The year was 1989 and I was 13 years old. Since I grew up on old AM country music and Barry Manilow, I had no clue about pop till my father decided to buy a 1987 blue Nova with FM radio. The first time I heard New Kids on the Block was on my very first FM station and the song was, "The Right Stuff". From there I found out about Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and what MTV was all about.
I remember the day clearly when I saw these boys on TV. It was a commercial for their album, "Hangin' Tough". I looked up at the TV and my heart stopped because I noticed the youngest one with sparkling blue eyes. His name is Joey and he was sixteen years old. (He is the first one in this picture). I was a goner. From that moment on I purchased every teen magazine I could get with my babysitting money, which at the time I made $1.50 an hour. Every Friday I would go to my local 7-11 store and bought every magazine off their shelves. From there I would post every picture in those magazines on my bedroom wall and my goal was the have wall to wall New Kids and Joey. My sister did the same and we bonded over these boys.
My first concert ever was in 1990 and it was The New Kids on The Block. My mother took my sister and I to Giants Stadium in Rutherford, NY with 70,000 + screaming girls, like myself. I knew every song of their by heart and sang with them even though I was a football field away from them.
Years went by but my love for you remained strong, well mainly for Joey. After twelve years in the making I met Joey in 2002 in an Off Broadway show in NYC called Tick, Tick Boom. I sat in the front row, with my mother. I was close enough to see the spit coming out of your mouth. The time came to finally meet you. With shaking hands I slowly made me way to you in the lobby. I took a breath and asked for you signature on my playbill and then a picture and finally a hug. My mother came up to you and said, "You have gotten so old!". You smiled and blushed. And then I left on shaky feet very much in control and as I reach the street I screamed and yelled like that thirteen year old girl I was once because I had met the first boy I ever had a crush on.
And for that I thank you.