know it's going to be interesting when it begins, "Our journey starts with
Ann's encounter with the Devil's nightclub and poisoned food. Nancy, meanwhile,
battles the demons of disco, orange jumpsuits, and flames both good and
Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of
Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll is slightly
misnamed. In fact, it is a series of stories, alternately told by Ann and Nancy
Wilson of their life with Heart from their earliest days (1972, if you
include various pre-Heart incarnations containing one or both of the Wilsons)
through the present day.
It's a tell-all,
This book is not a tell-all from
the standpoint of dishing dirt about others (okay, maybe a little, like the
story about some not so subtle suggestions by the Van Halen brothers as to how the four of them
might spend the night) but rather dishing it about themselves (like the time
they stalked Paul McCartney.)
Along with the humorous anecdotes
are some very personal stories about things like Ann's struggles with
alcoholism and obesity, and Nancy's with fertility issues and a failed
marriage. Like I said, it gets pretty personal.
There are also stories about
growing up as military brats, frequently moving to wherever their father, a
Marine Corps officer, was assigned. The importance of family throughout their
lives is a recurring theme in the book, and on their two most recent albums, Fanatic and Red Velvet Car.
Per Ann in the pre-release
publicity, "We've had moments of failure and vulnerability and
humiliation, sure, but ours is also the story of women who are being told there
are rules to follow and just won't do it." And, says Nancy, "We don't
leave much unsaid."
Waiting until the time is right
For years, says Ann, friends and
colleagues urged them to write "a real lascivious tabloid-y type"
book. "You know -- think of the ugliness and the dirtiness -- but that's
so one dimensional." Understand, there are stories about the '70s rock
star sex, drugs, rock & roll lifestyle, but they are not the main
Fotos International /
The book offers considerable
insight into Heart's past, but also into their future. "When you're
pushing sixty," says Nancy, "you know what you want and you go for
Kicking and Dreaming
is an informative and entertaining read. As they have shown us so may times
with their songwriting, these are two very talented storytellers. In
combination with vetran music biographer Charles R. Cross, the result is a fascinating,
fast-paced, smartly written, sometimes funny, sometimes sad story. A well
chosen 16-page photo section is an essential part of the storytelling.
Release date 9/18/12
- It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers