Two sisters. Two voices. One Heart.
The mystery of "Magic Man." The wicked riff of "Barracuda." The sadness and beauty of "Alone." The raw energy of "Crazy On You." These songs, and so many more, are part of the fabric of American music. Heart, fronted by Ann and Nancy Wilson, has given fans everywhere classic, raw, and pure badass rock and roll for more than three decades. As the only sisters in rock who write their own music and play their own instruments, Ann and Nancy have always stood apart—certainly from their male counterparts but also from their female peers. By refusing to let themselves and their music be defined by their gender, and by never allowing their sexuality to overshadow their talent, the Wilson sisters have made their mark, and in the process paved the way for many of today's female artists.
In Kicking and Dreaming, Ann and Nancy, with the help of critically acclaimed and bestselling music biographer Charles R. Cross, recount a journey that has taken them from a gypsy-like life as the children of a globe-trotting Marine to the frozen back roads of Vancouver, where they got their start as a band, to the pinnacle of success—and sometimes excess. In these pages, readers will learn the truth about the relationship that inspired "Magic Man" and "Crazy On You," the turmoil of inter-band romances gone awry, the reality of life on the road as single women and then as mothers of small children, and the thrill of performing and in some cases partying with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks, Van Halen, Def Leppard, and other rock legends. It has not always been an easy path. Ann struggled with and triumphed over a childhood stutter, body image, and alcoholism; Nancy suffered the pain and disappointment of fertility issues and a failed marriage but ultimately found love again and happiness as a mom. Through it all, the sisters drew from the strength of a family bond that trumps everything else, as told in this intimate, honest, and uniquely female take on the rock and roll life.
Throughout their career, Ann and Nancy have never found an answer to the question they are most frequently asked: "What is it like to be a woman in rock and roll?" Kicking and Dreaming puts that question to bed, once and for all.
After years of playing small clubs around Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest for little-to-nothing and enduring numerous indignities at the hands of spiteful club owners, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson finally got their break when Heart's "Crazy On You" hit the airwaves in 1975, thus realizing a dream born when the girls first saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. But while venues got bigger and paychecks increased, they still struggled with rampant sexism in the music industry, and Ann continued to face criticism for her fluctuating weight. Nevertheless, the duo persevered to attain huge commercial success, paving the way for countless female musicians who would follow. Here, the sisters with the aid of Cross (Heavier than Heaven) recount failures and victories big and small, as well as the stories behind classic songs like "Magic Man," "Barracuda," and "What About Love" with equal parts candor and humility. Unfortunately, Heart's career arc is all too typical, characterized by success, substance abuse, decline, and a comeback. Still, the sisters' grounded approach and appreciation for each other adds a refreshing element to an oft-told tale. Photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fascinating Biography from Rock Royality
Excellent dive into the background of one rock history's most successful female rock duos. Equal parts family history vs. music chronology, I found this book to be a fascinating read.
Definitely a must for Heart fans or anyone with an interest in rock and roll history. Highly recommended!
Heart Rocks on in print
I love the way Ann and Nancy tell their story with such openness and honesty. They have been my rock music idols since the seventies and I couldn't put this book down! The bond they share is both inspiring and beautiful. A must read for any true Heart fan, but great for any fan of rock.
A Joy to Read
Thank you for sharing your story, Ann and Nancy. It is a fascinating journey culminating in Heart's induction into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame last year. Chris Cornell did a fabulous job introducing Heart and it is an honor well deserved.