Every once in a while I think about how grateful I am to not be a full-fledged child of technology. I can use a computer or iTouch like a pro, but I also typed my stories on a typewriter as a child and didn’t have a cell phone until I was 16, and even then it was “just for emergencies.” But I think I am most grateful that YouTube did not exist when I was younger.
Let me back up a bit. When I was in elementary school my neighborhood friends and I were obsessed with the Spice Girls. I have since had other musical obsessions like Meat Loaf and Over the Rhine, but the Spice Girls will always be my first. My friends and I often karaoked to Spice Girls, which involved two boomboxes, one to play the cassette of the song, the other to record our singing on a blank tape. I shudder when I imagine my 10-year-old self innocently singing, “I need some love like I’ve never needed love before, wanna make love to ya baby.”
But the karaoke wasn’t the worst of it. We made “music videos.” That involved bugging my dad to come to my friend’s front yard and film us with his giant video camera as we danced and lip-synched to multiple Spice Girls songs. I was always Sporty Spice because I had long brown hair and liked gymnastics. I couldn’t do a back handspring like Mel C, though, so I mostly did haphazard cartwheels and front handsprings that looked like I was about to snap my neck. If I remember correctly, there were often multiple Sporty Spices in our videos because we couldn’t agree on who could be her. I think my favorite part of one of the videos was when we made my dad pan to my friend’s front door during the “Say You’ll Be There” line “If you can’t work this equation, then I guess I’ll have to show you the door, ” and my friend’s mom was there pointing at the front door. Now that I think about it, maybe this video could have went viral on YouTube and I could be sitting on mountains of theoretical Internet dollars now. Oh well. I’m still glad I didn’t grow up with YouTube.
I’m writing about this because I heard amazing news: there is going to be a Spice Girls musical! And even better, it’s premiering in London in December! My inner 10-year-old is doing neck-snapping front handsprings. I don’t care if it gets crap reviews, I say I’ll be there.*
*Did you get that pun?