If you haven’t already read my “about me” section then let me tell you, I’m a hard-core New Kids on the Block fan. I started my love for the group back in 1989 when I asked my mom for “Hangin’ Tough” for Christmas. Christmas came and I opened my NKOTB gift only to find their first album, “New Kids on the Block” I was slightly disappointed since my best friend, Anne had also asked for “Hangin’ Tough” and now I’d be behind. She did receive the new album and came over immediately so we could listen to both. Within 24 hours, we were 100% blockheads and there was no turning back. We asked my mom to take us to the mall, where we proceeded to spend every, last cent we had on anything New Kids-related. We left that day with the “Hangin’ Tough Live” VHS tape of a concert with some interviews on it. That poor VHS tape was played (and rewound) more times than I’d like to admit.
Our first concert was July 4, 1990 in St Paul, MN. It was a general admission chaotic mess. Of course the weather was in the high 90’s and we were stuck for 10 hours at the front of the mass of people waiting for the show to start. I have to say, for our first concert experience, we lucked out with some amazing seats. This was back when no cameras were allowed (and of course no cell phones yet!) so I have no proof that I attended that life-changing show. I thought that would make me happy, seeing them up close and hearing a live show. It did make me happy, however it just made me want more.
Anne and I spend the next 4-5 years doing everything we could to see the New Kids. We attended concerts in our area and even drove 12 hours (well, my mom drove since we were only 15) to a concert that we had backstage passes to. Yep, I said “had” (you’ll quickly see my luck with NKOTB is horrible). We arrived in St Louis for the show the night before and immediately headed to Busch Stadium for the concert by 10am. We knew we had to get to will call to pick up our backstage passes. We arrived and gave them our information only to hear that our specific passes weren’t there yet. We waited and waited and my mom kept going back up asking if they had arrived yet. Finally around 5pm the lady in will call told us to please go grab a bite to eat before the show started since it was so hot outside and we’d been there all day. She told us they’d have to be here by 6:30 when the doors opened. So we listened and headed out. We arrived back at 6:30pm and that same lady (what a witch) looks up our information and says “Oh I’m so sorry but those passes were already picked up today” My mom asks , “Who?” and she says by “Mr. Rosenthal”. That was the person that actually got us backstage passes. He was NKOTB’s attorney and happened to be a “friend of a friend” of ours. It was a complete lie and its obvious the woman either sold them or handed those passes to her own girls.
After no luck meeting any of them from concerts, we got the brilliant idea to head to Boston to see them around their house/neighborhoods. My mom was a huge Beatles fan growing up, so she suggested this because she had fond memories of her own dad doing the same thing for her. So, in 1991 we headed out to Boston in search of any of them. We actually hit up the public library weeks (oh where was the internet when we needed you?) before searching through old Boston phone books until we found Joey’s dad’s address listed in JP. We headed there first and luckily met a few other block heads who had addresses for the rest of the guys in Dorchester. We spend two summer vacations (1991 + 1992) in Dorchester, Braintree (Donnie) and Brookline (Joe’s house) just hanging outside their home in hopes of catching a glimpse of them.
We lucked out and finally saw Joe and his brother Tommy at their house, but they just quickly waved as they got into their car headed golfing. That same trip we got to see Danny and Jordan (we heard Donnie was inside) playing basketball outside of Danny’s house. Both were so nice to us (and maybe 4-5 other girls just watching them) until poor Jordan fell trying to “be Air Jordan” (Jordan’s words) and hurt his arm. He ended up leaving and we all headed out then, too. We have no pictures of this event (of course!because we’d left our camera in the car a few blocks away) but Anne had a tiny cassette recorder that taped them talking. I wonder where that tape is today…
My final (and most embarrassing moment) encounter from those days was in Braintree outside of Donnie’s house. We’d waited outside with a group of other girls for a few hours when the police arrived and told us we had to leave. We sadly got back into our red Jeep Grand Cherokee (important detail for later) and took just a few minutes to figure out where we needed to go to get out of Braintree. While my friend, Anne sat in the back reading our map, my mom and I discussed what we’d do next. Finally– my mom started driving. We got to the first stop sign and she paused just for a second to turn to ask Anne about a road she needed to find. When she turned back to go, there was a red convertible with Donnie stopped and smiling at us. We all just gasped and then Donnie said “oops! I though you were someone else” and drove away. My mom immediately turned around and we stopped just in front of his house as he got out. Donnie had thought we were someone from his house (we’re thinking Mark) because the same style red Jeep was parked in his driveway. Donnie was super sweet and got out of his car and just stopped and looked over his shoulder at us and smiled. I’m assuming it was “hey- are you going to get out and say Hi to me?”. Instead of jumping out and running up to him and meeting him (finally), I just froze in my seat. My mom started pushing at me yelling “get out! get out!” and I just couldn’t do it. I vaguely remember my mom yelling “I can’t get out– I’m your mom and twice his age!” Anyways- when my mom finally realized I wasn’t moving, she drove away… and that folks has been haunting me ever since. My family never lives that one down, telling me “how did you not get out?” I have no idea, it all happened within a minute and my 16-year-old self just failed miserably. (haha) Now, 21+ years later I still haven’t met Donnie and its killing me.
After they “took a break” in 1994, I went to college and spent my years listening to old albums now and then and reading US Weekly for any bits of information on any of them. In 1999, I decided to move to MA with an old friend, Suzy- who I’d met while waiting in line at Hard Rock Café in Boston (to see NKOTB). She was living out there already and needed a roommate. As I packed my bags and moved across the country, my family all said “Good luck marrying Joe” because they all knew I was heading to MA for one reason. That wasn’t entirely true, of course I wanted to marry Joey but I also had fallen in love with Boston and New England and was excited to actually be out there living.
My typical NKOTB luck was back into full effect when I moved, as Joe had already moved to NYC and/or LA by that point. Donnie was in LA and Danny was in Florida. During my 10 years in MA, not much happened in the area that was New Kids-related. I did attend a few Nomar Garciaparra Bowls and was finally able to meet Joe at one of them. It was brief, but he was extremely nice. I also got to see Jordan at a solo concert in Rhode Island at a very small venue. In 2007, I finally got the news I was hoping for- Joe was in town for his movie premier of “Off Broadway”. I headed to Davis Square in Somerville and waited in line to see the movie and to catch a glimpse of Joe. I finally lucked out and got to not only meet him, but spend a few minutes talking to him and watching him interact with his wife. I found out a few weeks later, they were newly pregnant with Griffin at the time.
I also got to see Joe play (solo album) at Foxwoods and did a small meet & greet afterwards with him then, too. I’d assumed that I’d hit gold by getting these close encounters with Jordan and Joe and I was just about ready to “die happy”. That was until April 2008…
Spring of 2008, my husband and I had just gotten the news we’d waited three years for. We were pregnant! We’d gone through infertility treatments and it finally had worked. On April 1st, we’d gone in for an ultra sound and found out that it worked times 3! We were pregnant with triplets. I was scared to death, excited and nervous all at once…and then the morning sickness began. I was sick all. day. long and everyday for most of the pregnancy. So, what should’ve been the BEST NKOTB day in 15 years (their reunion announcement) was not much at all to me. I was mentally worn from feeling so sick and worried about carrying for 3 babies, I remember turning on the Today Show and thinking “oh yay!” (in a tiny, weak voice) and then going and puking in the bathroom.
So, while the rest of the BH’s were rejoicing and celebrating a second chance- I was sitting at home wishing this all would’ve been a year or two ago! I did end up planning to get to one of their shows that fall, but I knew it was going to be tough since my babies were arriving sometime in October or possibly early November. I finally decided I’d have to miss the Boston shows (since they were October) and got tickets to their Rhode Island show the beginning of November. As it turns out, my mom and I headed to our first NKOTB concert exactly two weeks after my triplets were born and the actual day my boys came home from the hospital!
Since their reunion tour, my babies have grown and I’ve gotten a little more time and freedom to get to shows and chase them again. It’s definitely a lot easier to find them now with Twitter and Instagram and they all seem to be happy to see their fans. This summer, I attended two shows during The Package Tour (one as a 5* Meet & Greet) and I have to say, out of all we’ve been through together, this tour is THE BEST I’ve seen yet. I still haven’t gotten that opportunity to meet Donnie and redeem my 16-year-old self, but I’m still holding out that one day I will be face to face with him and actually speak.