(From "BABYSITTING A BAND ON THE ROCKS " - available at Newbury Comics locations throughout the Northeast and onlines at LTCDS.com > Webstore > Books.)
"Ah, yes, the rider, the now infamous Van Halen rider.
I’ve given you a taste for the craziness that concert contract riders had become, containing not just the items actually necessary to deliver a proper performance but also the eccentric demands added to test the willingness of promoters to indulge artist egos. Van Halen, it seemed, was so enjoying their status as rock’s newest prima donnas that they were intent on setting the bar and then taking it higher for outrageous requests.
This, their breakout tour, memorialized them as “the band that made you remove all of the brown M&Ms.” I of course complied – a contract is a contract, right? But as insane as the directive seemed, and legal commitment aside, the request was easy enough to fulfill, and apparently getting it done was one of the small details that cemented us on their list of preferred promoters. It turns out that it wasn’t about ego or ball busting at all. It came down to an extremely logical rationale: If we, the promoters, were attentive enough to follow through on such a seemingly insigni cant detail, chances were that we’d get all of the big things right. And to stage a successful Van Halen show, everything had to work, and it had to work perfectly.."