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Van Halen's "No brown M&Ms" concert rider found.
December 12, 2008 11:38 PM   Subscribe

The stuff of legend, Van Halen's "No brown M&Ms" concert rider (most recently mentioned on MetaFilter here) has made the rounds by word of mouth, and word of internet, for years. Now, the Van Halen 1982 World Tour backstage rider has been found. It consists of 53 typewritten pages and contains the M&Ms prohibition - which actually says M & M's (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES) - as well as other interesting demands, excerpted at The Smoking Gun. Via.
posted by amyms (91 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, and the band also needed "One (1) large tube KY Jelly."

Oh, did they now?

Yeah, I love reading through tour riders. I keep hoping I see an order for "one (1) treasure bath, filled with an assortment of jewel (to include rubies, emeralds, diamonds), gold doubloons, . . . "

I'd go see that band.
posted by not_on_display at 11:54 PM on December 12, 2008


The document, which we've excerpted below, also stipulated that promoters provide the group with "herring in sour cream,"

You can take the guitarist out of the Netherlands ...
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:56 PM on December 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was teaching a class once and posed the question "why are there more brown m & m's than any other color?" I had in mind an association between the color brown and chocolate, but one student timidly raised her hand and asked me if I really wanted her to say the answer. "Sure, why not?" says I, whereupon she proceeded to tell a rather nasty racist joke (which I will not repeat).

My fault, I'm sure, for habitually posing trick questions with joke answers.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:57 PM on December 12, 2008


From the link ...

While the underlined rider entry has often been described as an example of rock excess, the outlandish demand of multimillionaires, the group has said the M&M provision was included to make sure that promoters had actually read its lengthy rider. If brown M&M's were in the backstage candy bowl, Van Halen surmised that more important aspects of a performance--lighting, staging, security, ticketing--may have been botched by an inattentive promoter.

Makes sense, dunnit?
posted by Wolof at 12:08 AM on December 13, 2008 [24 favorites]


I think anyone who can play this should be entitled to whatever colored M&M's they please.

Which means, of course, that someone who can play the same thing on cello should just be given the majority stock of Hershey's.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:10 AM on December 13, 2008 [7 favorites]


From a military background, it does indeed. Basic training - having to fold your underwear in 3" squares. Same rationale - if you can't get something like that right, then how can they trust you to follow explicit orders involving, say, a $100M aircraft?
posted by davidmsc at 12:12 AM on December 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, that is actually one of the more reasonable concert riders I have seen. The "no brown M&Ms" is the only thing that really sticks out (okay, that and the herring), and I think gives some credence to the claim that it was done as a test of attentiveness.
posted by grouse at 12:15 AM on December 13, 2008


Once I volunteered for a big music festival in Austin in exchange for free tickets -- The One World Music Fest, a 3 day event headlined by James Brown (night 1), Ziggy Marley (night 2), and P-Funk (night 3). When I was in the business office, they had me photocopy some documents, including some original contracts. I remember that the contract for James Brown stipulated that the band was to be put up in a separate hotel from the female back-up singers, and De La Soul stipulated that they were to be supplied with 4 dozen extra large condoms.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:18 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wolof said: If brown M&M's were in the backstage candy bowl, Van Halen surmised that more important aspects of a performance--lighting, staging, security, ticketing--may have been botched by an inattentive promoter.

Exactly. I think that's what Navelgazer was getting at in the referenced MetaTalk comment (first link): It's kind of like Van Halen's M&M clause - it's not because they like being pains in the ass, or just because they can, but because it's a clause buried deep in a long contract full of safety specifications, and if there aren't M&M's with the brown ones removed in their dressing room, they know that the venue didn't pay enough attention to the contract, and that the show might be dangerous.
posted by amyms at 12:18 AM on December 13, 2008


The "no brown M&Ms" is the only thing that really sticks out (okay, that and the herring)

The herring is a Dutch thing. Sure, Eddie moved away when he was seven, but herring has a way of being a lifelong habit.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:24 AM on December 13, 2008


OK, so no one is going to mention their fascination with 7-Up? 'Cause I'll do it if I have to, but I'm distracted by their separation of entrees into Beef, Chicken, Pork, Italian, or Chinese.

Van Anthropophagy, more like it.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:33 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Beef, Chicken, Pork, Italian, or Chinese.

Not to mention that two of the post-show meals must be either vegetarian or Chinese. Wha-huh?
posted by asterix at 12:47 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Funny, I assumed the brown M&Ms were banned because they resemble thorizine (a 'antipsychotic'/tranquillizer from the 70's) tablets. The herring makes me dislike Van Halen a little less.
posted by Goofyy at 12:51 AM on December 13, 2008


My verbal contract with Metafilter also states that I am to receive zero brown M&Ms. Unfortunately this has been widely interpreted to mean that I get no m&ms at all.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:55 AM on December 13, 2008 [15 favorites]


Funny, I assumed the brown M&Ms were banned because they resemble thorizine (a 'antipsychotic'/tranquillizer from the 70's) tablets

I'm fairly certain that you are the only person to ever assume this. I mean, I thought it was some bizarre non-sequitur joke until you explained what thorazine is. You're supposed to assume that they put it in there because they were a spoiled rock band who demanded arbitrary nonsense just because they could. In fact, they started doing the brown M&M thing after their equipment destroyed an arena floor because the promoters hadn't read the very specific venue requirements in their rider.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:22 AM on December 13, 2008


doing the brown M&M thing

In retrospect, this sounds a lot like some sort of weird sex act of the type Van Halen probably engaged in.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:24 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sammy Hagar probably had a rider requiring brown M&M's. Rumor had it that Emminem had a rider that required a certain type of brownie. Don't get me started on Chuck Berry and "brown".
posted by vapidave at 1:34 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whole plan kind of falls apart if you get one conscientious kid dealing with the food part of the rider though, no? Or just a kid who really likes the brown ones.

Just me who thinks that, given the size of their entourage, sending your own safety guy on ahead of you might be a good idea.
posted by mandal at 1:39 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


In retrospect, this sounds a lot like some sort of weird sex act of the type Van Halen probably engaged in.

can't

resist

eruption

joke
posted by Mikey-San at 1:41 AM on December 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Basic training - having to fold your underwear in 3" squares. Same rationale - if you can't get something like that right, then how can they trust you to follow explicit orders involving, say, a $100M aircraft?

Well, John McCain got five chances ... and crashed the plane each time.
posted by ericb at 1:44 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am reminded of the also-infamous Iggy Pop concert rider, which starts rambling, then meandering, and ends up somewhere off in the cornfields staring at its hands and giggling to itself. It's either brilliant self-satire or what happens when you give your brain that one jolt too many, but I still think it's completely awesome.
posted by Scattercat at 1:47 AM on December 13, 2008 [10 favorites]


My verbal contract with Metafilter also states that I am to receive zero brown M&Ms. Unfortunately this has been widely interpreted to mean that I get no m&ms at all.

The Metatalk provision of my own contract included an extra-large tube of KY. So I've got that in common with Van Halen, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:48 AM on December 13, 2008


Did nobody else notice the stipulation that "all forks must have four prongs"? I am having fun imagining just what kind if dreadful experience prompted them to stipulate that.

Actually I should imagine that a 3 pronged fork would be a better utensil for eating herring and sour cream.
posted by rongorongo at 2:11 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is all really, really funny because in my rider... uh, in my rider... I ask...


I don't have a rider.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:06 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did nobody else notice the stipulation that "all forks must have four prongs"? I am having fun imagining just what kind if dreadful experience prompted them to stipulate that.

It's so they can bend the middle two tines down and eat their herrings with an authentic looking devil's horns fork.
posted by mandal at 3:10 AM on December 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


The document, which we've excerpted below, also stipulated that promoters provide the group with "herring in sour cream,"

Who with the what now?
posted by sour cream at 3:11 AM on December 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Who with the what now?
posted by sour cream

Brace yourself, this might sting a bit.
posted by mandal at 3:17 AM on December 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


I am reminded of the also-infamous Iggy Pop concert rider

Best bit: "Hopefully, not one of those sandwiches from Subway, with bits of beef and alfalfa sprouts sticking out like a Florida retiree's bikini bottoms. Yuk."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:23 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah come on - where are the pages listing the GEAR? Who cares about the food? I want to know about the AMPS.
posted by awfurby at 4:28 AM on December 13, 2008


I was teaching a class once and posed the question "why are there more brown m & m's than any other color?" I had in mind an association between the color brown and chocolate, but one student timidly raised her hand and asked me if I really wanted her to say the answer. "Sure, why not?" says I, whereupon she proceeded to tell a rather nasty racist joke (which I will not repeat).

I always thought the answer to this question was "because Van Halen didn't want them."
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 5:20 AM on December 13, 2008


Even though the M&M's thing is legendary, their rider was pretty reasonable, even for the time. Once the Van Halen rider became famous, more and more behinds began putting in kooky items - it became one of those jokes that wasn't really ever funny.

I knew a guy who worked with promoters and venues of all sizes, and he had been collecting riders for over 20 years (dreaming of one day putting out a book). So many of them were very excessive and wasteful. Amongst all of them, I remember there was one rider that had only 3 items: 4 bottles of water, a towel, and directions to a reasonably priced restaurant.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:32 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was teaching a class once and posed the question "why are there more brown m & m's than any other color?" I had in mind an association between the color brown and chocolate.

I would have been the smartass kid who said "Um, because there are two different browns and only one shade of the other colors, so of course there are twice as many "browns", duh. Now that we know you're not a math teacher, can we stop playing word games and get back to the book please?" *

(I just dated myself. Yes, youngsters, there were two different browns, a light one and a dark one. The light one is blue now, which still feels wrong to me.)

* And then someone would have thrown an eraser at me. Oooh, and just when I'd finally blocked those memories.
posted by rokusan at 5:47 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Some of the humor doesn't come off in the re-telling. The student who raised her hand seemed quite unprepossessing and naive. She'd heard a racist joke, wasn't quite sure what it meant, knew it had something to do with brown m & m's, reluctantly volunteered it as an answer in class, and I, unaware of this joke, encouraged her to tell it to the class as the "right answer". I'm embarrassed by this.

It's the only personal anecdote about brown m & m's that I have. I share it whenever the topic comes up (which isn't that often).

Here are some puppies playing in snow.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:09 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm going to say the boring thing: the brown M&M thing was in there to ensure that THE PURCHASER read the fucking CONTRACT thoroughly.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:33 AM on December 13, 2008


I'm going to say an even more boring thing: the brown M&M thing was in there to ensure that THE CATERER read the fucking CONTRACT thoroughly. The venue still might not be able to support the weight of the sound and lights, but if there are no brown M&Ms at least the catering staff was on the ball.
posted by birdherder at 6:55 AM on December 13, 2008


Sorry, Marisa Stole the Precious Thing, if you order a herring with sour cream in the Netherlands you will get stabbed in the eye with big, wooden pointy stick. We are peculiar with our herring, I know, I'm sorry, but I can't change it. Herring etiquette down in the Lowlands goes like this. Order a herring in The Hague or Rotterdam, and you will get a whole cleaned fish that you take by the tail. This way, herring is heaven. You can drag it through chopped raw onions ONCE and then you eat it in in three, four bites. Start nibbling and they will ask if you forgot to put in your teeth this morning. Drag it through the onions for the second time, again you will be killed on the spot.
Order a herring in Amsterdam, and they will slice the herring for you, like you were a little child. Then you will eat it with a toothpick. With an effing toothpick for crying out loud. Onions and pickles are optional. Order an uncut herring in Amsterdam and they probably will ignore you and if not they will make a big fuss over it. That is because Amsterdam herring people are pussies. Anyway, to come back to my point, herring + onion + either/or pickles = Dutch. Herring any otherway = not Dutch ( I guess Scandinavian or German).
And yes. I'm a disgruntled native from The Hague, trying to survive in this Herring Hell called Amsterdam. If you're here, let me know, I will let you taste the difference.
posted by ouke at 7:04 AM on December 13, 2008 [15 favorites]


My rider insists that a mariachi band of no less than 4 and no more than 6 must be playing back stage during the entire time I am in the building but not on stage.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:11 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also good is the Foo Fighters rider, which has a number of gems including:

"Artist shall not be required to share dressing room with any other performer, except Supergrass, Oasis, or maybe Led Zeppelin."
posted by boubelium at 7:20 AM on December 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, that is actually one of the more reasonable concert riders I have seen.

It has moments of being reasonable. I noticed that the 8:30 breakfast is cold cereal, toast, and "where feasable a hot cooked breakfast would be greatly appreciated."

WTF?

Those riggers are hanging shit ABOVE YOUR HEAD!

That rider should list out the requirements for a good, nourishing hot breakfast -- and -- specify that steam table eggs are NOT acceptable and there must be an omelette chef setup with a burner, eggs, diced peppers, ham, onion, etc. --- and while you're at it, a waffle maker would be cool. And keep the fake-bacon for the vegans separate from the real bacon.

And in Vegas, it *must* be served by Showgirls.
posted by mikelieman at 7:31 AM on December 13, 2008


I'm going to say an even more boring and pedantic thing: roughly half the comments in this thread are by people who, having failed to read either the original link or the comments in the rest of the thread, point out the fact that the M&M clause was included to make sure that promoters had actually read the entire rider, despite the fact that it was indicated in the original link and has already been pointed out repeatedly in this thread.
posted by googly at 7:36 AM on December 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


googly, i'd just go with boring.
posted by lester at 7:56 AM on December 13, 2008


I love how Iggy's rider says that if they don't have 4 marshalls for the bass player, they will all end up on the internet "diarreha" of the bass player, who is like Boswell.

They are, of course, referring to Mike Watt's Hoot Page: http://www.hootpage.com/
posted by Ironmouth at 8:00 AM on December 13, 2008




My rider insists that a mariachi band of no less than 4 and no more than 6 must be playing back stage during the entire time I am in the building but not on stage.

That's why I've never hired you. It's impossible to find a mariachi band of 5 year olds in the Twin Cities.
posted by graventy at 8:33 AM on December 13, 2008 [6 favorites]


You know, they just put that in the rider to make sure people had read it, for some kind of safety something, I don't know. But there's a real reason.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:39 AM on December 13, 2008


Booze requirements included Southern Comfort and Blue Nun. At room temperature, no less. Clearly those boys were riding a sugar high.
posted by Nelson at 8:44 AM on December 13, 2008


Two questions:

(1) Why were there five band meals? Did they tour with an extra musician (perhaps playing Eddie's synth parts or something)?

(2) Which two band members think that eating meat is OK if and only if it's in Chinese food?
posted by Flunkie at 8:44 AM on December 13, 2008


Here are some puppies playing in snow.

Clearly, you did not read our rider thoroughly. Those are not puppies but full-grown dogs, and they're not playing in snow but on snow since barely enough has fallen to discolor the ground.

You'll be hearing from our attorneys.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:50 AM on December 13, 2008


De La Soul stipulated that they were to be supplied with 4 dozen extra large condoms.

Having just worked on a bunch of contracts for a music festival here in Detroit featuring De la Soul, I feel bound to comment on this, but confidentiality (and legal malpractice) is a bitch, innit?

That said, you shoulda seen George Clinton's rider, whoo-boy.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:52 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm going to say an even more boring and pedantic thing: roughly half the comments in this thread are by people who, having failed to read either the original link or the comments in the rest of the thread, point out the fact that the M&M clause was included to make sure that promoters had actually read the entire rider, despite the fact that it was indicated in the original link and has already been pointed out repeatedly in this thread.
No, I think they just put it in there to make sure the promoter was paying attention to what was in the rider.
posted by Flunkie at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here are a couple of actual puppies in the snow. Full disclosure: the first one is not, at the pictured moment, playing but just hangin'.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:59 AM on December 13, 2008


We've just sort of reached the point in our band where we're able to specify green-room chow and it was kind of a weird moment for all of us.

"This thing asks what we want for dinner."
"What, like, a pizza or something?"
"Yeah, whatever we want in the green room before the show."
"Uh..."
"Pizza?"
"Yeah! Pizza! No, two pizzas!"
"And, um... and whiskey!"
"PIZZA AND WHISKEY!"

I remember almost feeling ashamed when we showed up and there was some fancy-ass pizzas and a bottle of knob creek. Probably only another six months and we'll be specifying the region in France from which our foie gras and pinot noir originates.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:00 AM on December 13, 2008 [11 favorites]


As a stagehand and rigger, I can state unequivocally that I've never given anyone brown m&ms, whether specified in the rider or not.
posted by nevercalm at 9:00 AM on December 13, 2008


I've heard Mariah Carey's rider specifies that any meal served to her must be on brand new china which is to be smashed when she leaves.

I really doubt that's a trick condition designed to guage how carefully her other conditions were met.
posted by orange swan at 9:29 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Which two band members think that eating meat is OK if and only if it's in Chinese food?

The Jewish one
, for sure (I bet he had something to do with the herring, too).
posted by ericbop at 9:33 AM on December 13, 2008


I worked with a City Staff that related this funny story: They had a building Contractor that they liked to use for quick turn around projects. He was a good guy, did good work, was reasonably honest, but he had one overriding fault: he never ever read the specifications, he just went by the plans and his own experience.

Well, they decided to get his goat. Deep down in the "boilerplate" for concrete reinforcing bar (the stuff that nobody ever reads) they slipped in the requirement that all the concrete reinforcing bar be made of "marine grade stainless steel". The City is on the beach, so it was relatively believable, but it's the kind of thing you put in giant bold letters at the top of the contract, not buried deep in the specs.

They started the construction, and waited until the day they were pouring the slab. Everybody was out there, the architect, the City Engineer, the Director of Public Works, and a gaggle of others. Just as they were pouring the last of the concrete into the formwork, screeding the slab, and of course covering the standard steel rebar that all been placed, somebody asked, "Hey, aren't we supposed to be using stainless steel rebar ?" They went and grabbed the specs as the concrete was setting up, and sure enough there it was, in the specifications...the Contractor went white as a sheet, and said he had to leave the site for awhile. They didn't see him for a few days, until someone called him up and told him that he'd been had.

He read the specs from then on.
posted by Xoebe at 9:46 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've read dozens of riders for film, TV, and music and I think the whole "read the contract" thing is about as common as any typical myth - there might have been some truth somewhere and it has just become normative that that's the reason why. In most of the cases with A-list stars there are entire teams of people on both ends that have read the damned thing thrice-over. Most of the riders I've seen come from a variety of reasons in this order:

1) Precedent: Consideration on this item (e.g. after performance dinner) is typical for performers at my level so I'm going to specify what I want.

2) Comfort: I have a big, big job to do and I'm being paid a metric fuck-ton of money to do it so I'm going to ask for the things I need to be where I have to be emotionally, physically, and mentally to do my job (i.e. luke warm Evian for me and my thirsty doggie so I don't have to worry).

3) Ego: I know that Star A asked for this and got it in their rider so I'm going to ask for this and get it in my rider.

4) Magnanimity/Largess: I've got 5 staffers following me around at all times and I'm not happy when they aren't happy so I'm going to make sure there's enough stuff to go around. That and I'm working them 14 hours a day.

5) It's not even me, it's my agent/producer/manager/assistant putting in the shit that they want or think that I deserve in my name.

6) Jokiness: Does anyone even read these things? I'm going to ask for 13 salted herring on pumpernickel crackers and see if I get 12.

7) Revenge: Studio/label/venue X fucked me over on some last project so I'm going to make their lives hell.
posted by mrmojoflying at 10:04 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


The real reason it was in the rider: Van Halen though brown M&Ms looked like poop.
posted by drezdn at 10:07 AM on December 13, 2008


And I meant read the riders because I was assisting the people who negotiated them, first on the talent end, and then the on the label/studio end.
posted by mrmojoflying at 10:07 AM on December 13, 2008


Oh the Iggy Pop Rider. it's one of my favorite pieces of literature, a stream of consciousness rambling of demands and jokes. It is beautiful.

"I remember almost feeling ashamed when we showed up and there was some fancy-ass pizzas and a bottle of knob creek. Probably only another six months and we'll be specifying the region in France from which our foie gras and pinot noir originates."

That actually happened to my Dad a few times, so *his* rider always said "Cheapest Beer Available, please."
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on December 13, 2008


Conversely, a variation of this "make sure they're paying attention" tactic can also be used to prevent a party from paying a little too much attention.

(p.s. Props to our own Languagehat, mentioned in this article.)
posted by applemeat at 10:11 AM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've designed map traps into more than one project, in more than one medium. It's great fun.
posted by rokusan at 10:13 AM on December 13, 2008


From a military background, it does indeed. Basic training - having to fold your underwear in 3" squares. Same rationale

I seem to recall the squares being 6" (but I could be wrong, it's been a while).
posted by MikeMc at 12:01 PM on December 13, 2008


As per Chuck Berry 's rider, he used to have a stipulation that his backline include a vintage tweed Fender amp and if he had to play on anything else, he was to receive an extra $500 from the promoter. This was a way for him to get some extra dough out of a gig, as few sound companies ever had such a collectors items on hand. Should you have actually provided the right amp (which a company I know actually did), ooooh Chuck would be pissed!
posted by bonefish at 12:11 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Which two band members think that eating meat is OK if and only if it's in Chinese food?
The Jewish one, for sure
I don't understand what that has to do with it. It's not like Chinese food is necessarily kosher. Nor, for that matter, is vegetarian food.
posted by Flunkie at 12:23 PM on December 13, 2008


Flunkie, don't you know that God can't see inside Chinese restaurants?
posted by The Whelk at 12:35 PM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mariah Carey's rider isn't that bad actually, even though there's been a persistent urban myth that she "doesn't do stairs" and requires a basket of kittens to pet before a show. Of course, I've never worked with her, so for all I know she's prone to throw her hairdryer at assistants for bringing the wrong tea or whatever.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:54 PM on December 13, 2008


Lesser known is that the same instruction was given to the roadies.

Srsly, how many brown chicks were in VH/DLR videos?
posted by Eideteker at 12:58 PM on December 13, 2008


the group has said the M&M provision was included to make sure that promoters had actually read its lengthy rider

Smart - there are 3 possible outcomes, with the second indicating incompetence and the third a degree of malice, two different problems and approaches to resolve?

1 - M&M's present without browns: all good
2 - M&M's missing: incompetent promoter (what competent person would risk their rep and relationship over something so trivial as buying a bag of ordinary candy?)
2 - M&M's with browns not removed: worst possible situation, the promoter saw the line and willfully unilaterally declined to honor it fully and without communication

(I don't buy the simple mis-reading theory, for this the promoter would have to see the first 15% of the line and miss the remaining block letter underlined 85% starting with the scary word "warning")
posted by scheptech at 1:06 PM on December 13, 2008


What about: M&M's present, only browns? Clearly also a sign that the rider had been read thoroughly.
posted by kenko at 1:30 PM on December 13, 2008


When Edith Wharton travelled she would always insist she had to have a room with an eastern exposure. A friend of hers who travelled with her thought she was just being capricious and demanding, but the truth was Wharton always wrote in bed in the mornings and needed that morning light to work by. Requests that sound stange may actually be very reasonable.
posted by orange swan at 1:59 PM on December 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Or how about a bowl full of non-brown M&M's mixed in with brown Skittles?
posted by Flunkie at 2:00 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you want it you got to bleed for it
you got to bleed baby
got to got bleed baby!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:06 PM on December 13, 2008


What is they simply wiped with brown dye off of the brown M&M's and then painted them any other color?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:19 PM on December 13, 2008


What the? Seriously, I'm not drunk. I don't know how that sentence ended up so garbled.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:26 PM on December 13, 2008


What is they simply wiped with brown dye off of the brown M&M's and then painted them any other color?

... I don't know how that sentence ended up so garbled.

I understood what you meant, and I'm impressed by your level of devious thinking. I hope you use it for good and not evil!
posted by amyms at 3:30 PM on December 13, 2008


Jennifer Lopez has (or had?) a clause in her rider that required her dressing room to be white.

That means everything.. shining, actinic, snow white. Carpets, walls, everything.

I used to think it was ridiculous diva-ness, but after conversations with a friend I think it's more that when she's on tour, she's in a different city every day or so, and has nothing to stabilise with. Ruling her dressing room with an iron fist gives her a touchpoint wherever she is. Makes sense, I think.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:20 PM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


My Metafilter rider uses his crop too freely and gave me big bruises on my tushy. I'll be in my room swilling gin and sitting on a doughnut.
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on December 13, 2008


You'd better be ready for later, Jon. I'm not paying you to sit around.
posted by The Whelk at 5:25 PM on December 13, 2008


I used to think it was ridiculous diva-ness, but after conversations with a friend I think it's more that when she's on tour, she's in a different city every day or so, and has nothing to stabilise with. Ruling her dressing room with an iron fist gives her a touchpoint wherever she is. Makes sense, I think.

Eh, I guess. A completely white room would make me a bit nervous. I think a nice dog or maybe a joint would do the same thing for her.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:28 PM on December 13, 2008


I! Need! A! White ! Box!


Fuckit! I'm so...BLISSED OFF!
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on December 13, 2008


4:53 is the when it starts
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on December 13, 2008


krinklyfig, a completely white room would make me go snakey... but colour is the one thing you can reasonably have control over. The room may or may not be of X size or have Y furniture or Z windows, but if it's completely $colour then there's some sort of consistency between your gig in Helsinki and the one in Chicago.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:49 PM on December 13, 2008


Whelk, you beat me to it. ;-)
posted by applemeat at 6:16 PM on December 13, 2008


Re: map traps: Argentina's premier film magazine's writers suspected that a less-than-premiere magazine was copying their reviews, so in their year-end number where they include a 1 paragraph review of every single film released that year they included a bunch of made-up films using the competing magazine's writers names as directors and actors, and generally making fun of them with titles like "The copycat".
All said films where published in the other magazine's year-end round up.
posted by signal at 7:27 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jennifer Lopez has (or had?) a clause in her rider that required her dressing room to be white.

That means everything.. shining, actinic, snow white. Carpets, walls, everything.


Gasp! Do you mean to tell me she's actually not still Jenny from the block?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:56 PM on December 13, 2008


Metafilter: If you're here, let me know, I will let you taste the difference.
posted by jckll at 8:35 AM on December 15, 2008


Jennifer Lopez has (or had?) a clause in her rider that required her dressing room to be white.

I heard some rumour that she also requires that there be fresh orchids in the toilet bowl.
posted by orange swan at 6:39 AM on December 22, 2008


Which means, of course, that someone who can play the same thing on cello should just be given the majority stock of Hershey's.

I know this isn't going to win me any friends here, and I'm probably wrong, but after watching those videos, I have to say that the original is still better. Why, you may ask incredulously? My answer is simple, the guitar is neither played with a bow nor fretless. This means that finger placement and pizzicato is far more delicate an operation. The frets make it imposible to simply manhandle the fingerboard despite the speed and precision placement needed to play it on both instruments. The cellist can get away with pressinng ever so subtlely too hard or too soft, but Van Halen cannot without causing the strings to make contact with the fret and throw off the note. So the frets add a third layer of precisions, it's like comparing a 100 meter sprint to a 100 meter hurdles race.

Further, the bow. The bow allows the strings to sustain the notes, while the guitar must be constantly plucked or hammered to maintain vibration. Van Halen must use harmonics, fingering, and timing to get the same effect that the cellist can get by simply changing bow speeds.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:11 AM on December 22, 2008


As a former cellist, I agree, at least about the bow part. I don't think I ever would have been able to play a piece like that pizzicato, but I could with a bow. I don't know how much difference the frets make.
posted by grouse at 8:27 AM on December 22, 2008


I agree with the bit about the bow, too, to an extent - but to get those staccatos on a couple of notes without hammering on, you need to move your entire arm back and forth, as opposed to just your wrist.

But the frets, come on. Frets in fact make it far easier to hit the right note. You have a visual and tactile cue right there, between two steel bars.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:39 PM on December 22, 2008


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