It’s one of those stories that Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post is famous for. On Monday the newspaper reported that, after Urban had performed at NYC’s Webster Hall on the evening of April 1, someone dumped the contents of the singer’s tour bus septic tank onto a New York street early the next morning.
The Post quoted an unidentified source at the club saying, “There was about 150 square feet of gunk, a half an inch thick, outside the main entrance. It was a literal [expletive] show.”
The newspaper also quoted Webster Hall owner Lon Ballinger as saying the hall’s staff sprinkled an anti-odor powder onto the remains and waited for it to dry before removing the waste.
“The cleanup process lasted 12 hours,” the Post quotes Ballinger as saying. “Thankfully, it was a nice day, and so it all dried up. Keith put on a great show, and I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with it, but this whole matter stinks.”
Hmmm … tour bus … dumping waste on to the street … really big name … Does all this sound kind of familiar?
If you’re thinking Dave Matthews Band, then score yourself a couple of memory points. During the summer of 2004, the driver of a Dave Matthews Band tour bus dumped the vehicle’s septic tank into the Chicago River, inadvertently ruining what started as a pleasant cruise for the passengers of a tour boat that happened to be passing underneath.
Although the Dave Matthews Band was not involved with the dumping, it did end up donating $200,000 to an environmental fund. The now-former driver, who apparently came up with the idea of dumping the tankload into the river, eventually pleaded guilty to the deed.
Now, five years after the Matthews bus caper, it’s apparent that some people remember the incident even if they don’t remember the outcome.
New York Magazine ran with the headline, “Keith Urban Steals Tour-Bus-Turd Title From Dave Matthews,” while Entertainment Weekly’s Music Mix blog declared Urban the winner of the “Dave Matthews Band Memorial Poop-Related Press Release Award.” Journalists apparently take notice whenever there’s an incident combining a tour bus with unauthorized dumping of human waste.
So you can’t blame Urban’s publicist for trying to quash this thing before his client becomes the poster boy for tour bus / septic tank incidents. Wrote Urban press rep Paul Freundlich, according to CMT:
“Keith Urban neither contracted, leased or owned any type of vehicle (bus or otherwise) located in or around New York City at the time of his performance at Webster Hall. Any accusations that he was responsible in any way (for the alleged release of septic water into the streets of New York City) are inaccurate and malicious. His tour bus was in fact in Tennessee where it was being prepared for Keith's upcoming tour."
Click here for the original New York Post account.
Click here for the CMT article.
Click here for the Entertainment Weekly / Music Mix article.