Or at least the first that I remember.
I grew up in a family where music mattered and everyone had their own specific taste and preferences. Mostly the Italian music chirping over the radio that was constantly on – my mother used to say that as a baby I would not sleep without it; or the more sophisticated Neapolitan, Folk or Tango songs that my grandfather played on his accordion and guitar.
As a child I used to spend a lot of time with my cousin, Alessandra, as we both were taken care of by our grandparents. And together we used to sing with grandpa while he was playing, and it was actually, for both of us, our first band! And we developed a common music taste, enjoying the “singing as one” of everything that came to our ears.
When I was about 11-12 years old, two new different music gendres came into my life. Classical piano music by Chopin, due to a vinyl record that my grandpa bought by mistake and that wasn’t brought back to the shop just because I loved it, and THE BEATLES! This time the “culprit” was my father – he no longer lived with us at that point – who gifted me the 1962-66 & 1967-70 Beatles’ Collections.
Saying that I loved the Beatles is just an understatement, the truth is that they stirred my heart and blew my mind as nothing had ever done before. So I wanted to share it with Alessandra and solemnly made her listen to Nowhere Man, certain that the captivating mellow tune would immediately capture her as it had captured me! But – to my big disappointment – she made a disgusted face and said, “Non mi piace”, Italian for “I don’t like it”.
It was a dagger in the heart! We had shared each and every song till then! But I didn’t despair and changed record, scrolled down to The Fool on the Hill, and recollecting what I had read on the lyrics in my elementary English, I made up a story about this poor guy that was mocked by the whole village on the hill and whose only joy was to wait and look at the sunset that would finally end another day of sorrow for him. I still remember the passion, the intensity, the urgency that I felt when I was telling the story, and how bad I wanted her to like The Beatles and to share that new love of mine with her!
I don’t know exactly what caught her attention – the story, the passion, the music – but she looked at me with those eyes that told me that we would have indeed listened to the all Collection together.
And so we did, infinite times…
It was indeed a pivotal moment… A moment when music became something different for both of us, opening the doors to a new world of sounds, feelings, meanings, words, faces…
And for me, it was a moment when I became somewhat aware of my power of inspiring others to something beautiful, something that I love, something worth loving, worth experiencing… And, by the way, it was also my first English to Italian translation ever! Surely not accurate, but a catchy story indeed!