When a promoter booked the rock band Van Halen they needed to provide a bowl of M&Ms, having all brown ones sorted out.
As lead singer David Lee Roth explained in a 2012 interview, the bowl of M&Ms was an indicator of whether the concert promoter had actually read the band’s complicated contract.
“Van Halen was the first to take 850 par lamp lights — huge lights — around the country,” Roth said. “At the time, it was the biggest production ever.” In many cases, the venues were too outdated or inadequately prepared to set up the band’s sophisticated stage.
“If I came backstage, having been one of the architects of this lighting and staging design, and I saw brown M&Ms on the catering table, then I guarantee the promoter had not read the contract rider, and we would have to do a serious line check” of the entire stage setup, Roth said.