VIDEO: David Lee Roth explains Van Halen's 'no brown M&Ms' tour rider

David Lee Roth: a method to the madness
David Lee Roth: a method to the madness

Van Halen's famous (or infamous) 'no brown M&Ms' tour rider. For years, it was believed to be some sort of rock urban legend, that the world-famous band actually demanded only certain candies were allowed to be backstage at their concerts.

As it turned out, the stipulation was true. In the 53-page document, which you can view here, the band made it quite clear in the 'Munchies' section of their tour rider: "M&M's (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES)."

The group also requested "herring in sour cream," four cases of "Schlitz Malt Liquor beer (16 ounce cans)," a total of eight bottles of wine and liquor, along with "One (1) large tube KY Jelly."

Now, in a highly entertaining and uniquely 'Dave' video (above), singer David Lee Roth explains that safety and security were the reasons behind the 'no brown M&Ms' clause. Seriously. And even if you are familiar with the complete story, it's still good fun to hear Diamond Dave tell it.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.