What does your favorite New Kid say about you? (aka the post in which I destroy all musical credibility, but have fun)
Last weekend was a girls’ weekend (out of town for that wedding) where I got to lounge around cheap motel swimming pools with friends hearkening back to elementary school. While we laid in the sun, avoided Mr. Skeevy McPervert (who thought that the fact he was there with his kids and his back hair was some kind of turn-on), and consumed the fruits of the included continental breakfast, we discussed VERY IMPORTANT THINGS. Things like, “Who was your favorite New Kid On The Block, and why?”
The discussion started as we were talking about Saira, the beautiful bride, and how we remembered gathering in her living room for a 5th grade slumber party for The Beatles Moment of Our Generation: Getting overly excited (and perhaps squealing a bit) at the NKOTB Concert video. It was a moment of pre-teen loveliness & excitement heretofore known only to us through Judy Blume novels that our moms probably didn’t want us reading.
The manufactured personas of each of the five members of the New Kids spoke to different fans. Did you want the sweet-faced and non-threatening cutie? Joey was the guy for you to plaster in your locker. A bit of rough-and-tumble Boston mystery? Donnie could adorn your textbook cover. I laughed as the 4 of us discovered that we each liked a different guy the best. It made me wonder: What does that say about us?
(Interspersed commentary & pics from my fabulous book of NKOTB textbook covers that, of course, I still have. In re-reading this as an adult, I think this is some of the worst writing I have ever read, and had I not been only 10 at the time, I would have berated myself for liking it.)
“The oldest NEW KID ON THE BLOCK is Jonathan Knight. A very responsible guy, Jon helps keep all the other KIDS on track. He loves all kinds of music except heavy metal. He also loves to sing and dance. Jon is a “hands-on” kind of person and likes doing things such as fixing up his room, or mowing the lawn when he has time. Jon is known as the shyest NEW KID, except when it comes to girls!”
“Joseph Mulrey McIntyre, the youngest in a family of nine children, is also the youngest NEW KID ON THE BLOCK. He joined the NEW KIDS at the age of 12. He came from a different area of Boston than the other four NEW KIDS. It took patience and determination for Joe to be accepted by the other KIDS, but in time he was able to win their hearts. Joe, a Capricorn, has an extremely positive attitude and is into enjoying things and having fun.”
“Donnie Wahlberg was born August 17, 1969, in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He is one of nine children. Donnie’s family was a hardworking, close-knit group. Donnie admits to having a bit of a wild streak in his midteen years. Luckily, his music, breakdancing, and a growing interest in drama helped keep him in line. Now the wild and wacky side of Donnie adds to the fun on stage!”
And I liked Jordan. I had the t-shirt (but I don’t love you all enough the scan THAT picture. Come on, I was ten, my mom cut my hair in a modified lady mullet, and the only picture I have is one of us ripping out a wall of my bedroom during a summer remodel project, so I am all cheery and red-faced with too-big front teeth. So no personal illustration). I still hold that Jordan was the cutest of them all, he just had that edge and the cocky confidence.
“Born May 17, 1971, Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight was the baby of the Knight family. Jordan and NEW KID brother, Jonathan, were raised almost like twins. Jordan has a distinctively high-pitched falsetto voice and, in the beginning, sang most of the NEW KIDS leads. As a NEW KID, Jordan plays and practices keyboards in his spare time. He is also into composing new tunes and writing new lyrics, which has led him to become the most musically creative member of the NEW KIDS.”
The psychoanalysis is up to you.
PS – Egads, from a Jeff Buckley post to NKOTB. How far I’ve fallen.