I’m not ashamed to admit it, I used to love Hanson. Oh who am I kidding, I still love Hanson. When I was growing up, I was never allowed to listen to current music. My mother always turned on her oldies station, so I never knew anything current. All that changed one day when I ‘accidentally’ turned on MTV (I had strict parents). I had caught the ending of their ‘MMMBop’ video, back when MTV actually played music videos. I remember thinking the singer (Taylor Hanson) was ridiculously cute, but I couldn’t tell if he was a guy or girl. That thought in itself should’ve probably caused me to contemplate some other things, if you catch my drift.
That 40 seconds of video I got to see was enough to have me hooked. I kept tuning in to MTV, hoping to peep the full video, and finally, a couple days later, my wish came true. Listening to that song was like being smothered by 100 fluffy kittens while eating a giant bowl of ice cream. It was the best, and I needed to hear more. I saved my allowance, ‘borrowed’ a dollar from my sister, and bought their CD Middle of Nowhere. That thing was on repeat 24/7 and no amount of things being thrown at my face by my grumpy sister could stop their glorious music from being played.
‘MMMBop’ was Hanson’s debut single released in 1997 and made it to the top of the charts. The band consists of three brothers, Zac, Taylor, and Isaac, who play their own instruments and write their own songs. They hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they started performing at the ages of 6, 9, and 11. Middle of Nowhere was their first album on a major label, but they did put out two independent albums previously. According to Zac Hanson, the song was meant to be a background for another song, but it never happened. Thank goodness for that! ‘MMMBop’ is about holding on to the things you have because one day, they might be gone. Man, they’re so deep. The band credits their inspiration to bands like the Beach Boys and other vocal groups of the 1950s and 1960s. Hanson still performs today and continues to put out new music. The current stuff is ok, but not nearly as good as the songs on their original CD.
You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing this song. While many people loved it, and who could blame them, there was a ton of backlash for the amount of airtime it received. A school in Pennsylvania held a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina called ‘Stop the Bop.’ They would play the song everyday before school, between classes, and during lunch. The only way to stop it was to raise $3000 for the fundraiser. The students met their goal, and Hanson, even though this fundraiser was a diss on their song, matched their donation. Could they be anymore awesome?
I stalked the crap out of Hanson. I had all their songs, watched all their television performances, had their movies, but the one thing I really wanted that I never got was to see them perform live. Really, I just wanted to meet Taylor Hanson, the only musician I’ve ever had a crush on. My dream was almost answered last year when I was in Miami for a wedding, which coincidentally just so happened to be my 28th birthday. I was walking down a block in this little Cuban area, and a friend of mine said ‘isn’t that Taylor Hanson that just walked by?’ I immediately turned around and began my hunt for him, like a bloodhound trying to find a lost child. Coming towards the end of the block, I was about to give up all hope, but then, the clouds parted and he appeared. In my head, I brazenly walked up to him and introduced myself, took a picture, got an autograph, and lived the rest of my life in bliss. In reality, I couldn’t move or speak. I was literally frozen. There was the one musician I would’ve traded my soul to meet, and I couldn’t bring myself to get close to him. He was 10 feet away from me, with his wife and kids, and I was just staring at them like the biggest creep ever. He made eye contact with me and I bolted. The fear of embarrassing myself in front of him was too great, and there went my chance of wrapping my arms around my childhood idol. Damn you, anxiety. Damn you.
You can still hear ‘MMMBop’ on the radio today. Whenever it comes on, I just can’t help but shimmy and smile. I know it’s lame but, I don’t care. This song will never get old to me and my fingers are crossed super tight that I’ll get another chance to meet Taylor. I need redemption!
For your enjoyment, here’s their video: