1979 rolled into 1980 and Van Halen released their third album, "Women and Children First". An album that was different in sound and feel to Van Halen and Van Halen II. It is another great album from Van Halen that also sold very well. The Band was to continue to grow in popularity. The songs "Everybody Wants Some" and "Romeo Delight" from Women and Children First are instant favourites with people attending Van Halen's concerts.
It was in either 1979 or 1980 that the now "Infamous" story about "There are to be no Brown M&M's in the Backstage Area" at concerts was written into their Tour Rider. The true story behind this is a great one!
Word got out to the Music Press that David Lee Roth saw a Bowl of M&M's and went to examine it to see if there were any Brown ones in it. Low and Behold, David Lee Roth did indeed find an offending Brown one and proceeded to "Throw a Tantrum". He then did some minor destruction to the Backstage Area. Apparently, David Lee Roth did $250,000 worth of damage. The band Threatened to cancel the concert because of "Breach Of Contract". That in itself is a good story and actually happened.
In actual fact, The Van Halen Tour Rider was very extensive. Even as far back as 1979/1980 Van Halen were a band of Mammoth proportions! It was written into the contract that a Venue's stage must be able to handle a certain amount of weight as Van Halen's production was huge.
What happened was...Van Halen arrived at the venue, the roadies started to set up all of the equipment and lighting rig to play the concert..
The Venue didn't read the weight requirements and after a short while after the equipment was set up.......the entire stage in the Venue collapsed!!!! That is where the $250,000 figures worth of damage came from.
After this story was in The Press, Venues made sure the read the contract properly before signing it. It was this kind of stuff that made the World of Van Halen more "Colourful And Full Of Fun" than all of the other Bands at the time that took themselves far too seriously!
Sometime in 1980, Eddie also sought out Frank Zappa. Both Frank and his son Dweezil became good friends with Eddie. This led to Eddie and Studio Engineer Don Landee producing Dweezil's first single "My Mother Is A Space Cadet" in 1982 which also included Moon Unit Zappa on vocals.
It was also in 1980 that Eddie became friends with Toto and Studio guitarist Steve Lukather. For years Eddie spoke of the brilliance of members of Toto.
As far back as 1979, David Lee Roth had big ambitions saying to anyone that would listen that he was going to be the "Most Famous Person in the World and that one day he was going to Marry a Movie Star"
It turns out that it was Eddie that would "Marry a Movie Star". In 1980, Eddie met Actress Valerie Bertinelli and in April of 1981, they got Married.
I think this somewhat annoyed Dave as it stole his thunder but I could be wrong.
Denis McCarthy (EVH Group)