I have seen the Dave Matthews Band in concert a few times — as I suspect a lot of people of a particular age bracket have — and one of the biggest draws was always Boyd Tinsley’s ability on the violin. The dude could blow the roof off the dump with that instrument — he was kind of the soul of the band, and I can’t imagine what it might sound like without him (or the late Carter Beauford, for that matter).
That said, it also appears that he’s a bad guy. In February, Tinsley took a break from the Dave Matthews Band for unspecified reasons — he said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and kids — though it turns out he left on the very same day that musician James Frost-Winn issued his first demand letter, asking for $9 million in damages in a lawsuit that has now been officially filed against Boyd Tinsley. In the wake of the lawsuit, DMB has officially cut ties with Tinsley.
According to the suit, James Frost-Winn was a member of a band produced and assembled by Tinsley, Crystal Garden. Front-Winn was recruited when he was an 18-year-old homeless trumpet player. Tinsley signed him up and groomed him, put him in the band, paying for all the associated costs.
During a late-night recording session at Tinsley’s home studio, Frost-Winn went for a nap on a couch. As he slept, he alleged that Tinsley “touched his legs, rubbed his back, and put his feet on his buttocks.” When he woke up, Frost-Winn claimed, “he was masturbating next to me while I was sleeping, and he had his hand on my ass. He was climaxing.” Frost-Winn ran for safety, and Tinsley blamed it on a “pill mix-up.”
The trumpet player also shared alleged screenshots of text exchanges with Tinsley where he told him how attractive he was and asked him to send him pictures.
One of those text messages read: “You’re such boner material and I want you at your best. I’m actually masterbating [sic] to the thought of your shots.”
Frost-Winn says he was not the only member of Crystal Garden that was harassed.
In an interview with Vulture earlier this week, Dave Matthews seemed to suggest there was something more to Tinsley’s departure in February. “I can’t say ‘I can’t wait till he comes back,’ because I don’t know what’s going to happen. But right now being away is better for him. Nobody is happy about this situation. Except that we’re happy he can figure some stuff out.”
Nevertheless, a spokesman for the band told People magazine: “Though Boyd is no longer a member of the band, we are shocked by these disturbing allegations and we were not previously aware of them.”
It seems awfully unlikely that they were not aware of this situation given Dave’s statement earlier this week.