As a counter-point to last week’s video breakdown, and in an effort of full disclosure that I was not nearly cool enough to hang with the GNR crowd in my high school, I now offer the other half of my teenage fantasies.
Where Duff was, let’s face it, mostly just to imagine the look of horror on my parents’ faces if I brought home a mid-twenties alcoholic/druggie with big hair; Joey was the boy next door I had an entire wall of Tiger Beat posters dedicated to.
Considering my best friends in the entire world had nicknamed me “white bread” by this point, it was much more realistic. If you consider marrying a beloved member of a heavily marketed boy band realistic. (Which I totally do.)
Though the Hangin’ Tough video would have been the most likely to be on heavy rotation at the same exact time as Patience, it’s mostly concert footage, so other than hideous fashion trends, there’s not much to talk about. Contrariwise, watching Joey sing Please Don’t Go Girl in his pre-puberty voice is now excruciating.
So forgive me for jumping ahead a year to Step By Step. (Note: I have been training for this post my whole life.)
Of course we have to get the fashion comments out of the way first. I mean…just…it is 1990, people and there are MANY wardrobe changes. I couldn’t possibly say all that needs to be said.
Danny Wood and the sideways hat. Donnie Wahlberg and his wannabeagangsta thug-wear. Jordan Knight in OVERALLS? Are we on a farm? That doesn’t LOOK like a farm. Joey is not innocent in this, by any stretch, but his clothes get overshadowed by his Puff Chick, mop-top hairdo that screams for a douse of conditioner. I’m actually giving Jonathon Knight a pass from the Fashion Police and vote him Most Likely to Not be Looked at Anyway. (I love you, Jon, just calling it like it was.)
Then there is the artsy video technique of the black and white film where the important parts have been colored in, but by someone who no longer owns a “Flesh” colored Crayola crayon. THIS is NKOTB kicking it up a notch. Got it.
Okay, back to the beginning. You might not know this if you haven’t seen every video that NKOTB ever made…several hundred times…but Jordan likes to stand in front of big fans - the kind that move air, not overweight groupies. Even better if he is wearing a shirt that is unbuttoned to flap around in the artificial breeze. It is unclear if he finds this dramatic or he just farts a lot.
And now we begin to see how much fancier their footwork has become since the early days. (This is the part where Jon is cut out most of the time. That boy could NOT dance.)
Donnie is starting to try to establish some street cred. What better way than to ride around on a motorcycle, wearing a leather jacket? Oh, yeah…DON’T BE IN A BOY BAND!
Danny wants to establish that he is very tough and possibly using steroids. What better way to do this than to pump some iron? Oh, yeah…DON’T BE IN A BOY BAND!
Joey wants to establish that he is just like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. What better way to do this than by dressing in tails and dancing with his shadow? Yeah, just keep doing what you’re doing, Joe.
For some reason they try to make the Sprinkler dance move look cool. Duff McKagan couldn’t make the Sprinkler dance move look cool. Give it up.
Jordan acts like he is conducting a small orchestra. Probably they are thinking, please take your smelly ass back over to that fan and leave making music to the true professionals.
And then we calm it down for each guy’s little solo. Danny sounds like the gorilla he is. Donnie tries to tone down his bad boy persona with some humor. Jordan’s falsetto is like fingernails on a blackboard. Joey, if you take away the too-big jacket, is actually adorable. And in yet another strange twist of fate, Jon pulls off looking like the most talented of the bunch (which he probably was).
(Sidebar to any of my co-workers reading this blog…is it just me or does one of my staff look crazy similar to Jon at minute 3:00? Could he be Tiffany and Jon’s love child? Given up for adoption as they toured their way across the midwest? It’s chronologically feasible.)
A little bit later, the boys have fun stealing what looks to be a script out of Jon’s hands as he casually hangs out backstage. Are you kidding me? There was a SCRIPT to this thing? Or are we to assume Jon is so popular that he has to spend his downtime reading Movie of the Week offers instead of learning the dance moves?
Seriously, he is missing from every shot on the stairs. I think there may have been some sort of liability about him falling off them.
Enter Marky Mark and Funky Bunch to play a little B-Ball with big brother. Huh?
All in all there is too much Jordan and Donnie, not enough Joey and Jon. As far as I am concerned Danny Wood does not exist. It’s like…who IS that guy? Was he ANYONE’S favorite?
And close on Donnie eating an apple. He’s just like you and me, except he eats apples while making music videos with his boy band.
Flash forward to present day…
Duff McKagan - Clean and sober; one class shy of a Finance degree; writer for both the Seattle Weekly and ESPN.com
Joey McIntyre – Still going on booze cruises with the old gang; surrounded by Approaching, On, and Over the Hill former groupies that may or may not have changed their hairstyles in the last two decades. (Which I would totally be on if I wasn’t married with kids.)
Duff’s not looking so bad now, Mom, is he?
Additional author’s note: This will be my last video break down for a while. Don’t leave me. Also, if you are with Joe Mac, please don't sue me for using that photograph, I am totally linking back to that page here. I think I used the word "totally" in this blog three times. Am I twelve?