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18 Years Ago, Dave Matthews Band Dumped Shit on Tourists. They’re Going to Do It Again.

On August 8, 2004, the Dave Matthews Band dumped 800 pound of human feces on approximately 100 sightseers as they crossed the Kinzie Street Bridge overlooking the Chicago River. 

It was a funny headline. You probably laughed. 

But I’ve been researching the incident today, and I’ve come to a grim realization: DMB planned their crime in advance, and they’re going to do it again. 

I am not kidding. This is not a joke. Dave Matthews is the Ted Kaczynscki of shitting on tourists, and his shit-lust remains unsated. 

For evidence, I present the lyrics of “I Did It,” the lead single from DMB’s 2001 album Everyday. “I Did It” was a moderate hit, reaching #71 on the Billboard Hot 100. The follow-up single, “The Space Between,” was far more successful and infinitely more obnoxious. 

But I digress. Let’s review how DMB opens up “I Did It” — which, not coincidentally, rhymes with “I Shitted.”

I’m mixing up a bunch of magic stuff
A magic mushroom cloud of care
A potion that will rock the boat will rock
Make a bomb of love and blow it up

Granted, you could read these lyrics as a faux-poetic description of mushrooms, which is the sea in which DMB swims. But mushrooms also make shit, dear reader. 

And mushrooms can be magical in multiple ways — they can lead you on a psychedelic journey that destroys your ego, or they can load up the tour toilet with a fresh batch of hot fecal matter. The real giveaway is the last two lines: Matthews promises to “rock the boat” with a “bomb of love [shit],” a manifestorial guarantee if I’ve ever heard one.

We proceed to the chorus, in which Matthews admits to dumping nearly a ton of shit on hapless tourists:

I did it
Do you think I’ve gone too far
I did it
Guilty as charged
I did it
It was me right or wrong

In the bridge, Matthews envisions his own arrest for dumping hot shit and piss on tourists, noting in the process that his motivation is pure anarchy — much like Ted K, he intended to express his frustration and hatred, not make a direct political statement.

I never did a single thing that did a single thing to
Change the ugly ways of the world
I didn’t know it felt so right inside
[…] Open up the curtains I heard sirens there the lights flash and crawl
I did it justice I just did it for us all

This is disturbing stuff. It gets worse.

But what of the consequences? There would be none.

Matthews is obscenely wealthy, and he recognizes that spackling tourists with his scat might result in a fine, but nothing more.

It’s a nickel or a dime for what I’ve done
The truth is that I don’t really care

And the most harrowing lines: 

For such a lovely crime I’ll do the time
You better lock me up I’ll do it again

We need to get this to the authorities.

Matthews is going to shit again, and he won’t be stopped.

Is this a reach? Emphatically, I say no. That is why no is italicized, because I am being very emphatic when I type it. NO.

Later in the song, Matthews describes pulling his asscheeks open to ensure that his tour toilet catches all of his “love” (read: shit):

Does it matter where you get it from
I for one
Don’t turn my cheek for anyone
Unturn your cheek to give your love

He also encourages his listeners to “go door to door, spread the love [hot, days-old shit] that you got.” 

From there, the song repeats the bridge several times — perhaps a reference to the “bridge” that DMB would use to carry out their crime — and eventually resolves into a long jam session that’s every bit as interesting as the rest of the Dave Matthews oeuvre (which is to say, not interesting unless you’re extremely high or standing on a bridge and wondering why someone is playing violin while fecal matter covers you from above). 

But ultimately, this song is somewhere between confession and manifesto. It’s a serious warning, and it would be a mistake to believe that Matthews’ convictions have changed after 18 years. After all, the follow-up single, “The Space Between [My Asscheeks]” has similar themes.