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Money Talks, Dave Matthews Walks?

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 25, 2004 4:09PM

In its latest PR volley, the Dave Matthews Band donated $50,000 on Friday to both the Chicago Park District and the Friends of the Chicago River organization to “begin the healing process” resulting from the alleged dumping of 800 pounds of raw sewage by a driver of their tour bus. The park district and the Friends of the Chicago River say the donated money will be used for environmental programs that will insure the long-term health of the river and its surroundings.

While not admitting guilt (a statement on the band’s website says that they still “do not have a definitive understanding of what happened and are continuing to investigate the matter”), the members of the band are clearly trying to demonstrate their concern for both the tourists aboard the boat and the river itself. The CSI: DMB crew is working with the tour company to identify the people affected and “make things right” (obviously, the “healing process” began with getting the name of a really good dry cleaner).

The interesting thing about the last two follow-up stories on this incident is that the news has generally hit on “Take Out The Trash Day” or what the rest of us call Friday. Therefore, the story makes it into the papers on Saturday, the day when the fewest people read the news. So the band gets the benefit of demonstrating that they are making amends without further kicking up a…er, shitstorm in the media. Chicagoist doesn’t know how effective this will be as Illinois Attorney General Lisa “Mad Dog” Madigan’s office says the state will “continue to pursue its civil suit against the band.” As the band is making attempts to provide restitution to all involved and has now paid out a sum far greater than the $70,000 the state was seeking, it’s probably time for the state to concentrate on other matters. Then again, we’re in a budget crisis here and those Is that exhaust or... Image: dmband.comcoffers don’t fill themselves.

Plus, check out this t-shirt from the band’s website. What’s that stuff coming out of the back end of that car? Does this indicate a pattern of reckless behavior? Does the band need to lay off the coffee and bran muffins in the morning? Has this dead horse been sufficiently beaten?