Hanson in April 06

Halfway through the month I started dusting off my H-archives (figure of speech guys, my PC hard drive is clean as whistle) in preparation for my contribution for the May HNotes. You see – the guys seemed fallen from the face of the Earth for a whole month and there was really nothing to write about except about… um… the discussions on hanson.net forums about them falling off the face of that same Earth. Which discussion tend to get very… um… colorful and temperamental sometimes but bottom line… we love this band to death and we just want to help them. Right? 

And then in the last week or so – there was a deluge of news from the guys from the recording studio or from the cave they were hiding just to annoy us as many thought.  

(Kind reminder to self: Stay on topic, Marica! It’s Hanson This Month not Hanson Fans This Month!)

The guys fromused twice. No, that’s not a typo, that’s a word, just like MMMBop. Just ask Zac. 

The low tech FUTY was posted by Taylor, naturally (Marica, you really need to drop this, this is old!) and revealed that he and his brothers are in the studio, working hard with AY producer. Cool. Good that there is a producer there – if not for anything – to do the reality check. Artists tend to fly off the planet sometimes if left alone in a studio for longer periods of time. Must be lack of fresh air.  The fact that it’s a good producer is a bonus. You may or may not agree with me here – but hey. We can take it outside i.e. on the forums.  

Wait! Are we talking Hanson here? Nah, they won’t do that.

The high tech FUTY had no “Yours truly” but I can bet my Hanson photos collection that it was Ike. You guessed my fellow members – another FUTY iPod thingymajic.  We got a piece of a new song too. We saw how the three guys looked. To my great relief I saw that they have been avoiding hair salons lately.  Excuse the 60’s teeny moment here. 

Good stuff. There were still cries for help, “I can’t see the video!!!” but they were few and far between. We, the Hanson fans, are a resourceful bunch and we learn fast. If all else fails, we upgrade

Taylor answered a couple of questions – one was actually a really good one. The question. I don’t know how helpful the answer was  – but hey. It’s “Ask Hanson” not “Dear Abby”.

Zac’s contribution, apart from the guitar playing, were a half a dozen or so posts he left on the forums one evening. He revealed that there is new merchandise coming. I am dying to see the mug although I know for certain it won’t be the kind of mug that I would prefer. But can’t have all, even from Hanson.

And finally. Hanson left the best for last, for yours truly anyway. We got “In Studio” photos. When I read the little blurb in the news, I broke my mouse rushing to get to the pictures section. And… ah well. To my great chagrin I saw that the guys found the fisheye lens they misplaced around late 1999 or so.  If you were on hansonline that summer/fall when Hanson were posting the daily photo from the studio while recording “This Time Around”  – you will know what I mean. I know, I know, it’s too early to tell if this will be “In Studio 1999” type of thing but looking at a photo of Ike’s forehead on the left and Taylor at the piano the size of an ant on the right… I fear, my fellow members. 

Here’s to hoping that that particular lens will get misplaced again (there is a lot of junk lying around when Hanson records) and let’s see what I can entertain you with in the second part of this missive.

May 12th is the day when Hanson celebrate their anniversary as a band. So this time it will be their 14th anniversary since they first appeared on Mayfest in Tulsa, as Hanson Brothers. I guess singing ”Happy Birthday” and such for their younger siblings in three-part harmony doesn’t count. 

You may have discovered the little slideshow with a highlight of every of those 14 years. You may have not – but since you are here – here they are, as typed word.

The first few years we will skip because yours truly has been a fan since 1997 so I could only guess. I just enjoy the photos of the 3 cute tykes in matching outfits doing hopefully cool dance moves. I could rave here about some of those outfits though, but I won’t. 

(Hawaiian shirts, hmmm…. The only excuse for wearing that would be if they were performing Kokomo)  

You have to agree with me that recording the little monster of a record called “Middle Of Nowhere” has to be the Hanson highlight of 1996. If we gloss over the fact that Zac met an alien on a bus stop in Albuquerque. Or was it Santa Fe? Doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t trust any 10-year-old although this particular one’s name was Zac Hanson.

You may look down on “Middle Of Nowhere” now but how many of you guys from the early days went, “Gimme a break!” when after listening to it and loving it to death; you saw the liner notes and the guys’ names under every song?

Let’s move on. The Hanson highlight of 1997 for me is the “in store” appearance in the Southland Mall in Melbourne Australia. Some store eh? With 25,000 people in it. It may seem like a strange choice for you, but let me tell you. The primetime evening news on August 2, 1997 on Channel 9 (which happens to be the most watched show in Australia) started with that.  Melbourne didn’t know what hit it. I am sure the guys themselves go, “WOW!” every time they mention it.

1998 was a no-brainer, had to be the “Road To Albertane” tour.  Although opening Mt. Rushmore at midnight just so the guys and the tour crew can see it, comes second close in my book.

Nineteen ninety-nine was of course recording of the Hanson masterpiece (sorry guys!) “This Time Around”, together with the aforementioned daily “In Studio” photo that was posted for a period of a few months. My life revolved around that. No matter what I was doing – come 4 pm, I was online, sitting in the “In Studio” section of Hansonline and clicking the refresh button every 2 seconds. Pathetic I know, but I would do it all over again.

The new millennium year (well not technically) was a no-brainer for me again. Didn’t you feel proud of our three fellas jiving and singing, “Stand By Me” and STANDING between Sir Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson along with a dozen or so other greats from the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame? I won’t even mention Kim Cattrall. But I can’t and not mention that Taylor looked absolutely divine in a tux and a baby blue tie and that Zac’s hair looked absolutely…

Pull yourself together Marica. Sorry. 

I chose Riverfest, Tulsa as 2001 highlight simply because of the excitement it caused among all of us. Even for me, half way across the world. The guys were very quiet for more than 6 months (alas, “neglecting us”, as usual) and it was a feast for the eyes and the ears to see them perform again. Also, I chose this because of “Wake Up” – a little country-sounding gem that opened that whole scene for me. Up until that time I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. I venture there every once in awhile now. I figure, if someone is such a fabulous guitar player as Keith Urban, I can forgive occasional “If The Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me”. By the way, this is not Keith! Please.

2002 highlight is actually low light and that is Hanson struggling with IDJ and we will quickly move on to 2003 where the guys saw the light at end of the tunnel. It wasn’t an oncoming train (I know, this is old) – but the way to go forward in the impasse and that was the acoustic record and the tour. I just hope they didn’t lose a lot of money. 

No need to explain 2004 highlight. If you look at the expression on Taylor’s face holding the “Underneath” CD high above his head in the NYC Virgin store on the day of the release – you will know what I mean. I felt the same way as him. Except that he didn’t cry. I did, looking at the little Hanson display in the middle of the biggest CD store in the southern hemisphere (we Australians love to say that!) HMV, Sydney City. Another  highlight for me were the guys hitting the stage in Melbourne for the first ever full concert in Australia. Or shall I put it Taylor jumping on the piano?  Because that’s what he did. Straight from the side door. He spread his arms and stood there a couple of seconds like, “We are here…” and all I can think of was, “Finally, finally, finally…” Excuse me while I get the tissues guys. 

Which naturally leads me to the highlight of 2005. I am sure you have your own favourite  moments but for me nothing can surpass those 10 seconds of sheer admiration, adulation, high, the shocked face of my daughter next to me, the shriek of the audience in the packed Evan Theatre in Penrith when Ike and Taylor stood back to back and did some guitar acrobatics during “Long Way To The Top”. Oh yeah and purely motherly fear that they will break a limb if they toppled in a heap on the floor. 

I don't know what I can add to that sentence so I am just going to end it here.

Happy Hanson Anniversary!