It all begins with my life back on the plains of TO. There I struggled from the moment I was born. According to my parents, my first words were, "we're not filthy stinkin' rich?". My parents were so stunned, all they could do was look at each other and just shrug their shoulders.
I quickly adapted to my humble life, I walked to school wearing nothing more than my father's old boxers and a potato sack my mom transformed into a shirt. It was so tough at school, the kids would all laugh and point at me. Needless to say, my nickname was "Red" (that came from my hair looking redder than everyone else).
I had good teachers, they all looked at me and felt sorry for me. They each took extra time out of their schedule to make sure I was happy and enjoying my school experience. They taught me how to roll weed, how to pick the lock of the Principal's office and how to peep into the girl's locker room. I sure miss my days back in Junior School.
At age 10, I learned how it
felt to have a concussion. The guys would take turns whacking me
over the head with a baseball bat until I passed out. I remember
it as if it was...ummm...hmmm...for some reason I can't really remember
that too clear. I wonder why that is? Anyways, the teachers came
to the rescue once again. Though, waking up in the nurses' room
with a loss of hearing couldn't have been that good. The nurse kept
saying things to me, but I couldn't hear her, so she started smacking
me around...next thing I know, I'm waking up 4 hours later with a sign
in my face saying, "concussion #2".
Entering Middle School, or Elementary School, take your pick...I started learning I had new interests. I would sit at home in my room, turn on the radio and started singing along with the songs. I guess I was too good because when I got home one day after school, my radio was gone. I asked my mom what happened to it, but all she could tell me was, "someone broke in, held us hostage, but decided to only take your radio". I went through all the emotions in a 10 second span...shock, trembling with fear, sadness, relief, then joy. All I could think about was that these thugs overlooked my Playboy collection...so much relief I tell ya!
But, no radio...what to do?
I started writing my own songs, played music on my tennis racket (ok,
so I didn't have money to actually buy a guitar), and sent out demo tapes.
Next up, High School. Why am I capitalizing that? I don't know, oh well...back to my life...I had forgotten about all those tapes I had sent out the previous year, so I let things slide for a while. I met this girl, she was the most amazing thing ever. She taught me how to make this back-scratcher in wood shop, how to make spicy eggs in Home Economics, how to break a flute in music class using nothing more than your knee, and how to jimmy a chair so that it collapses when the teacher sits on it. Ah, the days of our lives...no wait, wrong soap! Grrrr...anyways, those happy days with her only lasted 4 hours, that was when she met Samantha. Who knew she was playing on my team, going after the same opposition? I swore off girls from that point on.
My big break came when I was in grade 12. I was all set to go spend the night over at Anthony's, playing chess, when I got the call...not just any call, the call. Yup, I had gotten hired as the new pizza mascot for Pizza Hut. My life changed from then on. I called Anthony and told him to go shove his rook where the king can't get it, and I was off to the big time!
Day 3 of my job was not so great. It was raining and my costume was getting soaked, so was I inside, but I remembered the strength and courage I displayed in Elementary School in winning that award, so I toughed it out. I scared off a few people with my foul odor, but that was the costume needing a wash. Along came this limo, out popped this skinny girl...she came over to me and said she had a job for me if I wanted it. I told her flat out I wasn't going to be her pimp...she looked at me and cried. She then said I have a different job for you, if I'd like. I said ok without hesitation, hopped into her limo and the rest is history!
Below you'll see my journeys and new friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Some of them I don't really know who they are, but a job's a job, right?
That girl that changed my life? Her name is Britney Spears...here's our first photo shoot together. That job she offered me? It was to sing a duet with her, so I did and made a whole $59 from it. I actually sold this picture later on for $190...who knew I'd get more for the picture than for singing?
I thought it would be a walk in the park singing with her, considering all I'd actually do is just move my mouth and the words just seem to come out from no where, but it was hard work. Somehow she got off from singing while I had to, not only sing my parts, but her parts too! I tried my best to disguise my voice, but it shows through at times, especially when I had to sing "oh yeah" in Stronger. Ah well, what's a guy to do when he needs money, right? The only thing I passed on was dressing (more like undressing) like her in front of millions of teenage girls and guys. As you can see later on in my life, being naked isn't always a bad thing for me, so maybe all the girls would like to see all of that up close...who knows.
After I was fired for grabbing her...well, we won't mention that, I found my self with another offer. It was to sing in another band that was starting up. They first wanted to call themselves "The Bloodhound Boys", but that sounded too weird for me, so I suggested a name. They loved it and kept it. What's that name you ask? It's "The Backstreet Boys". Here's my last photo with them from 2 years ago.
We had a wild time together, partying like there was no tomorrow, going to strip clubs and meeting all sorts of girls, doing...well, some nights I just couldn't keep track of everything.
The most fun was getting Howie ripped after every performance. The guys just loved seeing him going wild, showing his real side, not the side we see in interviews and stuff.
didn't go so well during the latter part of our time together. They
boys started fighting, AJ was angry at Howie for his wild tattoo on his
back, claiming it was his original idea to have a teddy bear. I couldn't
stand all that, so I left the band.
I found myself back on the streets again. The idea of me going back to the pizza suit wasn't something I wanted. I sat for days outside this hotel...the guy from the desk came out to me and told me that my room was officially given to someone else and that I owed them $500. I told the guy to bite me...he did =(
As I was crying, this tiny blond haired girl came up to me and sat with me. I told her my hard luck, she felt sorry for me and offered me a job. I told her that if it smelled, I didn't want it. She gave me this puzzled look, but shook it off and took me by the hand.
2 days later, I found out her name, Christina Aguilera. Some girl that might have a future in music, who knows. I became a dancer for her, traveled to exotic places like Milwaukee and Green Bay, but I still enjoyed it. Here's a shot of us on stage...
One thing about her though, she knows how to have fun. All the promotional stuff we had to do took a lot out of me, but at least the evenings were fun. Let's just say I found out what a girl wants!
Things seemed to get out of hand though, especially during one interview for the Today show. She had me sit next to her as the interview began, then out of nowhere, she looks into the camera and announces that she and I are engaged! I was like, whoa, I'm going to get half of her money now! Of course the guy interviewing us, Willard something, didn't believe her, so he asked her to prove it. We won't mention what took place after, but there were a lot of gaping mouths and quotes from Genie In A Bottle.
Once we got down to business,
that being actual shows, I found myself getting tired of the whole dancing
thing after 2 performances. She was so out of step with me that
it wasn't funny anymore. I told her to either work on her moves
or I was out of there...so here I am, looking for a new job once again.
As for who bailed me out, well it was these kids that were looking for guidance in their lives...and a few dollars with this kooky show they had in mind. Being the nice guy I was, I offered my help. I think the show did alright, but when they started with their "let's also do singing", I quit. Here's a shot of me with them...we called ourselves S Club 7...
Highlights of my time with these guys: working at a beach club, though it was scrubbing toilets; meeting new people at cozy little greasy-spoon diners; having lots of spare time to watch a daytime drama
Lowlights of my time with these guys: shaving involving the 4 girls; the agonizing time spent waiting for their home pregnancy tests to give the results; lack of adequate housing facilities requiring numerous multiple people showering.
I was having a hard time finding things to keep me busy, but most importantly, keeping a cash flow happening. I scoured every possibility, from the sun to the moon, from ocean to ocean...and beyond. Some looked promising while others look just plain bad. One thing that did catch my eye, and led me to thinking it may bring me back into the spotlight, was this crazy little show that was supposed to air once a week for a total of 12 weeks or something.
I said to myself, why not, the prize money will sure come in handy, and the public already loves me, sorta. So I bit the bullet and sent in a tape, and wouldn't you know it, I got on!
Here's a shot of me during my stint on this show, titled Survivor...
I had so much fun on that island, but one little mishap befell me. I was out fishing, because they all need fish to eat. The rice was getting to everyone and no one really cared for baked rat, so it was up to me. Since I was the only one that was successful fishing, I figured I would last the longest on the show, so I played that up every chance I got.
The company on the island wasn't the best I must say, but at least I don't have to constantly wonder if Susan was really a female or just a guy in disguise. And I don't want to find that one out, so I'll take 'her' word for it.
Oh, the mishap? Well one day when I dove down around some coral, this big fish came up from behind me and sorta tore off my shorts, oops! I was wondering what the others would think of me when I came out of the ocean in nothing more than...well nothing!
I had no choice, so I bit the bullet once again. The first comment I heard came from Colleen. It was, "oh look, we're having eel for dinner"...
More of my journeys will follow....stay tuned for the next episode coming to a PC near you!