Heart’s Nancy Wilson is among ‘Women Who Rock’

EPIX documentary series spotlights female music stars

Nancy Wilson of ‘Women Who Rock’ Sunday on EPIX

Q: Is it safe to assume you’re happy about “Women Who Rock” and about being among the interviewees in it?

A: Oh, of course! For one thing, it’s about time … and for me, it’s also about having been on the ground floor of a lot of this. The attention that women are getting now for making great music and touring with great bands is really inspiring to me.

We’ve been out there for a while. When Fleetwood Mac was out there, we were out there, but we were sort of a heavier rock band. Then MTV descended upon us, and there was a whole different ethic and dynamic about being a woman in the industry — and especially in videos. It was visually centered and not so much musically, and I thought it was kind of a step back for women.

Q: Are you appreciative that so many other female artists — including Sheryl Crow, Pat Benatar, Shania Twain and Chaka Khan — also talk about their career struggles in “Women Who Rock”?

A: It’s the right thing at the right time. When you look at the fact that more women are buying and learning to play guitars than men are, it’s almost like a shift in the culture that’s happening. And I just love that.

Q: Who were the prime musical influences for you and your sister and Heart-mate Ann?

A: We have very similar influences, and it’s a really wide range. Obvious ones are The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, but there was also Simon and Garfunkel, and Elton John really influenced us as musicians and writers. And Pink Floyd and Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, and the list just keeps on going. I feel so lucky that we grew up in that particular era where we had those acts and got to go see them.

Q: What sort of feedback do you get about the impact of Heart’s music?

A: We used to do a lot of meet-and-greets before our shows, and we’d get a lot of, “I never would have been brave enough to pick up a guitar if it wasn’t for you guys” and “I never would have been brave enough to start a band.” And also, “I never would have survived the deaths of my parents if it wasn’t for your music.” It’s very real for those people.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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