It was an American tragedy. One that started on a sunny afternoon in an Illinois suburb, when Joe Caston, 34, offered a cold Budweiser to his childhood friend Arnold Mozilo and put on some classic soft rock. At that moment, Caston couldn’t have known that “Keep On Loving You” would be the last thing he would ever hear as Mozilo’s thumbs brutally crushed his windpipe.
If Caston had read the latest studies, though he would have known that he was playing with fire.
“An easily avoidable – and regrettably common – incident,” claims violence expert Dr. Joanna Garcia. “Often one person will insist on playing some incredibly annoying music despite the objections of another party, and after a certain point is reached, the other party will snap and enter a state of homicidal rage.”
“Once that state is entered,” Dr. Garcia continued, “it’s nearly impossible to stop the cycle. For reasons we have yet to discover, REO Speedwagon’s adult contemporary rock stylings and insipid vocals trigger that rage response more than Foreigner, Air Supply, or even Starship.”
“Hey, can you shut that shit off?” a visibly agitated Garcia shouted at her colleague.
Mozilo, 32, has only a hazy recall of the experience.
“I don’t know what happened,” he confesses. “Their greatest hits album had just finished playing, and I was about to suggest something like Alice In Chains or whatever. But then Joe went and got Hi Infidelity from the basement. He told me that the second side of the album was underappreciated, but that was where Kevin Cronin’s vocals really shone. I remember the first few seconds of ‘Tough Guys,’ and then –”
Mozilo broke off, fighting back tears.
“And then I came to with my hands around Joe’s neck. ‘Tough Guys’ was still playing.”
Mozilo is expected to use the “Take It On The Run” defense, coined after the nationwide spate of murders that accompanied REO Speedwagon’s 1990 release The Earth, a Small Man, His Dog and a Chicken.
“Holy crap, did that album suck,” said Garcia. “We will never get through the homicides that one caused. Never.”
Image credit Alan Cleaver on flickr