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 best-selling 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.
©2012 Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I always enjoyed the energy and passion of Heart. What I learned about the Wilson sisters' background, their close family, pride in their Marine Corps roots, and their childhood struggles, made them very relatable. The audiobook is unique because there are multiple narrators... Anne, Nancy, but also Roger and Michael Fisher, each telling their own part of the story. I was not the biggest Heart fan, but now I will go back and check out all those songs and albums I had not listened to before. As a 55 year old who still plays rock, these ladies, five and ten years my senior, inspire me to keep on rocking.
Heart is one of the only bands that has been a life long "super favorite" of mine. Thier music has been a HUGE part of my life from childhood until now at 47 years old. Thier songs bring cherished memories flooding back into my mind of my childhood, teens, early adulthood, and adult life. I am also a member of MILLIONS of young men who had a mad crish on Nancy during my teens. I never saw them as a groundbreaking band because of the two sisters. I only saw a premier, ass kicking rock and roll band that rivaled ALL other great rock bands of the 70's, 80's, 90's, and the current century. They are more than deserving of all award,s accolades, and thier RIGHTFUL place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the other historic rock bands. Anns voice has ALWAYS been the unmistakeable pure thunder behind Heart and Nancys voice has at the same time been the elegant, soft counterbalance. Combined they create a heavenly harmony that is unequaled in music. Nancys guitar prowess is just another element that rocketed Heart to American legend status and kept them there for half a century. I challenge anyone to find another rock band with even similar accomplishments and legendary status!!! My only criticism with the audiobook is the constant reintroduction of each commentator throughout the book. After the first chapter that is totally unnecessary and truthfully speaking gets annoying and detracts from the overall experience. Otherwise it is fantastic.
I have listed to Hearts music off and on since the first record. I saw them play at the California Jam 2. in the late 70's.
Over all Ann and Nancy have a great story. I guess what stood out most was their deep sincerity and love for music relationships and their creativity. Something I believe Heart fans knew deep down anyway.
The ending was inspirational and emotional.
I am revisiting Ann and Nancy's music old and new and enjoying it all over again.
They will be the RnR Hall of Fame for sure.
I have always loved the music of Ann & Nancy Wilson but this book on their life I found to be somewhat dull. I'm sure there life has been anything but boring but the way the story is told makes it seem that way. The book may have been better in print version. Their narration is very dry- they sound like they are reading directly from a script while describing their life. There's no real excitement or emotion from them.
While I love HEART , I would have enjoyed this more if it had been done like a live interview. Both Nancy and Ann sound wooden and scripted. I have no doubt they are reading from either hand written notes , or something written for them. I can't seem to get through the first couple of chapters before literally falling asleep.
I truly enjoyed this listen and was so glad that Ann and Nancy provided the narration as hearing them tell their own story brought and emotional element that made you feel, rather than just tell the story.
I had hoped that the book would provide insight as to the motivation for their songs and insight into the creative process itself. Fortunately it did.
I highly recommend this audiobook to anyone who finds the history of our generations greatest musicians a topic of great interest.
Lastly, listening made me want to revisit their music now with an understanding of its backdrop.
Can't wait to see Ann and Nancy and Heart in May!
No, Although the story is mildly interesting and the subjects seem personable and sweet (Nancy), narration is flat as a pancake.
No emotion...also the male narrator announcing their names each time the sisters switched narration was awkward and borderline insulting to the listener
Yes, but only because I love their music
I absolutely love listening to audio books while driving! I manage a couple a month on average and they make the daily commute a treat rather than a chore.
Insights into some of the richest musical eras from the inside of one of my favorite rock bands. it was a treat to hear the Wilson sisters in their own voices sharing their music, motivations, and reminding us of the fabulous catalog of their work and some of the challenges they faced and overcame.
I always loved Heart but this book really gave me a whole new level of respect for what it was like for Ann and Nancy coming up in the rock and roll world as women in the 1970s and 80s and the things you'd have to go through that male artists wouldn't. It certainly made me think.
Just the love they so obviously all had for each other and their descriptions of their lives with their family, especially their Mom and Dad. Just the love and respect and great sense of humour they all had with each other just shines through.
They didn't perform any characters! They were themselves and completely honest about a lot of things that they could have just glossed over if they so chose. I loved their honesty and the fact that they read in their own voices.
One of the things that makes Heart's story unique is that Ann and Nancy were two sisters in a band together. It's something you don't often hear about, especially from a female perspective. They dealt with lots of things that are probably common in the music business, but the fact that they are women and had kids for some of it made it really different. I was also fascinated by the synchroncity of the two sisters together being involved with the two Fisher brothers at one point in the story and about the things that inspired their most famous songs and how they felt about their songs being used in ways that weren't really true to the songs' meaning.
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