Last week, Samantha Malson was arrested for pushing and chocking her boyfriend Lars Hansen after a drunk Hansen refused to stop singing the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. Sure, “Thrift Shop” is a great song, but hearing anything over and over again is going to be annoying.
Poor Lars is hardly the only person to suffer for a song. Read on, for more tales of music murder and mayhem.
1. In November 2012, Michael David Dunn pulled up next to a car of teens in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida, convenience store. He was on the way to his son’s wedding with his girlfriend, who needed something from the store. Perturbed by the loud music the car next to him was blasting, he confronted the four teenagers in the car. And then Dunn dis something insane. He pulled out a gun and shot one of the kids, Jordan Davis, eight times. Dunn and his girlfriend then drove to their hotel and ordered pizza. He was later found and charged with first degree murder.
2. Okay, so what’s up with the cops and The Clash? In 2004, a tech worker named Michael Devine was arrested after he sent a text containing Clash lyrics to the wrong person. Devine, who plays in a Clash cover band, was referencing the band’s song “Tommy Gun,” and texted the wrong number with the lyrics “OK – SO LET’S AGREE ABOUT THE PRICE AND MAKE IT ONE JET AIRLINER AND TEN PRISONERS,” which yup, sounds like some terrorism talk. Devine, who is clearly pretty clueless, feigned total ignorance. “”It hadn’t even occurred to me that it might look a bit dodgy. It was quite nerve wracking for Special Branch to come looking for you at work. I was thinking, Oh God, what have I done?”
But that’s not all! In 2006, a guy was kicked off a flight to London, after a taxi driver who took him to the airport became suspicious of the lyrics he was singing. Harraj Mann was singing along to The Clash’s hit 1979 song “London Calling,” which includes the lyric “war is declared and battle come down.” It was enough to worry the cab driver, who alerted authorities and had him hauled off his flight. “I mean where does it stop? What if I was wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, what if I was wearing odd socks, you know,” said Mann, who hopefully owns matching socks.
3. Poor maligned Coldplay fans, nobody likes you. In 2007, a guy was assaulted after singing the band’s hit song “Yellow” at a karaoke bar. An anti-Chris Martin fan became so incensed by the song that she ran on stage and punched the singer. According to witnesses, it took three people to hold her down. The Coldplay-hating woman is in good company: A 2005 review of the band by New York Times writer Jon Pareles called them “the most insufferable band of the decade.”
4. In 2012, Kelly Danaher and his wife were celebrating his wife’s birthday with a party at their house. Neighbor Raul Rodriguez couldn’t take the noise, and went over, gun and video camera in hand, for a confrontation. In the ensuing argument, Rodriguez pulled out his gun and shot three partygoers, including Danaher, who was fatally injured. His attorneys attempted to claim a “stand your ground” defense (despite the fact that he was on Danaher’s lawn at the time), but it didn’t work: he was given a 40-year sentence.
5. In 2009, a Filipino man was stabbed in the stomach and punched in the head because he didn’t know the song “Nobody” by the K-pop band the Wonder Girls. Lee Santos, of Manila, was stabbed twice and punched repeatedly until he died. Santos’ mistake was asking one of the four suspects what he was singing, which apparently enraged the four men.
6. In 1958, Ann Beynon, a wheelchair-bound woman living in Los Angeles, murdered her husband Benjamin John Beynon. The couple’s daughter Linda Lee Klein, said that her father was killed because her mother “didn’t like his singing.” When Benjamin refused to stop singing, she wheeled into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed him to death.
7. In 2009, an Arizona man stabbed his wife and two children, and blamed the murders on an Eminem song. Michael Miller stabbed and killed wife Adriana and his daughter Valeria, and wounded his son Brian, while screaming Eminem lyrics. He then called 911 and waited until police arrived. Miller claimed that he was possessed by the devil, and was not responsible for the murders.
8. Alexis Simpson got into a fight with her roommate Dominique Frazier one night, because, she claimed, Dominique’s iPod was too loud. A fight ensued, which resulted in Simpson killing Frazier, she claimed, in self-defense. “I had to defend myself. I was under attack. She slammed a door into my face. She uppercut me while holding my hair. I was scared,” Simpson said.
9. In 2008, 19-year-old Floridian Christopher Holder was arrested for singing a profane song near children. The track, said Holder, was by a rapper named Lil’ Boosie – whose albums include Bad Azz and For My Thugs – who was indicted on first-degree murder charges in 2010, and may face the death penalty if convicted. Holder, on the other hand, was charged with disorderly conduct and released.
10. Isiah Johnson needs to learn to take criticism if he’s going to get anywhere in the karaoke circuit. The Sandusky, Ohio, singer was heckled after a less-than-stellar karaoke performance (we wish we knew what song) and punched three members of the crowd in response. Johnson was charged with three counts of assault. No word what he was singing, but I’m pretty sure it was drunk.
11. In 2011, a cover band singer was arrested for singing the 1970s hit “Kung Fu Fighting,” after a Chinese patron at the bar found the song offensive. The audience member accused singer Simon Ledger of racism, though Ledger insisted that the song was a regular part of the band’s act, and not intended to offend. After the confrontation, Ledger was later dining — ironically — at a Chinese restaurant when the police called him and asked him to answer the allegations. Police came down to question Ledger and arrested him on “racially-aggravated harassment.”
12. A Florida man (yes, of course) was arrested for attacking his boyfriend because he refused to stop listening to Alanis Morrisette. Allen Blair Casey had had it up to here with “You Oughtta Know,” and smacked his lover with a plate. “That’s all the motherfucker listens to,” complained Casey, who was arrested and charged with domestic battery.