First Song I really Liked

The first song I ever loved is really lame. I would normally never discuss it with people but this format is supposed to be anonymous and only those in the know will be able to give me shit about it anyway. Furthermore, I think it’ll help me heal the wound of having such a whack song as the first I remember really liking.

The first song I remember really liking is “Hanging Tough” by New Kids on the Block and I must have been four or five as my mom remembers my brother being about 12. I don’t know if it was the music that originally brought me into the NKOTB or the time I got to spend with my brother and sister.

I don’t remember ever hanging out with my brother without being harassed up to this point except whilst watching NKOTB. I am sure he will dispute this now but it is how I remember it. We ended up being essentially best friends from about sixth grade on, but those first few years I remember being stuffed in my fair share of closets and perhaps even deserving a few due to my lifelong struggle with being a wiseass.

The fact is that this was a rare time when all three of the siblings hung out with each other at the same time. This may seem trivial but I honestly can’t remember very many times this happened afterwards since we now live on three different sides of the country.
In hindsight, what was my brother thinking? I distinctly remember him having pins and posters of the band all over his room. My sister gets a pass for being a pre-adolescent girl but what’s my brother’s excuse? Was he seeking identity or having a sexual identity crisis?  I was a toddler so my blame is minimal, so what’s up with the Elder?
When the NKOTB specials were on the Disney Channel, a premium option like HBO in those days mind you, we would get our parents to buy us a few Tony’s frozen pizzas and my sister would make red Tropical Kool Aid that was basically a sugar delivery device. We would sit around the TV in a semi-circle and watch a solid two hours of what I now perceive as an extremely lame lip-synching, choreographed mess that helped launch the pop cheesiness of the 90’s like N’SYNC and Britney Spears.

“Hangin Tough” was what I thought at the age of four to be a badass tune. They struck tough poses, wore leather jackets and Donny Wahlberg actually looked tough to me back then. Hearing it now, I shudder at whatever my young naïve brain was deluding itself into thinking about this processed bubblegum crap, but I remember thinking “Man, these guys are badass”. The lyrics are nonsensical at a glance now, talking about putting people in a trance with a funky dance and such. They did seem tough to me at the time but in hindsight, that’s only because they kept repeating “hanging tough”. In actuality, none of these boys were tough and I am sure no one fell into a trance except young girls. I soon fell into the grunge music scene with skinny heroin addicts replacing Donny Wahlberg as people I thought were badass at a young age.

I will never forget the evenings spent with my brother and sister eating cardboard pizza, drinking fake juice and watching their entertainment equivalent on the brand new Disney channel. It seems like a lame thing to remember but I feel warm and slightly ill in a good way recalling these times. Oddly enough, my sister remained a fan of the band and recently saw them and told me they were “still awesome!” I highly dispute this claim but at least she kept the magical delusion going.

18 comments on “First Song I really Liked

  1. professormortis says:

    Replace NKOTB with Duran Duran (Rio? Hungry Like the Wolf?) and Shoprite Frozen Pizza with Tony’s and you more or less have any Friday Night Video Fights experience I had with my older siblings. Heady days!

    Though I think I can watch one of those Duran Duran videos and retain my self respect a bit more. I might have to reach back to REALLY early childhood and watching/listening to Xanadu with my sister for a similar level of embarrassment.

  2. theelderj says:

    But Xanadu takes the cake. I can only imagine the seen in the Family Mortis Chalet.

    • professormortis says:

      When I finally saw it again at B-Fest 2008, it was like flood gates of memories crashed open. What I remembered in bits and pieces as several different films was actual a single, horribly awesome whole, a juggernaut of bad taste; worse, it was my first encounter with several Greek myths…and Gene Kelly. Unforgivable! Well, at least until ELO/Olivia Newton John melted my icy heart all over again.

  3. theyoungerj says:

    hahahahahahaha. I actually have completely lost my taste for NKOTB and Tony’s but I do still like my siblings.

    • professormortis says:

      Well, I’ve definitely lost the taste for frozen store brand pizza with sliced up hot dogs and Koolaid.

      My music taste…she pretty bad.

      • theyoungerj says:

        That’s not true, it’s eclectic. I distinctly remember you keeping me alive in my first major bout with drunkedness by playing some weird like Middle Eastern music on your 45. You kept punching me and saying “wake the fuck up man, you’re gonna go out like Hendrix” Also, many years after you and the Elder saw Parliament Funkadelic, I saw them and your comments on them “quitting being funky and going fucking Zeppelin on the second set” resonated. I left after twenty five minutes of “Maggot brain”

  4. professormortis says:

    Someday I’ll get that Hi-Fi back. Damn it. Wonder what the hell I played for you?

    It takes a special kind of person to be into P-Funk jamming for 30 minutes or more at a time. For good or ill I’m not that kind of person.

    • theyoungerj says:

      Eddie Hazel in his prime is one thing, this dude now is no Hazel. Furthermore, I saw Clinton at a festival a few summers back and he’s go fat that his only dance moves are flapping his hands.

  5. […] brother bared his soul in confessing his first musical love. Let’s see how I can […]

  6. The sister says:

    Sadly I messed up my “subscription” to this blog and am just now catching up. This entry was the one I’ve been waiting for since I first learned you guys were doing this. I stand by the fact that NKOTB is still awesome!!! I admit they’re incredibly cheesy and the “songs” they’ve written this century are lamer than their earlier ones only because they are now performed (probably not written by) men in their 40s. However, if I have my way, when Baby Girl enters this world in a few months, if they’re still on their never ending reunion tour, I’m totally taking her to a show.

    • theelderj says:

      Well, sister, while I can’t embrace your plan to ruin my niece’s musical taste, I can promise that you have at least two more entries that discuss NKOTB. The original boy band will be mentioned tomorrow; but there is a much longer confessional entry coming from me in the next few weeks. So, stay posted. And, learn how to use the interweb!

  7. […] have nothing to do with this aside from reading my brothers’ entries with the hope that every day NKOTB will be mentioned. However, the first anniversary of our father’s unexpected passing is about to […]

  8. […] that my brother has ‘outed’ me, I have no choice but to embrace and then explain my identity. Yes, it is true, I was (although, […]

  9. […] Hanging tough- New Kids on the Block I have already written previously of my penchant for the New Kids before I knew what music was. When I went to see my new niece, my sister reminded […]

  10. […] wrote a while back about how my first cd which was the first Foo Fighters  album, the self titled one with the weird ray gun on the cover. I remember going into Best Buy and buying […]

  11. […] Mixed Tape Masterpiece, this will be in my head all day now. My brother, sister and I all loved this song at one point. The important thing? We loved it together. It was […]

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