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  1. #1
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    11.28.17 @ 10:56 AM
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    Default Business Advice From Van Halen

    A little bit of a palette cleanser. From the title of the article, I chuckled at first because of all the recent business missteps from VH, but this shows that there once was a time that these guys were doing things right. FastCompany, a magazine that focuses on start-ups and technology focused businesses, wrote a pretty cool article that shows how entrepreneurs can use cost effective methods to head off bigger problems in the future. He makes great use of a story that everyone here is intimately familiar with: the brown M&Ms. Nothing new here, but just a cool application of a very cool part of VH's history:

    "Your source of data doesn't need to be high tech. In fact, it doesn't even need to be numerical. Consider Van Halen. (We have been waiting years for a chance to write that sentence.) In its 1980s heyday, the band became notorious for a clause in its touring contract that demanded a bowl of M&Ms backstage, but with all the brown ones removed. The story is true -- confirmed by former lead singer David Lee Roth himself -- and it became the perfect, appalling symbol of rock-star-diva behavior.

    Get ready to reverse your perception. Van Halen did dozens of shows every year, and at each venue, the band would show up with nine 18-wheelers full of gear. Because of the technical complexity, the band's standard contract with venues was thick and convoluted -- Roth, in his inimitable way, said in his autobiography that it read "like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages." A typical "article" in the contract might say, "There will be 15 amperage voltage sockets at 20-foot spaces, evenly, providing 19 amperes."

    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."

    In other words, Roth was no diva. He was an operations expert. He couldn't spend hours every night checking the amperage of each socket. He needed a way to assess quickly whether the stagehands at each venue were paying attention -- whether they had read every word of the contract and taken it seriously. In Roth's world, a brown M&M was the canary in the coal mine.

    Like Roth, none of us has the time and energy to dig into every aspect of our businesses. But, if we're smart, we won't need to. What if we could rig up a system where problems would announce themselves before they arrived? That may sound like wishful thinking, but notice that it's exactly what Roth achieved. Surely, you won't be outwitted by the guy who sang "Hot for Teacher."

    Where's the brown M&M in your business?"


    http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/...own-mampm.html

  2. #2
    Eruption DiveBomb's Avatar
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    05.11.15 @ 11:56 AM
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    As irrelevant as it is now, I've always liked the M&M story. Super clever. That's a neat article.
    Van Halen will rock your face off!

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 10:26 PM
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    Default

    However it should come with a disclaimer.

    Do not, I repeat DO NOT in any circumstances try to imitate any of the CURRENT Van Halen business practices.
    Little Dreamer

  4. #4
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 12:57 PM
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    Default

    cool story.

  5. #5
    Good Enough
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    11.29.17 @ 01:23 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    However it should come with a disclaimer.

    Do not, I repeat DO NOT in any circumstances try to imitate any of the CURRENT Van Halen business practices.
    What like grossing $93m for 6 months work?

  6. #6
    Baluchitherium Scott's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 06:44 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leroy View Post
    What like grossing $93m for 6 months work?
    Grossing man...grossing.

    Take 93 million - remove:
    - Venue profit
    - Travel expenses (gas for trucks, trucks, drivers, etc)
    - Set up expenses
    - Food for the help while there
    - Travel for the diva's.
    - ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC

    While I'm sure they made out quite handsomely - I can assure you that they did not cash a cheque for $93M. And ya - it was 6 months of work....2 1/2 years ago.

    You know when we'll see Van Halen tour again? When they run out of money again.
    Winners come and go; legends are forever.

  7. #7
    Top Of The World Johnny Van Halen Cash's Avatar
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    06.23.15 @ 10:11 AM
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    Now you all know that the Van Halen brothers are simply waiting for Chickenfoot to finish their second album and second tour and then bring Mike back. Don't act like you don't know what's going on!
    If it sounds like bull shit, feels like bull shit, and appears to be bull shit, it's probably Eddie talking about his new lead singer being his new brother at a press conference...

  8. #8
    Banned! i1sum2!'s Avatar
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    01.21.12 @ 03:56 PM
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    The only stipulation they put in the 2007-08 tour was to have Dave's dressing room separate from the three VH Stooges. A far cry from the brown M&M days.

    and Ed demanded wine coolers in his fridge if ya can believe that! That was after rehab.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by i1sum2! View Post
    The only stipulation they put in the 2007-08 tour was to have Dave's dressing room separate from the three VH Stooges. A far cry from the brown M&M days.

    and Ed demanded wine coolers in his fridge if ya can believe that! That was after rehab.

    Hmm...wine coolers??? DANG, that takes me back.....those are what my friends and I used to drink to get drunk in high school...I haven't had one in YEARS......Thought they were too sweet.


    God love Ed, wonder why he didn't demand beer? I would have.............

  10. #10
    Eruption Brand X's Avatar
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    06.07.13 @ 02:32 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    Grossing man...grossing.

    Take 93 million - remove:
    - Venue profit
    - Travel expenses (gas for trucks, trucks, drivers, etc)
    - Set up expenses
    - Food for the help while there
    - Travel for the diva's.
    - ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC

    While I'm sure they made out quite handsomely - I can assure you that they did not cash a cheque for $93M. And ya - it was 6 months of work....2 1/2 years ago.

    You know when we'll see Van Halen tour again? When they run out of money again.
    It doesn't matter to VH what the tour grossed....the tour was bought by the promotor before a concert was played - the tour is the promotors way of getting their money back and then turning a profit on the outlay.....
    Ed: Actually, the last record I bought was by a band called Brand X
    Al: I make my living by viciously attacking something
    Mike: ...actually I don't drink.
    Sammy: Are these yours Eddie?
    Dave: Look at that ankle - dirty girl!

  11. #11
    Banned! i1sum2!'s Avatar
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    01.21.12 @ 03:56 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmie5150 View Post
    God love Ed, wonder why he didn't demand beer? I would have.............
    My point was that he shouldn't have requested any alcohol at all seeing how he had supposedly just finished a short stint in rehab before the tour started Kimmie. Why he had that put into the tour rider is beyond me? I think his alcoholic mind was still working its wily ways. Yeah right Ed, those were actually meant for guests and not you!

    Anyhoo, so does anyone have a guess as to what they netted from that $93 million?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by i1sum2! View Post
    My point was that he shouldn't have requested any alcohol at all seeing how he had supposedly just finished a short stint in rehab before the tour started Kimmie. Why he had that put into the tour rider is beyond me? I think his alcoholic mind was still working its wily ways. Yeah right Ed, those were actually meant for guests and not you!

    Anyhoo, so does anyone have a guess as to what they netted from that $93 million?

    I know that Sum honey, and you're right, he shouldn't have....I was just trying to make light of a situation before it got to be a big SHIT ON ED STORM.


    And I'm sure the alcohol was still working it's evil ways in OH! Ed's mind. Otherwise, why on earth would he have had THAT put in it, ya know?

    AW! God love you and bless you Ed!

  13. #13
    Eruption servoguy101's Avatar
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    04.03.12 @ 11:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmie5150 View Post
    Hmm...wine coolers??? DANG, that takes me back.....those are what my friends and I used to drink to get drunk in high school...I haven't had one in YEARS......Thought they were too sweet.


    God love Ed, wonder why he didn't demand beer? I would have.............
    BB, you gotta go old school.. Matilda Bay wine coolers.. IN A BOX... Thats the way to go, even if you drop it, wont break..
    Sam, Dave,Gary... who cares. its all about what makes you feel good.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by servoguy101 View Post
    BB, you gotta go old school.. Matilda Bay wine coolers.. IN A BOX... Thats the way to go, even if you drop it, wont break..

    LOL!! OH GOD!! WHY did you remind me?? The taste was just , but hell, when you're THAT young, you'd drink just about anything to catch a buzz.

  15. #15
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    12.10.17 @ 12:26 PM
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    Keep in mind the tour gross is just the number they reported to the press. In the end, I'm sure they all walked away several million dollars richer. I'd guess the brothers and Roth earned 10-15 million each for that one tour. And while Wolf probably didn't make nearly that coin, I'm guessing he's a millionaire at least.
    "People say Cream gave birth to Heavy Metal," says Baker. "If that's so, we should have had an abortion."

 

 

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