Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll

Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll

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by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson
     
 

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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

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Overview

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 bestselling 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After years of playing small clubs around Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest for little-to-nothing and enduring numerous indignities at the hands of spiteful club owners, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson finally got their break when Heart's "Crazy On You" hit the airwaves in 1975, thus realizing a dream born when the girls first saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. But while venues got bigger and paychecks increased, they still struggled with rampant sexism in the music industry, and Ann continued to face criticism for her fluctuating weight. Nevertheless, the duo persevered to attain huge commercial success, paving the way for countless female musicians who would follow. Here, the sisters—with the aid of Cross (Heavier than Heaven)—recount failures and victories big and small, as well as the stories behind classic songs like "Magic Man," "Barracuda," and "What About Love" with equal parts candor and humility. Unfortunately, Heart's career arc is all too typical, characterized by success, substance abuse, decline, and a comeback. Still, the sisters' grounded approach and appreciation for each other adds a refreshing element to an oft-told tale. Photos. (Sept.)
New York Daily News
“Righteously entertaining….[it] shows just what it’s like to be a woman who rocks, then and now.”
USA Today
“Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson—better known as the faces and voices of Heart—look back on the personal and professional struggles and triumphs that define their legacy as one of rock’s pioneering female-fronted, creatively autonomous acts.”
Miami Herald
“Thorough and entertaining….[Kicking and Dreaming is] satisfying for its breadth and spirit….the Wilsons write movingly and with a sense of humor.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062101679
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
326,844
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Ann & Nancy Wilson are the leaders of the rock band Heart, whose albums have sold thirty-five million records worldwide. They continue to tour all over the world. In 2013, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Ann & Nancy Wilson are the leaders of the rock band Heart, whose albums have sold thirty-five million records worldwide. They continue to tour all over the world. In 2013, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Charles R. Cross has written nine books, including Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain, which was a New York Times bestseller, won the 2002 ASCAP Award for Outstanding Biography, and was called "one of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star" by the Los Angeles Times. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Room Full of Mirrors: The Biography of Jimi Hendrix and was the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll, with Ann and Nancy Wilson. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Heartmonger42 More than 1 year ago
This is been a story I have waited 40 some years for. It is absolutely the most awesome rock and roll book you could ever read. Ann and Nance are honest and don't mince words. I can't keep putting it down. I keep reading and reading and re-reading it. Rawk on Heart!!!! You are a classy band that has put a mark on four decades. You still rock and never had a show that disappointed!!!! We love you!
JamieB63 More than 1 year ago
A lifelong Heart fan, a 49 year old Mom of 3, daughter of a marine, and 3rd of 3 sisters, I read more into this book than just the music -- Speaking of the music however, who didn't want to be a Beatle, I ask you? Other reviewers talked about preferring to hear about the musical years, rather than the 'family life'. I, however, really enjoyed hearing about the family ties that shaped the strong, independant women they've become - they were able to fearlessly channel their creativity into the music we identified with....unafraid to cross the boundaries that Janis had approached - - Heart has torn through those barriers and never looked back... Hearing the struggles, , , Ann -with her self-image, the experience of having her children, and her journey into sobriety - - Nancy- the difficulties of a marriage, feeling self-conscious in front of other Moms, reminds us that we're all just the same - Its refreshing to realize again that images are just that - sometimes a shield we all hide behind. I think the Wilson sisters have invited us into their lives and personal battles through their songs, finding a way to heal, and lets us know 'this too shall pass'..... I, for one, am grateful- as I continue to enjoy my favorites (Dreamboat Annie, Little Queen, Bebe le Strange), and explore the recent (Red Velvet Car, & Fanatic) - as well as helping to create a new generation of Heart fans - my 11 year old son is a huge fan! At Heart's next venture in our area, i plan to have him there to hear Ann belt it out, and Nancy make that guitar sing! My parting comment is to let Ann know to "keep it simple"... after 23 years on my own journey, I can attest that the best part is just beginning.... Thank you Ladies....
Snoqueen More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastically written book. The style is very conversational, so much so that you feel as if you're sitting with Nancy and Ann as they tell their story from their childhood all the way to the present. I have been a Heart fan since 1976 so I was surprised at how much I didn't know. Many secrets are revealed and the depth of honesty which the story is told in is both uplifting and at times heartbreaking. If you want to really know about what has driven these two women for so long (It's not just about the f'in music) then get this book. Not only will you not be disappointed, you will be astounded.
DAL More than 1 year ago
What I enjoyed most about this book was hearing from both Ann and Nancy. It was almost like sitting in a room with them listening to them talk about old times. It was also interesting to hear from a few outside people as well. I hated putting this book down, but seeing as I was reading on my lunch hour at work I HAD to! Really a great read for any fan, or anyone wanting a little look see into the world of Rock and Roll told by two legends of Rock. Enjoy!
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
My review is about the audiobook, though that has convinced me to spring for the Hardback as soon as funds permit. Nancy's voice is sweet, and she has a way of inflecting sentences in the MIDdle, almost as if they are a QUEStion. Ann's voice is richer and lower in timbre, but was also somewhat raspy, and I wondered if she recorded her narration with a cold. There are also sections read by their sister Lynn, and by others, like their co-songwriter Sue Ennis, and the band's former manager (and Ann's ex) Mike Fisher, lead guitarist (and Nancy's ex) Roger Fisher, Howard Leese, and more. It surprised me a bit that the exes would cooperate to the point of recording audio material. Memorable Moments - so many: Ann and Nancy didn't want to be the Beatles' girlfriends, like their friends did - they wanted to BE the Beatles; to play their own music, write their own songs, to be feminine and sexy and powerful. K & S discusses Ann's struggles with her weight going back to pre-adolescence, and the pressure this put upon her, and the band - as if the ONLY accepted standard of beauty is thin, and the only measure of musical quality for a femme-led band is not voice, nor songwriting quality, nor musical performance, but the size and shape of the female members. Ann talking frankly about her love/obsession for Michael Fisher. Quitting the band and taking off for Canada (whence M. Fisher had gone to escape the Vietnam draft), and living with him in a little round house over a stream, in a bed built on driftwood branches. Nancy and her own similar but differing ideas and in the end, determination to find her own way. * The intriguing details about the Magazine album, and finishing it under armed guard. * I loved hearing about the "birth" of one of my favorite songs, Mistral Wind. * The many stars who tried (and failed) to bed the Wilson sisters, either separately or together. * Ann referring to "the song writing me," something I often feel about a story. * The glimpses of the birth of the Seattle grunge movement, and Ann as one of its "mothers," down to sheltering its stars in her home and (platonically) in her bed. * I cannot now remember which Heart band member wore unitards so as to show off his third nipple. *The birth of the Lovemongers acoustic group. * The 1995 official Heart hiatus as Nancy needed to work on babymaking. I suspect that genuine Heart fanatics who've followed every Rolling Stone and Circus and fanzine interview may feel like there's nothing genuinely new here. But for those like me, who genuinely enjoy the music, but haven't hung on every interview beyond the lyrics, there's a lot of insight here. It's also a very interesting look at the growth and changes in the music industry over the decades.
norqdo More than 1 year ago
Ann and Nancy Wilson are golden, in my view. Excellent in their field. This would have been an excellent autobiography, but the disgusting lack of respect by Harper Collins re: editing, has ruined it. I counted dozens of typos, screwed up sentences, and other editing problems. As a writer and English teacher myself, I blame the idiot Charles R. Cross, who obviously sent in to HC a careless manuscript. But HC itself should be completely ashamed of the disservice they have done two incredible women who, by contrast, are hard-working, and excellent in their area of music writing and performing. HC must be hiring 21 year old idiots in their editorial department. It is disgraceful, and disgusting to allow such a lousy, unedited manuscript through. Harper Collins and Charles R. Cross: have you no shame? I felt sick reading the lovely acknowledgements to these swine by Ann Wilson, who was so sabotaged by this disgusting company. N.M.