Review By: Gus Griesinger
Ann and Nancy Wilson have lived a colorful and eventful life. They finally have put pen to paper, and with the help of author Charles R. Cross, will be releasing their first autobiography entitled “Kicking & Dreaming – a Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll,” on !t Books (an imprint of Harper Collins publishers). An appropriate title considering the trials and tribulation both ladies have endured in their 40 plus years in the recording business.
This book isn’t your typical story about the excesses of drugs, sex and the things rock and roll is associated with, but instead offers a wider range of emotion and meaning. Yes, there is some talk about drug use and sexual escapades, but more of the focus centers around what both Ann & Nancy share, their love of family and how that hasn’t withered through all of what they been through. You can say the core of the book is saturated with this thought and feeling.
Sure there are great stories told by both ladies. One is how Nancy gave Edward Van Halen his first acoustic guitar and how Ann’s first meeting with Sir Paul McCartney was a less than memorable one. Others are how nicknames were given to everyone around them including their mom and dad.
They do go through Heart’s entire biography including all of its releases. This includes the lyrical meaning behind some of their tracks, who was in the band at the time and what thought processes went into the making of each of their albums at the particular time. Both Wilson sisters talk about some of their more memorable gigs and their initial encounter with John Mellencamp (John Cougar as he was known at that time) on the Private Audition tour. Yes, Heart paid their dues for sure and proof is a story of how they played Michael J. Fox’s high school prom in Vancouver, BC, in 1975 as he was the school president at the time. This coincided with the release of Dreamboat Annie.
The sisters also lapsed into a Beatles addiction when they first appeared on Ed Sullivan’s show back on February 9, 1964, as did most of our beloved classic rockers. This admiration hasn’t wavered and is demonstrated throughout the book as well.
Next to their family, two long time friends who still remain close to Ann & Nancy are Kelly Curtis and Sue Ennis, who are also an integral part of the book.
“Kicking and Dreaming,” is a very well crafted read with both Wilson sisters intertwining their personal stories throughout it. It also includes stories from older sister Lynn Wilson, and ex boyfriends of Ann and Nancy (Michael Fischer and Geoff Foubert) who share their recollections of the first encounters with the ladies.
This will be a busy fall for Heart as a new record will also be released called “Fanatic.”