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Today I met the Backstreet Boys

My sister-in-law, Jessica Guggenheimer (center, in below photo), woke up at 5 this morning to see the Backstreet Boys perform on Good Morning America. She grew up a huge fan of the group, and Backstreet at Nassau Coliseum was her first concert (in fourth grade). Here is her dispatch from the big event (as told to Jeff Pearlman) …

Today, I met the Backstreet Boys.

I got up at 5 am, walked my dog Buster, left my apartment at 5:45, hailed a taxi. When we pulled up to 72nd and 5th there was a line that went down Fifth Avenue to at least 68th Street. But I was fortunate enough to have VIP tickets (a friend of a friend works for the show).

We waited for all of two minutes and we were escorted into the front half of the VIP section. We were up along a fence, where we thought the broadcast would take place. Brian and A.J. passed out bagels for the crowd. They had four garbage bags filled with H&H Bagels. Brian began talking to me as he passed out the food. He said, “Do you want a bagel?” I, of course, said, “Yes. I was very hungry.” He said, “How bad do you want it.” [Jeff’s note: Ew.]. I said, “I am hungry.” Those are the words I said—”I’m hungry.” While I was getting pushed up against the fence by screaming fans, he then left to sign autographs. His bodyguard told him he it was time to go [Jeff’s note: Why the hell does this kid need a bodyguard? Wait—grown man. Who nobody in the world would recognize were he alone and not wearing a Backstreet Boy T-shirt]. So he stopped signing autographs, turned around. Everyone was screaming, and he turned to my friend Rachel and I, looked at me and said, “Do you want a picture?”

I didn’t care for one. Look, I loved the Backstreet Boys growing up. That was my generation of music (I’m 23), but, like, sure. I’ll take a picture. Why not? The person next to me was like, “Oh my God! Oh my God! I’ll take a picture!” She was probably 25. So Rachel got in the picture with me, and some random person took the picture with my phone.

He didn’t acknowledge anyone else after that.

And that was it.

JEFF’S QUICK Q&A WITH JESSICA, AND HER BOYFRIEND, CHRIS BERMAN

Q: Do you think Brian was hitting on you?

J: Yes.

C: Yeah, sure.

Q: Did you think Brian was a good looking guy?

J: Yes.

C: No comment.

Q: Were you single, would you have flirted with a Backstreet Boy?

J: No, because he’s married with a little boy.

Q: Jessica, are you excited that Kevin is back in the band?

J: I am excited that I got to see them reunited. But don’t think I will purchase their album—coming out next year.

C: Backstreet’s Back? Alright!

6 replies on “Today I met the Backstreet Boys”

I confess, I feel slightly frustrated after reading this. As an older Backstreet Boys fan (I’m almost 27 and have been listening since I was 11) who started planning how to get to this event as soon as I heard the announcement that Kevin would be making his comeback here, it’s frustrating to read about people who get VIPs to events through connections and openly admit that they won’t be buying their upcoming album. I was there as a Backstreet Boy fan club VIP, had to be in line by 5:15 to check-in, yet still ended up standing in the same section as general admission while those with station connections got to be up front. This is nothing personal, I’m happy that you got to have that experience, it just kinda sucks for those of us who invested in the BSB Takes New York event the night before or those who had been camping out since Thursday morning (or since Wednesday like that one girl..I confess, I’m not that much of a fanatic). Maybe I’ll someday have a connection that will help me spend more than three seconds with a Backstreet Boy 🙂 I encourage you to re-think your thoughts about the upcoming album. They finally have creative freedom; I’m anxious to see more of their song-writing talent. Plus, they did bring you bagels. Surely, you can support the guys and download the album on i-Tunes when it comes out.

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I too am frustrated by this post! As a die-hard BSB fan who has spent thousands of dollars over just this last year alone, I would have killed for that front row spot, a bagel and a picture with Brok that day. I knew from the moment I heard about GMA I was going, no question. Just like every other East Coast event and cruise they do. Not a hesitation. Including this past weeks, Fit For Fall Old Navy event in Bryant Park!

A) I was stuck in the GA section after spending $200 to meet them the night before GMA and after waiting in the park overnight & then people who don’t even care/know the boys/know the songs get in front of us bc they “know someone”

B) I dislike how you discredit all the hard work the boys have put in over their 20 years together by saying they wouldn’t need bodyguards. Yes, sometimes they wouldn’t be spotted, but I think that’s true of any celebrity. The boys have a great deal of amazing fans and for some reason Rachel & Jessica decided the boys were “noteworthy” enough to get up at 5am to go to.

C) Brian was not “hitting on you.” If you knew his personality you’d know he was a funny jokester with a kind heart. That was all.

D) Of course you’ll see them for free, but can’t spend a dime on them to even buy the new album. What made you even want to get up that early for someone you clearly don’t care about?

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I find it very sad that after all these years, women in their 20s still don’t accept what the Backstreet Boys were about back then – making little girls hysterical and getting them to spend as much money as possible on items related to the band. It was all marketing and selling sex to pubescent girls. Their audience had no social savvy, no experience with real music or life – the easiest target ever. The band was formed according to a marketing plan, like other formulaic groups of those times. It was all about making money by exploiting the vulnerable. Now that I look back it makes me sick.

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