Mar 11, 2015

The Jonas Brothers: I Wanna Be Like You

Joe Jonas
The Jonas Brothers, consisting of Nick (born 1992), Joe (born 1989, left), and Kevin (born 1987), were already popular performers, recording several albums and appearing on MTV, the Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon --  not to mention the White House -- before Disney took notice around 2006.

But after that the group was a Disney Channel juggernaut, recording new versions of movie classics like "I Want to Be Like You" (from The Jungle Book), appearing on Hannah Montana and Camp Rock, and finally getting two tv series of their own, The Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream (2008-2010) and Jonas (2009-2010).





That didn't keep them from releasing new songs: 14 singles and 16 music videos between 2005 and 2010, plus two more in 2013.














And releasing beefcake photos.  Like Justin Bieber, they drew the special interest of fans looking for random arousal.  Joe seemed especially vulnerable; his moments were tagged "joners."

Like most boy bands, their lyrics were heterosexist, with lots of "girl! girl! girl!"  But some dropped pronouns.  And "I Wanna Be Like You" sounds decidedly homoerotic when it's a man talking about a man:


What I desire is man's red fire
To make my dream come true
Give me the secret, mancub
Clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you

I wouldn't mind getting a little of that power of man's red flower myself.



The brothers are gay allies.   In an interview with The Advocate in 2012, Nick (left) noted that they loved their gay fans: "They’ve been incredible over the years. My brothers and I totally look forward to meeting them, because they really respond to our style."

In 2013 they appeared on the cover of Out magazine.

Now that their star has faded somewhat, the brothers have moved on to other projects.  Joe has embarked on a solo musical career, Kevin is acting, and Nick is in musical theater, starring in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.