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DMB Sued for Dumping

Band in trouble for allegedly dropping waste into Chicago River

August 25, 2004 12:00 AM ET
The state of Illinois sued the Dave Matthews Band on Tuesday for allegedly dumping up to 800 pounds of human waste from its tour bus into the Chicago River and hitting a passing boat filled with tourists. The suit cites the band and its driver for violating water pollution and public nuisance laws, and seeks $70,000 in damages.

The state alleges that on August 8th en route to the band's downtown hotel, the driver emptied the bus' septic tank while crossing the Kinzie Street Bridge. More than 100 passengers on an architecture tour boat were doused with human waste, though the attorney general's office said no one was seriously injured.

"This incident may be unique," said Attorney General Lisa Madigan, "but that does not lessen the environmental or public health risks posed by the release of at least 800 pounds of liquid human waste into a busy waterway and onto a crowded tour boat."

A statement from the band rebuffs the suit's accusations. "Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident," it reads. However, DMB go on to pledge to "continue to be cooperative in this investigation."

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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