Piers Morgan’s account of how he reached a truce with New Kids On The Block’s Donnie Wahlberg brought back a lot of memories. According to Morgan, his feud with the iconic pop band didn’t match other long running battles in terms of ‘ferocity or global reach’. Well surely no one would be foolish enough to try and do battle with the five bad brothers from the bean-town land? Especially when one of those brothers was toughnut Wahlberg.
Relations between the New Kids and Morgan had started out friendly enough but took an unpleasant turn when the 1980s pop phenomenon were angered by things Morgan had written about them. Miffed at Morgan’s ‘lack of respect’ for the New Kids, Wahlberg took to the stage at Wembley wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘PIERS MORGAN SUCKS’ emblazoned across it. He then instructed the thousands of Blockheads present not to read anything written by the lovely Mr. Morgan.
Piers Morgan recently revealed the full extent of the New Kids’ venom due the less than flattering things he had written about them. They retaliated by banning him from their shows; there was a bust up at a press conference which led to Wahlberg being led away and of course there was the ‘PIERS MORGAN SUCKS’ t-shirt among other heated exchanges during that period. Of course, as a massive New Kids fan (always will be!) it’s safe to say that Morgan was not my favourite person and his name, as far as us Blockheads were concerned, was most definitely mud (well actually something far worse than mud but we don’t need to go there!) However, this feud didn’t harm Morgan’s career in the slightest and instead helped to successfully raise his profile worldwide. Morgan described the whole debacle as “the finest moment of my pop-writing career.”
In 1994 when the New Kids were making the first of their two comebacks and announced that they wanted to be known as NKOTB, they appeared on Clive Warren’s Capital Radio show – which I had waited all week to listen to – where the offending (for Morgan anyway) garment was mentioned. Warren wanted to know if Donnie had patched things up with Piers Morgan.
“Well, there’s really nothing to patch up,” insisted Wahlberg, “I didn’t know him then and I don’t know him now.” Wahlberg, quite reasonably, accepted that as much as he wanted to smack the likes of Morgan for writing such unflattering articles, he understood that Morgan had a job to do and he was paid to write such stories.
Fast forward more than twenty years later (goodness, I do feel old!) and Donnie appears on Morgan’s CNN show.It appears that the hatchet – believe it or not – is well and truly buried. And not in the back of anyone’s head either! After the horrendous bomb blast at the Boston Marathon this year, the New Kids were performing at a special charity event in order to raise money for the victims. Donnie surprisingly agreed to appear on Morgan’s CNN show and felt relaxed enough to discuss the concert; how important it was to him; his love for his hometown, as well as his concern for friend and bandmate, Joey McIntyre, who was taking part in the marathon.
The conversation couldn’t have been more different to the hostile words exchanged more than two decades ago: civilised, dignified and gracious, both Wahlberg and Morgan put the past behind them and developed a new found respect for each other.
And as Donnie now thinks Morgan’s a pretty cool bloke, I guess us Blockheads can all chuck out our ‘PIERS MORGAN SUCKS’ t-shirts!