Today’s my wife’s and my 26th anniversary. Music was one of the first things that bonded us, and it continues to; I think we both used it as a litmus test on each other as well. It’s only fitting that we now bend our ears to 10 early signpost platters (and other miscellany) that set us on our increasingly great adventure.
Number One: The first album I taped for Nicole–before we even knew what was in store!
Number Two: A segment tape-recorded directly from a film that was one of many highlights on the first mixtape Nicole made me. I knew after this I’d met a live one!
Number Three: The first album we totally agreed upon (before we really knew we were falling in love), which I then gave to her, which we later framed, and which is now hanging by the front door:
Number Four: The cassette I bought for Nicole on my way to meeting her for a Coctails show at Murphy’s in Springfield, Missouri, that wasn’t a date but during which we decided to go steady, baby!
Number Five (Three-in-One): Three albums I think we played every single day immediately after we started dating.
Number Six: The first album I bought for Nicole that she (and I) didn’t like but then chastised ourselves about years later when its greatness finally penetrated our thick skulls and ears (the movie’s great, too). Note: Nicole is adept at spotting albums with great covers and buying them for that reason alone, which was my method in buying this for her, which backfired. I still remember us sitting on her bed, shaking our heads, and saying, “This is legendary?” A temporary chink in the ol’ armor.
Number Seven: The song (and album) Nicole listened to on the way back from an All concert that I couldn’t go to with her, which she said made her think for me, which kept her awake, which is still one of the nicest things she’s ever said to me.
*Number Eight: A highlight from a cassette (Uncommon Quotes) we played continually until we basically had it memorized. I still like it better than any of his books. The old sod could read aloud–his utterances were like music to us! He was a rather disturbing, but indeed effective, spiritual advisor to us as we sallied forth into love:
*Number Nine: Thank God a video store carried this in Springfield back then. We consider John Waters our cultural uncle (we actually invited him to our wedding), we remain ardent fans, and we watched this film in the early days as much for the awesome soundtrack as for its cinematic thrills and spills!
Number Ten: A track from the first great album and band we discovered together, though Nicole actually discovered them first at their concert in New Orleans during which I was incapacitated in the back seat of our friend Kenny’s car, to my eternal regret:
BONUS TRACK!: The bride’s dance at our wedding reception.
*Beginners, take note: Gay geniuses are a fantastic influence on straight couples! That’s a fact.