I was 8 years old when I became a fan in 1997, I'm not going to say that the music hasn't saved me from my own undoing, when I was 13 I had made my first suicide attempt, with several more up until my 16th year, when the underneath album was released. Then a year later I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, mom walked in my room later that day, I was staring at a poster on my wall, and I asked her "Are they real? Or was all of this just a creative trick my mind developed to try to keep me halfway sane?" it wasn't until two years later that I actually got to meet them, it was the highlight of my year, I only wish that my anxiety weren't so bad that I could of actually had a decent conversation, but I wasn't sure how you tell someone How much they had impacted your life, however it was the moe tour that made the most impact, I was still married to my ex husband, whom was very abusive, physically, emotionally, and verbally. I had walked up to Isaac just to greet him, as I'd kind of made of point to do since my first show in 2007, What I didn't expect was the hug that followed. I was trying so hard to not break down, shortly after that I'd starting writhing my first novel, Till You've known The Nightmare, which I finished last year and am debating trying to publish, It hasn't always been the best of situations, but the music has definitely made life easier. I'm sorry if this is too depressing, But thank you Hanson, I honestly don't think you know how much of an influence you are
For years, I have known the Hanson guys as fellow creatives in Tulsa. Each of us striving to create great work and also stay connected to our roots. With an awareness of the creativity and unique business model they have implemented (and doing a bit of fun work together from time to time), I developed a deeper curiosity as I have observed the exciting and dynamic connection between artist and fan that is not only sustained, but is growing. As the band heads into the busy HANSON Day and Hop Jam week, we asked if if they would allow us to lean in closer and use storytelling paired with innovative immersive technology to produce a special short documentary. They gave the idea a resounding yes, so we need your Help!
Clinton, MS, US
I’ve been a fan since 1997 and my connection withHanson’s music and the community of fans has only gotten stronger with time.Hanson’s music literally saved my life. I was in my car driving to a job Ihated. This job didn’t come close to making ends meet. What’s more, my marriagewas falling apart and my husband and I had to move back in with my parents. Ifelt like a complete failure at life. My plan that morning was to get in my carand crash it into the first tree I saw.
The Walk album happened to be in my CD player that morning.Watch Over Me came on, and for some reason, I really heard, for the first time,the lyric that said “Don’t give up cause you’re not too far gone.” And I said,ok. I’ll try and make it until tomorrow. And then I played the song again thenext day. And I played the song again the next day. And then I decided toattend Hanson Day in 2011. It gave me something to look forward to. I had themost wonderful time and decided to come back the next year.
The next year, I found another girl on HNet that needed aroommate. That girl’s name was Rachel, and to this day, she is my best friend.She was driving from South Carolina, I was driving from Mississippi, and wedecide to meet up in Little Rock and caravan the rest of the way. From themoment we met in that Waffle House, we hit it off. We laughed like we had knowneach other forever. We finished eachother’s sentences and discovered that we had so much more in common than a lovefor Hanson’s music. I’ll never forget that year in Tulsa with my new bestfriend, walking around the city and sharing excitement over being in Hanson’shometown.
At the end of 2012, my marriage did end, and I got laid offfrom my job a few months after that. Rachel helped me through it. She alwayslistened when I needed to talk to her. She was my sounding board and the reasonI was able to rebuild my life. She even let me come live with her and herhusband for a while so I could I heal from my divorce and figure out my nextstep for a job. Over the years she introduced to me to more Hanson fans and nowI have this wonderful group of friends to travel all over the world with. I am so thankful for Hanson’s music. Without them, I never would have met Rachel, and she is truly the best thingthat ever happened to me.
Dublin, Dublin, IE
So if you're up against the wall
Staring down the firing squad
They ask you for your final verse
Tell them to do their worst - These lyrics from Battle Cry have been my motto & have got me through some tough times over the last few months. Not only Battle Cry though songs like mmmbop & weird I’ve lost so many “friends” in my life because people just don’t get me & just don’t understand me I’ve always felt like I don’t belong because i do things in my own way not the way they expect me too. I could literally list songs of every album/ep that I can connect too. Isaac, Taylor & Zac’s passion & drive for what they do is just amazing & inspiring! Music is my passion & last year I got to do my own “I Was Born” Challenge & got to live out one of my dreams I just went for it even though I was doing it on my own it was something I just couldn’t not do when I was given the opportunity & that was to be in a music video with one of my favourite Irish musicians Gavin James! I’m so excited to fly over to Tulsa next week to have fun, listen to good music & discover some new music at Hop Jam!
Apple Valley, Ca, US
So this is a little story of how I made a lifelong friend because of these 3 young boys that released a little orange cd. So this friendship didn't start at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, but it did start at a dumpster in Manhattan,New York when my mom and I took a trip across the country to see 5 of 5. It was night 5 and we were waiting in line around the corner of the Gramercy theater when these two girls got in line right behind us. We started joking about how we were stuck sitting by a dumpster for a few hours until the doors opened. We ended up having a great conversation and quickly bonded with Megan especially. We ended up exchanging information and ended up meeting her at the Bamboozle festival the next day. Following the festival we went to dinner at Bubba Gumps in Times Square where there happened to be an attempted terrorist attack and we ended up being stuck in the restaurant for quite a few hours while the rest of Times Square was evacuated. At that time it wasn't safe for us to be evacuated so we spent those few hours praying together and staying positive even though we were obviously stressed. My mom was basically our rock during that time. And we did make it out alive! The following day we left to go back to California and Megan went back to Oklahoma. We remained in contact and our friendship has continued to grow ever since! Ive seen her every year since we met back in New York ! We even flew out for her 30th birthday to surprise her and we've since traveled across the country and to Jamaica together sharing our love for our favorite band! A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid in her wedding :) We've been friends for 9 years now and I know that this is a relationship that will last a lifetime. I am so thankful that I met her by the dumpster that day in New York and it all started because of our shared love for this amazing band!
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, US
i met most of my friends through that little orange cd ;) Thank you so much for all that you do for us the fans. god bless.
Minnetonka, MN, US
Though I've been a Hanson fan since I was 11, I never would have guessed they'd have the most important impact on my life at 29.
I have always been someone that planned well into the future and thought I had things figured out for the long term. Then in Jan 2015, my husband (and best friend) suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Every ounce of my world changed in an instant. The following months were a blur of grief counseling, support groups, endless paperwork, uncomfortable conversations, and a numbness so deep that not even Hanson's music could penetrate at first.
The few moments of comfort came from my fellow fan friends. I received sweet cards, hand-written letters, thoughtful gifts with lyrics, and promises they would be available to chat any time of day or night. These friends were there for me in ways many others couldn't be. It helped to escape into a silly conversation or speculate about songs or tour plans - to get out of my head for brief moments, even if I didn't believe I would actually be going on that next tour because I didn't believe I could get through the next day.
Eventually the following Hanson Day came around, and while I was still only going through the motions I decided to come. As soon as I found myself surrounded by these friends, the Hanson guys, and the familiar music, a strange sense of normal hit me that I didn't expect. I found myself smiling and laughing. I felt lyrics more intensely than ever and related to the songs in a new way. Turns out you can feel all alone in a faceless crowd at any age, or still wonder which of your relationships will last when you're going through something far more painful and permanent than what a simple teen tantrum can fix.
That weekend I felt glimpses of joy and hope for the first time since the day my old life ended, and left thinking that just maybe I had the strength to cobble together something new. As another Hanson Day rolls around, I am so grateful for these three special humans, their music that has gotten me through the worst of times, and the lifelong friendships I have made because of them.
It was their infectious “If Only” that got me - I started my journey in this fandom in 2000 when their album “This Time Around” came out. I can’t say it was the lyrics, because I only came to understand the songs much later. What really got me was how their music made me feel. It is hard to put into words, but it’s a mix of “I-wanna-hug-everyone” with “anything-is-possible”. Isn’t it fascinating how one can fall in love with a song without knowing what it is about? At the time, I knew zero English, and I’d memorize every word of every song so I could sing with them. Music is an universal language indeed.
As a teenager, with a lot more time on my hands than I currently have, I’d spend hours reading these very forums, and that was a huge part of how I learned the language. Due to my constant presence online, I became the first Street Team Leader for my country (Brazil), and in doing so I felt like I was finally able to give back to the band, even if in a teeny tiny fraction, of what they had been giving me, without knowing, throughout the years.
The desire to find out the meaning of each music and understand what they were saying, lead me to the life I have today. Their music pushed me towards my dreams, making me believe they were possible, besides helping me overcome personal challenges. In 2008, I moved to Southern California on my own, no friends or family, just my hopes and dreams, and the English I learned with Hanson. I credit part of the strength to keep going to their music. Nowadays, the feeling I get is still the same. If I am having a bad day, or if I get a little demotivated, all I have to do is play their music and soon enough, the dark clouds give way to a much more hopeful, recharged me.
But the best thing Hanson gave me were the friends I met along the way. I cannot imagine my life without them. They are all spread out in different states and countries, and they have cheered me through tough times, and shared beautiful times as well. Since we all live far away from each other, Hanson Day has become our meeting point of the year, the one place and time we get to see each other while enjoying and celebrating what brought us together. My first Hanson Day was back in 2009, and since then I think I have missed only two years.
For you Tulsa may be a city on a map. For some, it may mean home. For us it means MAGIC - almost literally, otherwise how could you explain the things I have lived with my friends in this town? It is the one spot on the globe where I can let my hair down and just be. Tulsa is magical, friends.
Looking forward to another Hanson Day celebration in a few days! :)
Newcastle , Staffordshire, GB
I won't be in Tulsa this time but if there is any way you can sneek a little bit of my beautiful confession into your documentary, please do. Please !!!. It is beautiful because they are beautiful. It is a confession because it holds so much that is secret yet known about my life. It is secret because it is as close to me as anything has ever been. I was 43 when I became a fan, through Hansons second album TTA. I grew up loving music from 50, 60, 70s. So the sound resonated. But more than that their personality and hopeful energy was life giving. I had given up on the music of the 90s, but this was different. Through being a fan I have met many really special people around the world. I live in UK but have travelled extensively because of Hanson. I learnt to use a computer so I could go online to find out about them. I joined this fan club, the only thing like this Ive ever done and I have been a member for 20 years, this year.
I feel a close connection to Hanson. My birthday is the same as Taylor. My Dads is the same as Isaac. My first grandchild was born on the first day of their 2017 European tour. These coincidences are sweet but more than these, Hanson and their music have connected with some of the most important aspects of my values and sense of purpose in life and I am truly grateful to have walked this earth at the same time as they have lived out their calling. I wont live to see it all but what I have/ will experience is something life giving.
When I was first a fan I sent the band a dvd of a UK music show and at the first show I went to, Isaac referenced it and played a song from it. I screamed my head off and felt so happy it was like someone had given me 20 years of youthfulness. The band has been very generous to me over time, in ways that have made me feel appreciated. I can not thank them enough. At home I play a little with crafts. I have sent them so many things they must despair. But a few years ago they posted a photo with one of my pictures in it. I was so excited and happy and grateful.
A couple of years ago, in Tulsa, Taylor took time to chat with me away from the crowds. We sat as two people, catching up on a few things and it was a very kind and heart warming moment. I have no photo to show for it, but a lovely memory of a genuine moment when two people who in different ways care about many of the same things and who are years apart but who feel connected through music, met and spoke and shared. I am very grateful to him for that.
My home is full of memories and music from Hanson. But my life has been changed beyond measure by the love they pour into everything they do and give. Tulsa has become a place of such joy for so many because of them. I have visited 4 times and have many friends there.
In 2012 I made a friend at Chicago airport. She is a Tulsan and was travelling home from UK. We shared our interests over coffee and she was really interested in my Hanson passion. We shared stories of our interests and since then we have kept a close friendship.
I have so many stories and moments to treasure. The song Tonight is very special to me.
In 2011, I heard Hanson sound checking inside a UK venue before a show. They were working on a song that I didnt recognise. It had a sweeping, anthemic piano line and a strong guitar sound. I recorded a little snippet.
A year later it appeared as the first song ready for Anthem. It was played at Hanson Day 2012.
My heart. My heart was full.
The song tells Hanson's own story both in the meaning and the use of lyrics from songs across their history. I love it because I love them.
A million thank yous.
Newcastle , Staffordshire, GB
This year at the age of 62, I have recorded and produced a music cd of Eight Songs which mean something to me. It is for my father who always thought I should be a musician. Instead I became a teacher. So for him at his age of 98 I made this. Hanson inspired me. Hanson gave me the confidence. Hanson and their sense of drive and their testimony that everyone has a calling to fulfil gave me the impetus to do this.
They truly are very, very special.
OK...take 2..see if this post goes thru. I first heard the band back in 97, and thought they were so bloody cute and wandered if they were for real;... At that time i was studying full time and working part time at a local music school teaching piano. I started to get these kids asking me "Who are The Beatles...Who is Chuck Berry?" it was coming them paying attention the what Hanson said in their interviews. I loved that! So from then I followed them, and could see hey were the real deal. Ive been to as many shows as I can when they are in Sydney. The Sydney Opera house gig was stunning. I sat there thinking....what a cool kind of underdog story...Jeff Fenster put them through hell, but they stuck to their guns despite really being 'children' in a such a grown up business...how intimidating it must been at times... i cant even imagine. ...then..Im seeing them at the Sydney Opera house with an orchestra..kicking ass....and i think..what a cool story...and I also think THANK GOODNESS they didnt sign with another label that most probably would have limited their creativity. Looking forward to many years of more music and having that opportunity to see it come together in the videos they share of their studio work...thats one of my favourite things.
Dublin, Dublin, IE
I feel like I should’ve wrote a bit more in my first post because they're so many more things I could Thank Isaac, Taylor & Zac for, it was because of them & their songs that I’ve done things I never thought I’d do, put myself in situations I never thought I would & have had the confidence to do those things because I’ve seen from them that if you set yourself a goal you can achieve it. I can’t thank them enough for doing what they do & how much I appreciate their hard work. I was so lucky to meet them in February & to chat with them all after String Theory & I came home from that trip the happiest I had been in a very long time. I’m so excited to see Tulsa next week, I’m so excited for Hanson Day/Hop Jam, I’m excited to see somewhere I’ve never been & do things I’ve never done before. I can’t Thank Isaac, Taylor & Zac enough for everything.
Hanson's Middle of Nowhere is the first CD I ever bought as a child back in 1997. I grew up loving the music and have stay connected to them and their music ever since. That first CD I bought started my Hanson media collection. I now have over 600 unique Hanson CDs, cassettes, vinyls, DVDs and VHS in my collection. Through the hardest of times, Hanson's song Never Let Go has always held a lot of importance. Hanson music and experiences are my fondest memories, and thoughts of new Hanson music and experiences are what keep me excited for the future.
New Milford, NJ, US
May 7th 1997 was the day I fell in love with Hanson at Paramus Park Mall in Bergen County, New Jersey. On a whim, I decided I would go with a few friends to see those guys that sang “Mmmbop”. I left there, went back home, and spent the rest of my night making signs that read “I love Hanson”, “Lucy”, “Look at You”, along with every other Hanson song from Middle of Nowhere. This would be the start of what would become hundreds of Hanson posters covering every inch of my bedroom walls. (double sided? those hung from the ceiling, of course)
22 years later and here I am, going to my first Hanson Day, and living a Hanson life that 12 year old me could never have even imagined.
Over the years I’ve experienced as much as any die hard Hanson fan could. I’ve spent hours waiting front row at shows, spent a little too much money on concert tickets and filling up gas tanks to make weekend Hanson drives up & down the North East, awakened at 2am to drive into the city to watch TV show performances, I’ve tattoed myself 3 times with Hanson tattoos and with 60 plus shows (and counting) under my belt, it’s hard to imagine this life of mine without this band.
What started as a 12 year old Hanson crazed, Zac inspired hair braided girl, carrying a custom made “I Love Zac” poster to a show with thousands of people, has now turned into an independent 33 year old spreading her wings and traveling to places she never thought she would, making some amazing Hanson friends and having the opportunity to spend weeks like BTTI and Hanson Day with the band she loves.
The music for sure has helped me through the years but what I’ve focused on, and what means the most, is where it is taking me now.
After spending almost 18 years trying to drag friends with me to Hanson shows and missing out on so much, I finally decided to do this on my own. No more missing out on shows, crying over what could have been, now it’s me, myself & I, traveling wherever/whenever it is I want to go, either alone, or with the new Hanson friends I’ve made along the way.
This past January, I was able to go to my first Back to the Island, something I never, ever, thought I’d be able to do alone. That trip turned out to be one of the most liberating, amazing experiences of my life and taught me that nothing feels better than doing what makes you happy.
Now, Hanson Day, the one experience I’ve spent years and years hearing about, dreaming of going to, and feeling truly heartbroken over since I could never attend...until now! It still feels surreal and it probably won’t truly hit me until I touch down in Tulsa on Wednesday (ahhh! Did I actually just say that?!?) but I know this trip will truly be the trip of my Hanson lifetime. I’m still not exactly sure how I’m going to react, but I do know that there will probably be a lot of happy Hanson tears and I’ll have the opportunity to meet and spend time with some of the amazing people that have been apart of the past few years and my new, independent, Hanson journey. This trip, 22 years in the making, and it’s happening in less than a week!
So while this may not be some sad, sappy story about how Hanson helped save my life (which is also amazing, and inspiring! just not my story) It is about how Hanson helped me truly live MY life, discover myself, and help me become the person I was always meant to be.
Here’s to a lifetime of Hanson music, journeys, & friends :) Happy Hanson Day!
Columbus, OH, US
The Hanson fandom is like no other fandom I've ever been a part of. There's a family atmosphere that is hard to describe, but amazing the experience. We bicker like siblings, but we also love each other like family. Going to things such as Hanson Day and Back To The Island are more of family reunions than they are fan gatherings. The best people I know in my life come from this fandom and I have met my absolute best friends.
It goes beyond the band as well. Who this band is, the way they fight for themselves, changes their fans. It makes us realize that we are better and stronger than we ever thought we could be. We deserve what we want out of life, even if we have to fight for it. We learn that other people don't necessarily know what is best for us and to trust our gut; if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
When I discovered this band, I was 13 and full of anxiety. It felt like everyone was deep into their feelings and I couldn't find a place to fit in. Junior High was hard enough without having something to connect to. Then....there was this song that was unlike anything on the radio. It felt like summer and childhood, but the lyrics spoke of realizing that friends are fleeting and only those that truly care will be there in the end. These were the lessons I was learning at the time and it was amazing to realize it wasn't just me.
I looked into the band and to my surprise, they were my age. They were going through what I was going through. They were speaking to what I was feeling. And even better: they were actually talented. Having been raised on country, I knew was real musicianship was and it was refreshing to see it outside of that world. I immediately clung to this band for dear life. I've yet to let go.
Growing up in a small town with parents that wouldn't let me go to "the big city" (Columbus, OH) alone, even after I had a license, it was hard to see them at first. I begged and begged, but I only saw them twice between 1997 and 2002.
And then....July 6, 2003. I received an invite to attend a recording of an acoustic ep in Tulsa. I had just moved in to my first college apartment in St. Cloud, MN. I had to go. I needed to have this experience for myself. I needed to do something that was completely for me, which is something I struggled with doing at the time. So....I went. I met girls I had talked to on the forums and chat, but had never met in real life. I didn't know where I was going. I didn't know what would happen. But I had to go.
I'm beyond glad I did. This experience is the experience I point to when people ask me how I became so free-spirited and strong. It made me realize that I actually do love to travel. It made me understand what it is to be in love with music. And it made me see that the band needs us as much as we need them. I connected with a group of people I didn't think I would ever meet. It changed everything.
This band changed everything. And I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for it.
Hanson has been a constant in my life for the last twenty plus years. My sister introduced me and I have turned and introduced her daughters and they both love Hanson just as much as I do. I took my youngest niece to a concert in Atlanta a few years ago and it made me so happy to see her singing along with ever song just as I did at her age. I have made so many lifelong friends in this fandom that I talk to daily. The music has gotten me through some of the best of times and worst of times. If you can't get through it, you can listen to it.
Clinton, Connecticut, US
The most magical and unpredictable part of being a life long Hanson fan has been the deep bond it's forged between my oldest son Maxx and I. I've been playing Hanson music for Maxx since he was in the womb, and as he's gotten older (He's turning 7 this summer) we've continued to enjoy singing and dancing together to Hanson.
Last Hanson Day Zac released his experimental EP "The Machine", which featured a pretty cool Robot on the front. I was excited to show it to Maxx and thought he might find it amusing....well he loved it. Maxx listens to it every night as he falls asleep. He says it helps him dream, and that as he listens to the music he can see it in his mind like a movie.
When Hanson posted their Boston String Theory show, I knew I had to bring Maxx. He was excited of course, but he had one goal - meet Zac afterward to tell him how much he loved The Machine. Well the String Theory concerts are a bit long and run late, and low and behold Maxx fell asleep during the second half. It was a cold night in Boston and with a sleeping school ager I decided to just take him home.
Maxx was so disappointed when he woke up the next morning. He so desperately had wanted to share what this little CD has meant to him. So that January when I traveled to Fort Worth with my crew for that String Theory show, I had one goal...tell Zac about the Machine and have him sign the jacket for Maxx.
None of us won meet and greets and missed Hanson leaving the venue, so we had pretty much given up and headed to the bar for some drinks. Well, fate was kind and we happened upon Zac a bit later that evening. I felt terrible approaching him and really didn't want to invade his privacy at that moment, but the mom in my good friend kicked in and she called his name and dragged me over.
It could have been bad. And truthfully Zac had every right to be irritated... but he wasn't. He listened to me babble about how much my kiddo loved The Machine, how it was "the Peter and the Wolf" for this generation, and how bummed Maxx was to not get to share it all with him. Zac signed the CD, "To Maxx, Beep Beep Boop Boop" and with a smile was on his way.
I've gotten to meet Hanson over the years...but this was by far the greatest experience because it meant so much to my child. When I got home and gave Maxx the CD he screamed and jumped around, waving the cd cover. He couldn't believe Zac had signed the cover for just him. Nothing will ever top that for my kid...thanks Zac! Can't wait to see what Maxx thinks about this year's Edible Digital Pants EP (what kid doesn't love candy!?!)
Like many of us here, I only know a life involving Hanson. I never could have known what a life changing event it would be when I stumbled upon them as a kid on summer break in 1997. But their music from then to now has been so intricately woven though the past 22 years of my life. They are the soundtrack to each meaningful moment I have... from love and joy to loss and depression. I couldn’t even begin to thank this band for the ultimately life changing music and experiences they have given me.
Folsom, Pennsylvania, US
There are so many things I could tell you about how Hanson’smusic has changed my life. I could tellyou what was going on in my life based on which Hanson album I am listening to. Icould go on and on about hearing “Weird” for the first time and how I felt likesomeone finally got it – got me. Someonefinally understood and took all those things I was feeling and put them tomusic. I could tell you about thefriendships I have made because of this band. People I would have never met had it not been for Hanson and theirforums. I have traveled near and far withthese people who share the connection to this band and to their music.
What I want to tell you about, though, is about somethingdeeper than all of that. The band that Iloved as a teenager and an adult is the very same band my son (John) loves. Our shared love for Hanson has created a bondand a connection I never dreamed were possible. You see, for the past few years, I was looking for ways to connect with him. This boy who loves all things dirt, Legos andsports is completely opposite of myself. I was looking for a way to connect with him – to share something specialthat was only “ours.” Enter Hanson.
John has asked for years to go with me to a show. I told him if Hanson ever played in a seated venue,I’d take him – no questions asked. Lastyear, they played String Theory in Virginia, and my son and I road-tripped fromPennsylvania to experience the show. Hestayed in his first hotel, went to his first concert and experienced the magicof the show. A few months later, Hanson came to the Tower Theater and he wantedto try to meet the guys. He asked if wecould wait by the tour bus before the show. I obliged, and we were lucky to meet Taylor. John was at a loss for words, so I started promptinghim to tell Taylor about our Virginia trip. The smile on his face after it was over was something I will never forget. A few hours before the show, I was contactedabout winning a meet and greet. I couldn’tbelieve it - I had waited 22 years to meetHanson and I was thinking about all of the things I would say to them. When the moment arrived, the first thingTaylor did was introduce John by name to Isaac and Zac. Heremembered my son’s name - that meant more to him (and me!) than I could everexpress. All I could do was sit back andwatch John interact with our favorite band. I couldn’t say a word – not because I was nervous but because watching Johnhave the experience meant so much more than anything I could say to them.
Despite all the reasons Hanson has been so instrumental inmy life, by far, the most important gift their music has given me is a sharedconnection with my son that only we understand. It’s ours, and no one can take that way. And for that, I am forever grateful.
I remember the very first time I heard MMMbopp in 1997, I begged my mom to immediately take me to the store, where I bought the single CD of MMMbopp. When I got home, I called my best friend Cally and urgently told her to come to my house. I played the CD and I watched her fall in love with at her first listen, just like I did. A musical fire had been lit in our souls. We had to know more about Hanson, we needed to hear more of their music!! We bought every magazine, CD, shirt and merchandise we could get our hands on. We placed many long distance calls to the Hanson Hotline, trying to know more about this band that seemed to sing right into our 12 year old souls! We learned to set our VCR's to recored any TV appearance or TV performance!
Hanson continued to bring Cally and I together after I moved states away in 1997 from Arkansas to Georgia. I proudly wore my Hanson shirt to the first day of 8th grade at my new school.Most people didn't understand, but I found a little tribe of Hanson fans and that got me through.
The Summer of 1998 I saw my first Hanson concert in Atlanta, Cally saw them for the first time in Arkansas around that time also. We still shared many phone conversations and updates from the Hanson Hotline and Hanson.net. With all the continual changes in our lives, the ups and downs, Hanson remained one of our common grounds over the years.... still is in 2019. We always dreamed of being able to go to Tulsa together for Hanson Day, ever since 1998. 21 years later Cally and I are still best friends and have continued to be Hanson fans!
This past October Cally and I were able to see our first Hanson show together String Theory in Atlanta. We then promised ourselves then and there we would go to Hanson Day together in 2019, it became a priority to finally GO to Hanson day. It seems like an absolute dream that we will be in Hanson's home town of Tulsa next week, seeing 4 Hanson shows in 4 days, together! We are so excited to celebrate the band that has created the soundtrack to our friendship and lives.
As a sullen and skeptical youngster, I was wary of these Hanson brothers with global appeal, but MMMBop was so catchy that I purchased the CD and listened intently. After I hit track 10, A Minute Without You, I stopped the CD, grabbed a pencil and paper and did a little long division to see if they got their math correct - if there really were, in fact, 1,440 minutes (aka "hours) in a day. Wouldn't you know it, they did, and I was hooked. Now, nearly 30 years later, I've grown up with Hanson and their songs are, quite literally, the soundtrack of my life. From Strong Enough to Break keeping me focused when I skipped out on a year of college and moved to NYC, to Kiss Me When You Come Home describing exactly how it feels to be a military spouse, and now to Battle Cry giving me the gumption to change career paths - plus everything in between - Hanson is, simply, the best, and I have nothing but gratitude for this band that's been getting it right since the very beginning.
When I was young, I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan. I lovedthe spirit of these songs and the political drive behind many of them. In manyways, Dylan shaped my young mind into one of restlessness, solidarity, and constantchange. Then my whole life changed. My niece Ylana was born on April 24, 1997.I handled the responsibility of driving her, along with my nephews, every dayto their caretaker while their mother worked. I really didn’t want the Dylansongs playing in the background because many had a vibe of unrest and evencynicism. For once in a LONG time, I ejected the cassette tape from my car andturned on the radio. “Mmmbop” played loud and clear, and I couldn’t believethis “Jackson Fivish” sound of young voices that sounded so great together. Twoweeks later, on May 7, 2007, Middle of Nowhere was released, and I immediatelywent to Best Buy and bought the record. I literally left that album in my car for thenext year. My 6 and 3-year-old nephews loved it, and my nephew Branford was thefirst of the bunch that saw Hanson with me in the year 2000. Later, when myniece Ylana grew into her pre-teenyears, I started taking her to shows, all the while buying every Hanson releaseavailable. Hanson really STUCK with her. Particularly touching to her were theStand Up EP and The Walk, both of which helped her through a very difficulttime in her life. She has since been to almost 15 of my 30 shows with me, andshe got to attend Hanson Day with me a few years ago. To this day, sheattributes her fandom to me, saying that she would have never discovered Hansonif it weren’t for me. When we were at Hanson day in 2017 I realized the truth:I would have never discovered Hanson if it weren’t for her! They have been amainstay in my life as I have aged. We are now 22 and 53, but Hanson willalways make us the same in spirit. I still go see Dylan whenever I can (I owehim that respect), but the friends in other fans and the closeness Hanson hasbrought me with my niece is something I treasure more than anything.
Public displays of affection aren't really my thing and I can't help thinking something is lost in them, so you won't find me pouring my heart out here in print. I will say that my admiration of Hanson, both as talented musiciansand as people, began in 1997 and has never wavered (even though I may not always be thrilled with everything they do). ;) There was a connection made all those years ago and it has only strengthened since -- a special bond, if you will, that I don't believe can ever be broken. I carry it with me and am reminded of it daily. I couldn't have imagined that something so unlikely would happen, but it has...and here we are.
My husband and I are looking forward to Hanson Day again this year and everything it entails. Life has its ups and downs and things don't always go as planned, but our sincere hope is for only good things in Hanson's future.
So, I did not grow up following Hanson.
For me Hanson was the band our friend, Cory loved! Our friend who died is a car accident in April 1999. When we were just 14 years old. "With you in your dreams" was read at her funeral. It was well known how much she loved you guys. And through the years when we heard Hanson it made us think of her, always.
Every April, we always meet up and put flowers at the spot where she left this world. And we remember her and it bonds our friendships.
Fast forward 19 years to January 2018. Listening to Pandora, (90's music of course) Hanson comes on, as it has many times over the years and makes me cry and smile all at once. But this time is different, I am reflecting and thinking, wow it's going to be 19 years this year that we lost Cory! how did that happen, where has the time gone.
I get curious, and I start looking up Hanson, to see if you guys still tour, so my 2 friends and I can go to a concert to honor her memory, I find Hnet, and then discover Hday!! Literally just a day or two before Hday 2018 is announced. (FATE, RIGHT??)
Let me also add, It starts on Cory's Birthday!!!!! May 17th!!!
I start texting my friends, " guys, oh my gosh, check this out, we have to do this!!" It takes a couple days for them to make arrangements so that we can commit to this trip. And we join the Hanson Day fb group! I share our story in the group and start making new friends that are also from Missouri. We start a Missouri fan group chat and we talk daily up until we all meet for the first time in Tulsa!!
Of course we have the time of our lives, and I had been preparing for months, learning songs I never knew were even out there, Because again, I had no idea this fandom existed, That Hanson was still making current music. I FELL IN LOVE, with the music the people, the fandom, Tulsa, All of it. As for my childhood friends I took with me, they didn't quite fall as hard as I did. They had a great time in Tulsa, but they didn't take the leap into the Fanson "cult" :) that I did.
But then there were the NEW friends I made, the fan friends! They changed my life right along with the music. And we have stayed in touch DAILY, they came to Kansas City for another Hanson show last summer, I have traveled with these new friends to Iowa, St Louis to see Hanson.
In St Louis I WON a M&G and had Zac sign a little tribute to Cory, "4 Cory" (he wrote) Because if not for her memory, my life would have never taken this amazing ride! At that show I had front row seats and Zac gave me his drumsticks after the show.
Here I am a brand new fan and within less than a year, I have got to receive the Ultimate fan experience!! How incredible is this gift! I am incredibly blessed!
I now own all the Hanson Cd's I can get my hands on, there isn't a song I don't know now. And you would never know that I have not been a fan all my life.
And it's a week before Hday 2019 and I am going again with the girls I met for the very first time at Hday last year. And I could not feel more whole than I do right now!
-Grateful forever fan
I think it is a rarity these days to be able to say you’vebeen a fan of a band for over 20 years. I feel like the diehards died out with a lot of the older generationsrock legends, so it’s nice to be part of something that has survived andflourished over the last 22 years for most of us. My father to this day slightly regrets buyingthat little orange cassette tape, but at the same time, is also the most proudhe’s ever been as it’s turned me into the person I am today. A band that can truly shape your life andoffer you experiences and passion that you didn’t have elsewhere is somethingyou simply can’t just say thank you for, so we have to hope that us continuingto show up and show our love is enough. The greatest thing to come out of my relationship with this band,however, isn’t the band or the music. It’sthe people I’ve met. 15 years ago, I meta girl and at the time to me, she was just the girl with the mad libs thatoffered us entertain to last all night. We were camped out outside of Jay Leno waiting for Hanson to play usPenny and Me. We all know those longnights were a mix of fun, but also a mix of torture. Pizza delivered to street corners, peopleyelling at you all night, even rocks and water balloons being thrown at you. Through it all, we’ve met so many people whowe now consider family – including the girl with the mad libs. 15 years later, we have been best friends foryears, we live together, we travel together, we share a plethora of memoriestogether of the last 15 years. She’s thesister I always wished I had. She’s theperson who I can share my happiness and my sadness with. She’s the only person I would allow to matchmy outfits on the regular. She’s mypartner in crime through this music ride and without this band and their music,I never would have met her and for that I am forever grateful!