Ann & Nancy Wilson Share Stories From The Road at SXSW 2012

Photo by Chris M Junior

One of the highlights of my week at SXSW 2012 included attending the panel featuring Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart. Interviewed by Ann Powers of NPR, the Wilson sisters shared stories from the early days on the road. They shared memories of the dangers of electric guitar cables in the mud and steering through crowds of “slimy, sleazy guys”.

“It was very Wild West,” said singer Ann Wilson, who recalled being approached in Montana by a few unsavory men. Ann expressed gratitude for her bandmates who would often step in to offer protection.

Many in the audience were allowed to ask questions of the sisters. Most took the opportunity at the microphone to express loving adoration.
One male fan asked, “Who has Heart opened for that it was obvious that you out performed?” Nancy quickly replied “Def Leppard”, to which many in the audience seem to agree.

Another fan asked, “Which venue is the best to really experience Heart?”, to which Ann replied, “The House of Blues”.

To me, the most memorable question was asked by a young woman just starting out in music. She asked the Wilson sisters for any advice. Guitarist, Nancy Wilson dryly replied, “Run away”. After a pause, she inserted “Unless it’s really deep in you and it’s something your MUST do. I would walk away.”
Ann added, “Plus you have to be really, really good. If you aren’t really, really good, don’t even try.”

That resonated in my ears and heart for days. I’ve already experienced many hard situations and have cried buckets of tears of frustration and discouragement. I work all day and all night. I work with a life coach to help me keep my eye on the goal of writing the songs that only I can write. Writing the kind of songs that win Grammy’s. After working all day, I struggle sometimes to find the energy to perform, and do the work of a record label all by myself.

Yet, there is something deep in me that compels me to keep on writing, recording and performing, even though it’s harder than I ever imagined.
I also strive to get better everyday and learn from my mistakes and successes along the way.

I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you my friends and fans for “stepping in” when I feel the pressure to give up. I appreciate you so much.

Check out this review of the interview by Chris M. Junior.

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