When Emilia and I began planning out what we were going to write for BACKSTREET BOYS: 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, we knew we had to start at the beginning. We were writing about celebrating their 30 years together, right?
Someone asked on Instagram last night what was my favorite part in writing the book. Besides getting to finally write with Emilia, it had to be remembering why I loved the Backstreet Boys.
See, since I became a fan, I’ve never stopped being a fan. Sure, I wasn’t hardcore into the fandom when I was busy with college, but I always kept up with them and what they were doing. I wanted to go to shows but they never fit into my college schedule (Their first show of the Unbreakable tour was the first night I was Editor-in-Chief of the college newspaper and the new we put the newspaper together).
Looking back on the things the Backstreet Boys have done (lol) and getting to dig deep into research really made me remember why I fell in love with them. One of the parts of the process that I was heavily involved in was looking into early interviews and media through an account I have thanks to ancestry research.
Reading newspaper articles about a pre-Backstreet Boys Nick Carter or AJ McLean made me smile. They always wanted this. They always wanted to be a part of something so special that brought so many people together. Seeing comments from experts when the boys were first getting their start in the Orlando area made me realize that there are some smart people out there, much like David McPherson who signed the Backstreet Boys to Jive Records.
I loved looking back at old interviews that I’ve ripped from VHS, or that I’ve found on YouTube. I rewatched all of their home videos, from the green one to the “Never Gone” DVD. I forgot how much I loved “For The Fans” and them singing the Burger King version of “I Want It That Way.”
And even though I’m a know-it-all when it comes to the Backstreet Boys, and I know people call me that, probably with some other choice words (I will wear the trivia queen crown proudly til the day I die. It will be mentioned in my obituary.), I did learn some things while writing this book.
One thing I learned is that the Backstreet Boys played a show in Olympic Centennial Park days after the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta took place. Being from Georgia, it made me proud. I was an almost high school junior that summer, swimming in my swimming pool and listening to the Olympics on the radio while the boys were just three hours away performing.
I told someone at work that if people though I was a crazy Backstreet Boys fan before, they haven’t seen anything yet. Writing this book made me fall in love with them all over again – the music, their antics, the boys themselves. Seeing them this summer while I was writing this book made me take in the tour even more.
So much so, when I saw my last DNA World Tour show in Lexington a few weeks ago, I cried during “Larger Than Life” at the very end. Not because I wasn’t going to be seeing them for a while, sure, I was and am sad about that, but because of the emotions I went through writing this book with Emilia. The emotions I went through seeing the boys several times since April when I almost did cry at VIP because I never thought I’d go to a concert or see my friends again (the ones that live far away).
While it was a hectic summer full of Backstreet Boys (concerts and writing/research), COVID, work, and more, it helped me remember the most important thing about being a Backstreet Boys fan – why I became one to begin with.