– Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll (By Ann & Nancy Wilson)
Boxx Magazine | Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll (By Ann & Nancy Wilson)
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Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll (By Ann & Nancy Wilson)
Jordan Young November 13, 2012
If you’ve ever wondered about the origins of Heart’s hit songs “Barracuda” or “Magic Man,” you’ll want to pick up this book. Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll takes the reader on a journey through the lives of Ann and Nancy Wilson, the dynamic sister duo that have fronted the rock band Heart for the past four decades. The book shifts between their points of view and occasionally gathers input from other members of the band or the Wilsons’ close friends, offering a well-rounded perspective on important events in the life and times of Heart.
One of the most poignant stories ofKicking & Dreaming is how Ann and Nancy were first inspired to create music. Back when the Beatles made their debut on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” there were two average little girls glued to their television. The two knew something was different about them when they went to school the next day and the other girls were talking about wanting to marry the Beatles—yet Ann and Nancy wanted to BE the Beatles. Soon after, the purchase of a single acoustic guitar changed their lives, our lives—and the future of music.
The sisters have often faced the unfair pressure of image and sexuality the media forced upon them: Trying to objectify them in photo shoots, teasing their hair out to appear larger than life in their music videos and writing terrible stories about how gaining a few pounds somehow had an effect on their musical ability. Ann points out the double standard, “John Bonham could go onstage with a three-month beard, un-showered for weeks, fucked up, shirtless and have the confidence that the only thing that would be written about him was how he played the drums.”
At least their bandmates had their back; Roger Fisher, Heart’s original lead guitarist, told Rolling Stone, “By being so creative, and coming up with such good ideas, they’ve challenged us males to do the same.” Encourage males they have. In the book Ann and Nancy discuss their part of the early 90’s grunge scene and how they helped bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chain, and Soundgarden get their start.
Thanks to Ann and Nancy Wilson’s determination and inner strength we have more females in the music industry and especially in rock. The book mentions some of the shit they’ve had to put up with over the years: “Is your guitar really plugged in?” and “You play pretty good for a girl,” are comments men would say to Nancy. She states, “We naively thought if we were good at our instruments, we’d be judged as musicians, and not by gender. We had no idea that being females in rock ‘n’ roll would be an issue.”
Our favorite quote from the book:
“Nancy and I have often been cited as women who broke through gender barriers in music in an era when few others did. We never took up that cause on purpose—it was accidental, or at best the fate we were born to. We were naïve, young and unwilling to believe that we couldn’t do something just because we were females. I know rock is better for women being in it, but it is a hard life for the female pioneers.” – Ann Wilson
Be sure to catch Heart on tour