For the love of…boybands.

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Don’t know who Donnie is talking to here. I can only assume it’s a mistake.

A friend posted on Facebook recently that she “dreaded” the day her daughter liked a song by a boyband.

Me? Well, I don’t feel quite the same. In fact, I CAN’T WAIT. Not so I can lust after teenage boys again, obviously, or because I particularly enjoy their music these days but because I’d like Freya to have as much fun as I did being a New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) fan back in the day – and even now to a certain extent. Thanks to the popularity of revivals, I finally got to see my future husband in person them live in 2012 for the first time. And it still makes me smile just thinking about it.

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I think there are some Backstreet Boys here too. Sorry about the poor quality, I didn’t have my lovely camera then plus I was busy dancing, screaming and generally being silly.

My Facebook friend added that to try and dissuade her daughter from liking any boybands she was making her listen to only one type of music while she still had control…her type.

From experience, I can tell her that this is THE. WORST. THING. you can possibly do. It’s only in the last few years that I can hear a Roy Orbison song, my mum’s favourite, without sighing really loudly and stomping off to slam the nearest door really hard (I was a lovely teenager).

Little video for you…

Her post got me thinking about what I loved most, besides Donnie, about being a boyband fan – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the music, although I still knew all of the words when we saw them #proud – and how things might have changed/stayed the same.

As there are five members of NKOTB, here are five of them:

1. LOVE – I thought I loved Nik Kershaw and Jason Donovan but that was nothing compared to my feelings for NKOTB (for that read Donnie. Did you know Donnie was my favourite?). There’s something so powerful about boyband love and it seems to me that this hasn’t changed – at least from what I’ve seen. I’m sort of pleased that I didn’t get to see them when I was 12/13 as I would have been that girl crying hysterically who had to be carried out of the concert despite the fact that I was 300 rows back and could only see them on the big screen (that was almost me in 2012). 

2. FRIENDS – Luckily my friends and I all liked different members, so we often spent our breaks and indeed some lessons planning our joint wedding. We had such fun comparing the snippets of information we gleaned from television and magazines, I can only imagine how much easier it is to stalk follow your favourite now thanks to  social media. (Yes, I do follow Donnie on Twitter and no he’s not following me back).

3. SINGING – Remember Smash Hits? Oh the joys of opening it up to find the lyrics to the latest NKOTB song (or OMG a poster). And then there was recording the Sunday charts on cassette, attempting to push play and record at just the right moment to cut out the speaking. Do they even have charts anymore? We used to walk to school together singing our favourite songs.

4. DANCING – And then, of course, there was the skill involved in videoing their performances on Saturday morning TV or Top of the Pops and frantically rewinding and playing it back to try and learn the routine – normally in the living room where other people were looking on bemused/laughing uncontrollably. Now they have tablets and YouTube, I imagine you could do that in the privacy of your own room.

5. RELIVING MY YOUTH – Even as an adult, hearing their songs over the years transports me to a happy place. I’m sure I’m looking at it through rose tinted glasses but I certainly remember them as good times.

Of course, I understand that many people, like my friend, take their music seriously and can have an almost violent hatred of anything that is not their cup of tea – I’m married to a heavy metal fan, believe me, I understand.

And I’m not in anyway trying to defend the manufactured music of most boybands who are often brought together by clever producers looking for the next Big Thing to make money from.

What I am going to defend is a person’s right to listen to whatever they want – from dolphin calls to death metal. Personally my hope is that Freya likes a broad range of music – and as we mainly listen to BBC Radio 2 which plays all sorts (including Hangin’ Tough the other morning) that might be the case. Should she not like boybands *cry* but instead prefer jazz *shudder* I will do my best to support her but it’s her choice. Music has such power and I want her to love it, whatever it is.

Come on, own up, did you have a boyband crush? As long as we are clear that I get to marry Donnie, we’re good 🙂

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Look how happy I am!
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9 thoughts on “For the love of…boybands.

  1. I love sharing music with my children, and while I haven’t tried to deliberately indoctrinate them it could be said that they have been over exposed to some of what I love. So my daughter can’t hear a Smiths song without sending me a text to tell me (usually at 2am when she’s at her favourite club) and I know that my son will never ever be able to listen to the National without thinking of me. In return they’ve introduced me to Ed Sheeran, My Chemical Romance, Ben Harper, Clean Bandit – it’s great. Boy bands, well, no, unless MCR count we sort of managed to avoid them…..

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  2. I love my mother’s music and my grandmother’s music too, I have seen Eartha Kitt and Neil Diamond and loved it. I am sure it’s because it was played subliminally and I was never made to listen to it. My mother and I used to alternate songs on long drives which made me appreciate her music, because she tried to appreciate mine…let me tell you no one sings along to Aqua like my mother, she’s a trained opera singer so it’s hilarious! She made singing along to music a game and I really enjoyed it, even now I struggle not to sing in cars…poor Bond (i’m tone deaf, real love is letting me sing and not begging for mercy!) Fingers crossed that by the time Freya comes to make song choices there are good ones, my poor mother had to get through the nineties with me! I definitely think your approach is right, not having a love of music would be too sad!!! xxxx

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    1. Yes, I think that’s key. My mum played nothing but Roy Oribison, or at least that’s what it seemed like, and it put me right off 🙂 I hope Freya feels she can like whatever she wants and be proud of it, that’s my ideal anyway.

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      1. I think variety definitely helped me to enjoy what my mother listens to! My music taste is pretty appalling, as long as I can sing along I tend to like it but I don’t really care – I enjoy it! Plus it’s probably ‘quirky’ that the song that gets me out of a bad mood is ‘I did it my way’ right?! xx

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  3. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to make anyone like the music I love! And am fairly certain our future children will be embarrassed by “mum’s weird taste in music”, but I will be subliminally subjecting them to it all the time 😀
    My mum always had her music on in the kitchen, but she listened to quite a mix, I do hate Elvis still, but love a bit of Roy! 😀 I can’t mock your love of Donnie as my first crush was Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P. He now resembles a large melted candle :/

    I have mellowed in my old age and overall realise a love of music in general is a good thing…and to be honest I would take boy bands over bad ‘nu’ death metal, messing with the genre I love is blasphemy! 😉

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    1. Hah! I just think people should be able to like whatever, even your music 🙂 If Freya went down the metal route I would probably only moan a little bit about having beer thrown over me at gigs 🙂

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  4. I have an eclectic taste when it comes to music. Being a teenager in the 80s it was big hair rock, New Romantics, SAW as well as classic and instrumental music.

    Boy grew up singing along to Nirvana from the back seat of the car and will rock to pretty much anything with a beat.

    Boy bands, well, I’ve loved a few but not to swooning point. I just might fancy Justin Timberlake in about 20 years.

    🙂

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