After four decades and 30 million albums sold, Ann and Nancy Wilson have decided to tell their story. This week Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul and Rock & Roll (HarperCollins) hits shelves. With co-author Charles Cross (Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain), the Wilson sisters dish on Heart’s formative years, the inspirations behind their hits and their personal travails, along with some sordid rock gossip. Here are some of the more notable – and curious – stories revealed:
During Ann’s junior year in high school, their parents became aware that their daughters were regularly smoking pot. Having hit a bit of a counterculture experimental phase, one night after dinner, the Wilson parents suggested that the whole family toke together. Ann recalls it being rather embarrassing: “It wasn’t the best pot, but I wasn’t about to share my connection with my parents.”
“Crazy On You” was inspired by Ann’s first serious romance, with Michael Fischer, who would soon become Heart’s iron-fisted manager. The pair shacked up on a hippie commune in Canada. Wilson writes that while the lyrics “were straight out of the scenes of wild sexuality that went on in the cottage,” they were also about her feminist awakening and finding empowerment through her music.
During Heart’s earliest incarnation they were primarily a cover band, cementing their reputation in the Vancouver club scene with their set of Led Zeppelin songs. In March 1975, Heart was onstage performing “Stairway to Heaven” when Zeppelin themselves walked in, fresh from their show at the Pacific Coliseum. Wilson writes that the foursome seemed oblivious, disappearing into the club’s inner-sactum, where Jimmy Page was tended to by “his doctor” before promptly passing out. READ MORE