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24 Hours To Tulsa.
Hometown Boys Make Good!
Bop September, 1997

Tulsa is not known for its contributions to pop music, but Hanson is making sure to put this pleasant Southwestern town on the map. It's the place where they love most they consider it to be country and city combined into one interesting cultural and architectural landscape.

Who would have ever thought that three such "over the top" guys would come from such a quiet place? But Tulsa's the place where they formed their entire value system, work ethic and love of the great outdoors!

Before Hanson started "puttin' on the hitz," Tulsa's greatest claim to fame group The Gap Band, which took it's name from the first letters of three Tulsa streets where they grew up: Greenword, Archer and Pine. Arguably, the most famous song to come out of this major Oklahoma town was the 1963 Burt Bacharach-Hal David composition, "24 Hours To Tulsa," which was recorded by then teen idol Gene Pitney. In terms of historic rock 'n' roll events, rock critics point out that the Sex Pistols' most highly regarded show on their infamous six week 1978 world tour was performed at Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom.

Tulsa is the kind of place that has a few skyscrapers, but still has a suburban "home-town" feeland some beautiful art deco architecture on the downtown area. Tulsa has seen both oil booms and dust bowls, but today thrives as one of the safest and most reasonably priced places to raise a family in the U.S. Tornadoes have found their way through Tulsa over the years, but the Hansons claim they have never been in one in their life-times.

The Hanson boys grew up in a large house on two and a half acres of a heavily wooded, hilly property it had to be a big home in order to accommodate two parents, six kids, and at least six pets at any given time (all heck broke loose after one of their six cats got pregnant and gave birth to six kittens but that is a book in itself!). There are creeks on all four sides of the Hanson family property, places where the boys and their younger siblings like to fish and hunt for frogs and tadpoles.

The boys are very loyal and sentimental about their hometown. They spent more time in their house than other kids since they had "home schooling" (their mom was a teacher) partially due to their distance from a school and partially due to the fact that they wanted to have enough free time to concentrate on their music. They also spent a lot of time hiking on the grounds surrounding their home, discovering new animals and birds and doing kid things like falling out of weeping willow trees and getting poison ivy!

Says one former neighbor of the boys, "The neighborhood of the boys, "The neighborhood we grew up in was great, because it was quiet everyone was really friendly. Most of the kids around had home schooling, which was really progressive at the time and still is. Anyway, you'd always hear music coming out of the house when you drove by and you just knew that those Hansons would really make something of themselves. They believed on their talents, and so did their parents. They had the kind of parents who were musical themselves, and wanted to see their kids succeed where they hadn't. Plus, they were religious people and did not have that fear that the music business would ruin their kids. They had a heavy hand in guiding their kids' careers although they had busy careers themselves they are very unselfish, caring people."

Other people from the Hanson's Tulsa neighborhood agree that where they grew up was a friendly, family-orientated place. "The neighborhood always felt non competitive, non Yuppie and was a place where people really helped each other out and cared for each other. It was definitely a different vibe than New York, where as a musician, I had to eventually move and get studio works."

The boys' earliest years were actually spent traveling to all the exotic places their father had to go to on long-term business assignments including the Caribbean and the Venezuela but during the past five years, they have remained at home in Tulsa boning up on their musical licks.

The location of their actual "big time music business discovery" was Austin, where the South By Southwest Convention, major music biz seminar, is held each year. Austin is much trendier than Tulsa you might even call it bohemian but the boys got enough kudos at one of the convention's "baby band" showcases that they captured the attention of many record biz honchos.

They loved Austin and it's "up-to-the-minuteness," but it made them appreciate the down-home reality of Tulsa all the more. Refer to Tulsa as the "middle of nowhere" to the boys, and you are sure to lose some points with them. For Issac, Zac and Taylor, home is where the heart is.