Step 6 - Block Party: Episode 2 - Amy, Lindsay & Courtney

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Amy's Story

Favorite Fan Experience It is really difficult to choose one fan experience as my favorite, since I can honestly say I've been blessed to have many. But I've always preferred the experiences that happen when you're least expecting it. No stress or worries over what to wear and what to say when it finally happens, as in the case of a formal meet and greet.

My fan experience of July 27, 1990 tops them all, because it happened back in the hey day, when NKOTB was still surrounded by mass hysteria and it was easy to get caught up in it all.

It's been 27 years and still to this day when I relive the moment or tell someone the story, my heart still pounds and I get giddy.

Up until then I had already seen two concerts, and thought I was cool because I was part of the large group crammed against the limo we thought the guys were in after the show as it tried to maneuver its way wherever it was going. I prefer to say I almost got run over by their limo, it sounds so much more exciting.

So there we were, me and some friends going to the New Kids show, the Magic Summer tour, at Lake Compounce. My friend's Mom was driving. I don't even remember why one of us wasn't driving, I'm pretty sure we all had our license at that point. But at any rate, it's a good thing we weren't because we probably could've died running off the road, or even worse, running over Donnie.

We were sitting in the back seat, I was looking down at stuff in my lap and I heard my friend say "oh my God." I looked at her and she was looking past me out the window with this expression I'll never forget. She simply said "Donnie?" It could've been anyone on a motorcycle riding right next to our car, but something in her voice and expression just told me it was **really** him! But then again, it could've been the tail whipping in the wind behind him, or the black leather jacket that said "cheese" on it that gave him away. IT WAS REALLY HIM!

I'm surprised I didn't crack my neck whipping it around so fast! He nodded at us, and the mass hysteria commenced right in our own car. As my friend's poor mom wondered what was going on "omg! What? What's happening???" We screamed back "it's Donnie, it's Donnie! Follow him!!!" I wonder if she thought she ran something over? How she managed to stay on the road is a mystery. The rest is a blur.

I held up my ticket to the show and pointed at it like a lunatic so he'd know we'd be there (as if he hadn't guessed that already), and he gave me a thumbs up. I threw the ticket somewhere and grabbed my camera, to start snapping away. Another mystery, how I managed to get any photos to come out clear, my hands were shaking like an earthquake. Then Donnie was in front of our car, standing up on the pedals of the bike, shaking his rump at us, being a goof ball, and when he turned into a gas station we screamed again to my friend's Mom that she needed to "FOLLOW HIM!!!" She did, and I was out of the car before it stopped, tearing across the parking lot. Donnie probably thought I was going to eat him up, I know his body guard did. I heard a deep, menacing voice say "STOP!" And I just stopped. Dead in my tracks. With Donnie Wahlberg this close. Now in my mind this is how the rest went down. Donnie saw the dejected look on my face, and when I turned back to the car he saw my shirt that I had painstakingly designed to look exactly like the "homeboy" shirt he wore in the "Hanging Tough" video. Except mine also had a peace sign. He called me back with a simple "hey!" And when I turned back, he outstretched his left arm and motioned for me to come over. Hello jelly legs. Here was my moment! And the only thing that came out of my mouth was a dorky "I love you!" As if he hadn't heard that a gazillion times before. Then I just turned and went back to the car. Real smooth. I should've asked if he had an extra helmet and could I ride the rest of the way to the show on his bike! Back in the car everyone was excited that this had happened. We went on to the show, had a great time even though the guys say this tour was not one of their faves. I remember my parents still being awake when I got home and how I just flopped on the couch and squeaked "I met Donnie!!!!" And told them the story. Donnie had been my favorite New Kid since my fandom began, so it being him on the motorcycle made it even more exciting.

My favorite photo of the experience is still in the same frame as it was 27 years ago. Back then you actually had to send film out to be developed and it was pure torture waiting for the photos to arrive back in the mail! At the ultimate meet and greet a few years ago I got to show Donnie the photo and he actually asked if he could take a photo of it. Omg, my photo is in his phone !!! I met my Bff Michelle right after this happened, and my only regret is that she wasn't with me to share the experience. The ultimate experience with the ultimate friend! But we've shared so much since then and I wouldn't have it any other way!

The picture Amy took of Donnie Wahlberg riding a motorcycle in 1990.


Lindsay's Story

Yeah my mom actually got me into them. She thought it was a nice boy band that I could like and did lol. Well I've been able to meet Donnie 3 times.

I was not able to meet him backstage after The Main Event show but he knew I was there and came down off the stage at the end of the show to give me a hug and a kiss. This last show he surprised me and came off the stage to sing Cover Girl to me. He's given me two of his bedazzled Boston Red Sox hats (signed). The first time I met him he actually took the hat right off of his head to give me. This last show he took off his bracelet at the end of the show and handed it to a security guard to give to me.

I have a connection to Donnie so that's how I get to meet him.  He is so amazing - the most kind and humble person I've ever met. The first time my parents and I met him we were kind of nervous and unsure of what to expect (you know he always has that bad guy persona) and as soon as he started talking about how he was living in the city (this was back in 2011) and the taxes were so high and he has to move in NJ blah blah blah, we were like wow he's pretty normal! Now when I see him, it's like seeing an old friend.

He is a really great guy. I tell everyone that he's just so humble and kind.

I think the only thing I might add about Donnie is that he's pretty unique in that he's never afraid or hesitant to interact with people with disabilities. I was just discussing this with my friend the other day. She's a fellow Blockhead as well. You don't find that quality in many people let alone celebrities. He's so quick to just give me a hug and kiss and when he sang Cover Girl to me, it seemed like he didn't give it a second thought to grab my hand and dance with me even for just a few seconds. I've seen the way he interacts with other disabled people and it's no different than how he's always treated me. When they came out in the audience for "Tonight" at The Package Tour in 2013, I got a very nice hug lol from Jordan but I saw to the right of me Donnie giving another girl in a wheelchair a hug. I was glad to see that especially since I had already seen him before the show and was going to see him again after the show. I'm glad he was giving someone else attention. But anyways the fact that he's not afraid to interact with people with disabilities - hug them, kiss them, dance with them - it's a very special thing to see in someone. It really shows that he's just so genuine. I can't wait to see how this podcast turns out! Hope all is well!


Courtney's Story

Loving your podcast so far! So I'm a big NKOTB fan. I was first introduced to them in 1988, I was 12 years old, I don't remember all the details anymore but I believe it was after hearing Please Don't Go Girl on the radio. I wanted to know who these boys were so I went out and bought the Hangin' Tough cassette with my hard earned babysitting money. I would listen over and over and over again until I had all the lyrics down by heart. Back in my junior high years my walls were covered in posters! I had a wall dedicated just for Jordan, my fave! I was fortunate enough to get to a concert in 1990, my first concert ever, I was 14. It was in Pittsburgh, PA at the civic arena. I went with 3 other friends and we had 2 parents with us. Our seats weren't the best but to be able to see these 5 boys that I was obsessed with was a dream come true. By the time my senior year of high school rolled around (94-95) and the guys had gone their separate ways I was growing up too and all of the posters and memorabilia were put in a box and not thought about much. When I heard they were going to reunite in 2008 I was happy but I honestly did not start following them closely because I was going though a lot personally (separation and ultimately a divorce). Then in November of last year when they announced the total package tour and I heard that Austin, Texas was going to be a stop I knew I had to see them again! This tour really ignited that love again and I saw how much they truly love the fans. It brought me back to a place of being young and not having all those adult responsibilities when I was in that arena hearing them again after 27 years,

Thanks for reading and I can't wait to listen to more of your podcasts! Courtney

Photos

I'm the one with the long red hair and glasses. The first photo is me and my 2 best friends and our camp counselor. My one friend is wearing my Jordan tshirt that I let her borrow as she didn't have any New Kids shirts. I wish I still had both of those shirts. I've gone through all of my photos albums from my childhood and I don't have any pictures of how decked out my bedroom was in all of my posters. Crazy that I never took any! Anyways both of these photos are from the summer of 1990.

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