The business of brown M&Ms

The business of brown M&Ms

The list of Richard Stallman’s speaking requests includes:

If I am quite sleepy, I would like two cans or small bottles of non-diet Pepsi.

And much more.

While quite different, the list seems reminiscent of the business value of the Van Halen brown M&Ms.

Van Halen shows were complex. So complex that they would arrive at venues with several tractor-trailers’ worth of equipment that overwhelmed staff. Thus, their contract was densely complex and had to be followed just so for the show to go off right. So:

Van Halen buried a special clause in the middle of the contract. It was called Article 126. It read, “There will be no brown M&Ms in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” So when Roth would arrive at a new venue, he’d walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. “Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error,” he wrote. “They didn’t read the contract…. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.”

I’ve never quite thought of Roth and Stallman in the same sentence, but here they have both designed systems of efficiency.

Everyone concerned with efficiency could use a brown M&M.

[via Waxy]