Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 31: Memory

Day 31: A vivid crazy memory.

Have you guys heard about the new beer by Hanson called MMMHops? Yes, it's a thing and it makes me wish I could drink beer. You see, I am a huge fan of Hanson and was amongst the throngs of insane teenyboppers from 1997-1999 that cried when I went to Hanson concerts. Although, I probably would have caused a riot if you called me a teenybopper back then. Yeah.

I think I learned everything about chasing celebrities from my days as a Hanson teenybopper, which is even more impressive knowing only rich people had internet in 1997 and I was not one of them. My favorite and most vivid memory regarding Hanson is the only day in my life I thought I might actually get arrested. And I was hoping I would so that Hanson would be on my permanent record. {Issues much?}

On May 12, 1998 Hanson made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Somehow my 14 year old friends and I not only convinced our parents to drive us to Burbank (about 30-40 miles away) at 7am (the height of LA traffic hell), but to let us hang out by ourselves there on a school day. Nobody told us you had to be 16 to attend the studio audience, but it didn't deter us from sitting around all day waiting for an opportunity to see Hanson.
Eventually 4 of us got bored, as 14 year old girls are wont to do. Plus there were these rude, stylish 16 year old girls who were rubbing it in our face that they were getting in and we weren't. I think this was my first "mean girls" experience. So we wandered. Keep in mind, this was pre-9/11 so security was not what it is today. Basically we walked through the parking gate and were not stopped so we kept walking. We walked through the studio lot, we walked through a set (we think it was for a Saved By the Bell-esque show), we walked through the news vans and helipcopters, every step we grew increasingly anxious about how far we could get. Honestly, there was NO ONE there to stop us, it was really shocking. 
We finally found ourselves on the other side of the fence we had been waiting beside all day and  above a door into a building we saw the sign: "Tonight Show Artist Entrance". Unfortunately a security guard was sitting outside that door prohibiting anyone from getting inside. I don't know how we did it, but we convinced him that we were going to pee our pants and needed a restroom IMMEDIATELY. He didn't let us right in, but he must have figured we belonged back there if we had gotten so far. We found ourselves in the lobby of the building the whole line was waiting in front of, it was hilarious to look through the glass and see those snobby 16 year old Mean Girls in line when we were INSIDE! And the best part: Hanson was in the middle of sound checking their song, "Weird" which was being piped into all the rooms in the building, including the bathrooms!
After having a little freak out in the bathroom, we decided to keep pressing forward. Not far from the lobby area we found ourselves literally "back stage" - there was a curtain surrounding the stage and we were in the area behind it where there was food and coffee set up. And then the most exciting thing happened: Hanson's parents were back there with their newborn baby sister, Zoe. I told Mrs. Hanson how cute her baby was and she let me make baby faces at her and stuff, but Mr. Hanson was suspicious and walked them somewhere else. So we kept pressing forward. 

We found a flight of stairs and went up. We passed dressing rooms (one, of course, with a sign with "HANSON" printed onto it) and found another bathroom and sat in there freaking out over what to do next. The sound check was being piped into this bathroom as well, so we were very satisfied listening to the Hanson brothers banter back and forth and tweak parts of their performance. I think we were in that bathroom for over an hour huddled in the handicap stall. When someone would come in, 3 of us would balance on top of the toilet so only one pair of feet would show.

Eventually someone caught on to us because two from our party decided to venture out toward the dressing rooms, even spotting Isaac Hanson behind his laptop and calling out, "HI ISAAC!" before a serious lady in a red skirt suit promptly ejected us out. We claimed we had been on a tour and had been separated, but we could provide no evidence the lady requested. She was not nice, but I suppose I wouldn't be if I found 4 teenyboppers who had infiltrated a major television studio. She called for some sort of backup to walk us back out to the front. When that guy came, we started snapping pictures with our disposable cameras of the exterior of the building. This is when the guy threatened to arrest us, not because we snuck into the studio, but because we were taking pictures (that's Hollywood for ya!). He confiscated our cameras instead, although I swear we did end up with a few pictures on someones camera. 

When we ran back to the group in line and told our story nobody believed us because the Mean Girls said we were lying. I was beside myself crushed because we were telling the complete truth. I even described what Mr. and Mrs. Hanson were wearing. Nobody believed us. I guess it was a pretty far-fetched story.

We didn't get into the taping because of our age, but when Hanson left the studios, they stopped their van and waved to everyone as they were leaving. One girl peered into the van's tinted and saw Hanson's parents and yelled, "OMG! They're wearing what you said they were wearing!" Ahhh, sweet vindication!

Of all the celebrities I have seen and met, to this day I have still not "met" Hanson. I think it might be some sort of karma. ;)

Here is Hanson's performance from that day:


  1. That is so funny!! What a great memory.


    1. I'm glad you liked it! haha! :) It's one of my favorite memories!

  2. oh my freaking gosh!! I didn't quite believe it when I first started reading...haha. I love that the mean woman was in a red pant suit. So classy.

    "Ooom Bob, dippity dop-a-oom bop. Hear me now-a-oom bop. Yeah. Yeah." Hope that brought back some memories for ya.


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