Kicking & Dreaming

Kicking & Dreaming

A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : ItBooks, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062101679
Branch Call Number: 782.421667 WIL 2012 23
Characteristics: 279 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Cross, Charles R.
Wilson, Nancy
Alternative Title: Kicking and dreaming


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Feb 23, 2019

I borrowed this book because I was wondering what ever happened to Mr. Wilson (Ann and Nancy’s father). Mr. Wilson was my English teacher at Ringdall Junior High in Bellevue. The Wilson sisters would come into our classroom at the end of the year and sing some songs (Nancy on guitar, Ann on Mandolin). This was the early 1970s and the Wilson sisters were primarily playing clubs up in Vancouver, BC. Nothing cool ever happened in Bellevue (but being from Bellevue how would I know what was cool!) I knew Mr. Wilson was a Marine (a Major in the Marines) and I was reassured when Ann/Nancy said their Father was a bit eccentric. He would play recordings of radio shows in class—I remember him playing Orson Welles narrating H. G. Wells War of the Worlds. He always encouraged anything creative. This book has commentary from the sisters and band members. Nancy gave guitar lessons to the kid next door (Kelly Curtis) who would later manage Pearl Jam—sometimes Seattle seems like a very small town! Heart became a huge success with multimillion dollar sales and international tours. It was also interesting to read about two young women in a male dominated profession. In the 1980s with the introduction of MTV and music videos; the band was often encouraged to show and sell their sexuality (more cleavage!) Critics made comments about Ann’s weight and Nancy’s huge thighs!! Sheesh, what about their music?! The book covers their life from childhood (moving around the world with the military father), to settling down in the Northwest and setting up a permanent home in the Bellevue suburb of Lake Hills. Establishing their music career and dealing with the biz and success. There are funny stories about meeting rock stars and rock idols and stories of their personal lives and stories of their music. I don’t own any of their albums and have never seen them play live (except at Ringdall Junior High), but like most people know their songs and hits. As a 12-year-old to me, they were two beautiful, talented women who rocked the world!

May 01, 2017

Interesting, quick read. Sad to see the sisters did not realize they would need God's strength and guidance. Many affairs, a lack of morals, insecurity, trying to fill the hole in their soul by sex, drugs, music and meeting celebrities. Never satisfied.
The story winds it's way through the back story of their journey, to gain a musical career, where they received many breaks, and a few tough dealings. Changes in band mates, transitioning away from being intertwined songwriters in Heart.
I had a friend who met Nancy. He said she was pleasant to speak with.

Jan 17, 2014

Excellent biography of the Wilson sisters and their journey as they break into the old boys' club of rock and roll. Very entertaining with a lot of Canadian references and their affection for our country shines through. I hope they do a sequel or at least turn this book into a movie. Nancy way married to Cameron Crowe for many years and he would be the perfect person to take it to the big screen.

Sep 21, 2013

A inside look at the Wilson sisters and the Seattle band Heart. Having seen them back in 1979 at a peak before the departure of the Fisher brothers and then the bass player and drummer they had a great sound. Ann looks back with a honest view of her experiences, both good and bad. Refreshing not to see too much resentment. Rock and Roll 'road' band is a tough life style, touring, touring, sound check and more touring and having to be 'on' gets old. Addictions and the problems thereof happen. I think this was brought out. Maybe a lesson learned? Don't have romantic realtionships within a band..

Aug 27, 2013

Very entertaining Heart band autobiography. Keen insight into the history of the band, and the times they lived out their years of glory as the most successful female-fronted rock band of the 70s and 80s. Also very cool to hear the way they essentially passed the torch to their Seattle little brother bands in the 90s as the grunge movement took off. Overall a great read.

moviefan721 Apr 02, 2013

You'll be hard pressed to find 2 more talented women in Rock and Roll. Great book about the struggles of a rock band.

Mar 10, 2013

Excellent account of the sisters Nancy and Ann of the band Heart. Unlike so many biographies of movie and rock stars, this one doesn't wallow around in the drug use part of being famous (that gets so boring after a while). Instead this is a very honest look at the two sisters, their background, their personal demons and the difficulties of being accepted as 'persons' in the rock business and critiqued on their playing and singing rather than being sexualized or criticized about their appearance. You'd kinda think that in an 'artistic' business, your peers would be more open-minded and less liable to try and fit you into a pre-ordained slot, but apparently there are lots of performers and critics who like their answers nice and simple and who let their own prejudices about body-type dictate their reactions to the arts being performed. Anyway, long story short, it's a really good book!

Jan 15, 2013

They aren't the only sisters in rock and roll who write their own stuff etc.

Michael Colford Oct 22, 2012

Ann and Nancy Wilson, with their co-writer Charles Cross tell the story of Heart, from their childhood growing up as daughters of a military man, to the highs and lows of their rock and roll careers. Having been a fan of Heart since the beginning, I knew lots of the stories they told from interviews and stories over the years, but their personal lives, moving all over the country and the world during their childhood, and the family dynamics between them, their parents, and their sister Lynn, were fascinating to read.

I truly enjoyed some of the insights of behind their songs and albums... almost wish there was more of that. Also learned alot about the early dynamics of the original band. The conflicted success of the late 80's Heart was fascinating to hear in such a forthright manner, and I had lost track of these talented sisters during the late 90's and early 00's, so the book filled all of that in nicely. All in all, an entertaining bio of two of the most talented and fascinating musicians in rock and roll history.


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Dec 03, 2012

"In May 2011, Nancy and I traveled to Vancouver with this book's cowriter to go back and visit the places we'd lived and worked in our early days….And though the visit brought back a flood of memories of my early romantic life, of the start of Heart, of our five-year plan, my strongest memory was of the music. It had been sitting outside the cottage by the creek, where I had written those "Dreamboat Annie" songs that in the decades since had taken on a life of their own. I had stood in these woods, with a soul full of love, and played my flute, accompanied by the sound of the gurgling brook. In that earlier version of Ann, those songs had existed only as a glimmer of a dream in a young girl's imagination. I had sung their words countless times onstage, but for a moment that day in Vancouver, they came to my lips as spoken words, without melody, a credo of sorts: "Cold, late night so long ago, when I was not so strong, you know." I hadn't written the songs back then, even though many came straight from my life, from my diaries, from my phone calls with my mother, from my nights of passion with the first man I loved. I hadn't written the songs back then because I never do. The songs had written me." --Ann Wilson fr. "Kicking & Dreaming"

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