I swore when I set out to blog several weeks ago that I would leave my obsession with boy bands out of the blog. No need for people to believe I'm crazier, then they already know me to be. However, the story of my guilty pleasure, how it came to be, and where it has evolved won't leave my head and seems to want to be written down.
Most people who know me are aware of my obsession with the New Kids on the Block (NKOTB for those of you who are unaware of the shorten version of their name). It started back in 1990, when I was eleven years old. I was late to jump on the New Kids band wagon, they had already been around for several years, and were in the fact close to being on their way out. It really isn't necessarily weird that a young girl on the verge of being a teenager would developed an obsessions with a boy band. In fact it is quite common, boy bands being great distractions for the teenage mind. I was no exception to this bug. I quite quickly fell head over heals in love with the five guys and their music.
Most people probably do remember the cultural phenomenon that they were, even if they aren't familiar with their music. However, a moment of quick recap may be in order, before I continue with the story. The five members of the New Kids, are Jordan Knight, his brother Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre, and my personal favorite Donnie Wahlberg. The five boys from Boston had many hits in the late eighties and early nineties "Hanging Tough," "Step by Step," "My Favorite Girl," and "(You Got It) The Right Stuff." Just to name a few.
To continue with the story as a certified "Block Head" (as their fans are known as) I quickly became obsessed with the New Kids. Buying every issue of "Teenbeat" or any magazine that happen to have their picture on it (which at that time was every teen magazine in existence) I soon could tell you everything about all the members of the band. I knew all of their middle names, all of their siblings names, their favorite colors, foods, and movies. Every picture of the boys I could find were torn out of magazines and taped on my bedroom wall. I dreamed about them at night. And of course, I knew every lyric to every song that they sang. I could talk about them all day, much to the dismay of my family, who I know I drove absolutely crazy. I wrote the band letters professing my love. For a while I had a fantasy of running away to Boston and joining the band as the only female singer.
When I first started loving the band I was particularly in love with Jon Knight. But, love is fickle and I went through phases of my favorite member changing on a daily basis. Donnie Wahlberg of the band soon emerged as my absolute favorite, and I have been a "Donnie girl" ever since.
As stated earlier, I was a little late in discovering the New Kids and by the time I did they had already peaked in popularity and were on the way down. Within a couple of years nobody cared about the New Kids any more, except me. I continued to love them and dream of them. In 1994, the group released what we all thought was the last album "Face the Music." It is still perhaps my favorite album that they released, but it seemed that no one else thought so because no one but me had heard of the album and the guys were no longer on the cover of magazines.
As time went learned never to mentioned to people that I still loved the New Kids if I didn't want immediate reticule to follow. I took down their posters, but I secretly continued to listen to, and love their music. Other boy bands started appearing on the music scene when I was in my late teens 'NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys most notably. I liked their music, it was catchy and fun to listen to, and I'll freely admit that I bought their CD's. However, I never thought they were even close to being as good as the New Kids were and I didn't bother to learn the names of the members of their bands.
In my twenties, I started admitting to close friends that I had once been a block head. People would smile and nod and occasionally go "oh me too, I had a sleeping bag with them on it." And so life goes on after teenage crushes end. However, it proved not to be over yet.
In 2008, I was driving down the road listening to the radio one day when "Hanging Tough" started playing. I of course immediately turned the volume up to max and sang along. After the song was done the DJ came on and stated "that was Hanging Tough, it has been twenty years since that song came out." At this point I almost drove off the road out of shock. Could it really be that long? Twenty years, no way! While contemplating this fact and the other more disturbing fact that I could be old enough to clearly remember something that was popular twenty years ago, I almost missed the next announcement that the DJ made. The New Kids on the Block were announcing a reunion tour in the fall. Again, I almost drove off the road, this time out of shear excitement.
Living in a very rural area growing up, I never got a chance to see my favorite band in concert. By the time I grew up and could drive myself to a concert, I thought that was a lost dream. The reunion tour in the Fall of 2008 changed that misconception. Not only that the boys released a new CD which I bought as soon as it was out. I bought concert tickets for the show in Denver that fall, not only for me, but for my two best friends as well!
I would love to be able to blog the shear excitement and thrill of the show! However, I think some feelings can not be conveyed in writing. What I can say is I wasn't let down. It was perhaps the most fun I have ever had and an amazing show! Just to be in the same room with them made me want to scream and cry (both of which I did). My friends who went with me had fun too, but have both said that the most fun was watching my face when the boys took the stage. I'm sure it was priceless. We went to a second show the following summer.
The amazing thing I found was that I wasn't the last die hard fan out there. There are millions of us thirty-something women out there reliving our dreams from our teen years. The New Kids On The Block, are not currently touring, but they haven't abandoned us again either. All of the members are on Twitter (a social networking site, for those who may not be familiar with it). The boys are constantly entertaining us with their tweets and their stories. A few lucky blockheads are in regular contact with the boys through Twitter. I am not one of these fans, not having figured out Twitter very well, and not really liking to use it very much. I lurk and read the guys posts instead. Every once in a while I try to come up with something cleaver to re tweet them, but I have yet to get a response. It won't keep me from continuing to try to get a response though. The current obsession in the New Kid world is where the hell is Donnie. He posted two days ago that he had one more tweet till he hit his 25,000 tweet. He hasn't tweeted that 25,000 tweet yet, but block heads (including me) are patiently awaiting his reply. In the mean time #whilewaitingfordonnie is a trending topic. Reading those posts are hilarious. What have I done? I have written this blog #whilewaitingfordonnie.