The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Ann and Nancy Wilson Kicking and Dreaming book review

ANN & NANCY WILSON

WITH CHARLES R CROSS

 

KICKING AND DREAMING

A STORY OF HEART, SOUL, AND ROCK & ROLL

IT! BOOKS

2012

 

 

FULL HEART AND SOUL

 

 

Heart’s story has a few more twists and layers than most, as you will find out if you delve into the rather lengthily titled ‘Kicking and Dreaming. A story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll’. And it’s those layers such as the subtext of being women in what is still very much a man’s world that the book explores through a series of intertwining stories rather than taking the straight (auto)biography angle.

 


We begin somewhere in the wilds of Canada where Heart is fired from a dead end bar and immediately transported onto stage in Montreal in support of Rod Stewart. It’s a nice introduction that sets the scene for an emerging band with a penchant for Led Zeppelin.  

 


Stylistically this book comes in somewhere between Motley’s the Dirt and Aerosmith’s earlier memoir ‘Walk This Way’. And whilst the book may not scream ‘excess’ in the way those volumes did you’d be surprised by what the girls got up to back in the day, though most of the dirt dug here is on themselves (with maybe the exception of the Van Halen story).

 


If you are a fan or casual observer it is a fascinating story, and while the bite sized chunks may annoy some looking for more narrative and analysis the story gets told all the same from pre-Heart days though the seventies and the excess of the late eighties. Alongside the humour there’s also pain though and we get to see the human side of Ann and Nancy battling with the sort of things we all do, only under the more intense microscope. There are heart-wrenching sections from Ann about her battle with alcohol and obesity and from Nancy regarding her marriage breakdown.

 


At the end of the day as Ann puts it beautifully ‘ours is… the story of women who are being told there are rules to follow and just won't do it’. So along with the tales of the free and unrestrained 70’s and all the sex and drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll that ensued we also look at the present day, specifically the rather good last couple of albums and even cast an eye to the future. It’s a great read, fast paced, well-written, and manages to find that perfect balance between humour, sadness and the Rock and Roll lifestyle we all find so fascinating.

 

 

By Jo Rockpit