On April 2nd, 2003, Ann & Nancy were recipients of the Northwest Impact Awards - by the Recording Academy.
Bernie Taupin presented the award.
Bernie Taupin - Born in the English countryside near Lincolnshire,
Bernie Taupin is regarded as one of the hte most prolific lyricists of the
20th Century. His 27 year collaboration with Elton John has been
said to rival the success of the song writing team of Lennon and
McCartney. In 1986 Heart released a Taupin penned song titled
"These Dreams" which propelled them to their first number one hit in
the U.S. Taupin's perceptive lyrics have sold in excess of 100
million records. Other accolades include the 1994 ASCAP Songwriter
of the Year and introduction into the Songwriter Hall of Fame. In
1992 Taupin produced Commitment to Life VI which raised an unprecedented
$4 million dollars for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Taupin is now a
U.S. citizen and lives in California where he is pursuing other careers
as a painter and restaurant owner.
Below is Bernie's speech for those who have wondered what was said....
Two Daughters of a Marine Corps captain growing up in Southern California and Taiwan.
In that one sentence I think it's pretty easy to understand the
inherent tenacity, the geographical success and the strong will of the
Wilson sisters to continually move forward and succeed even when they
have momentarily been regarded as being out of the picture.
I live and work a horse ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley above Santa
Barbara, California and get pretty cranky these days when anyone tries
to force me anywhere but home. But there is a force of human
nature and overwhelming respect that compels me to be here tonight.
The thing that has always moved me most and still does along with a
dream of perpetual peace and the need to be surrounded by dogs and
horses is music. Some people create music that is here and gone
like cheap candy and then there are those that fore a soundtrack for
people lives and whose material sounds as fresh today as it did the
moment you first heard it.
I defy anyone to not crank up the volume on the car radio, roll down
the windows and bellow out with unabashed karaoke abandon when "Crazy
on You" and "Magic Man" come on. Who hasn't knocked back a few
shots and performed reckless air guitar to "Barracuda".
Actually just thinking about it now makes me wonder how many hundreds
of cover bands must have taken a shot at that, plenty I can guarantee
but none of 'em ever got to say BARRACUDA with the awesome venom that
came through Ann Wilson's equally awesome voice.
I might add that if there's anything about the history of Ann and
Nancy's astonishing careers that irks me it's the fact that not enough
attention has been paid to their talent as song writers. Just take
a swift look at the writing credits on the songs I've just mentioned,
along with those on "Dreamboat Annie" "Little Queen"
"Magazine" Dog and Butterfly" and the erotically titled "Bebe Le
Strange" and so on and so on.
Believe me the Wilson's between those brackets aren't the Beach Boys,
they are two exceptional young women who came from backgrounds in folk
music, the club circuit and all manner of resistance.
It's in our best interests that these two finally hooked up and decided
to work together. Whether Nancy did it to rescue Ann from having
to be in a band called Hocus Pocus and sing Yes's "Siberian Khatru" and
Moody Blue's medley's or whether Ann felt Nancy had more of Jimi
Hendrix in her than Joan Baez, I'm not sure. Luckily they decided
to pool their resources and build an American institution.
To talk about women in rock, and Ann and Nancy's place in the war to
break down barriers is irrelevant. When you play guitar like
Nancy Wilson and sing like Ann, believe me you have nothing to prove to
As I've mentioned before when they were counted out and written off
they simply regrouped and stormed back for a second coming launching a
salvo of top ten hits and multi million selling albums.
Not many groups or artists can claim to have achieved such a feat.
In fact the only one that comes to mind is Areosmith, which poses and
pretty good analogy.
Both have balls to the wall survival mentality, both are charismatic as
all hell, both have great songs and rock like a motherf***** and most of
all both have an American heart, a passion for what they do that can
only be nurtured from the music that this country forged.
I'm really proud to say that I've played a small part in their history
not necessarily because of the success of "These Dreams" but because it
afforded me the chance to get to know them better. Of course at
the time (Cameron please forgive me) like so may hapless teenagers and
twenty something I harbored a huge crush on Nancy. However very
sensibly she chose a different path.
Although we have not spent as much time in each others company as I
would have liked, I would like to take this opportunity to say that I
am thrilled to be here for them tonight and be able to convey to them
how important their contribution to popular music has been. If
talent is a gauge by which we measure the metal of the human spirit
then Seattle's very own Rock N Roll sisters stride like giants, believe
me they are all HEART
Ladies and Gentlemen Ann and Nancy Wilson