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Monday, April 9, 2012

insights: midnight calls from the backstreet boys

Recently the New Kids of the Block and The Backstreet Boys toured together as NKOTBSB. Huge news. Two huge groups. Together. It's big. It got me thinking of four surreal days with the Backstreet Boys.

The call came in the middle of the night, in the middle of the deep lovely dreams. The phone was on my husband, L.'s side so he answered and it was a boy calling for me. We knew the call was coming but it was still a surreal moment.

"It's for you," L. said, cupping his hand over the mouthpiece. "It's one of the Backstreet Boys."

"Which one?" I asked him as I dashed out of bed.

"I have no idea," L. replied. "Brian? Jake? Evan? Brad?" as his head hit the pillow.

I ran downstairs to the studio. At the time we lived in a loft in Connecticut where we also hosted MSN Live, the celebrity chat event series.

I picked up the phone and it was Brian Littrell from The Backstreet Boys. It was November 2000 and at that time this boy band was IT. In 1999 their album "Millennium" was the #1 album of the year selling 9, 445, 732 copies. The Boys were just launching "The Black & Blue Tour" with a 100 hour promotional tour of six continents. 

"Hi Taylor!" he said with way too much enthusiasm for the middle of the night. "I'm calling you from the plane! Can you hear me? I'm on THE PLANE."

And so it was. To promote "Millennium,"  MSN Live would host The Backstreet Boys' very first live online chat where thousands of fans could talk with the band--Brian, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, A.J. Mclean and Kevin Richardson. In addition the boys would call me from five of the continents they visited on their whirlwind tour for a short interview.

Over the course of four days I received calls from Brian, Nick, Howie, A.J. And Kevin from Sweden, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Brazil. The interviews lasted between 5 and 15 minutes. They knew how to do an interview, how to promote an album, how to talk to a girl. They were respectful, funny and open. 

I fell back in bed after the interview as Brian hovered somewhere over open water. 

I thought L. was asleep but I forgot that with an open plan loft I had kept L. awake during the call. "How was he?" L. asked sleepily.

"He was good. Smart guy. It's just surreal that a Backstreet Boy calls me when we're  in bed asleep. This is SO different from law school." I settled in next to my warm husband.

"Yeah. It's weird for me too. I hand you the phone when a teen heart throb is calling for you. You do realize every girl in the world would do anything to be you right now, right?"

"I know, honey, but I'm married to you. Love you. Go to sleep."

And as he drifted off I heard him say, "Tell Cody or Jason or Brandon that they can call anytime. I'm cool."

"I know," I said. "You are. You are."

For more on the Backstreet Boys visit their official site.

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