Memories of a young “Blockhead”

This particular post at Buzzfeed pushed me back to memories of my thirteen year old self, young and in love with the New Kids on the Block.

I was an outcast, enrolled as a freshman in an exclusive all-girl’s school run by nuns and populated by well-off kids somewhere in Manila. My only escape then was a meeting a bunch of kind girls whose common denominator is their love for this group:

My first ever boyband crush

My first ever boyband crush

cute kids...and pretty weird fashion back in the early 90s

cute kids…and pretty weird fashion back in the early 90s

New Kids on the Block is one of the early boy bands in America,and was made up of the following members: the rebel and the group’s leader, Donnie Walhberg; the adorable cutie with the bright blue eyes Joe McIntyre; the hearthrob and the one with the falsetto voice, Jordan Knight; the quiet, mysterious one Jonathan Knight and the health buff Danny Wood.

The girls took pity of me–the outcast with the weird haircut and a public school background–and brought me into their fold. Almost immediately, I am smitten by the adorable kid with blue eyes and curly blond hair. At thirteen, I was convinced that I’ll marry Joe McIntyre.

These are my favorite New Kids songs, the top being an obvious, obvious favorite:

Life in the late 80s and early 90s seemed so carefree and innocent. Let’s not even talk about the clothes and hairstyles then 🙂 And God, Joe McIntyre looks like a freaking angel.

If I am not mistaken, “If You Go Away” was released as a single and not as part of an album. The boys were also maturing by this time and embroiled with issues of lipsynching as well as on issues against their (former) manager, Maurice Starr. Even the look of the video was mature and gritty, a departure from their flashy, cutesy videos from before.

Of course, a true New Kid fan, will always look back at these songs with so much fondness:

God, I used to watch this video over and over because I wanted to memorize their dance steps.


The heavy usage of synthesizers on “Step-by-Step” pretty much summed up the music of the late 80s to early 90s. If you are a NKOTB fan, did you used to wait for the boys to say their “step?” (As in: STEP 1 — we can have lots of fun…. STEP 2… there’s so much we can do! STEP 3 — It’s just you and me…. STEP 4…I can give you so more….STEP 5… Don’t you know that the time has arrived?”)

*Geek alert*

Sadly, by the time 1997 rolled around, the popularity of New Kids on the Block waned and they were again reduced to playing to small venues. Their last album, the gritty “Face the Music” might have impressed some critics but did not sell as much as their previous records.

As for me, I grew out of my NKOTB phase by the time junior year rolled in high school. I hid all my NKOTB memorabilias (unathorized biographies, pocketbooks, comics, tapes and a pink chain bracelet) and started experimenting with grunge and rock. I discovered Greenday, Weezer and Incubus. Eventually, the boys became a part of my freshman years when I was still naive and very young.

In fact, one of my most vivid memories of freshman (or was it sophomore?) year was when I cried after hearing a stupid hoax report that NKOTB figured on a plane crash. I was so gullible and naive! Imagine feeling like a world-class dork after realizing that you’ve been had.

Fast forward to 2010. I switched on the TV and saw this:

…and almost fell off my chair. The “kids” are back! And God, Joe is still hotter than ever…and those blue eyes!

NKOTB is definitely older but nonetheless as much as — if not–even more talented nowadays compared when they were still young.Reception to their reunion is surprisingly well-received, fans are still excited to see them. In fact, their partnership with Backstreet Boys (NKOTBSB) was immensely successful. Both groups are said to be slated to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year.

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