"Party 'til You Die"
A former backline technician
"It was 1981 and Van Halen was on their brutal 'Party 'til You Die' tour. We'd just wrapped the Pittsburgh show, where everything went relatively smoothly (for a VH show), and the next stop was a pretty important gig in Maryland.
"We began to load in at Capitol Center at 8 a.m., with the gig being that evening. Set up went without any unusual issues, and a sound check was scheduled for 2 p.m. With the stage set and backline ready to roll, the band filters in, minus Dave [Lee Roth]. After determining that nobody has heard from him for some time, calls are frantically made to try and locate him.
When the hotel manager finally let the P.A. in the room, they were greeted by this scene: David Lee Roth and several women strewn around the room, some nude, some dressed in what appeared to be pieces of midshipmen's uniforms.
"The band had rooms at the Hilton downtown, and many attempts to call his room proved to be useless. Finally, a production assistant was sent to go check on him, some 30 minutes away at the hotel. When the hotel manager finally let the P.A. in the room, they were greeted by this scene: Dave and several women strewn around the room, some nude, some dressed in what appeared to be pieces of midshipmen's uniforms. The manager also mentioned that there had been several early morning complaints of loud voices and other assorted noises coming from the place.
"It was later learned that Dave had been out partying with locals after arriving in town. Nobody ever really figured out how he pulled this off after a 250-mile trip from Pittsburgh the night before, but that's just Dave for ya. After finally being ushered down to the venue, he finished sound check with his pissed off (and disgusted) band and crew.
"And yesâ€”the 'no brown M&Ms' thing on the tour rider was true!"
"Crash and Burn"
A tour professional who has worked with some of the biggest names in metal
"A few years ago, our tour stopped in upstate New York, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and there had been these two girls who were trying hard all night. One was mildly attractive, the other...not even close (very sluttily dressed and trying to grab the attention of anybody on the tour). They managed to catch the eye of two young guys in the opening band and invited them out for a night on the town. The rest of their band wanted no part of it, but the girls promised that the two could crash at their place and head to the Amtrak station a block away from their apartment, which would take them right into Hartford, Conn. for the next show.
"The next day, the boys missed sound check and barely showed up in time for doors. They came into the production office and told us how, when they woke up that morning, they asked the girls to point them in the direction of the train station. The girls apparently said, 'There's no train station in this town. Get out of our place,' and kicked them out. They wound up telling us this long-winded story about taking a cab for this four-hour drive and it costing them somewhere around $500, just looking relieved they made it. We all started to laugh and asked why they didn't just rent a car. The look of shock and horror on their faces was priceless. Costly lesson learned."
A manager and tour professional
"One night on my first tour, I found my 125-lb. self pounding shots with two vocalists and a guitar player whose music I had grown up listening to. All of a sudden, the front lounge of the bus turned into a wrestling ring with people laying the smack down from countertops and pile driving onto couches. Needless to say, these three 200-plus-lb., 6-foot dudes threw me like a toy and I woke up feeling hit by a semi. Completely worth it...what I remember of it."