If you have a teenage daughter, you probably heard plenty about the devastation caused by the departure of Zayn Malik from One Direction. I don't know all the details (my teen son is not into boy bands) but I did see the many images of teenage tears all over the internet. At first, I thought it was absurd that so many girls would feel this way but then I remembered the younger me, the 9-year-old who lost her voice at her first Menudo concert at Madison Square Garden. I was the one whose clothes were filled with holes from buttons; the girl who made her mom buy every vinyl they made, the ultimate fan who left school early to be at Miguel's farewell event.
It goes beyond that. I even flew to Puerto Rico in 1998 when they did their first Reencuentro concert. I once stopped by the Today Show to see them in person, and I got to meet them. I hugged Miguel and thanked him for many years of childhood happiness. Yes, I was a major fan, and still feel incredible happiness and nostalgia when I hear their songs. I even had a Menudo scrapbook I made as a teen — and that I haven't had the heart to throw away even though I'm now in my forties. In fact, here's a photo of my beloved scrapbook, if you don't believe me:
This was actually the first video I saw them perform on "El Show De Menudo." I can't believe I still remember that! It was a family TV night with my aunt, uncle and cousins, who loved the idea of me being interested in a Spanish-speaking group. It was also when I fell in love with Miguel. Check out those special effects!
2. "Cuando Pasara"
"Cuando Pasara" is such a pretty song. Robi "Draco" Rosa (former Menudo, producer, singer, songwriter) even did a new version of it several years ago.
A true Menudita saw "Una Aventura Llamada Menudo" and wished they were the girl being serenaded by Johnny Lozada. (You know you did!)
4. "Si Tú No Estás"
I went through a Ray Reyes phase when Miguel left the group. But I think many of us did after this song, even though it was a little on the stalkerish side. We didn't care.
5. "Like a Cannonball"
Their English album was not my favorite, and by that point, my world of music opened a lot more. But I did see Robi and "little Ricky" (Ricky Martin when he was 12) perform this song once at Rockefeller Center. Wow, those are some tight pants!