Since Bros are in the news, I thought I’d repost this. It was originally published on Dollymix in 2007 (2007!). If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll have seen this (probably more than once). Sorry about that – I’ve added some photos, if that helps…
Before coming clean about my particular brand of boy band obsession, it was suggested I might like to introduce Bros for the benefit of those who may not have heard of them (imagine that!). They were twins, Matt and Luke Goss and their school friend Craig Logan. They were massively successful pretty quickly and then suffered an enormous fall from grace which included court cases, bankruptcy, ill-health and exile. Between 1988 and 1991, they (particularly Matt) were pretty much all I thought about…
It was always known as “following” Bros, but I’ve no idea why. Some fans “followed” – the fans that had cars; for us pedestrian fans a more accurate description would have been “loitering” or “impeding the public highway” which is what the police often threatened to charge us with. I suppose “freezing your arse off for no reason waiting for Bros” doesn’t sound quite as interesting. And it wasn’t.
But why do it at all? I have no idea. It was just something I fell into. I liked Bros, I wanted to meet them, I went to London for a concert and met people who’d been to their houses and had met them and told exciting tales of chatting and hugging and snogging aplenty with Matt, who had “lips like clouds”. This sounded good to me. Funnily enough they hadn’t told me tales of police “harassment”, the terrorisation of anyone new by certain other fans, the long-suffering neighbours chucking buckets of water out of windows and the almost interminable waiting and numerous disappointments before this chatting and hugging and snogging could take place.
The die was cast the very first time I went to Matt’s Maida Vale mansion block, Clive Court, and joined about thirty other “Brosettes” in the road at the back of the flat (he very rarely came out of the front). I’d only been there about half an hour when a frisson ran through the throng and everyone began a slow and mock-casual advance toward the back door. I managed to squeeze myself into a prime position and looked up to see the man I had been dreaming about for just over a year sauntering down the path. He progressed about thirty feet, I took about fifteen photographs (if I had the urge I could easily make a “The First Time I Met Matt Goss” flick-book) and then he was standing right in front of me. I murmured, “Can I have a kiss, please?” and he kissed me. On the lips. And they were right. His lips were like clouds. He got into his car and was away. He hadn’t said a word, nor had he smiled, but I was hooked.
Perhaps if, that very first time, I had waited twelve hours in the snow and not even seen his curtain twitch – as was to happen more often than not in the future – I would never have bothered going again. But I doubt it. I knew of a way to meet him and I don’t think anything would have discouraged me. But two years later I was discouraged. God, was I discouraged.
In three years I spent – approximately you understand, allowing for illness (though that didn’t always keep me away) and holidays (I only had one) and Christmases – four thousand, eight hundred and sixty hours waiting for Matt Goss (yes, I worked it out). And four hours, at the very most, actually chatting hugging and/or snogging him.
There were good times. He once told us he was off to Hyde Park and we all leapt on the bus. In the park he played us a couple of the new Bros tracks and lay around sunbathing with us. And he once invited us to follow him by taxi to the Embankment at about 3am where we chatted, and he looked at a photograph of me when I was about four years old and said I was cute. And once he turned up on the Kings Road where we just happened to be shopping and weren’t even looking for him. And, er… Well, trust me, there were good times.
And it was these good times that caused the problem. It would be terrible, boring, cold, for weeks on end. We’d catch glimpses of him getting into his car and his hand waving out of the window as he sped past. And I’d start to think, maybe I won’t do this anymore, maybe there isn’t much point, maybe there isn’t as much snogging as I was originally led to believe. And then there’d be a good day. And I’d think, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that. My Matt, love of my life, thinks I was cute when I was four. My life now has meaning. Well, not quite, but you get the drift.
Or the worst could happen. One day you’d wake up and think, I won’t bother going today – it’ll be shit as usual. You’d have a day behaving like a normal human being and then, just before bed, the phone would ring. And it would be your best friend. Who hadn’t spent the day behaving like a normal human being. She had in fact spent the day playing Rounders with Matt Goss at Virginia Water, and he’d bought her an ice cream, and dipped his finger in and dabbed it on her nose. And her life had meaning. And yours didn’t.
And it was this that kept me going for three years. For three years I would sit outside Clive Court in the freezing cold, pouring rain, baking sun (although I mostly remember the cold) – bored senseless, waiting, longing for the day when Matt Goss from Bros would dab ice cream on my nose.