The Dave Matthews Band Chicago River Incident – This is… Yikes


Episode Transcription

Made by robots, for robots. Only read if you're weird

Hey Man, what's up, have you ever heard of is a mouthful. The Dave Matthews Brand Chicago River incident. Is this an alien thing only of Davies as an alien but Dave Matthys Band Chicago River incident? Yes, yeah! Yes, what I said, I thought you were going to stop a dave, Matthews band and I was like how is this interesting in that war episode Brimont, I'm going to tell you something right now. Until I get through this story, you are going to have no idea where these twists and turns to. It's just keeps getting crazy, don't over hype, it don't over okay. So so what happened at the Chicago River Yeah? So on the Straggle River, I don't know if you've ever been to Chicago. Have you ever been to Chicago we've been to Chicago Multiple Times. This is my friend o the river? Oh, no, a little girl right. I you, but men, says: dump the POOP, they worship, the geese of the Chica's does dusted things. So you remember how like there's certain bridges over the river. I don't remember a thing about okay, so you bridges over just like over the river yeah o. Did you notice that a lot of those bridges are grated bridges? So it's just like open air to the ground, or I guess to the water on you. Remember that I do. I will now I'm just trying to piece things together, like I'm. Imagining Dave Matthew is holding a bridge concert for whatever reason right, they're, just like what's doing on the bridge or so next week will who didn't quite make it on the bridge they're just around and they're like I'm on a bridge, you know, and then the bridge collapses. No! No! This is worse than that. Oh Geez, okay. So, yes, I know the great that you're Tilney have the greater bridges. So, on August eighth, two thousand and four Dave Matthews Band was playing a set of shows in east, troy, Wisconsin, which is not far from Chicago, so they got a hotel for a two nights, stay in Chicago here's, something interesting about the Dave Matthews Band that I never knew they travel with five tor buses. These are the interesting that I never knew. Not a single one of them is named Dave. Man Have Five pour buses, so probably because you know you get how many people are in the band, it's one its five, it's a a reach. Member yeah I go say some bands do that some bands are yeah. We did ORLEE making the level of income, because a tour bus is pretty expensive that tousand a day. I actually think that they're doubled up on a couple of their buses, because they've got like a hundred members. I was gonna say they've got they've got it's not a seven Ba, but also clue travels with them, yeah. Well, Esel. What happens is a lot of the like? The main band will riding a bus together and then the main crew, like your head, people, will ride in a bus together M and then they will charge her some some busses for everybody else's for other people, yeah M, so they have and they've got a lot a big band, a very big band. It's rather bridge fell, so there yeah, so they have five buses right, okay and they were staying in Chicago. For that the two not sae buses on the bridge. No, I keep trying to jump ahead of you on. I word incident does make me feel like it's an alien thing, though you know that's honestly, but go ahead. So it's August state t two thousand and four yeah five baces Ri, bunches, Olinto Chicago all of them go check in at the hotel. One of them is separated from the group. Nobody else is on it. Everybody else goes on O they'll go back into E. I thought your Serbie members of the band and then one member of the band is separated from the group and I I don't know if he'd call it separated from the group, so four buses, then cord of the hose buses, go to the hotel. Well, all of us is go to the hotel. Okay one leaves the hotel goes somewhere else, yeah right on purpose or do the bus just go. It was like Hey Phantom bus, just let act so they, the busleaves, the hotel and the only person is the driver, allegedly okay, and when this bus travels over the Kinsey Street Bidge, it's crossing the Kinsey Street bridge. At the same time, Chicago's Little Lady, which is an open air boat, is traveling underneath the bridge, and so this is let me let me pick the picture of Chicago's Little La Chicago's little lady is, I thought you were Tito. The little lady meant like the mayor's daughter. That's what I thought like the first lady is the mayor's wife, the little Chicago's little lady. I oh no, a little girl it let the little lady that is a boat. It's a boat, it's a charter boat and what they do. is they it's an architecture, tour of the city? Okay, travels along the river and it points out all the famous architecture in Chicago. Is it little lady or little little it's little? This is a very upscale event. It is care twelve hundred dollars an hour, see for a single ticket yeah. So ve I like to see the architecture, but I don't want to get anywhere near it. Can we look at it from the water, so this is like a very upscale torse straction. This has been ranked on multiple occasions top ten towards attractions in the world. Like literally, I look at Architecture and Chicago that builder Yeah Yeah to float along the river and pay twelve hundred dollars to see that builds in its to windows on it and then over here this building got got some windows ain't a pointed thing. At top this one, that's what is less wins less were in it. We countered one day because that's what we do. It looks like the same amount, but is less some of you re thinking. Do we just take a lap? That's because in the S, architecture was really. I mean their nerds man. I like that yeah yeah, so so this is a very upscale, okay, tors attraction and they do a thing where the bus is coming over the bridge little ladies underneath the bridge the same time, yeah as as it now is Dave, Matthews tour bus got his face and stuff on. It is one of those tour buses. I actually don't know, I don't know if they do, but I do know that this, but I imagine that that kind of tour bus would offend the cloud on the Little Lady, but I wish I could see the city without this Gaudy Bossin away. I wanted to see the architecture not dave. Matthews is his face on the side of the bus. Just it's the dame matthews revertor. Let's go see all the pictures that day fates in Chicago this is a Bas. He show that night was is a slide show of the architecture in okay. This is got that of her. I know it is just so I'm waiting for us the bus, the bus was actually the best belonging to the violinist. I I should say belonging. It was the violinists bus, so boy Tinsley is his name. Okay, the Boyd allegedly wasn't on the bus. Allegedly it was just the driver whose name is Stefan Wall. Okay, this is horrible. As he's driving across the bus or as he's driving across the bridge, he notices Hey, I'm a busy tour bus driver. We drive all over the place. We got lots of itineris. There's lots of things to do all the time right. The bridge I'm crossing over right now is a great at bridge and I have a full septic tank, and so he says no way. Let me just kill two birds with one stone and empty the tank. Real, quick and says he's passing over this bridge. He dumps, as he's driving yeah, he's just driving no way eight hundred pounds of waste on to this bridge, which is a graded bridge, and so it dumps down into the Chicago River below on to the little lady that is passing underneath at the same exact time and covers two thirds of the passengers and literally eight hundred pounds, a boat of boss, poop of bus did that pass and on us. That's why I for head go to the hotel because they weren't river trained right and so spotty train anyway. So I bus as is he moving as he's doing it he's moving across it's one and fifteen in the afternoon, he's moving across his grated bridge and he's like. Oh it's great this is he oh. I am never saying crop dusted again. I am one hundred percent. Only saying bus dust do Neti, just kept walking bus dust was dusted. I totally don't I bet at all. I thought you were going to say Dave bathes, which is da day man mates that but bus dusted, that's better yeah, so just drenched the whole boat or there photos of this. I don't think, there's I don't think, there's photos o lime. Can I see the boat? That's what I'm trying to picture yeah here. Let me let me get so. These are heady toity people who have paid twelve hundred. Imagine that, though, imagine you're not a hody twenty person right and you've saved up twelve hundred dollars and then you're going through looking at, like Oh look on the windows that building has and oh yeah and it's like built a cup in the sewage on top ye ye. It's not it's not Wa! That's! That is not a God. This is not designed. You are hang out on top of this boat yeah rough rough scenario, yeah, and they were like. Oh Man, if only we were Chicago was a little later. You know so we just time this thing: a Hor yeah. The timing is there's no way that at that feels intentional. You think they tried that I think Dave Matthews was like listen. One time I tried he just he's been trying to book a shelf, daland he's pretty womaning this boat he's like one time I tried to get on that and they were like you, your Dave, Matthews. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to be dude. I want them bus to poop on that boat and if it's intentional, that's pretty pomp rock. So he is the thing, so the Illinois atterir already illegal. He can't dump that there yeah, no he's not yeah you're, definitely not supposed to just dump that in the river yeah come on, so to begin with it's a legal act, but to don't but a one people of people, it's even worse. The only noy attorney general said that passengers aboard included persons with disabilities, aller, elderly, a pregnant woman, a small child in an infant and the filing. Listen to this quit as the liquid waste was bronical and color had a foul offensive, odor yeah they were offended. They were very offended by it. The liquid way sweet in the passengers eyes their mouth, their hair on the belongings and clothes. I don't like the first is God in my throat from that, and then it's fine. Some passengers suffered from nausea and vomiting. Well, of course you did you don't have to tell us that, obviously yeah you're be pooped on. Have you have you or a love worn, been diagnosed with too many advertisements during the till in podcast? Have we got good news for you? Our patrons enjoy add free experience and they get early access to content behind the scene, stuff, exclusive merchandise and access to a private discord channel. We we all are in it our producers and the hosts. So if you'd like to be a patron today and solve that problem, why don't you text till in to six six? Eight, six? Six? No, I do you prepare yeah. Of course, I held a baby. We or we your is like it was like I've not been to. I I on a dog prony. Now the closest I've ever got to be noe one. What are you even just said is phrase the closest I've ever got to be covenden. I barely missed it you're, not going to believe it yeah now he's at even I was that a McDonald's, a real story. I thought you were just doing a bit. I was MacDonald seven years on oon, okay, McDonald, seven years old in the ploy place in the play place, yeah just going up in the tunnels as high as I can, and then I come around a corner. All quick and there's just a pile- and I was just like- oh no- I was a- I was in Nashville Tennessee this weekend and at a Walmart I was walking out, and there was you know on in the wallar parking lot. There's a little brown thing on the her off. Didn't you step in one of those in San Antonio, when we were on tour being a dog poop. No, it was a human. You think is a human it I feel like I've ever stepped in human, certainly stepped in human. I don't think so, but I definitely looked out at this and I was like I don't as a dog that doesn't seem very do Antonio Human Poop does not sound familiar to me. Maybe I block that out in my mind, when you brought up Nashville thought Yo were going to talk about last week. You were in the play place at McDonald's in Nashville, and I pa had to go so here's the thing there was. Another incident will not another incident during the same incident. There was also traffic on the bridge behind the bus and so years later this never hit the news years later. Someone came forward and was like how was the car behind the bus. Let me tell you what I saw they were like the like: here's, the thing they're like it was a beautiful day. I had my windows all rolled down. Yeah me my husband, and it was a pregnant woman. She's like he was me and my husband and our todd, their son in the back seat and our baby inside me. The windows right on dose were rolled down and she's like it's been really bad. I had really bad morning sickness all the time whatever and then that dump happened and it just flattered because it because it was a great. So not everything went through the great and so there's just a P. I l that they drove through and it splattered everything up all over their car and into their car. Oh my ba the windows open, and so she starts. She starts puking all over the yes, obviously trying to drive a man. I know now in your car that wouldn't be a big deal. I I I have a payment, you know like. I would be on a paper. You know I'd be like. Oh my gosh. This would be honest if that happened to my car I'd, throw it away you a it already. Is that what we take I'll go go in your car right now, Dude is how it we take. We said Poop way to me. I know I just think that I was like yeah. This is people already think were like Middle School, humor you're. The Ly brought this story of Dude because it's ridiculous man so so far I've seen all the twist coming. You did not I. When is the thing after this happened? Nobody had nobody had any any idea. What happened because they didn't know, is Dave. Matthews bands bust, they just knew somebody drove over and dumped all to save Matthew Lit, take credit for it. An it's like. I have a public statement to make hey guys or does he say, listen, here's my demands. I've got four other Busar in the Fitz, Patrick Hotel E or demands. So we were, we want seven tickets to the little lady he's like trying to bargain for him a Dole. So okay, so they don't. So this investigation goes under way of them, trying to figure out whose bus was that which is a true crime podcast whose bust is that a bus due blut dust, the podcast we should bust the bus, bless buses, okay, so so they're to look in for the bus right yeah and they be hard to find you susy got. They got dogs out trying to follow the scent sore looking for the buzz yes, so I start looking for the bus, I should say nobody had any sort of like everybody on board. They all went to the hospital and they got checked out. They didn't get any sort of disease, show they just all that yeah they just it was just gross. It was just really gross yeah, they threw the butt away said I not fire and let it out into the e Michigan the like it's the lakes. Now a single tear old down their cheek. They still, they still take it. They actually they point out the bridge on the tour they said. This is where the Dave Matthews been this building was was designed by a French architect, shut, a dip, it back now to say a French name, so I just said Gibrish and then this bridge- and they say it like, like Bruno Mars's song, this bridge, you know you had that song. You know dis anyway, so this bridge is where dat they hold. Call Him Dave David Matthews, her two D, a forty twenty for that right. Then the newspaper the next day said horny toilers of the reels, okay, so so they're looking for the boss, they're looking for the bus, they were able using security, camera footage from a nearby gym to get the license plate from that bus. Okay, so they say: okay, we got them so they found that the bus belonged to another bus driver in the day of Matthews Pack, and so they try to check it down and he had an alibi. He was like. Oh, I was checking at the hotel and and it lined up and so they're like that's us to there's footage of me. Yeah he's footage me at at the hotel. It wasn't wasn't me and they're like but like, but what were the other drivers names m? No, I road dave. My name is Dave. This is Matthew, so so they did check that. Stefan wool was the one driving the bus on the tour, but he denied being out at that time. He said we were all at the hotel. Do you know what happens he's driving over the bridge? The bus driver go? Oh, you go, oh gray, that's not good! Like him him and the entire Dave Matthews came. He did was linnit. No, we didn't do that. Wasn't that did happen. He we were all a tour in town like we were all at the the hotel. Have you asked Tale Time? Where was her boss, yeah yeah, so they're denying it to the nights right right? Eventually, they were able to find on another security. Camera footage, an image of stuff on driving that bus and they're like this? Is You and his okay? I des like yeah and then Dame vates was like? Oh Oh. He really did do that and they're like great sweet, and so he got fired from as their tour bus driver. He also pleaded guilty in March two thousand and five. This was a year long investigation and Mary doesn't five what what do they charge them with, so he pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and disk discharging contaminates to cause water pollution. Oh yeah, because either way, that's you know both there or not that you can't dump that stuff in the river yeah absolutely so he was sentenced to eighteen months probation and had a hundred fifty hours, a community service and pay to final ten thousand dollars to the friends of the Chicago River, which is not an organization it yeah. I was on a just some people like this is my friend the river. It's just like you know it's a anti social O, just people who don't have real friends. They are just friends with the river, then them and there's another there's. Another group that hangs out by the Chicago River called the Phantom Goose and they just they worshipped the geese at the Shiyu 're, going to go like a like a superhero angle also that to protect the river they protect the river. So they then the Dave matty's band they donated fifty to the friends of the Chicago River. They're, look, sorry, but they said sorry. He only gave you ten tousand dais his salary yeah. They said, we've got a lot of money, left overs firing yeah, and then they also gave fifty Sandolas to the Chicago Park district. Okay, because they were like you, guys kind of had something to do with the river, and then they paid two hundred thousand dollars the state of Illinois as a settlement, because they sate in one and sue them and they're like hey. If you keep it quiet about this, if you need you two hundred thousand dollars, maybe let me speak in language might understand, he's the thing: how about you make this disappear and they're like we're? Not The you know, we're not the Mo right I'd like Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, love tilling podcast and want to support the show. Well, you can support us by buying till an podcast march and wearing it out in the wild. We have teas, hoodies, shirts and so much more in our merch store. We also have exclusive march for every single episode, but those are limited so make sure you get him. While you can text till in to six six, eight six, six to support the show. Thank you so much. So what was unfortunate for the day Matthews Band is at the time they were pretty outspoken, environmentalists, yeah, and so it was. I was a really bad look for them to be too like it's not like Dave was David. Divane was like go dump this in the river allegedly alleged. We don't know, that's true! That's true! A in two thousand and nineteen Steven Wall was a guest on a radio show what okay? That means he'd, be a guess of our podcast, but that's a different thing to we can get him. We can get it. We can get someone in Chicago. Some radio show in Chicago was like remember that time, Dame Matthews pooped in the river and this one was- I was on them and they're like kid who was seven years old. The time now graduating high school is here to confront the person who traumatized his childhood up next Steven, what Stepan, steet state Stephen Stephen Snappin, wool yeah, so Stephen World comes and he talks about the events of what happened and he was. He said that he just didn't put two and two together that what the but your Botta says, dump the poop was gonna. Do that? Well, no he's like we was like well, it's great he'll go on the river I'll, just wash. We were fine whatever, so he did do it on purpose, so he did to do it on purpose. So he got this radio interview and she is a bomb shell, okay, and he says he says I didn't act alone, the narrative up until that point was he was there on his own and so he's saying he was the fall guy he's. He was saying: There's other people president and he covered for them. So he didn't act alone. Why would you say that's so? Did he say those words yeah sees is like well, you know, honestly and- and I know ithis might be hard for you to hear Michael, because this did traumatize your whole childhood and you know you dropped out of elementary school be, and I'm really sorry about that. But I didn't act alone. Okay, who else was it it rhymes with save slave a so? He just drops he's like hey, I didn't nick alone yeah and the radio. The release of the radio show thought it was the dumbest thing little one. They literally made fun of him on Air. They were like no they're, like, as you did they're like you're, just trying to tell in a lame that often you, you weren't. You were number two in this operation yeah, so he tries to pretend like they made like the Dave. Matthews band made him the fog guy and he wasn't responsible for the scenario. A yeah and the radio show was like shut up the s like listen, e's been fifteen years, yeah you're known as the bus duster. All right just take. What does he do now can't draw in to her boss? I S Yeah you're not allowed to drip. I don't know what he does now, actually no idea, but you to find the buses a drive over bridges. Wherever we we get to a bridge, I got drive, we got to pull on her switch the driver, I don't know how to drive it either to its very iasion yeah. So one of my favorite things about the whole incident, though, was mayor at the time Mayor Richard Daly, how the press, to a DA little these dead Little Ladies Dad held a BRASCA conference and in the press crafers. He said this. The dumping is absolutely unacceptable. Yeah then he pauses, and he says I do believe I forny go. He says he pauses after talking about how unacceptable was he positive says. I do believe, though, the Dave Matthews Band is a very good band. What what they do so, except dumping is Los Pretty good. You know, like don't punish them on the music charts. For this I got their song on Napster and it's pretty good. They were like what was that he is like I I legally download I bought it, no hear we knew. Did you do that, but I mean guys the dump. It's not a good. Look, it's not a go. If you ignore that and just listen to the song, it's not much better yeah. If you ignore the dumping, the song is pretty good, yeah, so yeah. So after the investigations to find got charged, and it became this thing, that's sort of like a legend of Dame matthes in Chicago every time I comes to town, it's the the river incident. Every time it comes down, people were get up. Etat is there's a way. There's a memorial that someone said a oars has or that on so like a plaque out there, David, that's Matthews, hold on the me find a memorial. It's not! It's not well done I'll. Tell you that much okay, but someone o. let me see if I can yeah so is in August, two thousand and four at this very location, a d MB standing for Dave, Matthews Band, as if anybody walking by we'll see that thing. Do you be yeah? You know DB torbus dumped eight hundred pounds of Pooh on some people. That's the memory. What is it was, as is Hashtag never forget, has tag always remember is literally like a piece of Postero that the table, so this had ever for they taped and they taped into the the bridge DB. Tour, bus, Yep, wow, yeah, pretty rough, pretty rough, so yeah so next time year, Chicago, try to find that the Kins street bridge and remember how fortunate you are to be walking across it now, instead of on what was it Augtus August, eight, two thousand and four, that's a whole episode. That's it! Yes, it's a quick story. Oh Yeah, okay, you know, here's what's really interesting, don't fiddle them off yet, okay, why? Now you can? Okay, I just want to make the episode a little longer. I don't know like it just feels like cause it. We just got in this. You told me there was twists and turns yeah we get, we get them all. We got a M, it's a quick story, but it's a fun story, Defero. What is depend saying? I didn't act alone. Yes, Stephen said he didn't act alone. I think we could do a true cram podcast on this. We should do a true cram podcast by the way we should, which anyway so Dave Matthews. If you don't go see a pot does fetal Dave. If you're listening to this, there was a violinist bus, it was yeah, goes pretty deep man, anyways feddle, that one off things are done. That night is a production of space, Tim media produced by Kristian Taylor, audio by ous, Garnett, video by Conter, bets or graphics, and Ar Logo by Caleb Goldberg, and our social media is on by Kelaba our host, our JERN myres and Tim Stone falls on your favorite social media platform at Tillin podcast. As till and podcast remember, to tell all your friends about us and we'll see you next Tuesday for another episode of things I have on last night

This story isn’t for you if you have a weak stomach. Honestly, if you’re human, this story isn’t for you. This is easily the most disgusting story we’ve ever told on this show. But, here it is—the Dave Matthews Band Chicago River Incident. Trust us; nothing can prepare you for what you are about to learn. We’re sincerely sorry about this.

The Dave Matthews Band Chicago River Incident

On August 8th, 2004, the Dave Matthews Band was on tour in the midwest. Before a two-night event in East Troy, WI, the band booked a hotel in downtown Chicago. During the stay, one of the band’s tour buses separated from the group and traveled across the city. As the bus crossed over the Kinzie Street Bridge, a grated bridge spanning the Chicago River, the bus driver decided to empty the septic tank. Stefan Wohl, the driver, assumed that because the bridge was grated, the tank’s contents would fall harmlessly into the river below.

The Kinzie Street Bridge in Chicago IL
The Kinzie Street Bridge in Chicago, IL
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

For the most part, Wohl was correct. The majority of the 800 lb tank load slide through the grates of the bridge. However, Chicago’s Little Lady was crossing under the bridge at that very moment. Chicago’s Little Lady is a tour boat that travels the Chicago River highlighting some of the most noteworthy architectural achievements of the city. This open-air vessel charges nearly $1,000 an hour for the world-famous attraction.

The Aftermath

The tank expelled all 800 pounds of the Dave Matthews Band tour Bus’s waste directly onto the boat’s top deck, which at that time was loaded full of excited tourists. Sightseers were covered head to toe in human feces. Reports state that passengers suffered from contaminants in their eyes, mouths, bags, clothing, and hair. Immediately, the boat docked, and first responders took the passengers to a nearby hospital. No one suffered any serious effects from the incident.

The Investigation

It took law enforcement some time to figure out the culprit in the case. The Dave Matthews Band Buses do not include any indication that they belong to the band. So for witnesses, it was just some random bus. Luckily a nearby gym provided investigators with security camera footage with a clear shot of the bus’s license plate. Initially, the band denied the claims. But after more footage was released with the driver clearly in the picture, the group had no choice but to acknowledge wrongdoing and face the consequences.

The Response

The Dave Matthews Band paid over $300,000 to compensate for the event. The money was a mixture of settlements, fines, and donations to local environmental groups and the city of Chicago. Stefan Wohl was sentenced to 18 months of probation, paid a fine of $10,000, and did 150 hours of community service. In addition to the legal consequences for the incident, Wohl was also terminated as the band’s bus driver.


The Dave Matthews Band Chicago River Incident is one of the nastiest and wild stories we have ever heard. Luckily no one fell ill as a result or contracted any severe diseases. The moral of the story is, if the Dave Matthews Band is in town, don’t get on a boat.

Things I Learned Last Night is an educational comedy podcast where best friends Jaron Myers and Tim Stone talk about random topics and have fun all along the way. If you like learning, and laughing a whole lot while you do, then you’ll love TILLN. Watch or listen to this episode right now!




The DMB Chicago River Incident – Wikipedia

Related Episodes

Lake Lanier

The Great Emu War

Bull Island

Tell Us What You Think of This Content!

Don’t forget to share with your friends!

Share This Episode

More Episodes
« | »