Step 140 - NKOTB Block Party #76 - New Kids on the Block Fan Stories from Heather, Rebecca, Christie, and Paola
Join us this week as we hear amazing, incredible fan stories from our friends Heather, Rebecca, Christie, and Paola.
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Heather’s NKOTB NYC Story: Waitress, Blockheads and Hangin Tough in NYC
Hi Brooke and Nikki, here are the details of my epic NKOTB, NYC adventure. Just two weeks before the March 8th release of Hangin Tough 30, I took the leap and flew to NYC for a weekend of NKOTB and blockhead related fun. This was a big step, my first time traveling alone besides visiting family in Boston. I made plans to meet up with some BH friends and bought a ticket to Waitress beforehand.
I arrived in the city on Thursday the 7th, checked into my hotel in and got ready. I was so excited to see Joey McIntyre in Waitress that night. I met up with my friend Elle in Sony Square where the Hangin Tough 30 exhibit was displayed and the following days album signing was being held. It was amazing to see all that NKOTB history grace the walls in the form of canvas prints and a tv screen playing Hangin Tough era video clips. I feel emotional just thinking about it. While at Sony Elle and I participated in the 360 experience, a listening room with the latest surround sound equipment. As we sat and listened, the newly released single Boys In The Band blasted over the speakers, it sounded AMAZING. After leaving Sony we grabbed a slice of pizza on the way to The Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Oh east coast pizza how I have missed you!
Waitress was such a fun show!!! I really liked that it stayed true to the original film, I’m a big fan. The whole cast was excellent, I enjoyed the colorful sets and original music. The best of all was Joey McIntyre as Dr. Pomatter and his bright blue eyes lighting up the stage. It was great seeing him on Broadway, fully in his element. After the show we headed to the stage door to see Joe. It was freezing outside but definitely worth the wait. Joe was his usual friendly but focused self, he signed our programs and took selfies with us, our night was complete.
The next day around 10 AM I met up with Elle, Jackie, eva and a male BH from Boston I chatted with while waiting to purchase cds and get a wristband. I also saw Kelly, we spoke briefly, she was bringing her “mini” back for the signing that afternoon. It was cold out and the line was long. The staff came and counted everyone, good news, they announced we would all get in!
It felt great to finally be inside, a giant screen showed The Boys In the Band music video as songs from Hangin Tough played over the speakers. The line continued down the hall and wrapped around the exhibit. We had tickets to see the guys at Build Series and had to be there by 12:30. It was 12:15 Jackie said we needed to leave to make it in time. It was a tough decision but I chose to stay in line. I was sad to be missing the only NKOTB speaking engagement I was able to attend but wanted to be present at the signing. I said bye to Jackie and told her I would get her wristband if allowed. I reached the front of the line, got my cds and wristbands for me and Jackie. I headed outside looking at my phone, Jackie texted “They’re running late you may make it”. Yes! Thank you Donnie Wahlberg! (most of us know “Donnie Time”) I thought as I hailed my first Taxi. Upon arriving I ran up to the security guard, told him I was running late but had a ticket, per Jackie’s suggestion. He escorted me inside and instructed me to sit on a bench with six other ladies. I couldn’t believe I got in and within minutes our boys had arrived! We took pics and video through the window as they stepped inside, walking past us waving and smiling. It was surreal! In true Donnie fashion he lagged behind taking selfies with the crowd out front. He came inside waving and walking past us, then came over and asked if we wanted selfies. Of course! we said. He told us to stand up, put our phones in selfie mode and face the wall. Yes sir! He went down the line standing behind each of us as we snapped our pics. Then, we were escorted to another hallway and told the studio was full. We would have to watch the interview from there, we would be able hear and see everything through the glass. In exchange the staff said we would be the first ones out and would have a potential selfie opportunity. I was thankful just to be there at all. Just then the studio doors opened, a few girls went inside, I followed suit. A production assistant announced she could fit three more on the floor. I quickly made my way to the spot next to the steps our five favorite guys would walk up to take the stage in a few short moments. As the guys entered the audience chanted along with the chorus to Boys In The Band playing in the background. “WE LIKE THE BOYS THE BOYS IN THE BAND THE BOYS IN THE BAND THE BOYS IN THE BAND”. Screaming ensued as the guys took their seats, there was a dramatic pause, then boom, lights on. I was so mind blowingly close, it was AMAZING. I loved the entire interview and learned things about the guys I hadn't known before. Towards the end of the segment Jordan caught my attention, he nodded in my direction and smiled RIGHT AT ME. Omg! The UNICORN just smiled at ME!? I reciprocated with an even bigger smile, it was AWESOME. When the interview was over, the guys interacted with some of the fans. A group of girls behind me relentlessly yelled for Jon as he made his way over to them. I patiently waited for them to finish talking, when Jon turned around, I asked if I could hug him. He said yes. My first “my first REAL Jon hug! Let me tell ya it lives up to the hype. As I turned around, JORDAN and DONNIE were right in front of me!? It’s so good to see you again I exclaimed hugging Jordan. Then Donnie, I very sincerely and audibly said DONNIE I LOVE YOU. As he hugged me he said I love you back!!! In that moment this Donnie girls life had come full circle. As Donnie left he hugged every person in the room. If he couldn’t hug them individually he hugged them in small groups. As you ladies say “Donnie Wahlberg is a national treasure”
After all the excitement we were starving, I joined Jackie, Maria, Jenny, Josie and Kim for lunch. It was great meeting other BHs from MSCW. Everyone was so nice and friendly like most other BHs I’ve encountered. After lunch we rushed back to Sony, to get in line to see our boys and get our albums signed. I briefly stepped out of line to look for other BHs I knew. As I walked by people kept grabbing my attention, I expected to see familiar faces. They weren’t anyone I knew, they were complimenting my Hangin Tough earnings (Shout out to my cruise roomie for making them!) I felt like I was back on the boat. In many ways, I was, those of you that have cruised will understand. Half way up the line I saw Kelly and her mini, we chatted and her little girl gave me a giant hug. It made my day, Kelly’s daughter is so animated and adorable I was excited to meet her.
Once inside, we made our way to the table where four, of our five favorite guys sat. I managed to snap a few quick pics and handed my cd to a staff member. Danny was first, the woman handed him my cd before I could step up to the table. He signed it and moved it over to Jon while still looking down. I paused and said thank you so much Danny he looked up at me, his whole face lit up, you’re welcome he said. I asked Jon how his day was going, no answer, he wanted to know how MY day was. Amazing! I replied, I expressed how thankful I was to be at the Build interview with them. He said he remembered me being there and asked where I was from. LA I said but originally Boston ,he asked what part I answered, then thanked him and moved on. Next up was Donnie YIKES, he smiled at me and said “nice to see you...again”. I flashed him a huge smile back, paused and replied...same. I was so excited he remembered me from earlier I couldn’t say much else, it was perfection. After Donnie, was Jordan, sorry to disappoint, I have zero recollection of our interaction besides him signing the cd. I recall it being positive though, as I floated away I could feel myself glowing. I gazed at the proof in my shaking hands, my now autographed copy of Hangin Tough 30!!!
On Saturday I met up with Jackie to hangout and see the sites. Our first destination, the red steps NKOTB preformed on for New Years Rockin Eve. I finished my breakfast on the steps attempting to take it all in. Jackie took some pics of me with Joes Waitress billboard in the background. Later we stopped by the theater to ask Joe to sign our cds. He had left the signing early to get ready for Waitress that night. We patiently waited for him surrounded by a huge crowd of fans, some clearly blockheads like us. So many people were waiting and at that time we weren’t there to see his show. He signed our cds and still took selfies. classy move Joey Mac!
After seeing Joe, Jackie and I ate dinner at a nearby restaurant. When I took my phone off airplane mode, it immediately blew up with Twitter notifications. The night before, I tweeted Donnie our selfie with a comment. One of the responses to my post said hi Donnie. I wondered out loud if it was because Donnie was in my picture. Jackie said if someone is saying, hi Donnie it must be because he commented on my post. She was right!! My first anything on Twitter from Donnie happened in NYC. I checked my phone again after eating to see if there was another Twitter surprise waiting. I clicked on Donnie’s page and saw the magical words DONNIE WAHLBERG FOLLOWS YOU. I felt total shock and excitement. It was awesome having Jackie there to share it with.
Thank you ladies for reading my story! Shoutout to Elle and Jackie for Hangin Tough with me over the weekend! Spending time with you and other BHs along the way made my NYC experience extra special.
Rebecca’s (Becky’s) Story
Hey Ladies!!! I have been listening to you all from almost the beginning and even though my story isn’t as exciting as others, I thought I would send it anyway.
As part of my story, I need to start WAYYY back before the boys became popular. Since the first grade me and my best friend were inseparable. She had no siblings and I did so I was always at her house. When we were in 7th grade she was diagnosed with leukemia (AML). Needless to say I went to St. Jude to visit several times. Being a young teenager you don’t know how to handle seeing all that sickness. She got better and came home and again we were together all the time. In our 10th grade year she became extremely sick and we ended up loosing her the day after my 16th birthday (5/16/89). That summer I spent all my time with my best friends mom (my other mom).
Summer was in full swing and I was hating life and somehow in all the hell I felt I was in, I ended up hearing the boys on the radio and I completely fell in love. They made me happy in a world that I hated SO much! I ended up seeing them on MTV and fell hard for Jordan’s dimples. My mom and Dad supported my new found love for these 5 boys from Boston.
In March of 1990 the boys were touring and had a concert in my town!!! Somehow my mom got tickets (even against my Dad’s wishes) and a couple friends and I skipped school to wait outside the arena to make sure we would get good seats since it was general admission. We made it to the floor so fast I can’t remember even how we did. ️ We were only 7 or 8 rows back from the stage and throughout the concert inched closer when we could. We stood in chairs and screamed and danced to those boys. I didn’t want the night to end. We found out they stayed at the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel and my mom had me there the next morning because the hotel was selling cut up pieces of pillows the boys slept on. I bought a cut up piece of the pillow Jordan slept on and I was in heaven. My mom saw how happy I was and continued to support my love for the boys, heck she loved them too! We would clean house while listening to their music. I ended up getting my parents to buy the pay per view concert in December of 1990 and this love helped me get through all the pain I had endured.
Fast forward 20 years later and my boys were back...I was late to the game and couldn’t attend a concert until the Total Package tour in 2017...I got to my seat and as soon as the boys hit the stage an extreme love flowed back into my body...they brought that happiness back. I became a die hard Donnie girl with Jordan tendencies still....I mean really who doesn’t LOVE DONNIE??? After all we are all Donnie girls. Little did I know I would need that happiness. In late 2017 my dad was becoming very sick and fainting all the time. After numerous doctors visits we found out he had leukemia - he fought the battle hard but we lost him in July of 2018.
I had already been listening to the podcast since I went to the concert in 2017 - I love you girls and hearing all the stories - you all gave me the ability to smile when driving to the hospital to stay with dad and you continue to give me that happiness. Because of this awesome group. I have made everlasting friends (Dawn and Christian) who make my life complete! They are the best! I feel as if you two are just like me and my bestie that I lost...Nikki you and I are one in the same and I see Brooke in the bestie that I lost. I love you all and I have already attended one of the shows from the Mix Tape tour (Nashville) and I am now plotting to try to attend another. My hope is one day I will meet you all, the boys (either by a meet n greet or getting on that damn boat!) and have more stories to tell.
Love you girls!!!
Becky (Oh my God Look at her butt - haha)
P.S. I will have to dig through some storage bins to find the cut pillow and more memorabilia.
Christie’s Danny Meet & Greet in Dallas
Before I go into detail about my Remember Betty Meet and Greet with Danny at the Dallas, Texas, show on May 17,2019, I feel the need to share some background details.
In February 2018, my friend and I were hoping to book a cabin on NKOTB Cruise X and had a cabin and were in the process of putting our information in and the system crashed. It was disappointing to not get on the boat but I kept telling myself that there is a reason it didn't happen and celebrated for those that did find themselves lucky enough to get on the boat.
A few months later in April 2018, I found out the reason things didn't work out with getting a spot on the cruise. My mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and the whirlwind that followed that devastating blow made it clear why things had not worked out the way that I had hoped they would. I would have had to give up my spot on the boat so that I would be able to be by my mom's side during her cancer treatments. My mom's last chemo treatment was at the end of October 2018. Thankfully a year out my mom is doing well and adjusting to her new normal.
In October when they announced plans for the Mixtape Tour and tickets went on sale my childhood best friend and I found ourselves with amazing seats and a meet and greet with the guys! We were also lucky to get great seats for the OKC show the same weekend!
In April I entered a raffle drawing for 2 tickets and a Meet and Greet with Danny Wood with proceeds benefitting Remember Betty! I made my donation and didn't think any more of it because I honestly did not think I would win. On April 28, I woke up to an email letting me know I had won a meet and greet and 2 tickets for the Dallas show! I was so excited because I wanted to be able to thank Danny for all that he and Remember Betty do for Breast Cancer patients! As a hospital Social Worker, family member, and friend to those who have battled Breast Cancer, I know how very limited resources are to come by for patients and loved ones.
On Thursday, May 16, Danny's dad, Big Dan called me. A Boston number appeared and I just assumed it was a spam call and didn't answer! Thankfully he left a voicemail requesting that I call him back. He is the sweetest man and such a gentleman. I mentioned that I had 5 Star VIP and he told me to call 2 friends that didn't have tickets to the show to come and enjoy the show since I wouldn't need the tickets that I won. I was able to bless my long time friend and NK fan Rocio and her son Dante with the tickets. Rocio surprised her son as he had been disappointed when he couldn't go to the Houston show with her because it was on a school night! Such a kind and sweet gesture as they could have kept the tickets and given them to anyone else but they allowed me to bless a friend!
My Five Star meet and greet with all 5 guys was first and it was so special. When I stepped into the curtain Danny walked to me with his arms open and gave me a hug and then it was on to the next guy. Donnie and Joe ( my fave) both called me beautiful and Jon gives the best hugs!
Next it was time to meet with Danny with the other winners! Everyone was so sweet and kind and the experience was just so special. I was able to thank Danny personally for all that he does and that was such a special moment. Danny then took several selfies and then signed my Hangin Tough album for me. It was a breath of fresh air to have such a sweet experience with him and his dad!
If you have a chance to enter a drawing I encourage you to do it! Even if you don't win the money goes to a great cause! I can't wait to get involved in more fundraisers for Remember Betty and hope and pray that I can help and encourage my blockhead sisters that are fighting the fight of breast cancer!
Thanks for reading my story and giving me the chance to share what has been on my heart!
Paola - SuperTeen Danny Wood Contest Winner
Hello.....so I’ve never really heard a podcast before but I had shared my experience on a nkotb fanpage and a few them mentioned that I should contact you to share my story......
When I was 14 years old And I am now 42 I won a contest from Superteen Magazine which included meeting the guys a limo ride and of course the concert in Meadowlands arena it was an amazing experience one I will never forget I actually found the magazine looking thru my storage stuff I was bringing over to my house! We met Danny before the concert he was the best very sweet with all of us I won 4 passes
Here I am still a fan for life I will send the mag picture I have after I send this I’m not sure how to send it along with this not the best with technology