May 09, 2019 | HANSON

VR Documentary

We have expressed many times how grateful we are for the unique connection we have with you as music fans. In fact, we believe our connection is unparalleled and meaningful compared with the average artist in both directions (let’s be honest, you guys are just really awesome). Apparently, we are not the only ones who recognize that. A few months ago, our good friends at Steelehouse Productions (right here in Tulsa) proposed the idea of  creating a special immersive documentary short to honor that relationship - and they need your help.
 
Isaac, Taylor and Zac 
 


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! 
 
Steelehouse will be all over during the 2019 HANSON Day activities and Hop Jam festival capturing footage for a Virtual Reality Documentary about YOUR STORIES and the connection YOU have to the music of HANSON. Our hope is to interview as many of you as time and festivities permit, so we’re interested to know your stories ahead of time.
 
Take a few minutes to hop onto the comment section attached to the recent blog and share what makes the Hanson fan experience unique. We would love any fun or meaningful story. The friends you have discovered in this community. The songs that have become inextricably linked to your greatest memories. The lyrics that helped you through life's toughest moments. The interaction with the band that brought you true community. Get as personal as you want. Our team and Steelehouse will choose several key stories to become on-camera interviews. We look forward to hearing from you - and we can't wait to see you for HANSON Day NEXT WEEK! 
 

Forums

Public Forums | HANSON | VR Documentary - Blog Discussion

1

countryfanson97

Lauren Allison
New Bedford, MA, US

1

countryfanson97 Lauren Allison
New Bedford, MA, US

I have been a Hanson fan from the time Hanson hit a world wide phenomenon with success and stardom. Back in 1997 I was just a 9 year old little girl.. growing up in a world that was very happy and healthy for me. But in grade school came some issues with friends at around this age. See I was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia back in 1995 and I was immediately put on the medication Adderal. It was very clear that I was "different" then a lot of my peers. And to make it worse, I was in a private school with kids who were very bright (or at the time it seemed that way). By the 5th grade I was changing (both physically and mentally) and quickly learned how cruel the world could be. I was made fun of by my peers for my math skills and judged because of the way I read and mixed words up. It was not only heartbreaking, but also very eye opening knowing that these kids were so brutal to their own classmate. It hurt deeply that I was judged and often went home crying even though I did have some good friends who didn't do this and stuck up for me. Back then being "bullied" wasn't really a "thing" and was often looked over and the student who was in control of bullying classmates was given a "slap on the wrist". This is the first time I remember how Hanson's song "Weird" helped me to realize that being different was "ok" and as an adolescent pre-teen it meant the world to have this song to relate to in such an extraordinary way.


Fast forward now to the year 1999 and 2000... oh how things were to change from the realities of a child to now a true pre-teen. I was 12 years old in a brand new private school in the 6th grade. Well, my love for Hanson was growing of course, and with that came many sleepovers with my Hanson cousin Christina who was a HUGE fan just like I (and still is, lol).  We were inseparable and were always together and never apart, and we also shared an amazing bond (we still do until this very day). In October of 1999 at just 13 years old Christina lost her father to a major but sudden heart attack. This was not only heartbreaking, but had put forth my underlining issue of anxiety that I never knew I even had, but looking back at as a child it makes sense. My anxiety was SEVERE to the point that I had to have Behavior Modifications implemented in my school setting. I could only go to school for a few hours a day for months until I built up the strength and confidence to be in school for a full day without having my mom there. This was completely eye opening and something that would change me forever. I remember the fear, the tears, and holding on to my mom and dad not wanting them to "leave me at school". It was not just hard on me, but hard on my parents and my family as well. In March of 2000 I got what I call a "gift" that was heaven sent. Hanson was back in the spotlight with a brand new song called (and so fitting) "This Time Around". This song spoke to me instantly the moment I heard it at 9PM on the radio for the first time. I cried... and I didn't know why I was crying back then but I do know now... that song was about FIGHTING to survive and everyday of my life as a 12 year old... I was fighting a battle to get my mental health better. This song empowered this anxiety ridden 12 year old and is what I listened to in moments of FEAR. "All I know is fear has got to go this time around" I'd sing with emphasis to get better and get STRONG. That April Hanson came to my local radio station and I was able to shake their hands and that changed the course of how my life would go on forever (as crazy as that may be or sound).


Through the years Hanson gave my teenage self something to go on for with the amount of heartbreak I encountered as a teen from boyfriends, friendships that broke apart, and so on. As an adult Hanson still played a HUGE part in my life. As life went on and I was in college in a bad relationship in 2009 I was hit with another battle besides anxiety... I was hit with depression. Not just any depression, but the kind where you don't want to get out of bed. I fought through tears, night after night of homework and late nights, fear, self doubt, and feeling like a "failure". During the Christmas season of 2009 I was out shopping with my mom and dad at a local mall. I was there shopping feeling pretty crappy but didn't want to let on that I was just "not ok" to my parents... and at the time my ex boyfriend (who I got back with multiple times before that) wanted to take a "long break with me". I was sitting at the Nordstrom café outside the mall feeling beyond horrible, sad, broken, and just hurt. And this was a moment that would forever change me and make me the strongest woman ever as I am today. As I was sitting there looking at all the escalators moving downward I noticed how "high" up I was... and in that moment a "odd feeling" I had never felt before came over me... I wanted to JUMP!!!! Right then and there I contemplated suicide for the first time in my life at only 24 years old! I instantly had a panic attack from this fear and was rushed home. I did tell my mom, and yes, I did go to my psychiatrist right away the following Monday to talk and be evaluated. At this moment in my life, if I hadn't prayed to God and I hadn't told my mom or listened to Hanson to soothe me (I listened to "Watch Over Me" like crazy that year, which is also why I still cry now when I hear it) I don't know really if I would be here writing this. Life is so funny isn't it? Life is a beautiful ride!!! It is mysterious and just wonderful.


Through the years after that I have gone through changes, awakenings, transformations and have stood my ground. I let unhealthy relationships (both romantic and friend) end and built new better ones. I graduated college in 2017 with an Associates in Communications and General Studies. I found an incredible boyfriend who I am happily currently living with for the past 3 years as we plan on engagement soon, marriage, and a baby. I am the HAPPIEST I have ever been in my life and have grown as a human in so many different ways. I am currently back in school for an 8 course certification in Business Administration and have a year down where I am considered a Junior for my B.A. I have a year to go after I get this certification to obtain my Bachelors in Business Administration/Office Management. 


I know for a fact that today wouldn't be if it weren't for Hanson. For they have allowed me to BELIEVE when I couldn't. They allowed me to focus on who I am and what I represent. Kept me from bad temptations in my past and have always been there when I needed them. Because of them I never needed to hang with the "cool crowd" to fit in or do drugs or drink as a teen AND an adult to get through my life. Because of Hanson and their music I have come so far. I have survived. I have lived so many dreams and realities because of them. But the best lesson I learned by them is that "there is NO day like today". I never gave up. I didn't give IN. I conquered my fears and I took every step back and heartbreak and came out on TOP. I am here and able to tell this story because I at 10 was "going to be just like Hanson when I grow up", and Hanson NEVER gave up... so I couldn't either.


Thank You Hanson! Isaac, Taylor and Zac for listening to my story! And thank you for inspiring me for all my life. Your music means so much to me and your presence is an honor to be in, always.


A VERY LONG TIME FAN, Lauren Allison all the way from Southeastern, Massachusetts, 31 years old.


10

Aubstock

Aubrey Faust
Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

It all started for me in 1997 with one song, and it wasnt mmmbop. It was With You In Your Dreams. My grandmother was dying, I was 10 and had no idea how to cope. In came this orange album into my life and i get to that track and these words of not only sadness but joy in the time spent together and hope for the future in the lyrics just filled my soul. I would lock myself into my grandmothers nursing home room and listen to it over and over. That was the song that made me a lifelong Hanson fan.

Over the years being a Hanson fan has changed for me. It started out as a soothing feeling, then became a frenzy and now its just about the community we as fans and them as our favorite band have built. I stuck by them through thick and thin and I feel like Hanson has always stuck by me as well. There are not many other things that have been a part of my life longer than Hanson has, 22 years and going for many many more hopefully!

5

kelsrose2022

5

1

kelsrose2022

Music has healing powers. There's research behind the fact that music can relieve pain. I truly believe in the power of thought and prayer, and listening to music with your whole heart can do just that. My entire life story is proof. 



I was emotionally abused as a child. My mother struggled with mental illness and as an only child of a single parent, I was her sounding board, her therapist. Music was always my escape. Michael, Janet, Paula, Whitney...you could find me with my Walkman any day of the week. As my mother fell deeper into depression, I struggled with anxiety and anorexia. When I was 10, my mother moved us away from my hometown, and my entire extended family. We were isolated, and I spent a lot of time alone. I used to lay in my bedroom and pray for help. After another move, at the age of 12, I, too, was depressed. I used to wish I hadn't been born, because then I wouldn't feel this pain. I was dangerously underweight, living with a heart condition caused by my low weight and anxiety, and lived in fear that "people would take me away" if they knew the truth. I hid my true home life from my friends, my teachers, everyone. I was alone from 5:30am to 7pm, since my mom worked almost 2 hours away. My lowest point was when a UPS delivery man started coming to my door every afternoon and telling me he knew I was home, and alone, and I better open the door and let him in. I was terrified of what would happen to me if I did, so I stopped going outside. 


And then one morning, while I was brushing my teeth, I had MTV on and I heard the first few notes of MMMBop. It was a new song, so I came out to listen. The toothbrush hung out of my mouth and I just watched. I don't know what it was...but this song woke up something inside of me that I forgot was there...hope. 


I got the album (cassette, of course, for my Walkman!), and listened to it non-stop. Hanson became my lifeline. I started eating again, and within a year had double my weight and was finally in a healthy place again. My heart murmur resolved. I went to my first concert, the Live from Albertane Tour in Seattle, and was in absolute heaven (despite not being able to hear the music over the screaming!). 


As I grew up, so did Hanson. They continued to work on their song writing, their connection with their fans, the depth of themes in their music. They didn’t just feel like role models to me, but peers as well. I signed up for MOE and devoured each issue that came out. I was fascinated by the behind the scenes photos and details on the new records, and eagerly anticipated new releases! As a senior in high school, I was the captain of my dance team, but I was taken out of the season as a dancer due to debilitating mysterious back injury that caused me to struggle with walking. Like most young people my age, Hanson was going through their share of trials and tribulations at the same time, too.  


In 2003, I moved across the country to go to college in Boston to become a teacher. Being on my own for the first time, working three jobs to pay for school, it was terrifying and thrilling at the same time. I loved the independence, but it was not without its difficulty. I began to get severe migraines, kidney stones, and ovarian cysts. I powered through the pain, but barely had time for anything else. One day, I heard that Hanson would be coming to my university to share their documentary. What a great opportunity! I shyly joined other fans I had no idea existed in the basement of the student union, and watched with heartache as my favorite band had struggled so much to make their next album. How had I missed this?! When the guys came out to take questions, it seemed like they were larger than life. I actually got called on, and could not tell you to this day what I asked or what Zac replied. My heart raced and all I could think was that my childhood heroes were talking to me!


After graduating from college, my mysterious illnesses continued to show up frequently. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and warned I would struggle to have children. It seemed I had more ovarian cysts than ever before, and kidney stones constantly. But still, music was my therapy and helped keep my mind off of my pain. 


In 2010, while working as a preschool teacher, I sprained my back and was put on medical leave for most of the year. Suddenly, I had infinite time on my hands! While I struggled to recover, I joined hanson.net and caught myself up on all the exclusive music, videos, and blogs written by the guys. It was a great time to reconnect with the music, and it got me through days where I could barely stand. I was well enough to attend the Shout It Out tour on Cape Cod, and attended my first Walk. It was a challenge, to say the least, but it was the first time that Isaac, Taylor and Zac just felt like real people. They casually joined the eager fans, chatted, and finished it all up with an inspiring call to action. It was a wonderful day, finished off with an incredible concert! The experience gave me the boost of positive energy I really needed!


Fast forward two years later, and I needed that positive energy again. A year after my mother was in the hospital for attempted suicide, I lost my grandfather to an aggressive form of leukemia. It seemed like the difficult times in life were crashing over me like a tidal wave, pushing me down again and again. My doctor suspected another ovarian cyst was cancer, and I underwent my first surgery for endometriosis. Thankfully, it was not cancerous, but I was diagnosed with stage iii endometriosis and told to try for a baby immediately. My anxiety and anorexia returned, although having been through counseling, I was able cope with my eating disorder well enough to make it through. 


My then-boyfriend and I made the decision to give up the dream wedding we had hoped for and had a small ceremony two weeks later. I had always dreamed that my grandfather would walk me down the aisle, so I included a locket with his picture on my bouquet. We began our battle with infertility with high hopes that quickly turned sour. My endometriosis quickly returned, and I struggled with intense pain, at times not being able to breathe or roll over in bed. I began my quest for more information, and underwent my second surgery June 2013. What my surgeon found was astounding: 20 different endometriosis lesions spread on every organ in my pelvis, including my ureters. I was lucky to have a skilled surgeon who hoped we would be on the road to recovery, and baby, soon. 


I attended the Anthem tour in Boston that summer, going on my second Walk feeling better than I ever had! Tears filled my eyes as we stood around in a huge crowd listening to Taylor’s inspiring speech once again. At the concert, Zac sang On and On, and I was filled with a great sense of hope. I felt healthy and whole enough to jump with no inhibitions during In The City…what joy! A few months later, I woke up and took a pregnancy test, and it was positive! I couldn’t believe my dreams had finally come true. I had been hoping to be a mother my entire life, and things were finally falling into place.


That sense of hope was short lived. Just six weeks into my pregnancy, I miscarried. The deep ache, the pain, the hormonal surges were overwhelming, and suddenly, I was empty. I would never know what it was like to carry my baby to term and hold her in my arms. Hanson’s music got me through yet another difficult time in my life, and ushered me into one that I never thought possible. Over the next year, we tried and tried again to get pregnant, but it just wasn’t happening for us. Despite a lot of effort, I went into my third endometriosis surgery broken in body and in spirit. I awoke to learn I had a bowel resection and that 60% of my right ovary was now gone. Ten weeks later, I had an emergency gall bladder removal and I don’t remember ever feeling so utterly exhausted and defeated. We made one final effort, supported with a fertility drug, but it was fruitless, and my body began to ache all over. “I’m done,” I finally told my husband. Enough is enough. 


As holiday season 2014 approached, we began the process of being licensed for foster care adoption. We made our annual trek to Disney (another source of joy in our crazy life!), and I left with a sprained ankle. “You couldn’t write a story like mine!” I thought. Weeks went by, Christmas came and went, and my ankle didn’t get better. I began having other strange symptoms and migraines, I felt like I was falling apart. Doctor by doctor, I came closer to something that was coming all my life, a reason why I had been so unlucky: Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. 


After what felt like weeks pouring over the internet and rereading test after test, undergoing painful spinal taps and medication changes, losing my ability to work, worry that I would never feel better, I stumbled upon the term and found a geneticist who officially diagnosed me with EDS, a genetic connective tissue disorder. Defective collagen in the body manifested as easily dislocated joints, abnormally soft and stretchy vasculature, problems with digestion and autonomic functioning…it explained so much about my body! With definitive answers and a new expectation for life, I began intense specialized PT, changed the age group of children we could adopt, and went on the search for our forever family. 


That summer, we were finally matched with our children: a sibling group of three, ages 3, 6, and 7. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey ahead, of learning how to help my children cope and heal from their trauma, and learning how to heal from my own. Each of my children struggle with PTSD, and my youngest with a significant attachment disorder. Thinking about growing up and handling intense stress, I shared music with my children. I showed them how music had helped me cope and calm myself in times of great stress. My children quickly caught on to Hanson’s music, started imitating them playing musical instruments, and eventually taking up violin and piano themselves. It helped us through one of the toughest times we could have faced as a family: a life threatening injury. 


Shortly after my children joined our family, I learned that I had several serious spinal abnormalities: tethered spinal cord, Chiari malformation (which effects the brain), and cranio-cervical instability. I had surgery in 2016 to correct my tethered cord, and shortly after was rendered bed-bound by my worsening CCI. I don’t know how we remained sane and closely knit through all of that stress, but I do know that Hanson played a major role. When I lay in my bed, crying that I may not wake up from surgery, racked with guilt that I would leave my children without yet another mother, Hanson’s music got me through. The community on hanson.net became supportive, a place I could go to talk about life and music. I kept my spirits high by preparing for the Middle of Everywhere tour, where my older two children joined me, and seeing Hanson perform at EPCOT. After everything we had been through, Hanson was there. When I Was Born came out, it was all my kids could sing! We wore matching t-shirts to the parks and partied during the show. It was a great family event. 


The messages that Hanson have in their music, of struggle, triumph, overcoming life’s obstacles, fighting for what you believe in, these messages helped shape the person I am today. I am a person who takes life’s most tragic twists and turns, and looks for the light at the end of the tunnel. Hanson has become that light for me. This past year, my husband and two eldest children attended String Theory. The album spoke to me like nothing else: “When you’re up against the wall/ staring down the firing squad/ they ask you for your final verse/ be brave, tell them to do their worst!” While I cheered and cried during Breaktown from the audience, my thoughts were with my youngest child, who was in the hospital struggling with her mental illness. I felt guilty for leaving her, but my husband promised me this was a necessary thing for us all to keep going. He waited with us after the show for two hours in the freezing cold so I could fulfill a wish 21 years in the making: to meet Hanson


Admittedly, my son was miserable. He was tired and freezing, so we let him play Pokemon on his switch the entire time. My daughter didn’t need any motivation: she’s a die hard fan too! She didn’t care about the cold! Finally, as they were moving the trucks out of the alley, Zac came out. I shouted at him to come play switch with us, and over he came! He chatted about Mewtwo and I was mortified that my son didn’t offer him the console, but Zac was so kind about it. We got a picture with Zac and he made a video saying hi to my youngest child in the hospital. Taylor came out next and greeted my children with so much respect and kindness. He called my husband Papa Bear and we snagged another photo. After such a long time, it was great to be able to just say hello and thank the guys for their time and creativity. After all this time, with as much as I have looked up to them over the years, it almost feels like greeting old friends…with a little touch of the butterflies. 


I’ll never be able to put into words what that moment meant to me (even this isn’t doing it justice), but I hope they know what they mean to all of us. I had plans to go to Hanson Day for the first time this year, but I found out I needed another spinal cord surgery, and can’t travel for the rest of the year. I have my Back to the Island tickets, and I am looking at the light at the end of the tunnel…until the next one! Thank you so much! Much love and respect! xoxo 

1

EnchantedKnitwit

Laura Thorp
Owings Mills, Maryland, US

I'm unable to attend Hanson Day this year, but here goes.  My story of Hanson is like most--I heard MMMBop in 1997 and that was it for me...I have never loved the music of any other band quite as much.  And it always impressed me that these kids my age had done this, broken onto the music scene, as kids, and found success. 

The fandom has been very loyal ever since, and grows ever more so over time....because you know that the ones who are still around truly care about the music, and all the fun that they have bonding with other fans at concerts, events such as BTTI/HopJam/Hanson Day, and here on hanson.net where you can meet fans from all over the world and geek out together, collectively, as much as you want. 

I lost touch with the friends from school who I went to see concerts on the Albertane Tour with, though recently when we have reconnected over social media there has been the prospect of going to see Hanson together again...we had unrepeatably wonderful memories from those concerts in 1998, that we still laugh about today even though the occasions when we get to talk are few and far between.  I've made new friends here with fellow fans, and hope that trend will only continue to happen and lead me to great people (and I believe it will because there are some really amazing people who love this band). 

Since our shared teenage years, Hanson has continually inspired me through example to reach for my dreams, fight for what is important, hold onto important people in my life, work hard for what I want, create, laugh, be silly once in a while and have fun laughing at myself, learn new things, travel, have new experiences, be myself and be true to myself, and live life to the fullest--enjoying it along the way. I felt that even more so after seeing String Theory.  It's been amazing growing up with them and seeing that they've never taken any of their success, or the people who appreciate their music, for granted.  Their relationship with fans truly is more two-sided than probably any other, and having been a fan for 22 years, it does sort of feel like they're old friends to all of us.  And when we meet new friends who've loved them just as long, it feels as though those people are old friends of ours as well, who we just hadn't met before.  Almost nothing will bond two people more than a shared love of Hanson. :)

2

hellotwyla

Jocelyn and I joked around online all the time but we hadn’t met in person. I live in Chicago and she lives in Houston. At the last minute she had an extra ticket to Ft Worth String Theory less than a week before the show. She kind of jokingly asked me if I could make it. I found cheap airfare and told her, “If you’re serious, I can be there!” Five days later, we were sitting in the second row together, singing along and dancing in our seats. It turned out to be quite the Hanson adventure and the rest is history. We talk all the time and I just couldn’t wait to see her at Hanson Day. We’re at karaoke together right now!

1

Deanna0129

My Hanson story is my favourite story in my life. It is directed related to some of the best and most important things and people I've ever had. I had no idea that the day I was sitting in my Grandmothers bedroom and a music video came on that caught my ear (and eyes!

1

Deanna0129

Ahhh... what happened to my whole post?? 90% got cut off :(

1

Deanna0129

My Hanson story is my favourite story in my life.

It is directly related to some of the best and most important people I've ever known. I had no idea that the day I was sitting in my Grandmothers bedroom and a music video came on the TV that caught my ear (and eyes!) Would quite literally change my life, and send me on a path I was destined to be on. 

I was 12 years old when I first heard mmmbop - and immediately knew I needed to hear more. There was no explanation for it other than it just grabbed a hold of me. 

When my Grandmother bought me the Middle of Nowhere cassette tape after much begging and pleading, it was the only sound that would grace the ears of anyone in my house for months to come. I was just simply in love. In love with the sound, the emotion, the soul... all of it. 

That 53 minute, 41 second album became the soundtrack to a 12 year old girls existence, and meant more to me than anyone realized. It meant more than even I could realize. 

Of course I was quite love struck by the guys as well. Who wasn't? I had in my bedroom what everyone referred to as "The Hanson Shrine". Posters wallpapered my bedroom walls and ceiling. I had every article, newspaper clipping, t shirt, book, waffle box, etc.. you name it. All kept immaculate in plastic covers. Because, that's what we do with things that are important to us, we protect them. We preserve them. We treasure them. 

At this point, I had made a decision. I was 12 years old. And I declared to my Grandmother that I was going to one day move to Tulsa and marry Taylor. (Surely I was the only one who had that notion?) I was completely convinced of this and no one could tell me otherwise. There was just something about this boy that touched my soul. The band as a whole, had my heart. 

Fast forward just a bit to September 11, 1998. 

The Pepsi Arena in Albany, NY. 

My very first concert. 

Hansons Albertane tour.

The energy in that Arena was absolutely astounding. Electrifying. It was enough to give goosebumps, goosebumps. 

The guys came out and they started to play. 

Gimme some lovin'. 

Somehow they managed to make the intro to that song so unbelievably powerful. Maybe it was just preteen girl hormones, but, it literally brought tears of excitement and joy to my eyes. 

It's a feeling I never have, and never will forget. 

To this day, whenever I hear that song... that intro... it doesn't matter who is playing it, it brings me right back to that moment in time and I experience all of those emotions flooding right back to me. It is such an amazing phenomenon- The emotions that get evoked from what is really just a split second in time. An mmmbop.

Yes, I already loved these guys. But that concert, that performance, that song... ensured a lifelong dedicated fan. 

We will fast forward just a bit again to Christmas of 1998. More than anything, I wanted a computer for Christmas that year. Unfortunately, Santa just could not afford that. But, what Santa could afford, I would later realize was even better. I got a WebTV! And unless you were a preteen or teen around 1997 to 1999, you probably have no clue what that is. This was a module you connected to your television that would allow you to connect to the internet, and also had it's own little "Webtv" community. 

I got it connected and voila! I. Was. On. The. Internet. 

Of course my first mission upon connecting was obvious. Search for Hanson related things. Duh. 

In doing so, I stumbled across a chatroom community. I was brand new to this. But I bravely entered this new world and began searching to see if I could find a Hanson chatroom. 

Guess what?? I DID! 

The chatroom was filled with fans, non fans, and just people looking for someone to talk to. But most importantly, it was filled with people that would become lifelong friends and companions in my life. We were all so different, and mostly so far away physically from each other, but still always there for one another. Some of the best, most memorable, entertaining, and laughable conversations I can ever remember happening in my life happened right there in that little chatroom. We were a family. 

I met my best friend, Hollie in that chatroom when we were just 12 years old. 21 years later, we are still best friends. We have been there for each other through everything over the last 2 decades, and I don't know how I would have made it through some of the things in my life without her. She lived in Pennsylvania and I in New York, but we visited each other as we got older any chance we got. 

At that same time I met another in that chatroom - an adorable blonde haired, blue eyed boy entered this chatroom proclaiming he was from Tulsa. 

Be still my heart. "Do you know Hanson??" Was obviously all I needed to know. Turned out he didn't know know them, but seen them quite a bit. That was enough for me and figured he was obviously worth talking to 

So I did. We talked, for days. For weeks. For years. Somehow along the way, I fell in love with this boy. At 13 years old. But how could this be?? I was going to marry Taylor! I was betraying my future husband! It was unstoppable though, and quite clear. I loved that boy. We did the long distance "dating" for a while, since that was all that was possible with him being in Oklahoma and I in New York. 

It didn't really work out. We called it quits, and, saying i was crushed is an understatement. 

Even so, we were important enough to each other that we were able to remain friends and still spoke all the time. Sometimes not as much, but we both knew we were always there.

One summer, when I was 17, Matt had the opportunity to come visit me in New York. 

He took a bus from Tulsa to Albany to see me. When he got off that bus, it all came back. I saw my forever right there in front of me for the first time. We spent an amazing time together that summer. It felt like it was always supposed to be that way. We tossed around the idea of him uprooting from Tulsa and moving his life to New York. My family even loved him so much that they were willing to let move in with us if he made the move. (If you knew my Grandmother... this would have been a huge no no if it were anyone else. Rules. No boys) but as far as she was concerned by that point, he was family to her. 

She said to me one night while we were both sitting at our kitchen table playing cards, and everyone else was asleep- "He's a good one. I see the way he looks at you, and looks after you, he loves you. Hold on to that one". 

And I tried. But as life had it, the move from Tulsa to New York didn't pan out for us. Matt left for Oklahoma and I cried all the way home from the bus station. We talked for weeks after, about what could be if the move could happen. But it just never did, and we ultimately never took it any further from there. 

We watched each other from afar go through relationships and break ups, children being born, etc. We maintained our friendship as best as we could.  Though I will admit that sometimes it was hard. It was painful. Even if we both had separate lives and families, there was no giving away the piece of my heart that I gave to that adorable little blonde haired, blue eyed boy years ago. 

I was in a toxic relationship for more than 10 years, I had 3 kids. Hollie, and Matt both saw me through that. And ultimately helped be my strength to get myself and my children out of it. It wasn't long after that that Matt and I had both found ourselves in the position that we were both available once again. Matt invited me Tulsa for a little getaway after everything I'd gone through that year. I accepted and arranged my very first visit to Tulsa. 

Entering Tulsa I immediately started to feel like I was home. I cant explain it, but it was home. 

And then I saw Matt again, for the first time in 13 years. And it clicked all over again. It felt like no time had passed at all. I think we both instantly had that feeling of... I'm not letting go of this again. He proposed to me on that trip. He took me out for a late Birthday/Valentines dinner. He told me he loved me, and asked if we would be together forever. I agreed, saying "forever". Then, in the parking lot of Bodeans, he opened a black box. A ring. What now clearly I realized was what he had been fidgeting with all night in his pocket.  There was no hesitation. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes again. That was my forever right there, it always had been. 

Agreeing to forever was the easy part. Now we had to make the decision of who was going to move where for whom.

Without a second thought, I volunteered. Tulsa already felt like home to me.

Over the next few months we planned, made arrangements, packed... and I quit my job of 10 years that I loved. Matt came back to New York in July, and we were married there in my Grandmothers church. "Surely As The Sun" played during our candle lighting ceremony. It was only fitting that Hanson were incorporated into our wedding somehow, and it fit perfectly. 

A week later we were on our way home, to Tulsa. Married. 

Married. 

Our forever was beginning. 

After getting settled in and back to normal life a bit, we attended our first concert together.

Hanson. In Tulsa.  We brought it full circle, back to where it all began. It was a pretty surreal experience. 

At 12 years old, I declared I was moving to Tulsa and marrying Taylor. 

At 13, I fell in love with someone other than Taylor, to my surprise. 

But they both landed me in Tulsa. My home. The place I was apparently always destined to be. And I couldn't be happier or more thankful for that. I love Tulsa and I love my Hanson story, and where it has brought me.

I love them just as much today as I did 22 years ago. Their music still resonates with me. It still touches my heart and speaks to my soul. And now, living in Tulsa, I am in awe and so proud of how much THEY love Tulsa. I love them the same, but look at them differently now. They inspire through more than just their music. They inspire by being good men. Good people. Active community members, caring human beings. 

They've truly been inspirational in my life, and have quite literally set me on the path I am on now, for which I will be eternally grateful. 


Thank you from the bottom of my heart, guys. It's been a magical, Musical Ride so far.

11

weirdhitz5

Loving Hanson is about loving yourself. From the first time I heard "Weird" until today every time I introduce someone new to the modern-day Hanson, I remember what it means to be authentic to yourself. Hanson fans often need to explain the unexplainable--this raw connection to three guys and the global community they have created--to people who are often uninterested in truly listening. Hanson fans are known to face some confusion and sometimes even criticism because so many people are uncomfortable with the unknown (in this case, a band that has thrived outside of the spotlight for decades). Facing and embracing these criticisms has built my character, increased my passion, and developed a strong sense of self-confidence. Because of Hanson, I am a strong person who is comfortable being outside the box and being true to myself. Because of Hanson, I have also embodied a sense of self-purpose and professional passion all the while making sure that my work positively impacts people.

10

PuffGreenyGirl

Adding my story after the fact since I didn't see any physical interviews at HDay:

My mother was the one who instilled a love of music in me. She never questioned my love for Hanson; she understood and compared it to her love of the Beatles. One of the reasons I've always identified with Hanson's music is because we grew up listening to a lot of the same rock and soul music. One of my favorite covers of theirs is Three Dog Night's "Never Been to Spain." I once bought a Best of Three Dog Night CD for my mom for Christmas and gave her a hard time because I couldn't find it in the store alphabetically because it was in the Oldies section instead (she didn't appreciate that, ha). My mom's family was from the Midwest and moved around a lot before settling in the PNW when she was 10. Both her and her younger brother were born in Ohio but moved away before being old enough to remember. After he passed away in July of 2007, my mom told me Never Been to Spain reminder her of her brother but she would change the lyrics to "I've never been to heaven, but I've been to Ohio," the lyrics continue "they tell me I was born there, but I really don't remember." My mother passed away unexpectedly the following May. I met one of my best friends at a Hanson concert in September of that year. We decided to go to Tulsa for Hanson Day in 2009. We were sitting in the airport on our way home and I was listening to my music on shuffle. Hailey turned to me and asked why I was crying. I replied, "I've never been to heaven, but I've been to Oklahoma."


I have met my best friends because of Hanson and had many wonderful experiences because of them. I am forever grateful to be part of their story and to have them as part of mine.

2

Elenahanson

Hanson music made me who I am right now, brought me where I am right now and gave me what I have right now. They are more than a band, they are like family, best friends that will give you advice or cheer you up or make you smile any time through their songs just put the music on. My Musical Ride with Hanson started like for most of fans in 1997. I remember my sister got a cassette with Hits of that year and one of them was Mmmbop. That was love from the first chord. Coming from a small, ex- Soviet Union country I didn't have much access to foreign music. We had a MTV channel that was broadcast from Great Britain that will put on sometimes some music from USA. This is how I got to see who these amazing kids are. I was shocked how much talent at that fragile age they have and I felt something unbelievably powerful coming from their music so my heart chose them as my guide through the journey of life and I am thankful to my little me, just 12 years old at that time, that I made that choice. I didn't knew any English so I was very curious what are they singing about so I started to learn English home by myself because my parents couldn't afford to pay for classes. I would search for lyrics and translate them and learn each word. During this process my mind created the biggest dream of my life to come one day to USA and see Hanson perform live on stage. Together with this dream I was inspired to do so much more. At the age of 16 I wrote a novel that was totally inspired by Hanson music, which after so many years is about to be published. I did lots of projects and created lots of things thanks to them. But most important that their songs helped me get through my parents divorce, depression and suicidal thoughts. My dream seemed impossible, everyone would laugh at me when they would  hear that I want to move to USA and see Hanson but despite that I was a true believer and I kept dreaming and working on achieving my goals. To tell the truth, I never thought it will actually happen but I wanted it so badly that after 16 years it finally came true, I moved to USA and the same year I attended my first Hanson show in Silver Spring Maryland.  I understood one thing that everything is possible if you want it strong enough. 

I find myself in so many Hanson songs. Listening to their music makes me feel like home, makes me feel young thinking about the days when this Musical Ride just started, it keeps me to still Reaching for the sky, to dream it and do it, to challenge my self because I was born to do, go, be.

Always and forever great full for these three awesome guys for creating such inspiring music that changed so many lives all around the globe. You are truly amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

 

1

Kristina714

My first sighting of HANSON was in 1997 when I first saw the video for MMMBop..... I was hooked since then. I've always loved the band from the very beginning. I've only seen the boys in concert once (unfortunately) for a radio station my dad was working at the time and when he told me that HANSON was headlining that year and I was going.... I was so excited!!!! I have been in and out of the loop for years, but always come back. I respect that the boys write, play and sing their own music. I was bummed I missed the big weekend for Hanson day and hope jam in Tulsa but I just bought some items at the store from Hanson day and a membership! I cant wait to see what's in store. Forever a Hanson fan!!!

2

babygirl1987

I will never forget my first Hanson show! It was in West Palm Beach, FL at the Coral Sky Ampitheatre and it was pouring down rain that night! I was in the second row and for that tour (The Road to Albertane tour) the boys decided to soak the audience with super soakers even though it was raining and everyone was soaked anyway! (Thanks guys!). I remember having so much fun and years later, I still have a blast at their shows!

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