It was 1990.
There wasn’t this thing called the Internet.
There were barely computers.
Cell phones were something only Zack Morris had.
There was a war brewing.
And I was in 4th (or was it 5th?) grade.
Growing up, I was a big fan of New Kids on the Block. I had the posters, the sleeping bag, the blanket, the Jordan doll, the trading cards, and ALLLL the tapes. Life was good.
But then, as boy bands tend to do, they quickly went out of style at the turn of the decade. However, being the non-trendsetter that I am, I liked them a bit longer than was considered appropriate.
But so did my friend, so it was cool. We continued our adoration of Jordan Knight in our own way. Our elementary school talent show was coming up so we decided to band together and show our undying love for NKOTB by doing a coreographed dance to The Right Stuff. (and yes, we did do the kicks.)
I still remember what I wore for the show — a preppy white short sleeved sweater with New Kids on the Block written in pastel block letters. I remember the kids all sitting in the gym/cafeteria/whatever-the-hell-it-was. I remember beginning the dance…
And then the booing started.
Yes, the booing. By elementary schoolers. Just because we had chosen a (gasp!) New Kids song. Didn’t we know they were so last week?
Undeterred, we finished the song to the sounds of incessant boos by the entire school. Thinking back, I have no idea how we finished it. And to be honest, I can’t even remember if I ran off and cried when it was over. I had to have, but I’ve blocked the whole thing out. What I do remember is that the school administration decided to use it as a lesson because the entire school had to write my friend and I apology notes. I saved them for years; for all I know my mom still has them in some forgotten box in the basement.
Fast forward 18 years. Just like bangle bracelets and leggings, the New Kids are back. Sure they’ve aged a bit, but they’re still there, playing the same roles they did when I was a kid. Jon quietly to the side, Donnie playing the bad boy, Joey the baby, and Jordan the heart throb.
When I saw their concert was coming, I was relatively unenthused. Sure I’d loved them back in the day, but I’m older now. Shit, I’d even been a super-fan, liking them well past their prime, but now? Now I couldn’t even tell you all their songs.
Then my friend e-mailed me and told me she had an extra ticket. I only agreed to go since I rarely get to see her. I had to You Tube all their old songs so I’d be slightly literate for the concert.
When we got there, the concert was 99% women, and about half of them dug out the old t-shirts and hairstyles for the occasion. And they were singing Every.Single.Song at the top of their lungs. And there I was, barely able to remember if some of the songs were new or old. The concert was great fun, but I have to admit, it felt very odd, watching the reactions women were having to this comeback and remembering how I experienced their demise.
As much as I fought it, I found myself getting into their new stuff as the concert continued. One of the girls that went with us gave us each a copy of their new CD, and I’ve spent most of the day driving around listening to it. And now I’m putting it on my iPod, which means I’m officially hooked.
But you better believe I won’t be busting a move to it in public this time around.