Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson recall early career challenges in SXSW interview

From left to right: Nancy Wilson, Ann Wilson and Ann Powers talk about Heart's career Thursday afternoon during South by Southwest. (Photo by Chris M. Junior)

 
By Chris M. Junior
 
Hardcore Heart fans cherish the early era of the enduring band’s career. So do singer Ann Wilson and guitarist Nancy Wilson, but not everything that happened back in the 1970s falls under the heading of “the good ’ol days.”
 
In walking down memory lane during their South by Southwest interview Thursday afternoon with NPR’s Ann Powers, the Wilson sisters shed some light on what it was like to be women in a rock band when no matter where they turned, men were the overwhelming majority.
 
There was a level of craziness to the physical aspect of touring back in the day, especially for women, Ann Wilson said. Meet-and-greet events at shows, she added, were usually nothing more than interacting with “a roomful of slimy, sleazy guys.”
 
Heart’s prefame bar-band period had its challenges as well.
 
“It was very Wild West,” said Ann Wilson, who remembered being approached in Montana by a few “mean-spirited guys” when Heart was on a break between sets. Fortunately for her, Wilson’s band mates would come to her defense.
 
Looking ahead, Heart has a career-spanning boxed set planned for this year, as well as an autobiography.

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