The last time Aaron Carter toured in Japan he was smothered by
theunconditional, harassing love normally reserved for teen idols
Hanson or theBackstreet Boys. Amid the ardor, one starry-eyed
native gave Aaron her phonenumber and told him she’d wait for him
’til the end of time if he promised tosomeday marry her — a
common, albeit hackneyed solicitation in the pell-mellworld of rock
& roll. Thing is, the girl was a twenty-six-year-old woman
andAaron is a ten-year old boy.
“I told Aaron, ‘man, I thought I was pretty popular in high
school. I don’teven come close to you.'” says Mike Self, Aaron’s
bulky bodyguard. “No onecan.” This coming from a lifelong friend of
Aaron’s older brother, Nick,better known as the blonde one in —
pre-programmed drum roll, please — theBackstreet Boys.
Young Aaron is sporting a Ken Griffey, Jr., jersey, jean shorts
that almostcompletely cover his legs and hip-hop style gold chain
around is neck.Fidgeting in his chair at New York’s All-Star CafT,
Aaron has one eye on theBritish Open being projected on a big
screen and the other on the dinner knifehe’s precariously moving
about his face to the apparent ambivalence of hisbodyguard and one
of his management representatives.
Behind him, an adorable young girl, about Aaron’s age, is
disengaged from herfamily and prowling around his backside. Without
Aaron noticing, she stealslong, obvious looks at him. Maybe she
recognizes him from the covers ofmagazines like Bop or Big Bopper,
or maybe she just thinks he’s fine. Aaron’smanagement rep Melinda
Bell and Self think she knows.
It’s several hours before young Aaron goes to work and now it’s
playtime.Tonight, he will take the stage at New York’s Radio City
Music Hall, sing morethan fifteen minutes of pre-recorded Cocoa
Puff’s-and-Yoo-Hoo synth dance popfrom his self-titled debut,
listen to impresarios tell him how great he was,maybe catch some of
the Backstreet Boys’ act, and be snug as a bug in a rug inbed by
nine o’clock. If the boy from Tampa is even a little bit nervous
aboutmaking his debut in New York, it isn’t showing.
“Everywhere we go, there’s an arcade,” Aaron says. “There’s an
arcade outthere.” Hint, hint. Aaron’s a little bit tired of
answering questions abouthis likes and dislikes, subjects of
monumental importance in Teen Beat-typemagazines where he’s
routinely featured. But Aaron can’t quite get his saplingarms
around less-fluffy questions like, ‘Do you know who Todd Bridges
“I don’t really know what you mean by that,” Aaron responds when
asked if he’sworried that earning fame now will mean heartache
later. “I don’t think that’sdone that to me. Do you think that’s
done that to me?” Well, Aaron, you’reonly ten.
For the record, Aaron likes the film Mousehunt and sushi, and
dislikes Englishclass and girls. “What does that mean?,” asks Bell,
regarding Aaron’s lastdislike. Right now, Gunblade, a pugilistic
arcade game, has Aaron more hot-and-bothered than any icky girl
ever could. Waiting patiently for another boyto finish his
quarter’s worth before Aaron can take over, Self seems quitepleased
no one at the restaurant seems to recognize the kid.
“We can’t go anywhere,” Self says. “We were in Germany and we
tried to goshopping — me, Aaron and a dancer. Aaron had a hundred
fans behind us … Ihaven’t experienced Asia yet but I hear it’s
big over there. We might have toget another security guy.”