"Kicking and Dreaming" -- Ann and Nancy Wilson tell their story (out 9/18)

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    "Kicking and Dreaming" -- Ann and Nancy Wilson tell their story (out 9/18)

    I happened to notice a pre-release for Ann and Nancy Wilson's new book, which coincides with their latest album (coming soon) and tour. 

    Ladies who make it in the rock music industry are relatively rare, as you know; the story of Heart's sister team, therefore, may give way to insights into the numerous issues that face women rockers -- even the truly talented ones like the Wilsons.  

    Book out tomorrow, in both print and e-format.   Pre-release writeup:

    "For decades, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson have been part of rock and roll history. From the 1970s, when they delivered mega hits like “Crazy on You” and “Barracuda,” to the 1980s and 1990s when they conquered radio and MTV with songs like “These Dreams” and “Alone,” to 2010 when they scored a Billboard top ten hit with the release of their album Red Velvet Car, and up to today with their 2011 nomination to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, Heart has always been, first and foremost, a showcase for these talented women.  

    But as women, Ann and Nancy have faced down different challenges than many of their male counterparts, with questions about body image, relationships, and their place in the rock pantheon that sometimes took precedence over the power of their music and their success. Now, with the help of critically acclaimed and bestselling music biographer Charles R. Cross, and timed to release with their latest album and tour, Ann and Nancy share their story."  (Harper-Collins)

     
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    Re: Kicking and Dreaming

    FYI / More on the book (looks good):

    "The story of Heart is a story of heart and soul and rock ’n’ roll. Since finding their love of music and performing as teenagers in Seattle, Washington, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson, have been part of the American rock music landscape. From 70s classics like “Magic Man” and “Barracuda” to chart- topping 80s ballads like “Alone,” and all the way up to 2012, when they will release their latest studio album, Fanatic, Heart has been thrilling their fans and producing hit after hit. In Kicking and Dreaming, the Wilsons recount their story as two sisters who have a shared over three decades on the stage, as songwriters, as musicians, and as the leaders of one of our most beloved rock bands. An intimate, honest, and a uniquely female take on the rock and roll life, readers of bestselling music memoirs like Life by Keith Richards and Steven Tyler’s Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? will love this quintessential music story finally told from a female perspective."

    "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."

    http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Kicking-Dreaming/?isbn=9780062101679

     
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    Re:

    Yes, I recall the larger of the two - Ann? was actually asked to lose weight and keep her exposure limited to the neck up for music video's (think they were on an A&E special/profile). But they are not the only women to be subjected to this kind of stupidity.  One of my favorite female singers, Alison Moyet, faced the same issues.  I'm sure Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Lady GaGa have all faced similar "sexist" issues like Ann and Nancy.

    It's a shame when artist's are subjected to such stupidity by their record label. A persons size (Adele) sexuallity (Elton John) color, age and race should play no part in an artists ability to create and share great music!

    I have always enjoyed Heart's music, they have some great song's. A "true" fan is only concerned with the quality of their music NOT what the performer looks like - IMHO

     
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    A side note...overheard while at the Grand Point North Festival in Burlington, VT this weekend, headlined by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals:

    "It's kind of like Heart, except that Grace is BOTH Ann and Nancy Wilson at once."

    A crude descriptor, but it works for me...

     

    [P.S. The band and she rocked, btw...stellar sets, both nights, with grateful, hometown crowds and a couple of surprise guests, to boot.]

     
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    In response to RogerTaylor's comment:

    Yes, I recall the larger of the two - Ann? was actually asked to lose weight and keep her exposure limited to the neck up for music video's (think they were on an A&E special/profile). But they are not the only women to be subjected to this kind of stupidity.  One of my favorite female singers, Alison Moyet, faced the same issues.  I'm sure Joan Jett, Tina Turner, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Lady GaGa have all faced similar "sexist" issues like Ann and Nancy.

    It's a shame when artist's are subjected to such stupidity by their record label. A persons size (Adele) sexuallity (Elton John) color, age and race should play no part in an artists ability to create and share great music!

    I have always enjoyed Heart's music, they have some great song's. A "true" fan is only concerned with the quality of their music NOT what the performer looks like - IMHO 

    Thanks.

    It is a shame, especially since many talented, quality-oriented women musicians drop out because they can't (or don't want to) withstand the pressure, or don't meet the hotness factor.  

    We'd all have to be very naive to say that looks don't matter in a performer -- they do and always will.  But what are the limits, you know?   I think reading about what they are subjected to, and telling it straight, is very compelling.  

    Didn't know about Alison Moyet, as I am not very familiar with her music; had no idea.   Carnie Wilson, also.   Joan Jett also "wrote the book" on these issues, I believe (Jessey would know ...), etc.    The truth is that it is much, much tougher to make it in RnR as a woman, and that's why we treasure the ones that have genuine talent, such as the Wilsons.   Just speculating, but I'd bet that writing the book and documenting some of these issues was very cathartic.  

     
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    Too much is made about Heart being a group fronted by two women (regardless of whether or not they were sisters or not).

    Fact is they rocked hard and their songs, especially the early hits ( Crazy On You, Magic Man, Barracuda , Straight On)  had great support from lead guitar , bas and drums in the more than able hands of 4 guys ...Steve Fossen, Howard Leese , Roger Fisher and Mike DeRosier...were just as responsible for the impressive sound as the ladies were.

    I don't mean to slight the Wilson sisiters, but this was not just a "chick" band, the guys were a big part of the music, too.

    It mattered little to me whether groups had male, female,gay or bi, black, hispanic , white, asian , young , old or inbetween members. I listened with my ears, and Heart was near the top of the heap. It's just too sad that what drives their fame most is the attractiveness and gender of the Wilsons , if people just listened to the music ....they should be known more for the incredibly great rock music and less attention should be focused on the soap opera lives of the more visible front men (or women). It takes a whole band to make something a success and many times some band members get slighted along the way. I think Howard Leese was a full time member for about 25 years, yet few know who the heck he is.

     
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    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    A side note...overheard while at the Grand Point North Festival in Burlington, VT this weekend, headlined by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals:

    "It's kind of like Heart, except that Grace is BOTH Ann and Nancy Wilson at once."

    A crude descriptor, but it works for me.


    Glad to hear Grace Potter was at her best, and is making a name for herself more and more -- every day -- as she is still young and has (many) miles to go.   The mere idea that Heart was mentioned (even in passing as you overheard the comment) in such an influential way is a nice tribute to the pioneering job they did, "paving the way" for many female rockers.   That's not something to take lightly.   Grace Potter will be very fortunate if she amasses the hits and acclaim of Heart in the years to come.  

    To paraphrase what Jessey would say, "No Heart.  No Grace Potter" (if you know what I mean)   :)  

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    A side note...overheard while at the Grand Point North Festival in Burlington, VT this weekend, headlined by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals:

    "It's kind of like Heart, except that Grace is BOTH Ann and Nancy Wilson at once."

    A crude descriptor, but it works for me.


    Glad to hear Grace Potter was at her best, and is making a name for herself more and more -- every day -- as she is still young and has (many) miles to go.   The mere idea that Heart was mentioned (even in passing as you overheard the comment) in such an influential way is a nice tribute to the pioneering job they did, "paving the way" for many female rockers.   That's not something to take lightly.   Grace Potter will be very fortunate if she amasses the hits and acclaim of Heart in the years to come.  

    To paraphrase what Jessey would say, "No Heart.  No Grace Potter" (if you know what I mean)   :)  

     




    Agreed 100%.

    If I was unsure before, then I'm convinced now.  I think she's poised for breakout status...and possible crossover success viz. the alternative/country scenes.  (Their recent EP was recorded live at Sun Studios, fwiw.)

    Far more impressive live than on the radio, too.  It's like a whole different band...edgier, grittier, soulful.  The band is phenomenal on all counts, but Grace is a singular talent.  Color me impressed.

    I hope to post a longer review of the weekend eventually...a high point in a year that's had a few....

     

     
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    Couple of observations:

    Heart always was one of my favorite bands. As Z noted, the guys were always a big part. But it didn't matter one way or another. I just thought of them as a kick-azz band who happened to have a woman as a lead singer with another woman as a key guitar player. I never really thought about them being a rarity -- woman who played hard rock -- until later when my knowledge of music expanded. To me, it was no big deal. It was just a great band that had a couple of woman and a couple of guys in it.

    Ann Wilson covers Zeppelin better than anyone. Heart's version of "Battle of Evermore" with Ann singing lead and Nancy providing harmony is beter than Led Zep's.

    Ann and Pat Benatar are the co-first ladies of rock IMO. Top two female voices of hard rock.

    Nancy's version of "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" is better than Elton John's. She has a very beautiful voice in her own right and should have sung lede a few more times.

    I never understood the mindset of music execs that made them feel the need to make them "sexier" in the 1980s. Their music was so great, they didn't need that like the pop wannabees of today. Ann had a great voice. So if she put on a little weight who cares. Nancy was always considered the "hot one" but to me, she was sexier in the late 1970s and post-1980s glam period. She had girl-next-door cuteness and rocked great music on a guitar. You can't get sexier than that. And it any case, it was the talent that made her sexy.

    And I remember watching a Behind the Music episode on Heart where Nancy was defending Ann. Listening to her being interview, I remember thinking, "This is one tough, sexy cool chick." (No disrespect intened with using the word chick.)

     

     
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    I like how Aimee Mann has persued her career based on her terms since becoming a solo artist...I think all artist's have to pay their dues - so to speak - before being able flip the bird to the music exec's before doing "things their way"...IMHO

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re:

    In response to ZILLAGOD's comment:

    Too much is made about Heart being a group fronted by two women (regardless of whether or not they were sisters or not).

    Fact is they rocked hard and their songs, especially the early hits ( Crazy On You, Magic Man, Barracuda , Straight On)  had great support from lead guitar , bas and drums in the more than able hands of 4 guys ...Steve Fossen, Howard Leese , Roger Fisher and Mike DeRosier...were just as responsible for the impressive sound as the ladies were.

    I don't mean to slight the Wilson sisiters, but this was not just a "chick" band, the guys were a big part of the music, too.


    Welcome back, Zilla.   As you can see, posting is just as problematic as it was a week ago, but we are still toughing it out.   

    With all due respect (which I feel is unnecessary for me to say, actually), I don't think that Heart ever fell into "chick band" status either, by a long shot, but I don't equate that with denouncing the fact they are a band that is centered and fronted by a woman.   In their new book, rather, they want to recognize and acknowledge the undeniable issues that they encountered as females in the music industry --- and I doubt that's a point that can be contested.   I am sure, in fact, you agree with it.   

    I don't think it can be under-estimated what the Wilsons endured on the path to RnR greatness, that caused them *different* struggles than the sort that men endure while on the same path.   

    We all agree that as consumers of music, we're drawn to the music we like, and don't formulate that around who's in the band.   However, the idea that Ann and Nancy wrote a book to describe their experience(s) in the music industry isn't going to be valid without discussing gender issues.   As well as the "sister" thing. 

    In any event, a discussion about Heart is a good thing, and long over due. 

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

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    There is only bad thing I can say about Heart, and I do not think it has anything to do with them , just an unfortunate association I always make and can't seem to forget.

    I always think of Sarah Palin when I hear the song Barracuda. Evidently it was a nickname of her's from when she played volleyball. It's a great song , but after I heard this was Palin's nickname I can't avoid thinking about her when the song is played. Perhaps in time this too shall pass...

     
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