Sunday, March 04, 2012

British fans push for Hanson to play at wedding

Published: 3/4/2012  2:31 AM
Last Modified: 3/4/2012  5:20 AM

James Bishop of Oxford, England, has made what he feels is a modest proposal.

What's not so modest is that he's made it every day for more than a year.

He wants Hanson at his wedding.

He and Jennie Tripp, both 26, expect about 90 at their wedding and close to 150 for the following reception on July 28.

They were engaged Jan. 19 of last year. The "Hanson at My Wedding" drive started about a month later. It's been going strong every day since they started a campaign of videos and messages via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr.

Now that's some serious commitment.

The publicity has won the band - and these fans - a lot of attention, Bishop said. This week, they struck the 380 mark on daily videos. They have about 169 to go, he said.

Videos show them singing the "A-Team" theme song while running in circles and casual chats with followers on their way home from pubs. Every one ends with the same plea.

Why videos? He and friend Chris Douch "decided on this as we are both writers and performers who have very little money and thought, 'We can't pay them in dollars, but we can pay them in our time.' After all, time is money and money is time ..."

If that's true, is their register ringing with time well spent?

They don't know.

Nor does Hanson brother Taylor Hanson, who commented on the UK friends' pleas during a recent interview with the Tulsa World.

"They are amazing. Amazing. You know, we've got some ideas for them. ... We know it (HAMW) exists and we respect the interest and really think it's cool. And, also, Hanson, the only weddings we've ever performed at were our own weddings," Taylor Hanson said.

"So, it's an effort that I admire. I saw them at the last shows we did in London. I said, 'Hey, I give you props for all the effort.' "

He sounded a twinge disappointed. "The scoop is that Hanson is cold-hearted. ...Which isn't true. It just seems that way."

Through their blog, Bishop and Douch have offered to cover air fare for the Tulsa trio.

The international media has picked up on the HAMW movement. One fan even crashed a TV interview with the band in Brazil - and asked if they'd play Bishop's wedding. The Hansons again praised Bishop's heart. The fan-reporter said the guys should play. The band didn't say much else about it.

"It was very surreal seeing my picture and video clips of me on Brazilian national television," he said.

The makings of a fan

Back in 2004, "Douch and I were working in a shop together when the CD 'Underneath' came in, which was their comeback album. We thought 'Hey, it's those 'Mmmbop' kids, must be a greatest hits' so we put it on to annoy the customers."

But they liked the music. More accurately, Bishop said, they loved it.

The friends played the album from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., every day they were at the store, and nearly were fired because of it.

"My fiancée is now a big fan through me," Bishop added. "My first memory with Jennie is telling her how great Hanson were and her rolling around in laughter. I only had one track to change her mind. I chose 'Penny and Me' and she never looked back."

Now they're all hooked - and a Hanson cover band is simply out of the question. Besides, he said, "Hanson tribute bands are a little thin on the ground at the moment."


Bishop admits that they're all jokers, but they're "seriously serious" about getting the Tulsa-based band of brothers into their wedding.

He and friends met Hanson several times last year while the band was on tour.

"We waited outside each venue for them and spoke to them on numerous occasions," he said.

The responses from Zac, Isaac and Taylor has been encouraging but aloof, he said.

"It's been mixture of things, ranging from Isaac's 'Keep going, you never know!' To Zac's 'Maybe I should marry you, seems like we would get on pretty well!' "

So far, however, Bishop hasn't gotten any shout-outs from Hanson's official Twitter or other sites, he said.

But that won't stop him from trying. His message is getting heard - and people love it. His story's been picked up by Absolute Radio, American pop-rocker Wheatus, Perfect Wedding Magazine, Digital Spy, comedian Dave Hill, BBC Oxford and many more.

"My favorite moments (when meeting Hanson) were getting Zac to sign a 'Hanson at My Wedding' sticker without realizing, then getting Taylor to sign our banner. When he gave it back, we informed him if you shone a UV light on the banner, it was actually a binding legal contract."

'Hanson at My Wedding' drive

Twitter: @bishopanddouch



Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346

Copyright 2012 World Publishing Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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