Twenty Years Ago

“It’s a mad, mad, mad Mad Hannan world this Wednesday night at 9 p.m. when the Mad Hannans shake down the historic speakeasy Volpi’s. The Mad Hannans perform contagious, tuneful original songs laden with black humor. Prior to discovering a mutual interest in performing music, Jerry Hannan, 34, and brother Sean, 29, were not interested in fostering fraternal civility.

“We never got along as kids until we started playing music — then we got along,” Sean remembers.”

(Argus-Courier, April 11, 1997)

This excerpt from a Daedalus Howell freelance article was accompanied by one of the weirdest photos to ever run in the Argus-Courier. There’s Jerry Hannan, at the right, performing in front of a wall-mounted deer-head, making him appear to sprout antlers. To his left is bandmate Troy Henry — with part of an actual deer appearing to pop from his own head. Brother Sean is not seen. That may have been prophetic, since several years after this photo was taken, the brothers basically stopped speaking to each other, a silent treatment that would last almost a decade. In 2007, the brothers’ song “I Thought I was You,” and Jerry’s song “Society,” were both featured on the soundtrack of Sean Penn’s Oscar-nominated film “Into the Wild.” Shortly after the siblings reunited musically in 2012, Sean was diagnosed with a rare cancer, and passed away in 2013. A long-in-the-works documentary film, “Mad Hannans” — chronicling the duo’s reunion and Sean’s struggle with cancer — is expected to be released in 2017, according to a note on Jerry Hannan’s webpage.