Friday, September 30, 2016

Book Review: Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll by Ann and Nancy Wilson

My mom introduced me to the band Heart when I was a young.  I guess I could have been even been listening to their debut album, Dreamboat Annie, while still in the womb. It wouldn't surprise me since their music has made such an impression on me.I recall in the late 80's the Bad Animals album coming out and by that time, my mom had it on cassette tape.  I would borrow her tape and play the song "Alone" over and over on a boom box that I got for my birthday one year.  What a preteen could be contemplating while listening to that song, I always was the moody, pondering type. By the time cds came long, I added The Road Home album to my collection and of course, bought another copy of Dreamboat Annie so I could listen to Heart in the car. I loved the acoustic version of "These Dreams" in my twenties and found it inspirational when I sometimes felt down.

Kicking and Dreaming was another goal fulfilled for me as I work my way obsessively through all that has been produced by the Wilson sisters.  Yes, there are albums which I still don't own and songs which I still haven't heard. I will conquer them yet.  The storytelling felt intimate as chapters were divided between Ann and Nancy, both described their progression over the years. I felt like I was reading a diary of someone's intimate past.  Both so freely spoke about their upbringing, their relationships with friends, lovers, and each other.  I learned that the "Magic Man" was indeed a love interest of Ann Wilson, Michael Fischer, who she had a young, passionate relationship with while she wrote the songs for Dreamboat Annie.  And Nancy Wilson was in a relationship with Michael's brother, Roger, at the same time. Both dated the Fischer brothers for many years.  Later Nancy went on to marry the director, Cameron Crowe, whom she later divorced but also had twin sons with.  I can now tie together the influences Nancy had on one of my favorite film's he directed, Almost Famous. Lyrics were interwoven throughout the book, describing times in their lives because that's what they wrote about.  When the grunge scene hit in Seattle (where they are from), I learned that they not only had close friendships with bands like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains but heavy influence on who they became.  Grunge bands of the time treated them like Mother Hens.  Ann and Nancy now in their 60's are still writing music and doing what they love.  I really enjoyed this book and raced though it beginning to end.  Last year, Heart was in concert near my hometown and I was able to see the powerful sisters live.  I loved the concert and sang along with them to all the old songs.  Girls who rocked before it was common for girls to rock.  


1 comment:

  1. We are so glad you enjoyed it. It was a very personal thing to write, and as with any bittersweet memory there were parts that were very difficult to relive again. Thank you again for the kind words.