“I am so HOOKED on this book — I am loving it!”
~Mike Armenta, current guitarist for Dirty Bird, who with Sammy Hagar started and led the house band at Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina
NO BROWN M&M’s!, originally published in paperback as Rock to Riches in 2008, is the first book to feature entrepreneurial and business lessons learned from rock stars. This newly titled edition has been revised and updated—and is available exclusively in the Kindle format. (Paperback coming soon!)
Why the title? It comes from the legendary tale of Van Halen’s concert contract in the early ’80s, which included within its 53 pages a stipulation that their dressing rooms have bowls of M&M’s—but with all the brown ones removed. This tasty tidbit of rock history became famous in the era of arena rock as the perfect example of larger-than-life egos among rock stars who were getting too big for their already-too-tight britches. But was that really the case?
Turns out … not at all. Yes, it’s a fact, the clause did appear in the Van Halen contract. (This was only confirmed as true in recent years.) However, instead of being a diva-like demand, it was actually a superbly savvy business ploy. You see, when rock stars come to town, they typically rely on local help—workers who are hired to do a lot of the grunt work. But this grunt work is important to put on such massive shows. And bands and their crew don’t have time to make sure every little detail has been adhered to in the short time between setting up for the concert and the concert itself. Thus, Van Halen’s request for no brown M&M’s. If the band arrived to find the prohibited candies in their dressing room, that meant the contract hadn’t been read carefully—and more importantly, that meant some other (perhaps serious) detail may have been overlooked. It was the proverbial canary in a coal mine.
So, we titled our book in honor of this story of business acumen. It epitomizes the many other, sometimes surprising, things entrepreneurs and business people can learn from rock stars in NO BROWN M&M’s! We hope you get as much out of reading it as we did researching and writing it. It changed our thinking as entrepreneurs—we believe it will for you, too.
Andrew Chapman and Lee Silber
About the Authors
ANDREW CHAPMAN is a longtime musician and entrepreneur who finds the rock music industry to be a unique and colorful way to illustrate what it takes to be successful in business. He is an award-winning writer and author of several books, including Iron Maiden and Nicko McBrain’s Rhythms of the Beast, his transcription of the heavy-metal drummer’s work (Warner Bros, 1990). Andrew is a past president of the professional association Publishers & Writers of San Diego. As a professional speaker, he has taught thousands of people in his publishing-related seminars throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Andrew’s website is www.AChapman.com.
LEE SILBER is the author of 17 books, including The Wild Idea Club and Organizing From The Right Side Of The Brain. His books have been through 53 printings and Silber has received 11 awards for his writing, including the Theodor S. Geisel Award for Self-Promotion For The Creative Person. He has founded five businesses ranging from a chain of retail stores to a corporate training company. In his spare time, he is both a bassist and drummer in various bands in San Diego, California, where he lives with his wife and two sons. To get free stuff and see (and listen to) samples of Lee’s work, go to: www.LeeSilber.com.
David Lee Roth tells the story behind the title of our book