New Kids On the Block’s Hangin’ Tough by Rebecca Wallwork is one of the latest books in the 33 1/3 series. She prefaced the book with admitting she’s a “Blockhead” or an avid NKOTB fan for those unfamiliar with the term. Her writing felt very honest and wasn’t overly fan ridden. Sometimes it’s difficult to look objectively at a band that you’re a huge fan of, but she put in the research and was able to do it well. One downside, though by no fault of her own, was the lack of cooperation from Maurice Starr and the band. Maurice credits himself with making the band the stars they are, even though they left his side back in the 90’s. I was a little appalled that he wanted money from her, but then again, this is the music industry she’s dealing with so it’s not all that surprising.
Despite not getting that cooperation, she was able to work around it and make a great end product. As someone who casually knows NKOTB, I was able to learn a lot in a book that wasn’t full of fluff. That’s the great thing about how short these 33 1/3 series books are. The writers get right to the point and pack the books with the most important information. I had no clue how the band was formed or where the guys grew up, and it was all interesting a crucial to who they became as they grew up. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the band, Hangin’ Tough, or just the music industry in general.