Music Producer Desmond Child Was Made Fun of for Writing for Hanson — But He Got the Last Laugh (Exclusive)

By | September 19, 2023

The Messenger

Just ahead of the release of his new memoir Livin’ on a Prayer, music producer and Hall of Fame songwriter Desmond Child revealed his favorite song he’s ever worked on during his decades-spanning career.

And believe it or not, it wasn’t for Cher, Aerosmith, Katy Perry or Bon Jovi… it was for a then-unknown group named Hanson, way back in 1997.

“Before even ‘MMMBop’ came out, I was invited to go and write with them by their A&R guy, Steve Greenberg, who discovered them,” Child exclusively tells The Messenger of Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson.

“The family had seven kids. They were the oldest three, and they had this brother group,” he recalls. “So they had rented a house in the Hollywood Hills. At that time, there wasn’t GPS and all that. So I called up Diane Warren because it was near her house where it was going to be.”

While the legendary songwriter couldn’t give him directions, when he told her the youngest member (Zac) was just nine years old, Warren replied, “Desmond, you’re going to write with a 9-year-old? You’ve reached your lowest low.”

Zac Hanson, Isaac Hanson and Taylor Hanson of Hanson, Desmond Child
Zac Hanson, Isaac Hanson and Taylor Hanson of Hanson, Desmond ChildJaime Nogales/Medios y Media/Getty Images; Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images

However, after the success of “MMMBop” and the group selling 6 million records, “she called me for their number,” quips Child. “I guess that was her lowest low.”

The author ended up writing on Hanson’s song, “Weird.”

“For me, it’s about being different for me growing up Latino and also gay, being an outsider, never feeling like I fit in,” Child reflects. “It’s one of my favorite songs and I love it because it’s inspired by [Burt] Bacharach and [Hal] David.”

He continues, “It has this gorgeous release, and I always sing it in my sets when I go to sing out. Well, it’s one of the few songs I can actually play myself. It’s a very simple song, but to me it’s the most meaningful.”

Desmond Child’s Livin’ on a Prayer is out now.

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