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It's not about the M&Ms

Music powers me through life. It calms my nerves, raises my spirits and fills me with a warm glow of nostalgia...all within the same Funk & Soul playlist. Music can also open my mind to new ideas and inspirations; as a full-fledged funkateer, I instead looked to the lessons of rock legends Van Halen when researching this article. Yes, really!

When the band went on tour, Van Halen had it written in their concert contracts that there must be no brown M&Ms backstage. A folly? A whim? A demonstration of diva-like demands? Absolutely not!

In a 2012 interview, David Lee Roth explains the genius of this specific clause and how it efficiently signalled imminent danger. "Van Halen was the first to take 850 par lamp lights - huge lights - around the country and at the time, it was the biggest production ever" Roth explains. "If 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".