From Zeroes to Heroes
By World's own Service 12/26/97
In Eight Easy Months, Tulsa's Own Hanson Brothers took the World by Storm. If You
Haven't Yet Been Bitten by the Boys' Bug, Be Assured - They Will Come for You.
In August, Hanson played, well, a record-breaking show in Toronto, Canada. Trick is,
they didn't set the record -- their fans did. The mob -- mostly ecstatic young girls, of
course -- screamed their way into the Guinness Book of World Records. The sound meter
at the show registered the audience frenzy at 140 decibels. The previous record is 126
decibels, set by fans of the Who nearly two decades ago. (Parents, fill in your own ``The
Kids Are Alright'' joke here.) That's just one way the Hanson brothers have made noise
this year. When the calendar turned to '97, the Hanson boys couldn't get arrested. They'd
been on the local pep rally circuit and become Mayfest staples, even had quietly released
two indie albums, but the Hanson moniker meant nothing to the masses. This New Year's
holiday, the Hanson family has a lot to toast. The family's singing trio -- Zac, Taylor and
Isaac -- has sold more than 10 million albums and become the No. 1 pop group in nearly
every country on the planet. Here's a look back at the past year of Hanson-mania -- the
exposition and explosion: MMMBoy!
Feb. 1 -- A photograph appears in Billboard magazine with a caption kicker that would
prove all too prophetic: ``Eat My Dust.'' The Hanson brothers are pictured with the Dust
Brothers and two Mercury Records execs. The caption simply mentioned that the boys
were finishing their album in a California studio.
Feb. 28 -- The song ``MMMBop'' is among 10 (including Springsteen and Journey) rated
by radio DJs in an issue of Hitmakers magazine. The one-liners say, ``What a great
record,'' ``This is great!'' and ``I love this! A great record!''
March 24 -- ``MMMBop'' is released to radio and debuts at No. 43 on Billboard's chart of
April 7 -- A petition for majority rights is filed in the District Court of Tulsa County in the
name of Clarke Isaac Hanson, Jordan Taylor Hanson and Zachary Walker Hanson. That
means they were asking the court to allow the boys to enter into contracts as if they were
adults (18 or older). Gotta get the legal ducks in a row.
May 3 -- ``MMMBop,'' just released for sale, debuts at No. 16 on the Billboard singles
May 6 -- The full album, ``Middle of Nowhere'' on Mercury Records, hits record shelves
and debuts on the Billboard album chart at No. 9. Nearly 75,000 copies are sold just this
May 7 -- Hanson appears at the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, N.J. They have to be
rushed off the stage because the place was mobbed by a frenzied crowd topping 6,000
people. ``More than Christmas,'' Isaac marveled. Fans rip the laces from Taylor's shoes.
May 14 -- ``MMMBop'' hits No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart.
May 26 -- Hanson appears on the ``Live With Regis and Kathy Lee'' morning show. Kathy
Lee is visibly annoyed.
End of May -- 30 web sites are devoted exclusively to Hanson.
June ??????? -- Hanson appears on the KHTT, 106.9 FM, morning show with Andy
Barber and sings an a capella version of ``MMMBop.''
June 11 -- Already the legions of screaming girls are panicking the publicists. An editor at
Super Teen magazine relays, ``Danny Goldberg (president of Mercury Records) said he's
trying to get the label to focus marketing more on boys. They love the screaming girls, but
they're trying not to lose the boy market.''
June 12 -- Hanson appear as presenters at the MTV Movie Awards. They announce the
award for Best Fight.
June 13 -- Hanson stops at the Frontier City theme park in Oklahoma City for a
seven-song show. The tiny venue is crammed with people, young and old. Tulsa's
Mellowdramatic Wallflowers opened the show, playing twice as long.
July 11 -- The boys perform and are interviewed on ``The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.''
July 29 -- ``Where's the Love'' is released as the second single from the major-label debut.
Sept. 1 -- The first two unauthorized bios show up at bookstores: ``Hanson: An
Unauthorized Biography'' and ``Hanson: MMMBop to the Top: An Unauthorized
Biography'' by Jill Matthews.
Sept. 26 -- Sandwiched between scintillating sitcoms like ``Sabrina the Teenage Witch''
and ``You Wish,'' Hanson ``host'' ABC's Friday night T.G.I.F. line-up. It wasn't much -- a
few cutesy remarks, a peek at the newest video (``I Will Come to You'') and a quick
harmonizing of ``Where's the Love.''
Oct. 3 -- Hundreds of Tulsa teens show up at school in tears because of widespread news
that Zac had been killed in a road accident in Europe. Just a sick rumor, fortunately.
Oct. 18 -- Hanson sings the National Anthem to open the first game of the World Series.
A bald eagle flies down to the plate afterward. Some losers actually booed them.
Late October -- Fred Savage, former ``Wonder Years'' star, shows up on ``MTV Live'' and
declares ``MMMBop'' as his favorite video.
Oct. 31 -- MTV spends the day airing ``the scariest videos of all time,'' such as Ozzy
Osbourne, Prodigy and Marylin Manson. Hanson's ``MMMBop'' is included, introduced as
``definitely the scariest video ever.''
Early November -- 150,000 web sites are devoted exclusively to Hanson.
Nov. 1 -- ``Hanson: The Official Book'' by Tulsa writer Jarrod Gollihare arrives on
Nov. 6 -- Hanson wins trophies for Best Song and Best Breakthrough Act at the MTV
Europe Music Awards.
Nov. 11 -- Heard rumors that the Hansons are planning to move from Tulsa? The boys
appear on a live chat and simulcast on America Online; when asked if they will be moving,
they reply, ``No, Tulsa is home! :D'' Also, the album's third single, ``I Will Come to You,''
Nov. 18 -- ``Snowed In,'' the boys' Christmas album, is released (debuting at No. 7 on
Billboard's album chart) along with a video documentary of the whirlwind year of touring,
``Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere.''
Nov. 21 -- They can still pack 'em in: nearly 30,000 people cram into a shopping mall in
Columbus, Ohio, for a free Hanson performance.
Nov. 28 -- ABC airs a prime-time special about Hanson, in which Dick Clark interviews
the boys as if they were on ``American Bandstand.''
Dec. 9 -- Hanson is first on a bill including the Wallflowers and -- get this -- Aerosmith at
New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Dec. 13 -- The trio appears as the musical guest on NBC's ``Saturday Night Live.''
Dec. 18 -- Hanson roars through ``Run Run Rudolph'' for its second appearance on ``The
Late Show With David Letterman.''