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January 9, 2017

What Van Halen Can Teach Us About the Care of Older Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care, Veterans Affairs Boston HealthCare System New England GRECC (Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center), Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 9, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8276

Van Halen, the American hard rock band, dominated the music scene of the 1980s, becoming known not only for their dramatic pyrotechnics and dance moves but also for their particular pickiness when it came to preparing their dressing rooms. Their lengthy 1982 contract rider contained a stipulation that, in addition to towels and chips, a bowl of M&Ms be provided for the band—with the brown M&Ms picked out. This unusual request was the pretext for several cancelled performances—if the band discovered on arrival that there were indeed brown M&Ms in their dressing room snack bowl, they would refuse to play the show.1

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