Hanson tests the new VW Bug- and Tony Romando’s patience
1st September 1998
By Tony Romando
To get Taylor Hanson prepared for his driver’s test – he’s almost 15-and-a-half years old, you know – we borrowed a Volkswagen Bug. The band comes as a package deal (which makes sense-just look at Michael Jackson), so we wind up with three pop stars, a few dozen pimples and more air bags than you can wave a Stridex pad at.
11:27 a.m. Soiled on Sunset Boulevard
“When I went to get my license, I was nervous-I felt like I hadn’t driven enough,” Isaac says. He looks me in the eye while saying this, which is nice, except he’s driving. I’m in the backseat, and we’re driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic. “I thought I was gonna fail, and then it was so easy. Really they just want to know…” “Woooaaah, hey, slow down, you’re gonna…” Zac and Taylor scream as we nearly plow into a Bronco. I find myself wishing I had listened to my mom and worn clean underwear. Or any at all.
“Your bumper riding skills were a little too much there,” squeaks Taylor as he peels himself off the dash. “Actually, when I get my permit, I worry for people on the sidewalk.”
11:45 a.m. Unabashed Beetle Worship
“This car is so smooth, it’s actually hard to tell how fast you’re going,” Isaac says. We’re going about 20 mph over the speed limit, but who isn’t in LA? “It’s like one of those little speed demons-a turtle with boosters,” Taylor adds, before Isaac reminds us that we haven’t put our seat belts on yet. Zac – who, by the way, fits into the car’s roomy trunk-barks and howls from the backseat. Whatever; he’s only 12. “I want one of these,” he says. “Hey, a cop,” panics Isaac, like Scott Weiland on a bender. “I ran a red light one time-on accident. Cop! Cop! Cop!”
12:10 p.m. Paranoid Hellions in Hollywood
Fans swarm us every time we stop at a light or pull over. Taylor: “We’re being followed.” Zac: “We’re not being followed.” Taylor: “Yeah, that girl back there just screamed. Look at her.” So far we’ve had five autograph requests, three whistles from women over 40 and a demand for a royal shout-out to the queen from a carload of British tourists. Pop star patience is wearing thin. “The coolest thing about our fans is that they’re devoted,” Taylor says, “but psycho.” Isaac agrees, while Zac, who already matches my 27-year-old-height, mimics, “Woooaaah, we’re psycho.”
Isaac gets ready to make a left turn into oncoming traffic. “I’m pretty sure that’s illegal,” Taylor says. Isaac turns anyway. “Yep, that was completely illegal,” Taylor adds, before a chaotic “Is not!”/”Is so!” pissing match. “We’re psycho, woooaaah,” Zac says. I think I feel a zit coming on.
12:20 p.m. Hellions, Part Two
“Lets do the drive-through at In-N-Out Burger and order burritos,” Taylor suggests. “Wait-a Chinese fire drill; we won’t get arrested.” Isaac, the voice of reason, discusses the illegality of this stunt as he makes another lane change in the middle of an intersection-the Department of Motor Vehicles tends to frown upon these too. “Isaac, you dork, do it at the next stoplight,” Taylor says. “Daaaaang,” Zac yells in between barks, as Isaac stops at the next light. “It’s green, you idiot. We’re gonna die,” Taylor shouts, as he circles the car three times, dodging motorist profanities and big-city-style horn-blowing.
12:59 p.m. Future Shock
“Getting your license gives you the right to pick your nose in the car,” Taylor says. “Absolutely,” Isaac adds. “This is America.” Pulling up to check in with Dad, who has been waiting patiently at the Greek Theatre, Zac inquires as to whether papa has any Grey Poupon. No one listens-it’s tough being 12. “I’ve been kinda bashful about driving a car without a license,” Taylor says as we get out, “’cause, like in go-carts, I’ll crash them. It’s probably mostly on purpose. I’m really worried about everyone else in the car, but I’m getting more comfortable with it. I think it’s gonna be pretty cool.”
Source: Jane Magazine