on September 25, 2012
A most excellent read (took my time reading it over 6 days). Some random thoughts in no particular order...
The beginning of the book that builds up from their childhood, while a tad on the long end of things (compared to the rest of the book), is very important to laying a strong foundation for the rest of the book and the choices they would make. However after this deep dive on their childhood, it seems like they really glossed over the tours and their thoughts on the actual stages and the set lists (as I am sure like most any other band, set lists for tours can be the subject of passionate discussions about what songs to play and what songs to leave out). Ann touched on it briefly with some commentary on her talks with the Def Leppard lead singer and how they both felt somewhat a prisoner in terms of playing their big hits at every single show, but beyond that, not much at all. I would have loved to hear about what their favorite tours were (and why) in the 70's, 80's, 90's and the 2000's. They should have added in another section of pictures as well with more stuff from the mid 80's 90's and 2000's from their tours. I bring this up as Heart is an amazing live band in terms of their sound, and their live shows are top notch in terms of their stage presence.
A band like Heart that has played concerts in 5 different decades in terms of the 1970's through today, should have all sorts of interesting stories that bring us behind the scenes as a fly on the wall during their recording sessions and touring. There were some interesting/fun stories, so do not get me wrong, I just have a feeling these were just scratching the surface. Perhaps they felt it did not fit their overall narrative on the story they wanted to tell so they kept those stories dialed back.
Seeing as I am a guy that gobbles up almost any Led Zeppelin book I can get my hands on (and there are a good number of them), I would love to see something from Heart a little more deep on their entire career, vs. the deep dive on their childhood and then blasting through the 1980's to today at a frenzied pace. These were key years for Heart.
For instance, one of my all-time favorite Heart CDs is "The Road Home". It is my most listened to CD of all time. You can put it on anywhere and it simply puts a person in a zen-like state with those acoustic guitars and their lovely voices. And they simply touched on the recording of that CD and then nothing more.
Granted, as with most things, this is just a case of me simply wanting more of a good thing (as the book was a indeed good thing). If this book does well, I wonder if Heart would ever consider a career spanning large book with pictures and fun commentary of their CDs and their tours/adventures. Just look at some of the excellent Led Zeppelin books and join forces with one of those publishers/authors on something from the Heart archives.
From this book, I think we have learned that all those rumors about Ann turning her back on men in general are not true. And her willpower is steadfast once she puts her mind to it. And we also learned that Nancy is a pretty shy person in general (vs. her rocker pixie persona on stage in the middle of a live show as she rocks out for everyone).
From this book, I think we have also learned that life is tough - even for a couple of rock godesses like Ann and Nancy. They are flawed humans just like the rest of us. But it is those human flaws that made them who they are over the years by building their character which then really drove them in their darkest hours to keep on fighting/living and not give up. The story of their final hours with their mother and how doctors have found that the memory of music is the last thing to go with a person battling alzheimers (sorry if I spelled it wrong) had me wiping away tears. Just a couple of daughters singing for their mother to try and send her off surrounded by their love and their music was so vivid from the words on the page. The respect you gain for these two ladies as real people is overflowing after reading this wonderful book.
I cannot recommend this new book highly enough to any Heart fan (moderate fan to Fanatic fan). Anyone cruising these reviews on Amazon would most likely be a moderate Heart fan at a minimum. So if you are reading this, then go pick this book up straight away. You will enjoy the stories and the overall narrative/message. A couple of very strong ladies behind some very strong music...
Make it a great rest of the week everyone. And stay classy....planet earth...
... at a time when other girls wanted to MARRY the Beatles. For Ann and Nancy Wilson, making music was almost always an important part of their lives. The challenge, then, lay in figuring out how they could make successful careers out of doing it. But if their ancestor Hannah Dustin could wield a tomahawk and kill her captors to gain her freedom in colonial Massachusetts, then surely the Wilson sisters could don guitars, approach microphones, and slay audiences in the twentieth century. Eventually, of course, they would.
Here they share their story in their own voices: a duet on the printed page, toggling back and forth between the two women. It's as if we are sitting across the table from them in a coffee shop, just listening to the two of them recount their experiences and memories. Other voices of friends and fellow musicians chime in when necessary. (After all: the sisters are "merely" the front-women for a full-fledged rock band.) But this one belongs to the Wilsons.
This book is everything fans of rock music and of Heart could ask for. We learn of their beginnings and growing up in a mobile military family, and then settling down in Bellevue, Washington. The sisters played at any venue that would have them in the early 1970s; and at one point they were known as "Little Led Zeppelin" because they played so many Zep covers. We follow them to Vancouver, British Columbia, and tag along as the band called Heart begins to gain real popularity and initially, in Canada. After that, the path becomes a whirlwind course of music, touring, fame, and fortune, that spans the course of four decades.
Naturally, we are treated to some juicy tales from that insider world of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. We meet the real-life men and witness the incidents that inspired the lyrics to "Magic Man" and "Barracuda." The surrealism of the performers' rising position shows up in their inevitable interactions with other celebrities: the members of Led Zeppelin themselves, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, the Van Halen brothers, Mick Jagger. Then there are all sorts of other "Devil's bargains" that arise, even beyond the easy availability of drugs and alcohol. The women learn firsthand about ethics and legalities of binding contracts in the recording industry. They are almost constantly confronted by the blatant sexism of the chauvinistic business they happen to be in, having to endure insults about appearances even while fending off unwanted advances. Even so, through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, we can see their personal and professional lives change course with the inevitable progress of maturity.
It's always a gift to be able to see behind the curtain: to find out what went on in our favorite performers' lives while we were living out our own dramas, out in the audience. Now in their 60s (!), Ann and Nancy Wilson share their memories with a clear retrospective view. Not only are these women still performing, but they are still kicking and dreaming and above all, still keeping the love alive. It's easy to turn these pages to the strains of "Dog and Butterfly," "These Dreams," and other Heart songs ringing in your head, supplying a background to the narrative.
"Kicking and Dreaming" is highly recommended reading for rock music fans of any kind, whether or not they have ever followed Heart. This book is sure to create new "Heart Mongers" as a result. These talented sisters deserve them.
on October 26, 2012
Please let me state...I love Ann and Nancy Wilson. They both are brilliant Musicians beyond anyones comprehension. Their latest endeavor, "Fanatic" is by far one of my favorite CD's and love every single song on it. They have brought Rock and Roll to a whole new level of greatness.
However, I felt the content of the book seemed like a written interview and could've easily been discussed on a talk show. We've heard the stories before.
I felt their stories were often times predictable and no different from any other artist. (Of course I've been following their careers since the early days of "Dreamboat Annie") So with my previous comment, it's no surprize, I already knew most of the content.
Most of what was shared was very heartfelt and genuine. I loved the parts that discussed the early days of when the group first started. Especially about Ann and Michael Fisher. Their early childhoods were very fascinating. I really enjoyed the heartfelt stories in reference to their parents.
This book gives a very good and clear insight of who they really are. But then again, they've never made pretense of anything less. Ann and Nancy both are beautiful souls.
It's a good read and I enjoyed it. I finished it in 4 days, but felt it ended too abruptly. There could've been so much more added that just wasn't. I don't blame this on the Wilson sisters as much as I do Charles Cross and the publishing company. They missed out on an opportunity here to really show and focus on the true brilliance of these two incredible and amazing women.
I do recommend this book to anyone that is remotely a Heart fan. But true fans...much like myself, already know most of the content.
Would love to see a true documentary on Heart. Now that would truly be amazing.
on December 23, 2012
I enjoyed most of this book, in particular the beginning that covered their upbringing, and how the band was started. I also liked the back-and-forth between the sisters' voices, and wish they'd added more short bits from others. I also would have loved to hear more about Nancy's guitar playing.
But as it moved along, I became annoyed by what I feel is hypocrisy. They spend pages and pages lamenting how they were constantly objectified and incessantly hit on during their entire careers, then release a book that details their own sexual escapades. The only people who want to read about who and how many people they've slept with are the same people who oogled their cleavage in 1985. Don't complain about being sexualized and then describe to the world how hot your sex life was.
I was also turned off by the "victim's mentality" I feel the Wilsons put forth while discussing how the focus always seemed to be on their faces and their bodies, not their music. No one *forced* them to make those videos in the 80s. They *chose* to. They could have chosen not to. Would it have hurt their careers? Probably. But no record label head honcho *made* them put on a corset. They had a choice, and they chose the path that put Nancy on a horse so her boobs would bobble.
But the part of the book that gave me the most pause was Ann's seemingly personal vendetta against a Seattle music scene writer. Everyone knows Ann has struggled with her weight, and she discusses that at length, including her lap band surgery which was the catalyst for her losing 60lbs and finally beginning a healthy lifestyle. I feel that's great, and I'm proud of her for taking ownership of her health. But then she says, "I was long past caring what an overweight rock critic had to say about my body." Ann Wilson, after a lifelong struggle with her weight, calls someone else fat.
Look, it's not right for that critic or any other to focus on Ann's (or Nancy's) body instead of her music and talent, and both Wilsons rightly call out the double standard that exists for women in music. But in describing the writer an "overweight" rock critic, Ann is doing the same thing as the writer: focusing on the person's appearance, not their work. That's hypocritical.
It's like another reviewer said: you may enjoy this book if you're a fan of Heart - and I am; Nancy Wilson changed my life. But you may walk away liking them a little bit less.
on November 18, 2012
Love Heart's music from the 70's. Not a fan of Heart's music from the 80's. But I'm reading a lot of books on acts and albums from the 70's, and this was a must read for me.
The back and forth between Ann and Nancy was very good. It was great to hear the perspectives from both. The book dragged down a bit for me when it took a turn to motherhood and all that entails. No question this is an important part of these women's lives, but when I read a book on Microsoft, I'm not really interested in hearing about fatherhood and what it means to Bill Gates. These are interesting side stories, but I found myself skipping a lot of pages related to mothering and kids. Ironically, the authors gloss over the parties with Stevie Nicks et al, the tours, the details in the studio, writing the songs, etc. To me, that is really the meat of what a rock biography should be.
The women also seem to be torn about how the media and public views them. This was the strangest part of the book. They spend pages detailing how they didn't like doing videos with their breasts hanging out, yet they do it over and over. And then they get upset when media and fans view them as a set of breasts. They want to be treated as artists, but they sing songs (written by others) about being easy and relishing one nighters. And page after page they continue to be baffled at the responses to their marketing, as if everyone but themselves might be responsible.
The women's contribution to the 70's is unmistakable. The songs have endured. Their musicianship was superb (and still is). Personally, I wish the book would have leaned a bit more towards the music. But I understand them going the direction they did in their narrative.
on December 10, 2012
First things first. I have been a major Heart fan since the Dreamboat Annie and Little Queen era in the mid-seveties. I always admired the band's distinctive songwriting, chiefly the work of Ann and Nancy Wilson with collaborator and friend Sue Ennis. Heart always sounded unique, managing to combine soulfullness, poetry and energy. In addition, they were always a great-sounding band. Each member was musically talented and the band clearly had learned to mesh well in all their club and bar gigs. This tight sound was not a trick of studio overdubs; they sounded just as strong and together live.
I applaud the decision to structure the book as a series of recollections by Ann and Nancy, supported occasionally by others. Too often biographies exhibit too much of the biographer and the subjects of the biography are not given center stage.
Having said all this, I did not come away liking the Wilsons particularly, although my respect for their talent was enhanced.
First the book reveals a touch of coldness. The dismissal from the band of long-time bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Michael Derosier is described in one paragraph with them referred to as "Derosier" and "Fossen" instead of the more familiar Mike and Steve. I played in bands with some real jerks, but even the worst one is still thought of and referred to by his first name. I was struck by the fact that Roger Fisher's firing was covered in length with cause cited, but Steve and Mike rated only cursory mention.
The second thing I found off-putting was the bristling, chip-on-the-shoulder feminism that both women revealed in their comments. I know they came up in the late '60's and early '70's when that in your face style was fashionable and, probably necessary. They unquestionably had to kick open a lot of doors to get where they got. However, this is the second decade of the 21st century and the world has changed. Enjoy the new era and stop trying to fight old battles already won.
The most significant issue I have with this book and with the Wilsons is the "deal with devil" the Wilsons made in the '80's. In the mid '80's with their record sales flagging, Heart agreed to sign a new record deal. In order to fulfill that deal, the band dropped its distinctive music style and began releasing generic power ballads of the kind that dominated AOR radio and MTV. Some of the new music was original to the band, some of it was collaborative and some was written enirely by outsiders. Most of it was far inferior to what the band had written and recorded in the past. The other half of the "deal" was a series of MTV videos that minimized Heart's music and accentuated the Nancy Wilson's sexuality. Every video lingered over Nancy's butt and cleavage, while Ann, who allowed her weight to get above MTV's standards of rat skinniness, was hidden behind scenery or smoke. While i fully appreciate Nancy's beauty, Heart had a lot more to offer that her boobs in a low cut top. I thought at the time the music and the videos were beneath them. However in a business, one has to decide what sells.
What I found really hard to stomach was the hypocrisy with which this is treated in the book. Both Ann and Nancy lament the artistic compromises and the "T&A" videos. Why then agree to do the generic sounding songs and the videos? Tell the video producers and the record company trolls "no". Go your own way. Maintain your integrity, even if it means going back to surviving by playing smaller venues and signing with a small label for less money. Or take the deal, do what's asked of you, cash the big checks and stop whining. Complaining about taking a "deal with the devil" while enjoying the proceeds of that deal doesn't enhance anyone's credibility. It just looks phony and two-faced.
In conclusion, the book is well-written and worth reading for Heart's fans or anyone curious about their story. Just be aware that you may come away liking the central characters less.
on October 31, 2013
Folk music was always open for females with their acoustic guitars and mournful voices. Women were allowed to sing the Blues or dress up and croon songs of love and angst, but Rock music? Hardly ever. Especially those who played their own electric guitars. So I always admired Heart and still do air guitar, in the privacy of my car, to my favorite: Crazy On You. But I never really paid attention to the actual women although when a fuss was made over Ann Wilson's weight in the past I felt pretty upset for her and all women who aren't allowed to gain weight or have gray hair and worst of all, wrinkle! What does that have to do with the gifts we give? Kicking and Dreaming filled in the blanks for me: a life of glamor? Well, they also struggled, like us other humans, with relationships, family, shyness, put-downs and addictions. Yet their creativity in writing words and music, performing, and bringing joy to many of us via their talent encourages us to reach for excellence in our own lives and so that sometimes over-used expression "Role Models" must be used by me about them. I recommend that you buy the Enhanced version because it includes an audio track of their new song and some short videos spanning their young life to recent times.
on April 25, 2014
I have been waiting for this book to be written for around 35 years. As a fan of the original band I read through this book in a few days and enjoy picking it up any time I'm relaxing and it's within arm's reach. It's that kind of a book - a book you can read and re-read and still be entertained by. And you'll notice things you overlooked originally.
You get the Wilson family history and you really get a feeling for what it was like to grow up in the Wilson household - always on the move, but bonded with a lot of comraderie and love. You get Ann and Nancy's separate recollection of events both regarding their personal lives and the career of Heart. But there's a lot that you don't get.
Most of what's here can be gleaned from the VH-1 Behind the Music special on Heart. But you also get a lot of anecdotes and things you won't know. What bothered me about the book was how the Wilson sisters seem very unaware of themselves and gloss over their own issues and mistakes. They are quick to hammer on others - both bands members, rock critics, other musicians, former schoolmates and people they encountered in the music business, but they are self-delusional in a lot of ways. They aren't very good at giving credit to anyone.
I was impressed that both sisters acknowledged the great guitar work and contributions of founding member Roger Fisher. They trashed him in a lot of other ways, but at least he got credit, as did his brother Mike, who really was the driving force behind the band before they made it big. Apparently Ann seems to have the biggest issues with Roger. She's angry about his "philandering ways." Poor Nancy was cheated on. But Ann was familiar with Roger before he met Nancy! She knew full well of his "ways" yet still let Nancy get involved with him. Ann should be blaming herself - but that never happens with Ann. She is completely blameless in this book.
Not much was said about Mike Derosier - whose powerhouse drumming was a big part of "Barracuda." Steve Fossen gets nary a mention. But what's most shocking is that Howard Leese is nearly completely absent in the book! Here's a guy who arranged some of their early music and put together the 1982 edition of the band that went on to great success. Not a single bit of credit to Howard for doing that. Denny Carmassi and Mark Andes simply joined the band. And of course Nancy could have taken over at lead guitar if she had wanted to after Roger was fired, but they let Howard do it. Really? Are you serious Nancy? And unsurprisingly Mike Flicker doesn't receive any credit - though if you read interviews, he was also a big part of the band's early success.
There's no mention of the power struggles between the Wilsons and Fishers and how maybe that might have fed into Roger's bad attitude. And no mention of how Ann and Nancy really didn't have any clear musical direction when they took over and basically drove the band into the ground within three years. Nothing negative that happened to Heart or the Wilson sisters was ever their fault, though Nancy does passingly acknowledge that her relationships with band members contributed to the downfall of the original lineup.
As mentioned in other reviews Ann and Nancy take no responsibility for the "soul-less" 1980s version of the band. It wasn't their fault. They didn't complain about the millions of dollars they made with their sellout band. No complaints about that. They want to keep their integrity as artists, though they completely sold-out on every level. It's a fantasy world for them. They get to have their cake and eat it too.
Ann's weight issues are minimalized. Late in the book, in a passing way Ann admits to drinking a lot, yet fails to link her excessive alcohol consumption with her weight issues as if alcohol had zero calories. And of course she never drank before going onstage - which I find hard to believe. I know she drank in the studio, so why not onstage? And she trivializes her weight problems. Ann wasn't just heavy, she was morbidly obese! There's more to that story than just a tendency to overeat. Who knows? Maybe some deep-seated resentment against her parents for moving her around so much as a child; leaving childhood friends - who knows? There must be some anger there. Living in a military family isn't easy. But I don't feel that Ann has ever had any therapy. Her self-UNawareness is remarkable.
There's no admission that the loss of the chemistry of the early band hurt Heart's success in the early 1980s. No mention of why Mike Derosier and Steve Fossen were fired. Derosier said it got ugly when they left. No talk about that. No mention of Ann's romantic desire for Mark Andes (which Mark has written about on his website.) Nope - nearly anything that casts the Wilson sisters in a negative light somehow failed to make the book.
It's clear to see that the Wilson sisters live in their own little cocoon. This fantasy world is likely something they created together as a survival mechanism as young children and they continue to live in it. The book is still a great read, but you really do get a feeling that the sisters are way more flawed as individuals than they lead on to.
on February 3, 2013
I was excited to read this biography about the band Heart since I have always been a fan of their classic material. Until now I really didn't know much about the band except for a vh1 behind the music special they did a few years back. Kicking and Dreaming is a pretty easy book to read. Each sister takes a turn sharing about their life growing up and the ups and downs of being in a hugely successful band. Ann and Nancy came off likable for the most part and were able to convey a sense of time and place through their writing. It was interesting to hear about their childhoods and growing up in a military family, however, I was far more interested in what life was like being in the band Heart. There are some really good stories that although were generally informative, failed to go a little deeper than I would have liked. I never got bored reading kicking and Dreaming, I found it surprising that Ann and Nancy admit to having sold out in the eighties, "the Devils Bargain" they call it. They by no means dismiss that body of work, Ann even admitting the song Alone was more her than anything she ever wrote. I guess it was all the big hair and cheesy music video stuff they were referring to. There are also some pretty juicy stories about other artist. The girls don't shy away from slamming some artist that were not very nice to them or had ego's the size of Mount Rushmore. I always like to here what these people are like behind the scenes. The style of story telling trades off between being funny and serious but balanced just right. Ann talks about her weight issues, Nancy talks about her shyness and insecurities, but they also talk about there love of music and the excitement in performing. I am glad Ann and Nancy didn't go to deeply into their political beliefs something they have been Known to do in the past. There is one chapter entitled I can see Russia that talks about Sarah Palin using their hit Barracuda as her campaign song. Nancy basically takes this opportunity to bash Sarah and her political beliefs. Nancy absolutely has a right to her opinion but as a self proclaimed feminist it was a little ironic to hear her slam someone who was able to succeed so much in the arena of politics, usually a mans field. For someone who pretty much did the same thing in the music world, shouldn't she as a feminist be a little less enraged regardless of her politics. all in all I was glad to hear these stories. It has made me want to dig out some of those old albums and crank em high on my stereo.
on August 26, 2013
First, a slightly embarrassing anecdote: On 9/17/12, on the eve of the release of Ann and Nancy Wilson's autobiography "Kicking and Dreaming," I attended a book signing at NYC's Union Sq. Barnes & Noble. After a fascinating interview session, I waited the requisite hour or so to get my copy autographed, and finally was at the foot of the dais where Ann and Nancy sat. Just as I walked onto the dais myself, my eye happened to catch sight of a book on the shelf next to me. It was one of those yellow and black Dummies books: "Singing for Dummies." Feeling as if this were a kismet moment, I grabbed the book and a few seconds later was standing in front of Ann Wilson, arguably the greatest female singer in rock history. (Sorry, Grace; sorry, Janis.) I plopped the book down in front of her and said the line that had just occurred to me: "Ann, this is one book that you will never need!" I thought it was kinda clever, but Ann only looked a little confused, so I quickly proceeded on with some other brilliant comments. I relate this anecdote for three reasons: (1) to declare that, yes, I think the world of Ann, and of Nancy, too, have loved their band Heart for over 35 years, and have seen them in concert several dozen times, (2) as an apology for any negative comments that I might make in regard to their new book, and (3) to suggest that perhaps I should recuse myself from reviewing this book at all. But heck, anybody who reads a Heart autobiography must already be a fan, right? OK, just wanted to let you know where I'm coming from; I will strive for objectivity here.
Fortunately, even objectively speaking, there is a lot to love in the gals' book, cowritten with Charles R. Cross. The sisters tell their history alternately; Ann will start, Nancy will pick up a few pages later, and so on, with a few outside observers (such as their childhood friends Sue Ennis and Geoff Foubert, as well as "Magic Man" Michael Fisher) adding commentary. I'm not clear on how the book was written, but it almost feels as if the gals were dictating, or rather, as if they were telling you their story over coffee while sitting in Ann's backyard in Seattle. And a fascinating story it is also, as the two--along with oldest sister Lynn--get shuffled around the world by their itinerant Marine family; join the proto-Heart band and live in a Vancouver hippie commune; hit it big in the mid-'70s; start over in the mid-'80s, with two of their biggest albums (personally, I could never understand how "Heart" and "Bad Animals," the only two Heart albums that I don't flat out love, were able to do so well); and manage to get through the megatours, the after-show partying (to their credit, both gals claim to have never gotten stoned BEFORE a show), the infertility setbacks (for both sisters), and, for Ann, the problems with stammering, overweight, Lap Band surgery and alcoholism. Little is held back, and even some of the ladies' affairs are touched on. (Ann and Ian Hunter...who knew?!?!) The book features many wonderful stories, including the amusing tale of a young Nancy and her galpal searching for Joni Mitchell in British Columbia, Ann taking the high road at a high school reunion, and Ann and Nancy failing to keep up with the hard-partying Stevie Nicks. Best of all, though, is the love that these sisters have for each other that keeps peeping through. How touching it is when Nancy realizes, just before joining Heart, that her perfect musical partner--the one she'd long been looking for--was her sister Ann, who "was right here next to me, and always had been"; likewise, how sweet it is when Ann closes the book by saying "I need only look over at my sister--onstage, or off--and know she is a fanatic of me." "Kicking and Dreaming" gives a clear picture of two supremely talented siblings who have managed to sustain a career brilliantly over a 40-year period, breaking through gender roles in the process and ultimately landing themselves in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As an engaging and revealing chronicle that allows fans to better know the Wilson sisters, the book must be deemed a complete success.
Unfortunately, the book is also something of a mess, with more typographical errors than any 280-pg. book should be allowed to have (not so much typos, actually, as entire words missing from sentences), as well as various inconsistencies and problems with fact. Where to begin? Seals and Crofts are repeatedly referred to as "Seals and Croft"; Kirsten Dunst is repeatedly referred to as "Kristen Dunst"; and Bad Company's Paul Rodgers is given as "Paul Rogers." On pg. 2, Ann tells us that "Dreamboat Annie" was released in August '75; on pg. 106, Nancy tells us it was released in October '75. (Don't ask ME which is correct!) Several song titles are incorrectly given: The Bee Gees song is "To Love Somebody," not "Love Somebody," and the Fab 4 song is of course "The Long and Winding Road," not "A Long and Winding Road." The "Bad Animals" LP is said to have been released on 6/6/87, although the receipt in my album jacket clearly says 5/22/87. Nancy tells us that she and Ann wore Sgt. Pepper's-type outfits for the "Brigade" cover, although in actuality, the only pictures of the gals on that album are head shots...and for the inner sleeve! Ann tells us that the song "Under the Sky" was written for 1993's "Desire Walks On," whereas it had actually appeared on 1990's "Brigade." Nancy mentions a John Cougar anecdote that had taken place "a year earlier," whereas that should be "three years earlier." On pg. 143, Ann mentions that she and Michael Fisher broke up in October '79, but six pages later, Nancy claims that it was in early 1980. (Again, don't ask me!) The Harlan Ellison work " A Boy and His Dog" is said to be a novel, whereas it is in actuality a novella at best. Ann mentions that there have been 27 "members of Heart over the years, besides Nancy and me," although a listing at the rear of the book shows 34! And Ben Smith, Heart's current drummer, is said to have been with the band for 20 years, although that same list shows that he was the drummer from "1995 - 1998; 2002 - present." Any way you slice it, is that 20 years? But enough of this nitpicking. Despite the goofs and typos, "Kicking and Dreaming" remains both a touching and historical account of two remarkable rock women. I have read it twice already, and will likely be referring to the book for years to come. And, oh...I know the gals aren't overly keen on references to their looks, but I must add that when I met the two last year, they both looked very beautiful, and seem to be aging like fine (white lightning and) wine....