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
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 🙂