Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Funky Boy Band Christmas

Every year I forget about my all-time favorite Christmas song, and then one day it'll pop up on my Pandora Holiday station, and I remember all over again how much I love it.

I'm talking, of course, about the Timeless Classic "Funky, Funky Christmas" by New Kids on the Block, or NKOTB for thoseofusintheknow.

This year it's also a reminder that I will probably never have to deal with the level of psychotic, all-consuming, hysterical fandom that 14-year old girls inflict on their poor families the way I did back in 1989/1990. At least, I don't think most boys cry and scream and faint and elbow others out of their way for the sake of their celebrity crushes, do they? By the time my brother, Mr. Funny, was old enough to be into stuff I was well past my NKOTB coma and either ignored him or went off to college. So I don't remember. He could very well have wallpapered his room with Alanis Morisette posters for all I know. I was too busy being disaffected and full of myself.

At one point my NKOTB addiction grew so severe my parents forced me to choose just 5 pin-ups to keep in my room and everything else had to come down. Let me put this into perspective for you:

One of my friends took great pride in giving me my 100th NKOTB poster. If there was a square inch of wall space in my room, up went a photo or pin-up. I had posters ON MY CEILING. I had a pillow, pillowcase, dolls, books, pins, t-shirts, videos - both taped myself and bought - and all the crap paraphernalia that came with my fan club membership, which I think included a tour schedule so that I could fantasize about hanging out in Wherever, USA with Jordan Knight. (Imagined convo: Jordan: "Meredith, look, it's Mt. Rushmore!" Me: "OHMYGODJORDANILOVEYOU!!!!!!!" *scream*)

Somehow, instead of setting fire to my bedroom, which, in hindsight I would not blame them for doing, they calmly told me enough was enough and I had to choose 5 posters to keep up and the rest had to go. 

So, of course I had the NKOTB Christmas album, with the Timeless Classic "Funky, Funky Christmas." And if you don't think this singular masterpiece has withstood the test of time, you are wrong, my friend. Consider these lyrics, which were clearly strung together by angels on high (is that a thing? I don't know, I'm Jewish.) who touched Jordan and Donnie with godlike inspiration:

"Oh, Little Train, my little elf, another Christmas."
"Nah, man, it's boring, it's boring! Same thing every year."
"So let's have a funky Christmas!"


"Yo, MC Santa didn't know my homeboy Donnie could play percussion, did you?"
"I didn't have a clue!"

"Yeah, get busy, Donnie!"

and my personal favorite, which I swear I could listen to over and over again and never lose joy from it:

"Should I stop? Nah, cool, here's more
Of this song, a funky Christmas melody
'Cause Jordan K feels OH SO CHRISTMASEY!
Throw your hands in the air!
Kick the ballistic Santa Claus!" (They are HARD CORE, people!)

It's like Mozart was reincarnated into a late 80s boy band.

By the way, I typed all of those lyrics from memory. Believe it.

And in case you need reminding:

YouTube video by KangK

There is so much right about this video I don't even know where to start. (Did anyone notice that Jon wasn't in it? Yeah, didn't think so. Sorry, Jon.) From the Jackson 5 choreography, to Arsenio's jumping in with a rap, to Joey's swinging his butt at a screaming audience, to Donnie's humping the air LIKE THE BAD BOY HE IS, it's just WIN all the way through. If you don't have a funky Christmas after this, you are dead inside.

Naturally, when I was 14 I taped this, and Jordan's bare chest sent me into a 14-year old Nirvana-like higher plane of existence. I may have paused it at some point to lick the TV. 

I'm almost sad that I won't have a daughter to share this kind of beserker, kamikazi devotion with. I remember my friend's mom driving us to a NKOTB concert once and talking about her love of the Beatles back in the day, and that sound you just heard was John Lennon rolling in his grave. But then I remember POSTERS ON MY CEILING and my single-minded obsession with NKOTB (My mom: "Mer, please pass the salt." Me: "I wonder if Jordan Knight puts salt on his french fries. May I be excused to go write to the fan club and ask?") and think, maybe it's for the best.


monica said...

lol! i feel certain jordan put salt on his french fries. for the record.

Meredith L. said...

OMG DO YOU THINK SO? Because I put salt on MY fries! WE WERE MEANT TO BE! JORDAN I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!

Shannon Drury said...

I missed the NKOTB thing, being just a wee bit too old for them (and still loyal to my generation's boys, Duran Duran), but DAMN. That is some serious campy fun!

Adrian said...

I was too young for NKOTB (and too "cool" for the Backstreet Boys; I listened to shitty rock music instead), but now this can be my second favorite Christmas song, right after "Zat You, Santa Claus?" by Louis Armstrong.