`I Want It That Way'
As I sit down to type this column, my ears can still hear a faint ringing from the weekend. No, not from a long plane ride back after Thanksgiving break, rather from over 22,000 pre-teen girls screaming at the top of their lungs. What for? None other than the top 40 sensation: the Backstreet Boys.
Okay sure, make fun of me. I went to their concert. Go ahead, say that you would never lower yourself to listening to those songs. Tell me what they sing is not music at all. Believe me, I've heard all the criticism.
Yes, I know each boy by name, and I admit that is somewhat pathetic. But at least I'm honest.
I've discovered that there are more closet Backstreet fans on this campus than I even dreamed possible. Maybe they do not own both CDs as I do. Maybe they did not recently purchase a poster for their room, but they know the songs.
They sing along to the hits "I Want It That Way," "As Long as You Love Me," "All I have to Give" and "Everybody ... Rock Your Body."
I have examples. I've been to three parties this year which have had the same wonderful band playing. Their music ranges from U2 to Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, during these parties there have been times when the entire crowd chants "Backstreet Boys … Backstreet Boys ... Backstreet Boys."
The band soon appeases their fans by playing a rock remix of "I Want It That Way." Of course I am highly impressed, but I know I am not alone. Almost the entire audience sings along to every word.
Sure the song only has four sentences of lyrics to learn, but still, that means people aren't honest when they claim to change the channel as soon as it comes on the radio.
Admit it, you turn it up and sing along. It's a good song. You don't have to be afraid to say it.
Example number two — there is a certain group of guys here I am acquainted with who not only have a poster of the Backstreet Boys in their room, but also proudly sing the lyrics to "I Want It That Way" on their answering machine.
In addition to this, one insisted I make a mix tape of boy bands music for him. You'd think at least these guys would admit to being fans. Oh no.
When I called to see if I could use their names in my column, one simply responded "I am a Backstreet Boy's fan, but do not use my name." He continued saying he feared he would get "beat up" if he admitted to being a fan.
Case and point: many are closet fans, but few are willing to display their love.
However, I will admit I loved their concert. I will not say their lyrics are hard to comprehend — they do not have a hidden deeper meaning. I did not walk away from their show in awe of their wonderful voices, and yes, some of their dance moves made me laugh.
But, overall, I had fun. It was worth every penny I spent and I'd do it all over again. I am not afraid to admit it — I am a fan.
All Inside Stories for Tuesday, November 30, 1999