Today Is The 18th Anniversary Of The Dave Matthews Band's Tour Bus Dumping 800 lbs of Shit Through A Bridge Onto A Boat Full Of Tourists

Chicago Tribune - At the outset of a Chicago River boat tour Sunday, Capt. Sonja Lund deadpanned that passengers should not look up with their mouths open when passing under the city’s grated bridges, lest they get a true “taste of Chicago.”

About 15 minutes later, passengers got more than that. They got a deluge when the boat was doused with a foul "liquid substance" that appeared to drop from one or two charter buses as the boat passed under the Kinzie Street bridge, passengers and tour officials said.

Witnesses said they had just begun the Chicago Architecture Foundation's 1 p.m. tour when they passed under the bridge and a cascade of a "brownish-yellow" substance rained on them. About two-thirds of the passengers seated on the upper deck of Chicago's Little Lady were soaked. Passengers said they looked up to see at least one, possibly two charter buses rumbling above.

A volunteer tour guide at the boat's helm reassured passengers that they had been splashed with water. But the foul smell prompted suspicion.

There was "stunned silence initially. Then sort of this horrible realization as they began to smell themselves as to what happened," said Steedman Bass, 35, of Boston, who was a passenger on the boat but was not sprayed. "It was horrific."


Passengers shouted that police should be called and demanded the boat be turned around. Within minutes, the tour headed back to the dock at Michigan Avenue and Lower Wacker Drive, speeding as "fast as the boat would go," Lund said.

Some passengers became sick from the smell and made use of the boat's lower-deck bathrooms, Bass said.

At the dock, the 120 passengers disembarked and were given refunds for the $25 tickets, exchanges or open-ended tickets for later tours. Some were given cab fare to get back to hotels and some passengers' dry-cleaning bills will be paid, foundation officials said. The boat's crew swabbed the deck clean and set off only slightly delayed for the 3 p.m. tour.

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An unbelievable series of events occurred along our stunning Chicago River 18 years ago today…

If you were one of those poor souls cruising downstream enjoying what is for my money's worth, the best way to see Chicago and its true beauty (opt for the extended version one that goes out onto the lake not just the 3 branches of the river one), only to be showered head to toe with raw sewage courtesy of the DMB. 

If you can picture that scene and not gag, you've either got a sick fuckin German Scheisse fetish, or you're not really grasping the gravity of things here. 

We're talking 800 pounds of human shit and piss.

Something I personally didn't think was physically possible to not only be carried by a tour bus, but humanly possible to produce in even the longest touring period window.

I lived on a tour bus a few times (nbd) back in the day. It's some of the best sleep you'll ever get, but by far the grossest you'll ever feel because the hygiene situation is fucked. 

And everybody knows, rule #1 about tour bus life is absolutely, under no circumstances, is shitting allowed. 

It backs up the plumbing, stinks to high fucking heavens, and needs to be dumped (properly) almost immediately. It sucks but that's rule numero uno.

So how Davey Matthews and the boys were dropping bombs on a regular basis to the tune of 800 pounds of poop is mind bottling.

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Add to the fact that I was under the assumption that you had to hook up this big hose thing to a sewage disposal unit they have at big truck stops to get rid of the mess but apparently, I was wrong. Apparently, some of these buses have switches you can flick from the drivers seat while you're going over grated bridges that you can just release everything out from like one of those excavators with the double buckets.


(Sidebar - did you know airplanes do this when they're 40,000 feet in the sky? And the result is "blue ice"? Fucking disgusting. The shit and piss all freezes in the atmosphere that high and falls to earth as "ice".

This would also be a perfect time to remind everybody about the time White Sox Dave, Donny, and I all surfed (aka swam) in the Chicago River. Right under this bridge to be exact. Donny can brag all he wants in his new Rediscovering America video on Lake Erie about what a badass he is for swimming across the East River, but real ones know the Chicago River (fresh water) is way filthier.

p.s. - in some circles it's cool to trash on DMB and their fans. But I got nothing but respect for a guy that's been touring for like 30 years straight selling out venues coast to coast year after year still. I haven't seen the full band play together since I was in college but I got to see Dave and Tim Reynolds play Northerly Island a few years back and it was awesome. Tim Reynolds is a beast on guitar. I had no idea. And the toned-down, unplugged set was a really nice touch.