Step 40 - NKOTB Block Party: Episodes 19 - New Kids on the Block Fan Stories from Charlene

Get ready to talk about Joey McIntyre, LA Podfest, and all things NKOTB (and some not) with Nikki, Brooke, and their new friend Charlene. 


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Hello ladies! My name is Charlene and I'm writing from Long Beach, CA. I'm so glad to discover your podcast. As a lifelong New Kids lover, your conversations and musing are probably what all of us have thought which is why I so appreciate your podcast. My birthday is December 1979 I'm tickled to find you two are my age. Now for my NKOTB history, I think I discovered them at the end of 1988. By 1990 I had over 80 posters of the guys, with many of course of my favorite Joey. By 7th grade my friends and I thought we were 'so cool' because we started listening to Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the rest. I turned my attention away from New Kids until 1996. My best friends Lenné and Stacy thought it would be hilarious if we went to school, just a regular day of 10th grade, decked head to toe in NKOTB gear. We wore shirts, hats, buttons, jackets, and I taped New Kids cards to my jeans. Tons of our classmates were asking why we were dressed like that. "Because New Kids are still great!" Then we went back to Lenné's house and re-watched her VHS tapes and really wondered "why did we ever stop loving New Kids?!?" I DO NOT KNOW WHY WE DID NOT TAKE PHOTOS OF OURSELVES THIS DAY.

Fast forward to 1998 when Loveline was on MTV. My friends were trying to call in with fake love scenarios to get on the show, and have Dr. Drew give advice to us. It wasn't until my friend was hooking up with someone at her job, called in and told the true situation that the producers asked if she wanted to be ON the show in studio. I went with her and she didn't want to be seen on TV so they told her she'd be in the 'igloo' on stage for anonymity. When we pulled up to the lot in LA we asked who the celebrity guest would be. They said, "you'll be here for two tapings. One is Mark McGrath and the other is.... that guy (snapping his fingers trying to remember)... that New Kid with a new album... Joey McIntyre." Holy shit!!! Since she was going to be in the show they put us in the front row. Joe came out and he was 8 feet in front of me. Honestly my first thought was, "If I rush the stage I could hug him. W-a-i-t don't be a psycho. If you sit here you can watch him for a whole hour and not get kicked out" So I did that. 

It wasn't until 2003 when I actually met Joe for the first time. I was living Monterey, CA and heard a radio promotion that he was doing an outdoor concert at the mall. They were giving a select number of wristbands out at the Wherehouse for a meet and greet. I went there 1st and got the LAST wristband. I'm a photographer, and took b&w 35mm photos of him on stage with his guitar player/song writing partner. After the concert they ushered us into a line where I met a girl who just happened to be on the Central Coast for a friend's wedding. Her friend knew she was as NKOTB fan and told her about the event. We plotted I'd take a photo of Joe and her with her camera and she'd do the same for me. I put down my old New Kids card for him to sign and told him about seeing him on Loveline. That Dr. Drew gave great advice and Joe's advice was, "I say if you're having fun, keep hooking up with him. See what happens." He starts laughing, and I completely climb on the table to take the photo with him. 

I never saw the New Kids in concert the first time around so in 2008 when they got back together I was THRILLED to see them live. There's something magical about loving someone when you're 10 then seeing them be awesome (and dead sexy) when you're a grown up. In 2015 I saw them in Anaheim, got reunited with Lenné and we bought tickets to the Los Angeles show the next week with the meet and greet. I was in the 3rd row on the floor and on the end of the stage that Joe did the best choreography for Twisted. Yes that choreography! I couldn't think of anything relevant to say to Joe that night (nerves got me) but I did wear the lowest cut shirt I had to press the tatas into my first crush.

This year when Graham from Comedy Film Nerds podcast announced Joe would be their guest at the the LA Podfest live show, it was on! (Side note Graham is such good friends with Joe, he spent last Thanksgiving with the McIntyres) Graham and I became friends a few years ago from my work. I saw him a few days before the convention and I told him, "Just so you know, you can trust me with Joe. I've met him twice before, I won't embarrass you. I just want another photo." Day of the panel he got me into their green room, but it was hectic and Graham said, "we'll get you after ok?" No problem! I was sitting in the front row, taking photos of course. They did the whole show and I walked up to Joe as he came off of the stage. I walked up to him, smiling I said, “hi I’m Charlene, I’m Graham’s friend. A million years ago, well 14, you did a show in Monterey and I took photos of it.” I handed him an envelope with 4 b&w shots of him on stage with his guitar player. “These are great! I love getting these,” he said. I told him he could have them (I wrote my instagram on the back of the prints) and asked if we could take a photo which my husband took of us. I thanked him again for coming to Podfest and walked away. FREAKING PERFECT! He took photos with all of the blockheads who went to the taping. So sweet and so gracious. 

This email is getting long so I’ll get in touch again if you want the stories of calling Jon Knight after finding his info on the 1996 internet. Or helping Molly Ringwald at my job. For love I’m a photographer but for rent I work at Whole Foods Market in the LA area.

You guys rock!!!

Big hugs,
Charlene

Instagram: charlene_michelle_photography
Personal one: charmichelle
YouTube: Main80s

Photos are me and Joe in 2003, Meet and Greet in 2015 (my friend Lenné is the one with Jordan), Two weeks ago at LA Podfest. 

Click on any of the images below to view a larger version.