Rock and roll biographies tend to go one of two ways: They are either full of the sex, drugs and debauchery that a band is known for without any depth or they tend to be very highbrow and leave the reader wondering if they have really learned anything at all. In the case of Kicking and Dreaming by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart the “Little Queens” of rock have provided their readers and fans with what essentially reads like an oral history of the group and close knit circle. Not only do they recount their childhoods as military brats who moved around a lot, but also the struggles of growing up as a teenage girl, finding their salvation in music and realizing that everything is not always fair in the male-dominated world of heavy rock.
The book includes quotes from the men who augmented Heart over the years, their song writing partner Sue Ennis (an old childhood friend), their older sister Lynn and others who had contributions to make about the formation and longevity of the band.
I personally was impressed by how forthright they were when it came to the partying and drug use over the years. As mothers, making the decision to “put it all out there” could not have been easy, but they did it and in a way that doesn’t come off as justifying or apologetic. (BTW Ann confirmed to me in a telephone interview that this decision was not an easy one.) They weigh in on the “terrible” decade that was the ’80s and the hell of trying to fit into MTV’s idea of a more “visual” music scene. Ann was very open about issues surrounding her appearance and the toll it has taken on her over the years.
Admittedly, this book isn’t for anyone who is not a fan of the band, but if you do like Heart, I think you will like what they had to say…the enhanced e-book even comes with extra music and video interviews so it’s definitely worth the hefty price tag. I say Buy It if you are a super fan of the band, Borrow It if you are a passing fan and Bag It if it’s not your thing. This one is all about personal preference…but I really liked it!