Thursday, May 20, 2010

A tale of love and dangerous obsession, starring a British boy band

It is, I suppose, de rigeur for teenage girls to become fixated on pop music icons who are manufactured and packaged to fill the need for just such a fixation. Today it's Bieber and Swift; in days of yore you had your Backstreet Boys, your New Kids on the Block, your Leif Garretts. I guess the OG teen pop icon was Sinatra, right?

In the early-mid 90's in the UK and Ireland there was a little outfit called Take That that was massively popular over there but never really made a big splash here. (Remember Robbie Williams? He was in the original lineup.)

Growing up in Ireland at that time, The Wife was not immune to Take That's charms. Well, let me rephrase that; according to The Wife, her interest in Take That was, um, life-defining, maybe even problematic. As she put it, "If I could have channeled the energy I spent thinking about Take That into something positive, I could have cured cancer by now."

ANYWAY, not an atypical story; I imagine you or someone you know has a similar one. She grew out of it and moved to the US and occasionally would mention Take That in recounting stories of her charmed youth in Ireland and still had all the CDs and whatever, but clearly a part of her past.

As it happens, Take That has reformed and begun putting out albums again. Quelle surprise! I have to grudgingly admit that some of the songs have an earwormy ELO-ish appeal. To my ear, it's a cut above most stuff of this ilk. Like so:

Not the worst thing in the world, huh? Amazingly enough, the lads write their own songs, a feature essentially unheard of in this genre.

So blah blah blah long story short something has clicked in The Wife's brain and although she hasn't started putting Take That posters up or anything, she has begun relating anecdotes about Mark Owen in casual conversation and watching a LOT of videos on YouTube and it's possible that Take That CDs are now arriving in our house via and so on and so forth.

And then yesterday she comes home from work and says "I need to tell you something" and I'm all "OK, what?" and she says "If Take That is touring this year, I'm going to go see them." And I go see shows all the time and I get the need for nostalgia; I'm going to see Pavement twice in 3 weeks later this summer. It's even kind of cute how she's rediscovering her Teenage Crush Band.

"Of course, sweetie!" I say. "So they're coming to America?"

And she says, "Nope."

I guess the difference between being a teenaged fan and an adult fan is that when you're an adult fan, you can go to, say, ANOTHER CONTINENT to see the band you like.


Skance said...

*screams*It's NOT a crush. I LOVE HIM AND WE'RE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!!! Parents never understand*slams door**stomps foot*

Tamagosan said...

That's why being an adult fan is just way more fun. Plus, you can drink.

Beth Spotswood said...

In an exciting twist of fate, I was writing about Take That just as I swung by for my morning TK.

God...I want it that way.

generic said...

I feel like Hot Chick Bands rarely reach the same iconic status. Spice Girls, Pussycat Dolls. Maybe one every decade or so.

Anonymous said...

I was living in Dublin in '94 and remember blood gushing out of my eyeballs when confronted with Take That concert posters papering the streets. You're right, though-- they're not that bad. I think it's the name that makes one assume they're going to sound just like Boyzone or New Kids or whatever.

I feel like there's a 'can't spell TAKE THAT without TK' joke in here someplace.