If it was twenty years ago today, that late May in 1967, then the Sgt. has been playing now for quite a while. And when he arrived, my roommate and I skipped class to listen–all the way through, over and over, carried someplace we had never been before. We tried to play along, pick out the chords, the beat with our guitars–so easy to follow and find with Love Me Do or If I Fell. But we quickly gave it up to simply let ourselves become immersed in a new and more complex kind of music, a Magical Mystery
It was “the act you’ve known for all these years”, but nothing we’d ever experienced before.
Hearing it replayed this week at the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, I almost had to pull off the road, disoriented to time and place. Could I have been 19? Could I now be so close to the impossibly old “64”?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me?
How can something like this be so very comforting and so disturbing at once? On the one hand, those unforgettable events in the history of our lives represent stable, fixed landmarks from which we measure the reach of our lives. And on the other, we see them receding farther and farther back toward the earlier horizon, more difficult to make out, the one ahead much easier.
And since Mr. Kite flew through the ring, she’s left home after living alone for so many years. Life flows on within us and without us. And Sgt. Peppers in and out of key runs through four decades I could not have imagined, even if I had been able to find the chords.
“And it really doesn’t matter if I’m wrong
Where I belong I’m right
Where I belong.”