Donnie Wahlberg, boy band veteran from New Kids on the Block and sought after actor – he’s currently appearing in the CBS Friday night drama Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck – recently played shows in Dublin and Belfast with the reformed NKOTB, and he told Irish network RTE that he’s amazed the group didn’t play Ireland during the height of their fame in the 1980s.
New Kids on the Block
Wahlberg, hardly a kid anymore at the age of 42, remembers lots of Irish flocking to his native Dorchester in Boston during the time. “(The band) was reminiscing about the old days of New Kids and how we never came to Ireland, and how stunned we were that we never did it,” Wahlberg said.
“It might have been an economic thing. When we were young, right around the time we got together the first couple of years in Boston, I was working in a shoe store and there were a lot of Irish immigrants coming in. It was like a huge influx into Boston specifically. I now the economy was really bad.”
NKOTB eventually broke up but reformed a few years back. Ireland finally made it on their schedule in 2009, and it went so well that 2012 bookings were a no-brainer.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” said Wahlberg, who also spoke about his mother’s Irish roots – her maiden name was Donnelly.
“My dad is Swedish, but we always sort of stayed with the Irish side,” said Wahlberg, who’s also the big brother of former rapper turned Oscar nominated actor and producer Mark Wahlberg.
Any advice for current heartthrobs One Direction and its Irish dreamboat Niall Horan? Wahlberg has no pearls of wisdom other than to enjoy the moment.
“When (NKOTB) were kids I didn’t’ really want to listen to what anyone else had to say. It was my journey and we were going to enjoy it the way we were meant to enjoy it,” says Wahlberg.
“That’s how I look at One Direction. They look like they are having fun and they seem like they are decent guys. What more can I say than good for you.”