New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters

New Kids on the Block: Five Brothers and a Million Sisters

4.1 23
by Nikki Van Noy
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

An intimate, all-access, backstage pass to everything New Kids on the Block, from their rise to fame in the 1980s to their fall from grace in the 1990s—and their triumphant comeback today.

Jordan, Jon, Joe, Donnie, and Danny. They set the bar for every boy band that followed and changed the course of pop music forever. In the 1980s, for millions of young

See more details below

Overview

An intimate, all-access, backstage pass to everything New Kids on the Block, from their rise to fame in the 1980s to their fall from grace in the 1990s—and their triumphant comeback today.

Jordan, Jon, Joe, Donnie, and Danny. They set the bar for every boy band that followed and changed the course of pop music forever. In the 1980s, for millions of young girls around the world, they were gods. But behind the scenes, they were just kids. In this authorized biography of the band, the New Kids tell it all to rock journalist Nikki Van Noy.

From makeshift stages in Boston clubs to soldout shows at Madison Square Garden, through winning American Music Awards and selling 80 million records, the New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) were a rite of passage and a touchstone of youthful memories. Scoring platinum albums, and with a series of sold-out international tours, NKOTB blazed through North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, leaving throngs of screaming teen and tween girls in their wake. But after a few heady years, the guys (and their fans) grew up, and moved on. The New Kids disbanded in 1994 and, for nearly fifteen years, there was every reason to believe that the NKOTB phenomenon was over once and for all.

But then an unexpected thing happened. The band (and their fans) got a second chance to relive their youth when NKOTB reunited in 2008. And they realized that this band has something special—an unbreakable bond with their fans and with each other that has only strengthened with the passage of time. Today, fans both old and new celebrate the band’s triumphant comeback with sold-out concerts, cruises, and top-selling albums. And this time, Jordan, Jon, Joe, Donnie, and Danny are enjoying it all right alongside them. An intimate, all-access backstage pass to everything New Kids on the Block, from their meteoric rise to fame.

Nikki Van Noy talks directly to those loyal fans, as well as to all five band members and their families, weaving their stories together in this no-holds-barred chronicle. With frankness and honesty, each New Kid recalls nearly thirty years of experience with the group, both on and off the stage. Like a time machine, this book will take you right back—giving you an inside look at the New Kids like you’ve never seen them before.

An intimate, all-access backstage pass to everything New Kids on the Block, from their meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s to the band’s breakup in the 1990s—and their triumphant comeback today

“We’re siting there, and all of a sudden Jordan said, ‘You know we’re gonna be famous, right? We’re gonna be famous.’ And he was right.” —Joe

“All that stuff we never experienced in college, we experienced on the road, just the five of us.” —Jon

“There’s just no words to describe it. I guess the only thing similar is a Super Bowl quarterback winning it for his hometown.” —Danny

“It’s amazing. It’s almost like going through life and then geting another chance at life, knowing what you know now.” —Jordan

“My dad said, ‘I’ll tell you what—if you ever make it big and you come home and you’ve changed, I’m gonna kick your ass.’ That always rang in my head.” —Donnie

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Music writer Van Noy (So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band—20 Years on the Road) applies her skills in thorough reporting and thoughtful analysis to an unlikely subject: New Kids on the Block, the first of the “boy band” phenomenon of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The New Kids—cute, young, white pop rockers whose five-part harmonies and hip-hop dance moves captured the hearts of millions of adoring teen and tween girls—set the mold for the careers of imitators such as the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. Van Noy takes what seems like a clichéd pop story—New Kids meteoric rise and equally swift collapse—and turns it into something special, a fascinating tale that will delight the band’s large fan base as well as enlighten its harsh critics. She takes a serious look at the cultural roots of a band born and raised in the shadow of Boston’s polarizing busing controversy. She gets great quotes from band members like Donnie Wahlberg, the group’s cofounder and resident John Lennon figure (“I am—and I think we are as new Kids—the success story of busing”). Van Noy explores New Kids’ huge postreunion online fan base, millions of “Blockheads” whose intense devotion and concert-going support is equal—and surprisingly similar in style—to devoted followers of Phish and the Grateful Dead. Agent: Coleen O’Shea, Allen O’Shea Literary Agency. (Oct.)
The Boston Globe
“What distinguishes 'Five Brothers' from similar biographies is Van Noy’s inclusion of the voices of dozens of NKOTB fans both in the story itself — commenting on events from a fan’s perspective — and sharing personal tales of kindnesses shown by the band members at the end of each chapter. … If you didn’t think NKOTB had the right stuff in the ’80s, “Five Brothers” won’t change your mind, but it does a decent job of explaining what those million sisters continue to scream about.”
Graffiti Magazine
“The book deftly shows the sense of community the group has with its fans, the genuine love and affection both sides feel, and how five young boys from Boston became a cultural phenomenon. Fans of the group will want to get this inside look into their life on and off the road.”
From the Publisher
“Van Noy takes what seems like a clichéd pop story—New Kids meteoric rise and equally swift collapse—and turns it into something special, a fascinating tale that will delight the band’s large fan base as well as enlighten its harsh critics.”

“The story of how five boys from Boston rose from nothing to become unlikely international recording stars in the late 1980s … there is true profundity in the stories of accomplished adult women who, during their formative years, fell in love with five flickering images on TV screens and never let go.”

“In the dozens of fascinating interviews with super fans that Van Noy records for posterity in this well-researched, smartly organized book, it becomes clear it's not about the music. (It never is.) It's about remembering the way we were — those junior-high days when so many of us loved nothing more than this band, when you could dream of marrying Jordan Knight and fully believe it really would come true.”

“What distinguishes 'Five Brothers' from similar biographies is Van Noy’s inclusion of the voices of dozens of NKOTB fans both in the story itself — commenting on events from a fan’s perspective — and sharing personal tales of kindnesses shown by the band members at the end of each chapter. … If you didn’t think NKOTB had the right stuff in the ’80s, “Five Brothers” won’t change your mind, but it does a decent job of explaining what those million sisters continue to scream about.”

“This new book offers readers an intimate all access, backstage pass to NKOTB including their incredible rise in the 1980s, the group’s tumble during the following decade and, of course, the triumphant rebirth… a highly readable story.”

“The book deftly shows the sense of community the group has with its fans, the genuine love and affection both sides feel, and how five young boys from Boston became a cultural phenomenon. Fans of the group will want to get this inside look into their life on and off the road.”

LA Weekly
“In the dozens of fascinating interviews with super fans that Van Noy records for posterity in this well-researched, smartly organized book, it becomes clear it's not about the music. (It never is.) It's about remembering the way we were — those junior-high days when so many of us loved nothing more than this band, when you could dream of marrying Jordan Knight and fully believe it really would come true.”
Tucson Citizen
“This new book offers readers an intimate all access, backstage pass to NKOTB including their incredible rise in the 1980s, the group’s tumble during the following decade and, of course, the triumphant rebirth… a highly readable story.”
Kirkus Reviews
The story of how five boys from Boston rose from nothing to become unlikely international recording stars in the late 1980s--and the more interesting story of the legion of devoted "Blockheads" that has sustained them ever since. None of the largely nondescript personalities (save perhaps the gregarious Donnie Wahlberg) that comprise the New Kids on the Block is revealed to any significant degree in Van Noy's (So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band--20 Years on the Road, 2011) otherwise readable band biography. But that clearly is not the point. Instead, the author is more concerned with illustrating the truly fascinating (bewildering?) bond that has seemingly been magically forged between NKOTB and their female fans--aka "Blockheads." The author quotes random fans extensively, and she dutifully chronicles the group's humble beginnings on the streets of Boston to their jet-setting zenith conquering the pop world. Despite the general banality of Jordan, Jon, Joe, Donnie and Danny, there is true profundity in the stories of accomplished adult women who, during their formative years, fell in love with five flickering images on TV screens and never let go. Van Noy maintains the gossamer veneer throughout, collecting the band's dirty laundry and tidily stowing it far out of sight. The author quickly skates over many of the intragroup conflicts – including hot-button issues like NKOTB's decision to part ways with original producer Maurice Starr, Joey McIntyre's gripes about his perennial outsider status and Jon Knight's surprising sexuality. Even though the NKOTB/Blockhead romance burned as hot as a neutron star inside teenage girls' hearts, you'd never know it by the way Van Noy manages to keep everything so chaste. A gauzy, PG-13 love letter from NKOTB to the throngs of faithful women responsible for making their rock-star dreams come true.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451667851
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
10/02/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
349,169
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.04(d)

Meet the Author

Nikki Van Noy is the author of So Much to Say, a biography of the Dave Matthews Band. She works as a writer and editor in Boston, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >