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
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.