J-to-the-D sent me an interesting packet of intel over the encrypted lightcast.  Back in the day, Van Halen garnered a reputation for excessive acts of, well, excess. At the height of their popularity, touring with a small armada of semi-trailers full of gear, rumour has it they smashed the shit out of a backstage area for a violation of their contract – to the tune of $85k of damage. The infraction that caused the outrage?

There were brown M&Ms in the backstage area. Brown M&Ms.  It might as well have been a big bowl of dick.

In the cold and unrelenting light of fact, however all is not as it seems. When you have a small armada of semi-trailers full of gear, you have a lot of gear, some of which is potentially dangerous. The brown M&M bit was a trick to make sure that the contract had been read in full – a shifty promoter who hasn’t read the technical details necessary for a massive stage show most certainly hasn’t checked that the stage will support all the gear or what voltages the power sockets are. You spot one brown M&M backstage, you need to go over every detail of the show to make sure no-one ends up hurt or dead.

Check the full tale at Snopes.com:

http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp