Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 21, 2012/ 28 Shevat, 5772

Now we know: Van Halen's M&M rider was just a test

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) So it wasn't about the candy after all.

This week, lead singer David Lee Roth resolved a question of rock lore: why Van Halen wanted no brown M&Ms backstage during its concerts — and it turns out there is a Philadelphia/Spectrum connection.

"How many times have I been emailed or tweeted and everything in between — 'What's the real story about the brown M&Ms?'" Roth asks rhetorically at the start of a five-minute video explanation. He says this was not a case of "rock-star misdemeanor excess. ... In fact, the reality is quite different."

According to Diamond Dave, VH was driven by safety, not sugar concerns.

Roth said VH had a large and complicated stage show in the 1980s, one that demanded the attention of promoters and the people moving the band's equipment. To ensure that those responsible for staging their concerts had thoroughly read about the many technical needs, band members inserted the M&M reference in their contracts as a test. If the candy wasn't right, they had reason to be concerned about similar inattention to serious issues like electricity and load stress.

"Van Halen was the first to take 850 PAR lamp lights, huge lights, around the country," Roth explained, referring to parabolic aluminized reflector lamps. "At the time it was the biggest production ever, and getting it in and out of older buildings like the Spectrum in Philadelphia, where the hockey team played, or the Maple Leaf Gardens — these places were built in the '50s or '60s and '70s and they didn't have even the doorways or the loading docks to accommodate a super, forward-thinking, Gigantor-epic-sized Van Halen production."

To ensure that those working at buildings like the Spectrum were prepared for the complexity of staging a VH show, this "munchies" paragraph was inserted in the 1982 contract:

Potato chips with assorted dips

Nuts

Pretzels

M&M's (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES)

Twelve (12) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Twelve (12) assorted Dannon yogurt (on ice)

Ike Richman remembers. He is not only arguably the band's biggest fan in Philadelphia, but at the time he was the Spectrum's vice president for public relations. Richman has seen VH 57 times in concert and plans to see the band nine times on its latest tour, including the sold-out March 5 show at the Wells Fargo Center.

Richman told me that most concertgoers in Philadelphia correctly remember the Spectrum as a "fantastic venue," but don't know how cumbersome it was for roadies to access. He specifically recalls the massive lighting VH used in the early 1980s to highlight its logo during the shows.

"The only way to get equipment like that in and out was through one long tunnel, which could be accessed by only one truck at a time, whereas at the Wells Fargo Center we can accommodate five trucks at once," Richman said. "If you were doing a show like Van Halen with, say, 20 trucks unloading one at a time, it was a long move-in."

As for the contract rider, Richman said, he had seen it and always recognized the real purpose in VH's demand.

"It was always a test, if you will," Richman said. "Bands always had specific needs, and they were not trying to be nasty. They were not being mean. But it was really a way to say: 'Hey, guys, make sure you read the rider. Make sure you read the details.' ... (VH) had fun with it."

As David Lee Roth explained:

"If I came backstage having been one of the architects of lighting and stage design and saw brown M&Ms on the catering table, that guaranteed the promoter did not read the rider and we had to do a serious line check, because frequently we had safety issues."

And so, the brown M&Ms go on a shelf of Spectrum concert history, alongside notables that include Pink Floyd's Roger Waters once needing a preconcert injection from a doctor during the "Animals" tour, giving later inspiration to his penning "Comfortably Numb."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Previously:


02/14/12 Life inside the (class) bubble
02/09/12 Rethinking paths to wealth
01/17/12 Romney must face his work history head-on
01/11/12 Don't let those gift cards be a gift to retailers or the state
01/03/12 Headlines hoped for in 2012
11/09/11 Romney, beware: Cain may bob through the straits
11/02/11 Where there's ad smoke, there's … what?
10/20/11 After husband is murdered, 30 long years of phone calls
10/13/11 Black women should only marry out of their race?
08/31/11 Some political gaffes really say something
07/27/11 An overture of candidates' theme songs
06/28/11 Where's the app for common sense?
06/02/11 Over-scrutinizing lives costs us potential leaders
04/19/11 Taking a chance to say, ‘Hi’
04/06/11 Race policies should be altered to reflect new demographic reality
11/10/10 Delaware's independent, but short-lived, voice
11/03/10 Papers should leave endorsing to others
10/21/10 Media help to hype perception of bullying
09/23/10 Officer down, killer hyped up
08/04/10 Documents highlight Pakistan's shortcomings as a U.S. ally
07/06/10 On taking back Sept. 11
06/29/10 Name elite corps to develop energy independence?
04/21/10 New account reinforces a serviceman's valor
03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles