New Kids on the Block
I was not a fan of New Kids on the Block but I certainly knew who they were. It was hard to be alive and not know who they were. I was in college as a music major focusing on jazz during their heyday, so Hangin’ Tough was not on my playlist. I remember this clarinet player at my school (Grant) who was at least in his 30’s who loved New Kids. He was an odd duck. He had pictures of New Kids’ Jordan taped up in his locker at school. Well, he was a clarinet player so that says a lot right there.
I think I made fun of NKOTB a lot. It was fun. To be fair, I also made fun of Menudo when they were popular a few years before. I don’t think I made fun of ’N Sync or The Backstreet Boys when they became popular. I knew immediately that Justin Timberlake had talent and ability, and I liked some of the Backstreet Boys’ songs.
The New Kids on the Block were a creation of Maurice Starr (of New Edition fame) in the early 80’s. Donnie Wahlberg was the first member cast. The others chosen were Marky Mark Wahlberg (Donnie’s brother), Danny Wood, and brothers Jordan and Jonathan Knight. Marky Mark dropped out when he realized the music was going to be crappy sugary sweet bubblegum pop. He was replaced with one of Donnie’s friends named Jaime Kelley, who was soon kicked out for being all ADHD or something. Little 12-year-old Joey McIntyre was finally added as the fifth member.
The group released their first album in 1986 but it sucked. They had better success with their second album, Hangin’ Tough. Their next album, Step by Step, was also a hit. By the early 1990’s, The New Kids on the Block were everywhere. They were working hard and doing around 200 concerts a year. That’s a lot of work for a little kid.
There was a lot of NKOTB merchandise happening during that time (which they probably didn’t benefit from financially). There were dolls, lunch boxes, posters, t-shirts, buttons, trading cards, comic books, and more. They also had their own Saturday morning cartoon.
The band split with Maurice Starr in 1993 and changed their name to NKOTB. Their album the next year didn’t do well and they started to lose popularity. They broke up shortly after. The end. Just kidding. There’s more.
I saw Jordan Knight on VH1′s Surreal Life in 2004 (a show known for signing washed up celebrities). Jordan did nothing to help establish himself as a cool dude. He seemed very withdrawn and basically hid in his own room while others had to share rooms. He was writing a song with Charo in one scene and demonstrated his lack of musical theory. Charo was asking him the name of the chord he was playing (like F major or Bb minor) and he said something like, “I don’t do it that way.” I guess he just plays by ear. I remember him hitting on American Idol contestant Ryann Starr and being shot down. Oops.
I think Donnie Wahlberg is a cool dude. He had the “bad boy” image because I think he was a bad boy. He and his brother Mark are very talented actors. I enjoy watching their movies. They’re all right with me.
Even though he dated Tiffany in the early 90’s, Jonathan Knight is gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Gotta love Seinfeld. I think Jonathan is adorable and a pretty funny guy. I follow him on Twitter and he makes me laugh. If you can make me laugh, it’s all good.
I don’t really have an opinion on Danny Wood or Joey McIntyre. Sorry. Oh, I thought Danny always had a really nice body. He had some guns. Joey was just a little boy. I guess he’s married now with three kids.
Still Hangin’ Tough
The New Kids on the Block reunited in 2008. The Boys released a couple of singles and then an album. They went on tour in September of 2008 and had an unknown Lady Gaga as an opening act. They also did a cruise the following year. There was a NKOTBSB tour in 2011. That’s New Kids and Backstreet Boys. They toured last year with Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul. Last month they celebrated the 30th anniversary of Hangin’ Tough. Last week they announced their Mixtape Tour which will begin in May of next year. I guess they’ve never really gone away.
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