In the summer of 1989, aged eight, I discovered musical phenomenon that changed my life. For a bit.
“What was it?” I hear you ask, “The Stone Roses eponymous debut? The seminal Doolittle by Pixies?” Er, no, it wasn’t either of those. It was ‘Hangin’ Tough’, by New Kids on the Block. I remember hearing the title track on the radio in the back room of our house and asking my Mum what it was and if she’d buy it for my upcoming birthday.
Now, my mother has excellent music taste. She had been extremely diligent in playing The Beatles, David Bowie and the like to me from a very young age and I don’t even want to imagine what she went through in our local Our Price that fateful afternoon when shopping for my birthday. In many ways, I imagine that request being more disappointing to her than me failing my A levels. They weren’t too angry about that, possibly because I had set my stall out early on.
When I announced the fateful results (two Ds and a U), my Mum probably waited for me to leave the room and said to my Dad: ‘Tim, look. Let’s get this into perspective. He’s not played Cover Girl for months. MONTHS! I’m sure I heard him humming And Your Bird Can Sing this morning! Now that’s educational progress!’
To me, New Kids on the Block were the coolest guys in the world. They wore waistcoats! And backwards flat caps! And they dropped the g from the end of ‘Hanging’! I wanted to be one of them. I was tough enough, I knew I was.
I imagined myself as the sixth member, strutting around concert arenas with my pals Donnie, Danny, Jonathan, Jordan and Joe (I didn’t even need to look any of those names up). We’d high-five and spend our down time playing basketball. I don’t know if I even knew what basketball was then, other than seeing them do it on the VHS video of Step by Step (which I also owned).
I know it’s not that bad liking embarrassing music when you’re young, and some of you are thinking “What’s the problem? He was only eight” etc, so let me illustrate how far it went. By the time Step by Step came out in 1990, I was about ten. I invited all the local kids from our road around to my back garden for a ‘party’. There was to be a bit of football on the lawn, orange squash and music. I locked the back gate so no-one I hadn’t invited could come in, and I used three extension cables to get my ghetto blaster (are they still called that?) out onto the patio and the only music that was allowed was New Kids on the Block.
I sometimes wonder if that’s the reason that I don’t see any of those friends anymore.
This post first appeared on the frankly superb Popfessions blog, found here.
Mediaweek got this chap to write a diary of his average week in media. You can read it here. I don’t know him, so there’s a chance, however small, that he might not be the biggest helmet on the planet. Who knows? Leave me out of it.
Mediaweek have at no stage asked me to write a diary, but I’ve got literally nothing else on so I thought I’d write one anyway.
Aren’t brands amazing? Seriously, they’re like TOTES AMAZEBALLS. One minute you’re just buying something and the next minute you’ve INVESTED in a BRAND. Makes me so happy that we can just buy whatever we want. It’s much better here than in countries where they make all this stuff for us and where they’re all poor. Being poor is shit. We really need this stuff! I LOVE it when I hear a band that I love on an advert! It’s great, and it makes me just want to buy only stuff that that company sells! Capitalism? Huh, FAPitalism more like! Finished off the day with a wank and shaped my cum into the Virgin Active logo. It was easier than I thought it’d be.
Spent the whole morning taking a shit in front of the mirror, and then I thought ‘What would it be like to taste my own shit? The rest of me is brilliant, so surely my shit is, too?’ So I took a bit of shit and stuffed it in my mouth. It tasted amazing. Note: Suggest it as a new flavour to Monster energy drinks. The kids won’t know the difference anyway, and the mark up will be huge!
Woke up early. Carpe diem, baby. Listened to Busted on my iPod. I used to totally hate them but now everyone does it’s sort of cool to like them. Day went really quickly today and it was 5pm before I realised that I’d spent the ENTIRE day high-fiving everyone at work! All my colleagues are so awesome that once I started I LITERALLY couldn’t find a person I didn’t want to high-five! Stopped in at a vegan crunk night on the way home.
Went in late today because I had another shit that was such a creative, production-led campaign that I thought I’d better brainstorm it, blue-sky it and then make some next-steps notes about how to wipe my arse. Actually carried my own shit into work, smeared it all over my co-producer’s face and just left a post it note on his desk saying ‘The Future’. He didn’t say a word but just nodded slowly. Don’t you love it when people just ‘get it’?
Had ‘Virgin Active’ tattooed on my actual spine. Not the skin over the top of the spine, but the bone and spinal column itself. I will stop at nothing to live inside a brand, so why shouldn’t the brand live inside me? When I told Virgin Active what I’d done, they seemed a bit quiet. Maybe they don’t ‘get it’, which is worrying because I don’t like it when people don’t ‘get it’. Asked them for ten pounds a month off my gym membership. They agreed for three months. Realised I can’t go to the gym at the moment as I have severe spinal trauma.