STAN: Today’s edition of 10 Minutes of Brilliance has “Nothing for Anyone.”
HARRIET: Stan, you exquisite jerk, I don’t think you have that quite right.
STAN: No? Oh sorry. I meant to say it has “Something for Everyone.”
HARRIET: Much improved. Now tell Jack’s Readers what to expect.
STAN: Mediocrity, followed by boring verbiage.
HARRIET: No, no! I meant the topics.
STAN: 1. Oh. First, a behind-the-scenes look at rock star contract demands.
2. Next up, a great new app for people who travel
3. We’re proud to present the record breaking stupidity of Florida State Representative Charles Van Zant.
4. Finally, blogger Goldberger…
HARRIET: His name is Goldenberg, Stan. Jack Goldenberg.
STAN: Whatever. And finally, blogger Goldstein presents “The Last Pet Video You’ll Ever Have to See for the Rest of Your Life.” And now, without any further do do, here’s… what’s his name.
STAN: Whatever.

Rock Star Contract Demands: The Mysterious Story Behind Van Halen’s Ban on Brown M & M’s

Things aren’t always what they seem–even in the World of Rock ‘n Roll. Remember the furor years ago about the outrageous demands David Lee Roth, lead singer of Van Halen, put into his contract?

Under the clause “Munchies” Mr. Roth (whose real name is not Otis Biggelsworth McFeltersnatch) insisted that the band required “potato chips, nuts, pretzels and M&M’s  backstage and on their tour bus. Then David Lee Roth inserted into the 53-page contract: (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN M&M’s!). Was David Lee Roth being petulant? And more importantly, do you even know what “petulant” means?

STAN: What does petulant mean?
HARRIET: Google it!
STAN: It means, “Google it?”
HARRIET: No, Stan , you idiot, it means getting terribly annoyed at a small detail, especially if you don’t get your way.
HARRIET: Do you even know what “chagrined” means?
STAN:  Google it?
HARRIET: You’re getting close.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Everyone knows stars like to be pampered. After all, many of them act like children who want what they want when they want it. (Which reminds me, “Honey, what’s for dinner?) (OK, new Readers of 10 Minutes of Brilliance, I am just kidding when I asked my wife , “What’s for dinner?”) (I already know what’s for dinner.)

ANNOUNCER: Attention, 10 Minutes of Brilliance Readers! Blog writer Jack Goldenberg had just performed the amazing Triple Parentheses? Three in a row and he landed perfectly. He just tied the World Record for Consecutive Parentheses. Will he go for a 4th and try to break the record?

(Where was I? Oh, yeah.)

ANNOUNCER: He has! He’s done it! For the first time in blog history, Goldenberg has smashed the previous 1956 record of three consecutive parentheses with a stunning 4th parenthesis! Oh, the humanity!

I remember now, I was talking about outrageous clauses in rock ‘n roll contracts. As it turns out, David Lee Roth was not being childish nor overly demanding by stipulating  hisNO BROWN M&M’s” clause. “We were accused of being abusive simply because we could., ” Roth explained,”but the reality was quite different.”

Here’s the real story.

Van Halen’s live show was a huge spectacle. It required booming audio, spectacular lighting, high voltage electricity, and immense structural support, all of which could some tumbling down on the band and the audience if it wasn’t properly installed. But some facility managers who booked the high-flying and expensive Van Halen tour cut corner when it came to safety. Some didn’t even bother to read the long contract, jeopardizing the safety of the band and its fans.

But David Lee Roth was a lot shrewder than people at the time gave him credit for. He couldn’t take the chance local promoters might perform a less than adequate safety check. So he added the “NO BROWN M&M’s” clause to ensure his entire contract was read and adhered to. If he saw BROWN M&M’s in his dressing room or anywhere backstage, he knew local promoter’s didn’t read the contract and probably weren’t  prepared to protect the band and fans from imminent danger.

Anytime David Lee Roth found brown M&M’s anywhere in his touring venue, the show didn’t go on until the structural problems were fixed.

Here are some other backstage and contract demands of the rich and infamous:

James Brown

Superstar James Brown requires a 5-star hotel, a hooded hair dryer, an oxygen tank and an extra room for his mistress–his wardrobe mistress, that is.

Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes contract calls for several bottles of Moet Chandon, a 24-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and condoms. Don’t ask!


The one and only Cher require a wigwam. Oh no, that’s a wig room, extra space for her huge collection of wigs. She also warrants an extra room for her massage therapist, bouquets of freshly cut lilies and gardenias, and a TV showing classic movies. Fake flowers and fake plants are forbidden.


Jennifer Lopez a k a J-Lo

Sultry singer Jennifer Lynn Muñiz, a k a Jennifer Lopez, a k a J-Lo, has a long list of riders her management adds to her touring contracts, including a trailer at least 40 feet in length, in which EVERYTHING IS WHITE.  Everything! She also requires yellow roses with red trim, CDs chosen from a list of 43 artists, and specific brands of scented candles (Diptyque—Tuberose, Figuier, and Heliotrope). What, no Glade plug-ins?



Most of the contact demands in Bat Out of Hell superstar Meatloaf’s contract relate to food. He requires 100% multigrain bread, (preferably Vogel’s Flaxseed and Soy), 2 bags of potato chips, a package of low fat chicken or turkey wieners, 4 hard and crunchy Gala apples, 4 low-fat fresh-baked muffins from a local bakery, steamed broccoli and green beans almondine (not too soggy) a sliced roast pork tenderloin, a sliced, a sliced roast beef tenderloin and two baked potatoes. Then for lunch…

The Absolute Best Way to Get from HERE to ANYWHERE

Although some 10 Minutes of Brilliance Readers live in the Southern Hemisphere (South America, South Africa and Australia) where Winter is the next big season, the vast majority of Brilliant Readers live north of the Equator, so they’re busily making exciting plans for their Summer vacation.

I’ve come across a new site that simplifies the best way to get from wherever you are to wherever in the world you want to go. But before I do that, I thought it might be helpful to tell you when to look to get the best prices on airfare.

The best time to look for the least expensive airfare  is early Wednesday morning. That’s the day most airlines dump their unused reservations for sale and higher priced tickets that didn’t sell the previous weekend. Now onto the main course, how to get from where you are to where you want to be, Don’t leave home without it

Rome2Rio web site simplifies the best mode or modes of transportation to get to anywhere in the world.

Rome2rio organizes the world’s transportation information into one convenient Web site. It’s a door-to-door search engine that returns an itinerary for travel by air, train, coach*, ferry. mass transit and automobile.

By the way, do you know what coach travel is?  I didn’t. I had to look it up. I figured they meant a stage coach, like the had in the old west. You know, with one guy driving the horses and the other guy ridin’ shotgun, in case they were attacked by Indians who were upset you didn’t call then native Americans.

“Au contraire,” as my French grandmother would say. A coach is a type of bus that conveys passengers on excursions and on longer distances between cities—or even between countries. Now aren’t you glad you learned that today? I am.

Anyway, check out Rome2rio. It’s one cool app for travelers.

What’s up, Chuck?

In 10 Minutes of Brilliance’s continuing effort to define Brilliance, it helps to understand what real stupidity looks like. In case you were wondering, it looks like this:

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant said that

Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant said the new Florida State school curriculum will “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

In 1997, there were reports that watching the British children’s show Teletubbies could cause your kids to “turn homosexual.” Oh, not all of the Teletubbies were involved in the conspiracy. It was just Tinky Winky. What proof did Jerry Falwell and others have that Tinky Winky had a hidden agency. It was right there before your eyes. He was purple. You do know the color purple can “cause” homosexuality, don’t you.?

The next supposed major conspiracy of the liberal media was the hit show SpongeBob Square Pants. No, SpongeBob’s square pants weren’t purple, but there was something about him that caused the extreme right to proclaim the show was another left wing conspiracy to “turn children into gays and lesbians.” It doesn’t matter that science has proved sexual preference is biological, not environmental. After all, what’s science got over hysteria, bigotry and abject stupidity? Absolutely nothing, right?

Of course, as any dues paying viewer of Fox News knows, the real “cause” of homosexuality are several Disney animated movies. That’s been the claim of the ill-informed for some time now.

Now, along comes Florida State Representative Charles Van Zant to warn unsuspecting parents that the overarching threat to society as we know it (really, society as he knows it) is Florida’s new $220 million allocation for standardized testing. “I really hate to bring you that news,” Rep. Van Zant said, ” but you need to know.”

Van Zant claims that unless  Florida finds a way to take back the $220 million for standardized testing, it will, “promote double-mindedness in state education, and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

Drop the double-mindedness talk, Chuck. Try some open-mindedness. But not the purple ones.

The Last Pet Video You Ever Have to See for the Rest of your Life.

I love dogs, but I hate dog videos!

Cats are OK, not my favorite, though. But I hate cat videos!

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Move over, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Toto, Sandy, Pluto, Scooby Doo, Benji and Jasper. There’s NEW dog in town! His name is Jesse.

I was pretty sure I would be able to honor my pledge to never again watch another pet video, dog, cat, monkey, skunk, bird, turtle, snake, frog, or whatever! Then I saw the best dog video I have ever seen in my entire life. Jesse is not just good, Jesse is amazing! If you’ve never watched any of the videos on my blog, now is time to start. Jesse the dog is amazing (and so is my friend, marketing mastermind and professor Les Borden for sending it to me.)


 Now it’s Time to Say Goodnight. As Only the Beatles Can Deliver It

And who can say it better than the Beatles. Good Day and Good Night, Brilliant Readers. Thanks for the use of the the hall.  Jack Goldenberg

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