Oh baby, please give a little respect to beans
Credit: Photo by Kat Kinsman

As an angsty teen sulking in my parent's suburban basement listening to Erasure, Yazoo, and Depeche Mode, it never occurred to me that someone like Vince Clarke—a founding member of all three bands—could possibly be engaging in normal, human activities. Grocery shopping, cooking, and even eating were the stuff of mortals like me, and rock stars like him must subsist on adrenaline, sparkle, and rarefied air. But a few weeks ago, Clarke's wife Tracy Hurley Martin—co-host of the Stories of Strange Women podcast with her identical twin Tonya Hurley—posted a Facebook video wherein he expertly deboned a Dover sole in their kitchen. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask, so I did.

Credit: Photo by Kat Kinsman

Not long after, my longtime musical hero, on a brief break from the current worldwide Erasure tour with bandmate Andy Bell, walked into Extra Crispy HQ to make one of his favorite breakfast (and lunch and dinner and supper) dishes: the very English and ever-so-humble beans on toast. He was hilarious and warm. He cracked a fart joke. He made a damn fine plate of toast, and I may have teared up at one point from the emotion of it all.

What I'm saying here is that sometimes it's OK to meet your heroes (and even geek out telling them about how their album Upstairs at Eric's was the light in the darkness of your bleak adolescent existence—for example). They might just make you some very human beans.