Earlier this year, I recorded a song and uploaded it to youtube. I loosely use the term “recorded”… because the entire process consisted of my husband pushing the “movie mode” button on our very low-tech point-and-shoot camera. Since the song has a story behind it (and this blog is, after all, my place to tell stories), I am going to elaborate a bit before I share the song. Without the explanation, you won’t get it, so please bear with me.
It all goes back to 2008, when my favorite childhood group from the late 80’s/early 90’s, the New Kids on the Block, did the unthinkable and reunited.
I'll pause for a minute to allow my real-life friends, who know me well, to roll their eyes. Now, let's continue.
An interesting offshoot of this ongoing NKOTB reunion has been the birth and development of a large, thriving, active fan base on twitter. And...I’ll just admit it…when New Kid Jordan Knight began randomly following fans, I racked my brain thinking of a way to get a “follow.” Because really – how gratifying would it be to know that a New Kid on the Block was reading my interesting, thought-provoking, witty tweets? (Actually, they rarely rise above “Just got back from Wal-Mart.” But still.)
I was certainly not alone in my quest. In fact, a sort-of craze began on twitter. Caroline from Montreal created an impressive pumpkin carving and achieved success...
Others resorted to writing out that same plea using matchbox cars, building blocks, cupcakes, sand on the beach, and ketchup on a plate. Kim from New Jersey put her preschool class up to the task of painting a banner, which they proudly displayed in this photo, imploring Jordan to follow their teacher...
But unfortunately, nothing I was coming up with seemed good enough. I needed my own gimmick. I am neither artsy nor craftsy, and my creative juices seemed to be failing me. So I took a risk.
I re-wrote the classic NKOTB hit, “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” as “I’ll Be Tweeting You Forever.” And in a bizarre twist of fate, I had the chance to sing it in person for Jordan Knight and Donnie Wahlberg last November in Atlanta. Think of your own teen idols, and then picture yourself having their undivided attention years later, and you’ll understand why the whole thing was quite surreal. It all resulted in my coveted twitter follow. The video footage of my song from that night and the play-by-play are here .
The reaction I received inspired me to want to do more songs in that same vein. Back to the drawing board I went, mentally shuffling through all the NKOTB music I knew and pondering other possible parodies. But sadly, I knew that a re-write of "My Favorite Girl" as "My Favorite Bird," (about my parakeet) would in no way resonate with the fans. I would have to do better than that. In the meantime, I continued reading tweets from the fan world (also known as “Blockheads”) on twitter.
New Kid Joey McIntyre had accurately pegged the group’s family-like relationship with its fans in his song “Five Brothers and a Million Sisters.” Within that “family,” I witnessed the good there…new friendships and happy stories. I also watched the not-so-nice elements from afar…plenty of jealousy, catfighting, and complaining. But, wasn’t junior high, like, 20 years ago?
And then, the imaginary lightbulb above my head (that actually works occasionally) blinked on. There lay my inspiration for a follow-up parody, right in front of me. I never would have thought that the twitter drama queens, who shall remain nameless, would be my muses. But I can actually thank them for something.
The 1989 NKOTB song “This One’s for the Children” became “This One’s for the Blockheads,” in which my always-supportive and fabulously good-humored husband not only pushed the record button, but loaned his backup vocal prowess to the mix. (Yet another reason why I think he's the greatest.) I had difficultly suppressing my giggles when he came in. I launched the song, for fun, into the twitterverse after uploading it to youtube, where it still remains to this day, for all posterity.
So, for proper context, here is the New Kids’ original version of the song:
And now that you folks in the blogosphere...and my real-life friends reading this...understand why I did this (I hope), here is “This One’s for the Blockheads.” May the drama queens go home.