A Millennial Meets the Sergeant
It was 50 years ago that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play – and it was released roughly 18 years before I was born.
As a ‘millennial’ (I hate that label), I was left with little music influence in my youth. Sure, I had Nirvana, STP and Garbage that I loved listening to. But I wasn’t fully introduced to rock ‘n’ roll until I heard Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I met The Beatles in November 1995. Shy of my 10th birthday, I was glued to the TV watching the Beatles Anthology series on ABC. It wasn’t the Hard Day’s Night Beatles that did it for me and it wasn’t the White Album Beatles that did it for me either. I was hooked the minute I saw the post-touring Fab Four, with newly acquired facial hair, colorful ensembles and cigarettes hanging from their lips as they stood in front of studio microphones. I begged my Dad to take me to the nearest music store to purchase this album on cassette. From the time I pressed play to very end of the B side of the cassette, my soul fell in love.
I was hooked the minute I saw the post-touring Fab Four –with newly acquired facial hair, colorful ensembles and cigarettes hanging from their lips
That Christmas break, I played the album so much that my entire family memorized the songs. My favorite was always “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”. Lennon’s distinctive voice singing of a magical circus took my imagination on a journey. My second favorite was McCartney’s story telling of a girl leaving the comfort of her parents’ home in “She’s Leaving Home”. At that young age, I couldn’t fathom why she would ever do that. It truly puzzled – and kind of bothered – me. This of course all changed when I turned 18 and did exactly what the song describes. And finally, my third favorite was “A Day in the Life”. The way that Lennon told the stories, with an almost somber guitar strum, made me think about life in a bigger way – and at such a young age.
My love for all things Beatles started there. 22 years later my heart still beats a little bit harder when I listen to their albums. I’ve researched and studied all of their music and by doing so, it turned me on to other artists whom they influenced and who influenced them. And it all started with this album.
So, Happy 50th Sgt. Pepper. Here’s to the next 10 year old whose life will forever be changed because of you.