"I was fresh to death!" Pauly D says.
He's not talking about his time cruising the boardwalks and stomping the dance floors of Seaside Heights on the first season of "Jersey Shore." No, the man with the most famous blowout in reality TV was deathly fresh back in his teenage years, as Pauly reveals on the upcoming episode of "When I Was 17," back when he was popping wheelies on his motorcycle, getting his first tattoo and DJing his first parties.
"Loud music, nice cars, women — that was my thing," he laughs.
Tying all these things together, it turns out, was a bit of an obsessive streak. "When I was 17, I had a little bit of OCD," Pauly says. "My closet was color-coordinated, my bed was made every single day, my pants had to have creases in them. I took a lot of time to get ready before school. The night before, I'd lay out my outfit that I was going to wear. Had to wake up early to take a shower, do my hair."
About that hair — it started out smaller and has grown over the years into the shellacked specimen we see on our TV screens today. "My hair was always spiked and gelled up, like a gentleman's blowout, where it was more controlled," he says. "Always had to be fresh."
Can you tell freshness is an ongoing aspiration for the guy? Take his devotion to his first motorcycle, which he bought at the age of 17 and polished up every day until the chrome shined like the summer sun down on the sands of the Jersey Shore.
"My mother was so against it. I knew she wouldn't let me get it, so I just had to go out and get it," he says. "It was a '92 Honda CBR-600. It was red and white — coolest thing in the world."
Far too cool, obviously, to risk parking outside during a cold winter, or even in an unheated garage. Instead, Pauly took drastic measures to keep his bike in top shape.
"I pulled it around the back of the house and I pulled it in my house," he explains. "I parked this motorcycle next to my fireplace. My mother flipped out. She's like, 'You better have that motorcycle out by Christmas Eve dinner.' I didn't! We kept that motorcycle there. I remember the Christmas tree was right there. ... We had our Christmas dinner next to that bike!"
"When I Was 17" — this week featuring "Jersey Shore" stars Pauly D, JWoww and the Situation — airs Saturday at 11 a.m. on MTV.
Season two of "Jersey Shore" premieres Thursday, July 29, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV. Be there!