It’s 3pm guys, this must be Italy!

Hanson hardly had any time to do their laundry after the whirlwind EuroAustralAsian (huh?) tour late last year. In less than a month, Hanson were on the road again. Good ole Europe. 

Let’s check out some of the interesting and wild things the guys did in January. 

They arrived in London on January 13 or then abouts. Straight from the Heathrow airport (or maybe not, I don’t know, but let’s be dramatic here) they went to tape a show called Top Of The Pops. The bad singers’ dream. The Milli Vanilli heaven.  But our guys must have bribed the producer – they sang live. Then there was an interview after that where Zac went all emotional when asked who his biggest inspiration was. He pointed to his brothers. But Ike and Taylor would have none of that mushiness and started gagging and mockingly patting their hearts and making all sorts of funny noises and Zac couldn’t do anything else but make a complete 180 and say “My dog Skippy”. Now it was yours truly that got very emotional here and shed a tear or two all the way here from Sydney, Australia.  

The next few days – the guys spent in the land of their ancestors, Denmark. They had a few radio interviews and TV shows. On Radio P3, a female caller invited Zac to go out with her (well those weren’t the exZACt words!) to which Zac was left speechless. I mean, that’s not an easy thing to do.  Maybe she needs to get an award or something? Then there was a show called Stjerne For En Aften where “Penny…” was performed again and there was an interview – but I have no information what was talked about – as everybody alive in the planet Hanson was paying attention to Taylor’s prescription glasses. That was the first time that Taylor sported them during a performance and an interview. The shock that this caused on may be compared to the shock when Ike cut of his locks in 1999.

Then came the land of windmills and tulips, Netherlands. The date was January 18 and the guys were running all over Amsterdam.  They appeared on several radio shows and TV shows and flower shows. (RTL Boulevard,, Radio 2, 3FM) Well, not any flower show although I am sure that one or two flower shows could have slipped by and the guys wouldn’t have noticed. Guys and flowers? Naah. 

All of the interviews were about their music and being able to send their message through their music to everybody. About “Underneath” and what it means to them. About “Penny and Me” and the hottie (Taylor’s words!) Samaire Armstrong.  Then about the recording process and about producing music and their record company. Then about the tour and about their fans that love Hanson to death.  Serious and important stuff like that. I was so proud of the guys and their passion. Although I would drop the scrolls that are mile long that say “I love Hanson”, guys. I know you appreciate that to death but it is sooohooo ‘97.  

Then there was a show on TMF where Hanson talked about all the above but there was also a lot of teasing, laughter and … swearing. I mean cussing.  They even … 

Uh, better not go there. I still want to be a member of but what’s more important, I don’t want Ike, Taylor and Zac to be banned from their own fan club. 

The end of the show was a real gem. There was a Pop Quiz with plastic cups as buzzers. The guys had to “press” them if they knew the answer. Hanson got such a kick out of it, that at the end, those cups looked like they had been chewed by a rottweiler. There was no first prize, only a penalty for the last one and that was to conclude the show in their underwear. Taylor peered over his glasses, dead serious: “What if I don’t wear anything ‘Underneath’?” (Pun intended by yours truly) The VJ started stuttering, he was taken off guard.  The questions varied from “Name five U2 songs” to “Who was the real Franz Ferdinand?” which the guys were prompted to remember.   Taylor: “Ahhh, the archduke that was shot in Sarajevo and that started the WW 1!” Ike won and Taylor and Zac came close second. We didn’t get to see Taylor and Zac in their undies of course – but Ike got to make a thank you speech and he got all emotional again thanking his mom – because “without her, I wouldn’t be receiving this honour.”

A gem of a show – I am telling you.

The next few days the guys spent in London, as “Penny and Me” double single was released on January 24th. They appeared on numerous TV and radio shows ( The Crunch, Popworld, Invicta FM, BBC Radio 2, Xchange show, Capital Disney, T4, LBC 97.3, BBC Radio 1 The Official Chart show…)  They performed “Penny and Me” and sometimes “Lost Without Each Other”. They answered pretty much the same questions without rolling their eyes (“Oh, not again!”)  and they were making the reporter think that that was  the most insightful and clever question ever asked of any musician. But that’s their job I guess, or… they LOVE answering same questions. Ike especially (“You have to do what you love to do, cuz if you don’t do what you love to do…”) 

But they answered some new ones as well. There was a pop quiz again about the pop music in the 90’s, which Hanson did very poorly on. But what the heck do those DJ’s and VJ’s expect? Late 90’s WAS Hanson. 

Oh and for those grammar purists who wonder about Zac’s spelling. This is from his mouth. On  Dermot O’Leary show on BBC Radio 2:

“I'm still a drummer in a band so I can't spell, but I can create a sentence that's slightly coherent.”

Then on January 23rd  – Hanson hopped to Italy for afternoon tea, sang  “Lost Without Each Other” live on a show that is a synonym for playback (Quelli che... il calico) and were back to UK the next day.  They appeared on Today With Des & Mel and Taylor was resplendent in his red scarf. ‘Nuff said? They also taped Top Of The Pops Saturday but that was shown a few days later. Ike also appeared on a TV show called Never Mind The Buzzcocks. This show announces that,  “guests each week are always primed for the occasional embarrassment and harmless ribbing. But UK fans reported that, “Isaac made us proud!”  

And then… something happened. We don’t know which country it happened in.  Maybe it was UK. Maybe it was Belgium. Hanson historians will also dispute if the date was January 25th or January 26th.

 I myself tend to think that it was January 26th in Belgium. 

Ladies and an odd gentleman here, Taylor cut off his hair. So did Zac and Ike but we are talking Taylor here – and as you know we, the fans, all have a PhD in Taylorology. 

I mentioned above some shock waves that Taylor’s prescription glasses caused on That pales in comparison with the reaction to this historic event. exploded when the first photos appeared in which Taylor was sporting a layered hair instead the untidy ponytail that has been his ™ in the past half year or so.

What was it? A shag or mullet? Fights erupted and long time friendships were broken. People in the know explained the fine technicalities of haircutting and what the ratio between the hair length on the top and the back should be for a haircut to be pronounced as a mullet… Chaos.

Totally oblivious of the havoc he was wreaking in their own fan club, Taylor and his brothers continued their European promo blitz. Belgium, Italy, Germany…. From one TV show to another.  De Rode Loper Show, Hit Channel, CD Live, Top Of the Pops, MTV Italy TRL, Soundcheck in Germany… 

The content of the interviews was pretty much the same. I will single out TRL Italy. The interview was done in the wonderful setting in Milan, on a fabulous balcony with enthusiastic fans on the piazza  “Underneath” (again pun by yours truly).  So I am sure that the guys didn’t mind the freezing temperature.  And no, “Every Word I Say” is not about Ezra. It’s a song about any kind of love. Also, Hanson really like some rap acts, like Eminem, BMX and Black Eyed Peas. And again no, their parents didn’t favour any of them, and… 

And then came February. More next time!