This is what 25 years worth of one band’s music looks like
It’s official, y’all. Twenty (20!!!) years ago today, Hanson’s debut album Middle of Nowhere was released. (They’ve actually been a band for 25 years, and released two independent albums prior to 1997.) And although it wouldn’t be until a few weeks later that I heard Hanson for the first time, it seems fitting to dust off my old blog for a commemorative post on my own twenty years in this fandom.
In May 1997, I was wrapping up 8th grade, feeling both excited and anxious thinking about starting High School that fall. My friend Ellie asked if I had heard MMMBop by Hanson. I hadn’t, and so a few weeks later she brought her CD and Discman along while my mom took us to the movies. That sentence alone shows how much has changed in twenty years: I couldn’t drive, and my friend had a Discman. Let that sink in for a moment.
It’s natural for things to change, especially over such a long period of time. In twenty years, I started High School, learned to drive, started college, ditched my Discman for an iPod, moved to Nashville, held three different full-time jobs, and so much more. Even my own family has seen change: divorce and death, marriage and birth. I was on my way home from a Hanson concert the day I learned I’d be an aunt, and I was on my way to a Hanson concert when I learned that first nibling would be a niece.
There have been few consistencies over the course of two decades, and Hanson is one of those. I’m the same age as Taylor, and so in a way we have grown up together in our symbiotic relationship between band and fan. There’s a Hanson song for everything: With You In Your Dreams when my grandma passed away, These Walls when I felt stuck at terrible job, All This Love Crap because of my own smart-assery, Penny and Me for the long nights on the road, and Give a Little when I just need to dance.
Because of this band I’ve traveled 30,000 miles, showered in a truck stop, and slept on sidewalks. I’ve stood inside a whale, been to the Statue of Liberty, and I’ve walked 28 miles (barefoot) in someone else’s (lack of) shoes. But most importantly, I’ve made some of my closest friendships in alleyways and parking lots in cities where none of us live.
“The first music you really fall in love with is more than just music. It’s something that clicks in you beyond the song; it’s a message or an image that causes you to jump in and not let go.” – Taylor Hanson