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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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.
©2012 Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kathy on 11-13-12

Good Behind-The-Scenes Look At "Heart"

I'm not a fan of true life stories, but every now and then I've taken a chance. I read two books when I was in my 20s about The Beach Boys and about The Beatles. It really affected how I felt about them and their music, especially the one about The Beach Boys. To this day I can't stand their songs -- the very ones I used to like and enjoy before I read the book. When I got older I wondered if they were true biographies or just some trash someone wrote.

So I knew I was taking a chance with another rock'n'roll book. Yet this book was told by the people themselves: Ann and Nancy Wilson who I always knew as the sisters of the band Heart. Since I enjoyed the sample listen, I decided to download it and I enjoyed it. Parts of it I didn't care for -- the part that always seems to belong to the lives of those in the rock'n'roll bands, because I don't like hearing about drugs and sex. However, it wasn't lurid details they gave when recounting this part of their lives. It simply was.

As for the rest of the book, I really enjoyed it!! It was interesting to hear it told from both Ann and Nancy, as well as getting to hear memories by other people in their lives. If you were ever a fan of Heart, you know what excellent singers these women are and their reading voices were good, too. At first, even though an announcer tells you which person is speaking, it was difficult to distinguish their voices. Once I caught on, I could picture each woman as I've seen them performing on tv shows and videos throughout the years.

I first fell in love with Heart's music when I was in my late teens, so it was a thrill for me to hear the women tell of how "Magic Man," "Crazy On You," and "Dreamboat Annie" came into being. I followed their career and music for a while, then moved on. I came upon them later in their career and enjoyed "Barracuda" and "These Dreams" as well as others. Once again, I could remember the songs as they described the origin of the words.

I think what I especially liked about hearing the story of Ann and Nancy Wilson in their own words was realizing what I never knew before: they carved a pathway for lead female singers and lead female guitarists in the rock industry!! They really had a tough time dealing with stereotypes in a male dominated profession!! To their credit, they have continued their careers with its various ups and downs throughout these many decades, putting up with what might have broken lesser determined women.

I always dreamed about how that would have been me and my sister on stage, knowing which one of us would be which one of the Wilson sisters. Being so close to my sister, it made my heart happy to know how close they always were and still are!! It also tickled me to see how excited they were, no matter how old they were or how much success they had achieved, whenever they'd meet a rock idol of theirs!!

Any rock'n'roll fan, any fan of Heart, any fan of the Wilson sisters will truly enjoy this book!! They're so real, so down-to-earth, so loving and such gifted and talented artists!!

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sky on 11-04-12

Very Intimate and Enjoyable Autobiography!

What made the experience of listening to Kicking and Dreaming the most enjoyable?

I especially loved listening to the this audible book because Ann and Nancy read and recorded the story themselves. It's like sitting around a fire listening to true tales of their lives from childhood to now. It's a very intimate glimpse into their family life as well as their backstage and touring world. These are not frivolous women, they are as serious as Seattle. They tell of their failures and triumphs both equally and it makes one realize how dreams can come true even if they don't turn out exactly the way we imagined. These two women are sincere and authentic even after years of being pummeled by the things that fame and the entertainment business bring. They have always "had each other's backs" while remaining completely unique individuals. The two of them let us in on their feelings, insecurities and guilty pleasures. The listener time travels with Heart through the years of love and loss, adventure and excitement. I cried with them through some of the emotional experiences and was sad when the book ended.

What other book might you compare Kicking and Dreaming to and why?

It could be slightly compared to Keith Richard's Autobiography because they tell of their parents and family history all the way to present times and give answers to some of the urban legends and mysteries that have surrounded them. They have always been "rock and roll" and were immersed in the life fully whether they wanted to be or not. Keith and the Wilson sisters both always felt that the MUSIC was what mattered and never compromised that.

Have you listened to any of Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to their music for most of my life. It was interesting to hear the background story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The same one used for the book - "The Story of Heart, Soul and Rock and Roll"

Any additional comments?

I think the book is better in audible form than the paper version because the REAL people that lived it are telling the story in real time! It doesn't get better than that if you are an autobiography fan.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By prefabsproutfan on 05-18-17

Pure Heart

What did you like most about Kicking and Dreaming?

I loved this book, it was great to hear so many different voices from the actual people discussed in the book. Each telling their view of events from over the decades.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Kicking and Dreaming?

The book was so honest and interesting. I learnt lots about how the sisters were feeling throughout many periods of their fame.

Have you listened to any of Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Great, warm, humorous, honest and at times sad.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes I did! But completed in a week and wanting more.

Any additional comments?

A must not just for Heart fans, but also anyone interested in songwriting and even family dynamics and pressures of friendship in the face of the spotlight of fame.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 04-13-13


Great to hear the truth behind all the rumours, the weight battles and personal trials of Ann & Nancy with the added bonus of narration by the ladies themselves and also other people mentioned in the book contribute. From the early days with family memories to the present day. A good length without being too long. Recommended for both Heart fans or those wishing to hear a good biography.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By gary Fallon on 02-14-17

Good insights from two great artists n entertainer

Ann, Nancy and others provide a very personal account of what it is like to follow your dream. then to have wisdom to look back over their success and the many things they pioneered as gifted women in rock. Thank you to both for making the effort to share their wisdom..

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