So for those who may not know yet, Lou Pearlman died last night.
When I learned about it via twitter and Facebook messenger (while working), it was weird for me. Later on I sort of realized if it was weird for me it’s probably weird for a lot of you guys too. That’s why I came here to write this after work at two in the morning, because I’m a night owl and never had a problem writing about weird or difficult things. And this probably qualifies as both, honestly. Because any fan of the Backstreet Boys who’s been around at least a week knows the history of the group and Lou Pearlman.
It’s so well known, there’s no need to rehash the details. We know it was a troublesome history. In the documentary we watched our Boys try to cope and understand why he did the things he did. A lot of us did, too. We adore them and we hate that anyone could hurt him the way he did. We get defensive. Lord knows I’ve called him many not-so-nice names over the years. In the end though, all that rage and anger from us, the fandom doesn’t make it better. It never changed what happened.
And now he’s gone.
It’s not our place to forgive. It’s not our place to judge. It’s not our place to understand.
I can’t speak for the Boys and I don’t plan to. None of us should.
Rather than celebrate the loss of a life however, I say we should be thankful Lou existed. Because while I’ll never say I like the guy who betrayed the group, he is why they became a group to begin with. It’s something BSB has never been able to escape, something the fandom has never been able to deny.
And that’s okay.
I’m not here to tell you how you should or shouldn’t be about this. I’m here just as a voice for my own thoughts. Just another fan. Maybe you’ll agree with me and maybe you won’t. Hopefully reading this might help you figure out what you think about it. Who knows? But in the end, I say we should be respectful.
If nothing else, he gave us a gift back in the 90s.
Lou is why we have the best selling boyband ever. He’s why they became friends, a second family to each other. He’s why they’re here now to give us more music. Yes he did some terrible things to men we’re fans of. But look at them now. They’ve become so much more than what they were when they started. Is it all because of Lou? No but he played his part, and like or not it was a pretty big part in the beginning. For that much I’m grateful. Because that group has been there for me musically, has been there for all of us at one point or another. It doesn’t undo all the bad things he’s done, not at all.
That’s why so many of us are conflicted.
We’re all unsure how to feel, and that’s okay too.
Rest In Peace, Lou Pearlman.