No Brown M&Ms, Please

Rock stars are still particular about what goes on backstage, including at the county fair this year.

Our friends at the North County Times took a look at what acts at the fair have asked for in their contract riders, a topic that came to much of the public's attention years ago when it was reported that Van Halen demanded a bowl of the candy backstage, sans brown ones. According to, lead singer David Lee Roth later explained that the band stuck the clause in their very complicated contract so they could check easily if venue operators were paying attention to the details.

This summer at the fair, the paper reported, the requests have not been quite that exotic, but they still provide interesting windows into the artists' lives and personal habits.

For example, Dennis DeYoung of Styx fame just had to have Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, while Joan Jett -- Sunday's headliner on the 4th of July (a free show) -- wants "12 bottles of Gatorade original -- fruit flavor only (not fruit punch berry)" and dark-colored towels onstage, the paper reported.

Kenny Loggins' crew members need alternatives for wheat- and lactose-intolerance, Julio Iglesias' rider stipulates that the singer and his crew have to have donuts -- but no carbonated energy drinks -- and the folks from locally based Switchfoot have an aversion to iceberg lettuce.

It's not always about food, though: Disco diva Donna Summer said in her contract that it was "very important" to have a wardrobe assistant on hand who can run a sewing machine for quick garment fixes.

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