have that rider in their contract about “a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed” in order to know at a glance if the promoter read the entire contract. And the reason they do THAT is because they once had a stage collapse because a promoter hadn’t read the proper way to set up all the specific technical stuff.
So if the band goes in the dressing room or catering and sees brown M&Ms, they know they have to double-check the stage setup for safety.
I heard about this on Freakonomics Radio. Turns out the bit about no brown M&Ms is HUGE, in BIG font, bold, underlined and quotated like they’re on the Group W Bench.
The band was all, “We have fifty-pound lights hanging over our heads and fire being shot out of cannons. We had to know whether they read our safety regs so we didn’t flamebroil any roadies.”
interesting how this has become a meme in the music industry about divas. i’ve always heard jokes that amount to “this stuck up celebrity hates the green gummy bears!! they’re refusing to perform just for that???” and its reading stuff like this that i realise how that joke might have come about. people get grumpy that the band refuses to play but cant admit its because THEY’RE incompetent, so they make it all about the M&Ms. another example of artists using a creative method to ensure they have a perfectly reasonable request fulfilled that is then bastardised by lazy people who wanna make money off them.
…this is like the music industry version of hearing the truth behind the McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit