Dave Matthews Band
Misguided rumor has it that back in the '80s, David Bowie contemplated changing his name in an effort to reinvent himself. It was to be a minor alteration, simply abandoning the last two letters of his first name and adding an "e." The move to "Dave Bowie," it was believed, would generate publicity and buzz within the industry.

Bowie realized that "Dave Bowie" didn't resonate the same amount of royalty as the musician's former name. "Dave Bowie" conjures images of a singer touring an oldies circuit based in Branson, Missouri. The name-change was soon dropped, and the anticipated album, Dave Bowie and the Groovers, was scrapped, the master tapes destroyed.

It may be a misguided rumor, but it does say something about the name "Dave." Dave is devoutly a blunt and earthy name. It evokes a working-class attitude - nothing fancy or elaborate. Dave is the name of the guy who started the Wendy's fast food chain - not a rock star who plays before sold-out shows at arena concerts. Not unless your last name is Matthews.

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If I were to describe the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) with one word, it would be "Dave." They are a hard-working band, seemingly perpetually touring, and their songs often come across as acceptable but enthusiastic rock jams. The band has a strong bond with its fans, encouraging them to record shows, as well as maintaining a dialogue with them on their Web site. DMB also works tirelessly with charities throughout the world, not letting the lights of stardom blind them to the problems that face average folk.

Although DMB is one of the top money-making touring acts in the world, one has to wonder if history will be kind to the band's music. It's been more than 30 years since David Bowie released Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars, but the album continues to turn-on millions of new listeners. It's hard to imagine that in 30 years' time, teenagers will discover "Crush" by DMB and feel the same way we do about Bowie. Indeed, the safe bet is that Dave Matthews is more likely to end up on the oldies circuit. •

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