Friday, July 17, 2009

Van Halen and Madonna: who's riders best?

Madonna's stage collapsed, killing one person and seriously injuring another.

She should take a tip from those tired old rockers, Van Halen. Their contract stipulated backstage provision of M&Ms with the brown ones removed - so they wouldn't have a stage collapse.


Silly as it sounds, it's true. Van Halen were ridiculed as an example of rock'n'roll excess, for that rider above, which they put into every contract with tour promoters. But it was all part of their master plan, as Snopes quotes David Lee Roth.

The contract was massive because their touring equipment was massive. Very weighty. So many things to do and install, so many people to put it together. If the contract wasn't followed properly, disaster could await. So they inserted that rider on the M&Ms to verify that the promoter had followed the whole of the contract detail.

One time, the band did find brown M&Ms, so they trashed the dressing room. The stage was sagging, the M&Ms were proof that the contract detail was lacking, but it was only the trashing that was good old rock'n'roll - not the petulance.

I doubt the band were that clever; like the sporting star who mouths over-intelligent words, the idea must have come from higher up the chain, from managers or industry experts.

Still, Madonna could learn something.

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