Nancy Wilson, best known as the guitarist of Heart, releases her first solo album at the age of 67 - a work with which she counters several misconceptions: for instance, that her band is a purely American phenomenon, that she had her best musical moments in the 1970s and has hardly any relevance today. As far as the latter is concerned, "You And Me" is a resounding slap in the face for all such critics, because the first woman to play lead guitar in a successful rock band shows that she hasn't lost anything, but has learned a lot.
The kids are in college, the band she's fronted with her older sister Ann since the mid-'70s is in corona-induced forced hiatus, and the mansion she moved into just before the pandemic broke out in Santa Rosa, Northern California, is fully furnished. "I live here with my husband and a whole pack of dogs, have my own studio and more time than I'd like because of Corona. So I've tackled what I've been meaning to do for years: my first solo album. I know now the question will come why I didn't do it sooner, but the answer is I was too busy with Heart."
A band synonymous with 16 studio albums, 35 million records sold and global hits like "Barracuda," "These Dreams" and "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You," inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and making rock history just by paving the way for women to enter this male domain. "When I first started playing guitar, they were like, 'But honey, you're going to ruin your fingernails with that. Wouldn't you rather play the flute?' That made me even more determined to do it."
Her determination paid off: Albums like "Dreamboat Annie," "Magazine," "Little Queen" and "Dog & Butterfly" are considered '70s classics with their combination of folk and hard rock, and the Wilson sisters proved themselves adept songwriters on them. It wasn't until men and, more importantly, drugs came into the picture that their creativity stalled. "In the '80s, everything we touched was covered in a thick layer of dust," Nancy Wilson laughs. "We were doing so much coke that the music suffered. It was all about these big-hair hairstyles and clothes that looked like we'd stepped out of a fantasy movie. It was bad."
Since the early '90s, the Wilsons have taken it easy. Their albums come out irregularly and sometimes on smaller indie labels, hit singles and outfits are no longer the focus, and tours are mostly in North America. "That was and is due to our management, which sends us where we make the most money - and unfortunately that's on our doorstep. But I miss Germany and definitely want to go back there - maybe for our 50th anniversary. Then we want to do one last, big world tour."