Saturday, March 20, 2021

Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll by Ann & Nancy Wilson

Kicking & Dreaming by Ann & Nancy Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heart, at its height, was a kick-ass band fronted by two talented sisters, the queens of rock. The book they wrote together doesn't rock as hard as they do, instead offering a limp look back at their lives. Fans will find a little something here to make it worth the read, but newcomers to the world of Heart won't find much to keep them turning those pages.

Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll tells the tale of Ann and Nancy Wilson from the beginning – the very beginning. As in, going back to long dead ancestors, then recounting how their parents met, their own births and childhoods, etc., before getting to the meat of their musical journey. They make a weak attempt at employing the popular method of starting with a smashing story to pull you in and then going back to tell things chronologically, but even the prologue isn't all that thrilling. 

The biggest problem here is they decided to write in an oral history style, with almost all the storytelling coming from Ann and Nancy, back and forth. It could've been much more interesting if the writer working with them had taken those contributions and woven them into the true tale of two talented and beautiful sisters taking on the rock world and kicking its ass, but alas, that didn't happen.

There are enough compelling details to keep longtime fans like myself reading, though at the same time I found myself disappointed at the wasted promise of what could have been. The book drags and made me work hard to hang in to get those fascinating tidbits, and even then they were often told in a fairly bland way. I came away having only lightly scratched the surface of what it must've been like making music, touring, loving, losing, and fighting back against various BS the Wilson sisters faced over the years. 

I enjoyed the book more than it sounds like here; I really do think other fans will enjoy it, too. It just doesn't bear up well to reflection.

Note: I read this book years ago before I was trying my hand as a book blogger. I reviewed it for Goodreads at the time, and am adding it here now. The book is a little weak, but my love for the band stays strong.

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