Every Sunday - well, the last two Sundays - I sit down and review the workout mix on my iPod. I'll update it with songs I already have on my computer, or I'll splurge and download from iTunes. I went back to the past for this week's downloads:
Run-DMC: It's Tricky, Walk This Way, Run's House, Beats to the Rhyme
Kris Kross: Jump
Naughty by Nature: Uptown Anthem
New Kids on the Block: You Got It (The Right Stuff), Please Don't Go Girl, This One's for the Children, Cover Girl, Step by Step, Hangin' Tough
Yeah, I DL'd NKOTB. For real. I heard mention that they were getting back together, and I thought, "Damn, some of those old songs would be great to work out to. They'd make me laugh and lift my spirits."
And I love them.
Other reasons for buying their songs are five-fold:
Step One: We can have lots of fun.
Step Two: There's so much we can do.
Step Three: It's just you and me.
Step Four: I can give you more.
Step Five: Don't you know that the time has arrived?
Hearing these songs brings me back to 1990 when we visited Tim and Ann (the young, hip uncle and aunt) in Boston at the height of NKOTB's fame. I was barely nine years old, so I think their sex appeal was beyond me. However, I do remember that Manda had a little Tiger Beat poster of them on the back of our bedroom door. If I remember correctly, she was into Jonathan, the shy, quiet one. (Who was dating Tiffany at the time - squeeeal!) I think Steph was a Jordan fan. I know someone - maybe Rita? - had a thang for little Joey, who always wore that hat with a hole in the top. Whose castrato on "Please Don't Go Girl" had everyone peeing in their pants; just the opposite effect his lyrics intended I assume. I had a thing for the bad-boy scuzzball Donnie - because I always fell for the bad boy. Sigh...still do.
And nobody liked Danny. Danny Wood looked like a monkey. I said this earlier today, and my friend Shana and I said this at the same time. Apparently his features were universally categorized as apelike.
I think Danny was the bass. Why is it the bass is the least attractive of all vocalists? Boyz II Men's Michael McCary is the guy people least remember, because he's not the hot one, he's not the goofy one, and he's not the other one in glasses. N'Sync's Lance Bass would be nothing if it wasn't for coming out of the closet - thus making him unattractive to women. And though I have a thing for bass players, the late John Entwistle of The Who wasn't the one girls got wet over. I mean, most people recognize the names Daltrey, Townshend and Keith Moon. I'm sure there were reporters that said, "Who?" when Entwistle passed. And for every twenty of those reporters, there were probably seven music geeks that said, "Exactly."
Sorry, that's one of my dad's jokes.
Anyway...the NKOTB songs bring me back to the Neon Revolution of the early 90's. Remember how everyone had neon green shoes and those ghastly hot pink painter's caps? Yeah. The black & white checkerboard pattern was back. NKOTB shirts looked like they were splashed with highlighters, but you had to have one to look like you were with it.
They had a cartoon. Their bodyguard's name was Biscuit.
My cousin Shane and I would play "talent show" on my grandma's picnic table, with the vacuum cleaner as the mic stand. I would choose to sing NKOTB jams, while Shane went for the more masculine "Ice Ice Baby," and Bruce Springstein. I think he sang along to "Step by Step" with me. At least he must've done "Hangin' Tough." I did make him play Genies with me, so I'm sure I convinced him to sing a girly song at one point.
Tim and Ann sent Manda and I a VHS tape with their Boston concert. The Mother's Day when Dusty got in that bad bike accident at Gram's, Rita and I went over to my house to watch the tape. On the way back, we blew snot-rockets while walking through the field, and it was the funniest thing ever. Then we got back to Gram's, and Dusty had been taken away by an ambulance. Shane was in hysterics because he thought his best friend was going to die!
Look what NKOTB helps me remember!
Mom took Manda and one of her friends - either Karri Meyer or Betsy Hamilton - to Evansville for the NKOTB concert. In the meantime, Mom took me to Showbiz Pizza and I got a pencil pouch with the tickets I won during Skeeball.
Don't know Showbiz Pizza? Um, it's only the predecessor to Chuck E. Cheese...with a way creepier mascot. I don't think they could get away with a mascot like this today.
Nuclear Family, ca. 1991
When we picked up Manda and her friend, they were squealing about how some girl from school got to put her head on Jordan's abs! Squeee! That's what I remember anyway.
NKOTB, do you remember me?
So there's that,