The Backstreet Boys want to know what fans think -- The band sends girls' screaming with their music and good looks

By A.J. Jacobs
December 25, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST
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  • Music
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”Sometimes you meet girls and they recognize you, but they won’t say anything. They’ll just giggle and scream and laugh and then just run away. I pray to God I get inside a girl’s head one day and see, What in the WORLD are they thinking?”

So speaks Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, 20. And he brings up an excellent question. Not being teenage girls ourselves, we can’t be absolutely sure what goes on inside those adolescent skulls. But here’s an educated guess:

Omigod! I’m totally gonna pee in my pants. Right now. I’m gonna pee in my pants! AJ is standing right in front of me. He’s sooo hot. But also a little scary, ya know? ‘Cause he’s the bad boy. He’s got lotsa piercings and also a tattoo of a panda. Pandas are his favorite. God, I can’t believe I forgot to bring the stuffed panda! That totally sucks. My mom says it was a waste of money. But she doesn’t like my BSB posters or scrapbook or bandannas or pillows or unauthorized biographies, either. She’s got no clue. Neither does my boyfriend. He’ll listen to them but thinks they’re gay. Yeah, right. He wishes!

Oh, AJ! I’ll Quit Playing Games With Your Heart. That’s the Boys’ best song. I could listen to it a zillion times! I read that their CD — Backstreet Boys — sold, like, 25 million copies around the world. It’s the third best-selling album of the year, after the Titanic soundtrack and Celine Dion’s album. Oh, Leo, Leo, Leo. No! Focus! It’s AJ I love.

Am I sexual? AJ, you don’t have to ask! Okay, so I’m not. But I would be for him. You know who else I’d be sexual for? Some of those other hottie boy bands that copy BSB: ‘N Sync. Five. Code Red. Dru Hill. Did I mention ‘N Sync? Justin is gorgeous! Okay, focus again. Need to stay loyal. BSB was my first love. They were the originals; the others are just wannabes.

Omigod! That girl over there just gave AJ her bra! I wish I’d thought of that — I’d give it to Nick. He’s my real fave BSB ’cause we’ve got lots in common. We’re both Aquarians, we both love videogames, and he’s 18, so more my age. Nick once said: ”Everyone wants a girl with a perfect personality. It doesn’t really matter how they look.” He wouldn’t mind my braces or…ooooh, there’s Kevin! He’s kinda old — like 26. But that’s okay. I read in Teen Beat he’s a ”real softy” who’ll cry over anything. He said he’s ”bashful…. I like it when a girl tells me she likes me.” I like you! I like you! But I’d even go out with 25-year-old Howie — Sweet D, I call him, ’cause he’s the nicest — or 23-year-old Brian (B-Rok). He hates green vegetables. Me, too! Let’s not eat veggies together, Brian!

My older sister says the Backstreet Boys are just a fad, like when she used to listen to the New Kids on the Block. As if! Okay, so they both had the same manager. But, BSB can sing. Even my teacher — and she’s really old — thinks they’re talented. Also, they’re amazing dancers. Okay, the New Kids could dance too, but BSB are a million times cuter. They’re more like that band my mom liked, the one with Sean Lennon’s dad.

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