You know the saying 'you don't know what you got til it's gone'? (...paved paradise and put up a parking lot - yes, I am aware this is a song lyric.)...well, I didn't know how much I loved you until you reunited with the Boys. Let me tell you how you made and broke the BSB...and how I didn't know until now.
Back in the hay-days of the Backstreet Boys you were not many people's number one. I would say Nick was a solid first with admirers, with Brian coming in second and then AJ. Howie came in a little ways after that and then there was you. Kevin.
You were the older one. You were over 20 and the 12 year olds were like 'HE COULD BE MY FATHER!'. Obviously that is almost impossible, but that's what we were all thinking. If someone said Kevin was their favorite, you looked at them weird and assumed they would grow up to marry a 70 year old overly tanned man who wore lots of gold jewelry and owned a yacht. You also had that long haired bob thing that just didn't work. But to each their own.
Wow, this is the worst opening to a fan letter ever. I promise, it gets better.
In 2006 when you left the band, the world didn't end for the BSB fans. (Not like when Justin left N*SYNC and forever ruined the lives of those other guys that no one remembers anymore.) The Boys stayed together and kept making music. It was OK.
We (the fans) all just thought it was because everyone was getting old and 90s pop wasn't working for them anymore and therefore they were in a rut. I am a true fan and I can say, even though I own the albums I know only one, maybe two, songs from them. (OK fine, that was a lie - I know only one.)
The unfortunate sucking of those two albums didn't stop us from going out the the concerts and watching the Boys fall around the stage and become seemingly vocally challenged. I just thought, 'This is what it means to get old' and I accepted it.
Then they went on tour with the New Kids, which obviously you are aware, and - oh. my. GOD. The shame. Those dudes were at least 10-15 years older than the Boys and were blowing them out of the water.
Nick could barely stand on stage and the spark was not there. Then Donnie Wahlberg comes on and lights it up and I'm like, 'That dude is almost 50. I am embarrassed by my choice of t-shirt.'
In all those years, I never once thought to blame you for all of this madness. I blamed Father Time.
On April 29, 2012 you rejoined the band. I remember this date because I buy a 'ALL TOGETHER AGAIN' cake every year to commemorate the announcement and all the tears of joy I cried when I heard the news.
Then you came to Calgary - and now I know Mr. Richardson - it is all your fault. The sucking, that is. Which means I am going you 96% of the props for how amazing that concert was last night. AH-MAZE-ING. The singing, the moves (less than previously, but come on - less is more) and the acoustic performances. Mwah, beautiful.
So what happened? I am assuming the conversation went something like this:
Boys: 'Kev, man, you gotta come back. We are dying without you!'
You: 'I've seen the garbage you are trying to pass off as entertainment, so no.'
Boys: 'WE WILL DO ANYTHING!'
You: 'If you PROMISE to get it together. I will not be embarrassed like I was that time in 2010 when I did you a favor and came back and sang on Oprah.'
Boys: 'Of course, we will be prime time BSB once again.'
You: 'Will AJ get hair plugs?'
AJ: "Of course Kev, of course! Anything!'
You: 'Nick, will you get your life together? Seriously the 50 extra pounds and the zombie performances are gross.'
Nick: 'The shame! Yes, and I will even write a book about it.'
You: 'Howie, do you promise to never have long hair again?'
Howie: 'I'm horrified that ever happened.'
You: 'And Brian...'
Brian: 'What could I possibly...'
You: '...keep being perfect.'
Brian: 'No problem.'
You: 'Fine. I'll do it, but I expect voices of angels.'
And then you came back and we are one step closer to world peace...and I have last night to prove it. (And thanks for making AJ get hair plugs - for real.)
My favorite parts of the show were as follows:
Kevin, I am glad I got that all off my chest. It was a hard couple of years and the therapy I had because of it is nothing compared to this letter.
Just one last thing Kev, NEVER LEAVE AGAIN. Like, ever.