Hanson and Kidd Kraddick
Over the 21 years that Hanson have created and played music, they have built many prudent and reliable relationships with professional and well liked presenters.
Realising the worth of honest and genuine friendships, in a business which can be fickle and self seeking, Hanson have guarded particular relationships and given generously of themselves where that openness has been respected and reciprocated.
So it was easy to feel the truthfulness in their tweet on the unexpected and sudden death of Kidd Kraddick on Saturday,
“We are in total shock at the terrible news of the sudden passing of our friend @kiddkraddick. A sad sad day. #ripkiddkraddick”
David “Kidd” Kraddick, aged just 53, was a Texas based TV and Radio personality who had interviewed Hanson on many occasions since their first meeting in 1997.
In some ways his style had an edgy approach to interviews, as he prompted at times unguarded conversation between his team and guests; however his respect and admiration for people and the trust that existed between them all, ensured that even when humour and candour took over, everyone’s dignity and sense of purpose were protected and even enhanced.
His kindness, friendship, sense of fun and goodness seem to be the over riding sentiments in the tributes given to him following his premature passing.
Hanson was first interviewed by Kraddick in 1997 and he loved to remind them of the scene that day, when thousands of screaming young girls came out to see them at Grapevine Mills Mall Texas.
His regular allusion to their early fame was not to keep them in their own past, but used as a spring board to comment on their ongoing success and ability to ride the storms of music industry decay – marking them out as one of the few bands from the 90’s to have sustained credibility and build a solid career.
Unlike other bands from the late 90’s, Hanson have not been “at the mercy” of a particular genre of music, and therefore they have been free to follow any path that presented itself and felt interesting. This is well evidenced in their 6 studio albums to date, all of which have a different “feel”, while familiar roots underpin and keep the music authentic.
During an interview with Kraddick, Zac Hanson suggested that from record to record keeping the same passion and perspective about the music have ensured its truthfulness. Staying in the same “head-space” has made it work.
Most of the On Air conversation between Kraddick and Hanson was about the music even though at times it drifted into chaotic and slightly risqué humour – often prompted by one of the Hanson brothers themselves.
In the 2010 interview, Taylor Hanson commented with unconcealed joy, that it was “cool” to be on a show actually talking about music, where their influences come from and how their own musical journey had evolved.
From their early encounters with rock and roll, through musical inspirations such as Bobby McFerrin, to Isaac Hanson’s guitar heroes – Jonny Lang and Steve Cropper included – the story of their music was the story that Kidd Kraddick was happy to showcase.
A very special moment towards the end of the 2010 interview occurred when Taylor Hanson spoke about current pop music and encouraged others to not be a “slave to pop music”, but rather to “know music”.
His point was that all music has roots and that some modern pop had lost a sense of melody and connection to its past.
The improvised version of Sam and Dave’s “Hold on I’m Coming” and the story of Hanson listening to Bobby McFerrin’s version of “Drive my Car” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W18yzlcNI9I, exemplified their own appreciation of the rich heritage of American music and the potential of the human voice in touch with itself.
This idea resurfaced in the 2013 interview, when after playing Get the Girl Back, it was suggested that if they got any more soul they would have to start celebrating Black History month; a comment which Hanson ate up with appreciation.
The reality expressed time after time in their music and conversation, is that Hanson are proud of their American musical heritage and influences. The river that brings gospel and rhythm and blues and rock and roll flowing across the continent brings it to Oklahoma too and to their doorstep.
And it is also the humour of these interviews which makes them so enduring.
From phone apps which pop bubble wrap, to Isaac’s face-pulling capabilities and Zac’s John Belushi impersonations, the interviews between Kidd Kraddick and Hanson always guaranteed moments of insight through the laughter.
Hanson said they always loved being on Kidd’s show and he said that Hanson “can do no wrong by me”.
If you want a window on this mutual admiration and respect, then watch out for two particular performances from the 2010 interview.
One is when Kidd Kraddick asks Zac to perform “Use Me Up” and the other is when Hanson do a special rendition of “Penny and Me” for him.
These songs are about the desire to live life to the full and the power of music to reference and motivate that.
We hope that both Hanson and Kraddick would be happy with that sentiment as a tribute to the meeting of their careers and their friendship.
Hanson with Kidd Kraddick 2010 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8010491
Hanson with Kidd Kraddick 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H57Yf30SZho