BY THOMAS CONNER
© Tulsa World
Boy, the boys are glad to be home.
"Finally, we've figured out what day and month it is, and
where we are. We're home!" said Zac Hanson, youngest of the
fraternal trio Hanson.
The group returned home Wednesday for its first hometown
concert since the group's major- label debut record, "Middle
of Nowhere," hit No. 1 around the world last year.
For the last year and a half, Hanson — that's Isaac,
Taylor and Zac — has been racing a whirlwind schedule of
promotional appearances and brief performances around the
globe. The three boys spoke with the media at a pre-show
press conference and said that this summer's tour is the
most fun they've had yet.
"People always ask us, 'Is being on tour such hard work?'
Actually, being on tour has been less stressful than the
last year and a half," Isaac said.
Each young singer voiced and showed visible relief at
being among familiar surroundings. The group — which usually
travels with both parents and some or all of four other
siblings — return to Tulsa on rare occasions, but the bulk
of their time since "Middle of Nowhere" hit shelves in May
1997 has been spent in hotels and buses from Birmingham to
In fact, there were fans young and old at Wednesday
night's concert who traveled all the way from, well, Buenos
"It's amazing that people would come that far," Isaac
"I wouldn't go that far," Taylor added.
It's amazing that these three Tulsa youths have come
this far, too. Just two years ago, the under-age boys were
still finagling gigs at Tulsa clubs and wondering how they
would ever get their career off the ground.
"Our last gig in Tulsa was just two years ago," Taylor
". . . at the Blue Rose," Isaac added. "I remember it
distinctly. We said to each other, 'This is going to be our
last show. We're going to go to L.A. and make an album.' "
The amazement at their own good fortune seems genuine.
These are three kids who have conquered the world and
matured remarkably but still somehow remained bright-eyed
"We're still just so psyched about getting to play,"
Taylor said. "If it all stopped right now, we'd be totally
psyched to say we have had the greatest year and a half
When asked what they missed most about Tulsa, Zac was
quick to answer, "The food."
Outside the press conference — held in a room at the
Warren Place DoubleTree Hotel — was the usual gaggle of
young girls hoping for a glimpse of the three stars. They
screamed when Hanson entered the room, and they screamed
when the boys left. The Hansons said they've gotten used to
that sort of hysteria and haven't allowed it to hamper
their normal lives too much.
"We still go out — we just go in big groups of friends. We
still do all the things we used to do — we're just more
cautious," Taylor said. "It's cool to just have fans at all."
Pop quiz: Hanson and the media
BY THOMAS CONNER
© Tulsa World
They're just kids.
That's the first thing you notice when you see Hanson in
person. For a year and a half, those of us who pay
attention to the goings-on of these three talented guys
have been conditioned for their Celebrity Status. They must
be bigger than life, right?
Nah. They're just three kids. They laugh. They joke.
They punch each other. And — I was thrilled to see — the
rigors of fame haven't seemed to dull their spirits one
The three boys sat down with the Tulsa and state press a
few hours before their Wednesday concert at the Mabee
Center. The questions came fast and furious, and they
handled them all with impressive aplomb.
For those who simply must know everything, here are the
Q. What do you think of being a role model for so many
Isaac: "If we influence people in a positive way, help
them get inspired to do things they want to do, that's
Taylor: "We're really just psyched about getting to play.
It's cool just to get to make your music."
Q. You added a second show in Detroit. Why no extra show
Isaac: "That was a fluke, really. We had planned
to travel back toward the East Coast, and Detroit happened
to be on the way. The scheduling just won't allow it here
Taylor: "We want to come back and play Tulsa again as
soon as we can. There will be a more extensive tour after
the next record. We'll probably play Oklahoma City, too."
Q. Do you still horse around together as brothers, or
are you sick of each other?
(They each punch each other playfully. Hard, but
Zac: "We actually get hurt more when we're
joking about that."
Taylor: "We were doing a TV show and
Ike nailed me in the face. We were trying to demonstrate
Q. Are you worried about being a flash-in-the-pan?
Taylor: "We can't worry about that. We can just do
exactly what we've always done. It's up to the fans whether
they want to buy the records or not."
Q. Is anyone's voice changing?
Isaac: "People have been asking us that a lot lately.
That was news about a year ago."
Q. Who's the most thrilling person you've met so far?
Taylor: "Probably the president. That was the
highest-ranking one, at least."
Q. How do you keep up with school?
Taylor: "Well, it's summer now. Our parents have always
been our private tutors. We get to do cool things on the
Isaac: "We went to the CDC (Center for Disease Control)
the other day. Seeing all these pictures of people with the
Ebola virus, I was, like, eeeuuwwww! I think I'll wash my
Q. Do you get an allowance?
Taylor: "Well, we're not doing any chores ..."
Q. Is this Tulsa show the highlight of your world tour?
Isaac: "It's hard for it not to be."
Taylor: "We have a lot of friends and family who haven't
seen us live yet."
Q. What do you miss most about Tulsa when you're on the
Zac: "The food. Literally, the food."
Q. Any restaurant in particular?
Isaac: "We'd love to tell you, but if we did everybody
would go there at once."
Q. Anyone got a girlfriend?
These online "clips" reproduce a self-selection of my journalism (music etc) during the last 20+ years. It's a lotta stuff, but it only scratches the surface. I do not currently possess the time or resources to digitize the whole body of work. These posts are simply a bunch of pretty great days at the office.