I've been a Beatles fan all my life (well, since I was 14). Steve, not so much. He's always been into more alternative and obscure music and (I think) thought the Beatles were overrated or something. Maybe it was a music-snob thing. At any rate, he owned no Beatles albums when I met him, and although I didn't really get it, I didn't let it be a dealbreaker, since we do share other important musical preferences, like Elvis Costello and David Bowie.
So in the past couple of weeks, the media has been observing the 40-year anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — which is one of my favorite albums of all time, even though I've pretty much played it until I've gotten sick of it many times in my life.
One day last week, Steve came home from work and said all nonchalantly, "Do you have any Beatles albums?"
Do you have Sgt. Pepper?
"Yep ... why?"
"NPR's been running a lot of stories about it, for the anniversary. Aimee Mann was on today talking about the op-ed piece she wrote for the New York Times (which we'd read that Sunday). I think I want to check it out. They're having a pledge drive next week anyway, so I need something to listen to."
A couple of days later, which was last Friday, he came home from work and set Sgt. Pepper and my copy of Revolver down on the table. He came into the kitchen, where I was chopping up chicken for dinner.
"I listened to those albums."
"Oh, really? What did you think? Did you like them?"
"There were a couple of songs on Sgt. Pepper that just blew me away." His face looked as if he'd had a spiritual awakening.
He went in and put the disc in the CD player. He programmed it to the end: A Day in the Life. And we started listening, and I started singing, since I pretty much know the words to every single song on that album. "... I read the news today, oh boy ..."
"These lyrics are amazing!" he said. "They sound more like John than Paul. I think John is my favorite Beatle."
I grinned: He knows the difference. "Mine too! Though I also love George ... he was so spiritual and quirky."
We skipped back to some of the other tracks, and that was how we ended up dancing around the kitchen, me with the big chef's knife in one hand, singing I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends. The soundtrack to my life, and my husband just getting hooked for the first time. It felt a little like falling in love again.