New Kids on the Block Still Have the Right Stuff
By Jo Piazza Posted Jun 21st 2010 04:00PM
If you are concerned that Bieber fever is spreading like wildfire, then you should be extra worried about a more mature pandemic with a strain that has mutated so many times there is little hope for a cure. It's New Kids on the Block fever, and it seems to infect women ages 27 to 40. Proof of the madness this pyrexia can cause was found at Thursday and Friday night's NKOTB concert at Radio City Music Hall.
Kathy Marcus, 33, had traveled from Philadelphia to see what would be her seventeenth NKOTB show. She had made each of the boy band members a bedazzled T-shirt. On the back, it read, "Who Loves You? Kathy."
She went back to the stage door, where a body guard accepted the shirts and promised to give them to the guys. This happens a lot. The band gets hundreds of home-made T-shirts and jerseys at each performance.
One woman nearly fainted at the site of Donnie Wahlberg striding into the theater, not incognito enough behind dark sunglasses. (Memo: Don't ask Donnie why he wears said sunglasses indoors during an interview, he gets super prickly.)
Other near middle-aged women bitten by the NKOTB bug clutched dolls of Joey McIntyre and Jordan Knight. One woman balanced her doll in one hand and a hot pink sign in the other, which read on one side, "I f***ing love you." On the other side it simply said, "Moist."
It was doubtlessly these fans and millions like them who propelled the New Kids on the Block to a successful comeback in 2008 and has them selling out venues across the country for this year's 'Casi-No Tour.' And the boy banders turned man banders, who one day hope to be old banders, know it. We took a few minutes to chat with Joey and Jordan before Friday night's show about how much their fans truly love them, the fact that they don't watch 'Glee' (not sure if we believe it), the low point of their lives and why one of these days they will just turn into the boy band version of 'The Golden Girls.'
Is it awesome or terrifying to finally be playing Radio City?
Joe McIntyre: Last night was personally amazing and fun, but I think it was added pressure. It's a heavier gig. You try to soak it up, but its such a historic venue that it takes some time to get into your groove.
What's the wackiest thing one of your fans have done to get close to you guys?
Jordan Knight: Everyone always asks that. Like they want us to tell them bad stories. We do have dedicated fans, but they're not as nutty as people think. They're just into us. They love us. We reciprocate their love and we put a lot of time into making our fans happy.
Joe: They put a lot of time into the notes and gifts they give us.
So you reciprocate your fans love how? Social media? Twitter?
Joe: We do that, but it's a lot more touchy-feely than that. It's very heartfelt. We're constantly trying to think of special events and moments where we can pay them back. It's a wonderful relationship.
(Note: Joe cried twice onstage during Friday night's show.)
You guys have had a long run. What's the high point and what's the low point?
Joe: The low point was arguably getting woken up by sprinklers in my front yard, probably about ten years ago.
After what kind of night?
Joe: You tell me, use your imagination. And the high point is playing Radio City Music Hall.
Jordan: I'm too even-keeled for high and low points.
So no more waking up wet on the lawn?
Joe: I'm up before the sprinklers come on now. We have families now. It's almost cliche, but anyone with a family and kids knows it is the great equalizer and balances your life and gives you perspective and energy and makes you want to give your best all the time.
Do your kids think you're cool?
Jordan: My 10-year-old still thinks I am cool and we're cool, which is cool. When he turns 12 or 13 everything is gonna change.
You know what would be fun, if you guys guest-starred on 'Glee.' Any chance of that happening?
Jordan: Sure, why not. It would be the perfect show?
Joe: You've watched that show right? It's like 'Fame.'
Jordan: I haven't seen it.
Joe: Me neither.
Do you guys think you'll be doing this when you're crusty old men?
Jordan: It would be fun to do this into our golden years. When we were 18, these right now were our golden years and we thought we could never do it. We thought we'd be too old and crusty.
Joe: We think we look better than some of the older bands out there. (Note: During the performance, Joe performs 'Sweet Dreams' in a dinner jacket with nothing under it. His abs rival Taylor Lautner's.) And of course we will keep doing it. Say you're just hanging out one day and somebody says [they] will give you a million dollars for the summer to go tour with your buddies. You're gonna say yes.
Jordan: My mom says it doesn't matter how old you get, you still have the same feelings inside and we still have those great feelings. I think [that's] the beauty of this whole thing. People say we started the boy band thing. There's that and then we reunited. Now, we set a new precedence that boy bands can get back together. We shattered the window they said we had.
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