Most of you will remember Mormon boyband Hanson: long hair, big in the 90s, one of them looked like a girl. But can any of you remember any more than that? Indeed, would you be prepared to test your knowledge of the teenage trio from Tulsa by buying and reading Hanson: The Ultimate Trivia Quiz Book? Well someone must have as it was in the remainder sale at my local library. Dear reader, I thought it was well worth 25p to investigate what made Zac, Taylor and Isaac tick in 1998.

The book contains 253 questions about all things Hanson. General band facts, who-said-what, questions about specific brothers and terminally dull co-writing credits – it’s got pretty much everything covered. In fact the compiler Matt Netter knows so much about Hanson that he’s already written another book, Zac Hanson: Totally Zac! And that’s not all – Matt’s friend Nancy has written Taylor Hanson: Totally Taylor! and Isaac Hanson: Totally Isaac! Anyway, back to business: each chapter has a little extra factlet underneath it, e.g.:

The combined ages of Isaac, Taylor and Zachary add up to about forty-four. That’s still younger than many of your teachers! It’s no wonder that, when it comes to Hanson, they just don’t get it.

Haha teachers are so mockable! A fine example of the charm and warmth emanating from each page. But the publishers have made a shocking error by giving some of the answers on the back page without any warning at all:

As well as straight-forward trivia like “What are Hanson’s parents’ names?” and “What date was the Christmas album released’, we have more open ended queries such as:

The “I Will Come To You” video is special for 2 reasons. What are they?

A quick squidge at said video makes me think the answers are likely to be that 1) Taylor has eaten his Reddy Brek 2) Isaac looks a lot like Chad Kroeger from Nickelback when he does his guitar solo, but apparently that’s not the right answer:

(1) Fans in the audience got to be in the video, and (2) it was part of a performance that was featured in Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle Of Nowhere.

Oh dear. How about this one?

Which of the following bands did not join Hanson for the Y-100 Wing-ding benefit concert in south Florida:
a) Bush b) Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers c) 98° d) Duncan Sheik

Well it might be obvious to *you*, but it had me scratching my head! I guess I’d better get revising. I did a lot better in the final section, which is named “New and Upcoming” and features questions about stuff that HASN’T HAPPENED YET omg. Let’s see if you can answer the following questions correctly (I’ve written the answers in the white box below – highlight with your mouse to view – bear in mind this might not work in Netscape Navigator 3.0):

1) Will they make a movie about their lives?
2) Who is the movie’s producer?
3) Who has been signed on to write the screenplay?
4) Can we look forward to the sale of Hanson dolls?
5) Will any new Hanson merchandise be coming out soon?

1) Yes. The brothers have been in negotiations to make a fun movie loosely based on their life, similar to the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night.
2) Galt Neiderhoffer.
Hurricane Streets writer Morgan J. Freeman.
4) No. The boys regard such marketing efforts as cheesy.
5) You bet! The group’s management has been hard at work creating new Hanson posters, T-shirts, stickers and other collectibles for 1998.

I got all of the above right first time! How did you do?

After your brain has turned to mush the questions have finished there’s a chapter telling you how to calculate your score (“Fewer than 50 correct? You probably know a few of their songs, but they’re not your favourite group. Maybe the next album will get you hooked on Hanson!“), and then – this is the whole point of my typing this article in the first place – a full list of all websites about Hanson. ALL OF THEM. As well as the band and record label sites, there is a list of around 90 ‘unofficial websites’, most of which do not have the accompanying URLs shown.

I guess if we want to find Hanson and Metallica: Thinking Of You Nothing Else Matters on the world wide web, we’ll just have to bung it into AltaVista and take our chances. Luckily the book gives some comma-filled tips when searching:

Keep in mind, that if you use “Hanson” as a key word, you’ll call up some sites that have nothing to do with the band. One thing you’ll see pop up often is a Florida area real estate company. After all, the brothers are not the only ones with that last name! To avoid this problem, narrow your subject search to music only.

You may, at some point, check out the official sites and find that they have’t been updated in a while. This happens sometimes, because the creators of those sites work with Hanson and are therefore just as busy. On those occasions, surf over to Hanson HITZ for informative, up-to-the-minute Hanson news. If you’re a Mac user, however, one downside to this site is that the screen comes up with a blue background and can sometimes be difficult to read.

Hanson: The Ultimate Trivia Quiz Book also mentions the existence of 25 ‘anti-Hanson’ sites. As a newly-online teenager in 1999 I remember ‘anti’ sites well – made by equally fervid youngsters with Geocities accounts aplenty and too much time on their hands. Such bile! Such insecurity! I bet they loved Hanson *really* and were just jealous that The Hanson Power Page had an animated gif. Luckily there is an Official Anti Anti-Hanson page which cancels them all out! Thank heavens for that. I’ll leave you with some wise words from OAA-H creator Nick:

For the cool people out there, why don’t you visit these idiots’ sites, and send them email, cussing at them and telling them that they are really stupid!