Q&A - What is in the Heart archives video-wise? Was there ever talk of having Ann Wilson, or even the sisters do a solo album back in the late 1970s?

1.) What is in the Heart archives video-wise? Is all the pro-shot footage already out there on YouTube (i.e. The Second Ending, 4 songs from Cal Jam 2,various TV appearances, the Little Queen promo film, the Dog and Butterfly promo film and lastly the Dog and Butterfly show from the Capital Theater)? 

Was Texxas Jam filmed? How about the rest of the California Jam set? Are there any complete Little Queen tour shows out there?

2.) Mike Derosier did a recent Modern Drummer interview and he talked about the 40th anniversary of “Dog and Butterfly” – which of course is this year. He wasn’t completely thrilled with “Straight On” saying:

“I think we did a good, legitimate take on [dance/disco music],” the drummer says. “I do like that stuff, and [singer] Ann Wilson really liked that music. But at the same time I always felt a little cheesy and that we were jumping on a bandwagon. You have a certain amount of success, and you want to maintain that or expand on that, so you find yourself sometimes getting sucked into trends or fads. It was sort of like we were allowing ourselves to be drawn into that, instead of following our own path. You end up finding yourself being a follower. And that’s part of the reason I got sick of the band after a while. I never felt like we were progressing and trusting our chemistry as much as we should have.”

What’s your take on this? I hear glimpses of greatness throughout the early years of Heart. Yet the Wilson Sisters have always maintained that when they first heard the Beatles, they wanted to become them. At the same time they remain fans and didn’t often push the musical envelope in the same way that the Beatles, Joni Mitchell or Led Zeppelin did. “Mistral Wind” to me was a good indicator of how dynamic Heart could have become. Even “The Situation” after you left, to me showed some promise artistically, though it didn’t do well as a single.

3.) Was there ever talk of having Ann Wilson, or even the sisters do a solo album back in the late 1970s? That way Heart could have maintained their harder rock direction and the sisters could have gotten as esoteric as they wanted to. Annie Haslam of Renaissance did a fantastic solo LP in the late 1970s where she tackled jazz standards and all kinds of cool stuff (“Annie in Wonderland”.) It’s an amazing record.

Thanks in advance for your answers!


RF: John, your questions and comments show insight… thanks.

1.)  The Heart video archives we have contain a LOT of footage no-one has seen. We’ll be using much of it as projected background for our live performances later this year. We’ll be announcing the new band and gigs soon. Nearest thing I’m aware of to early Heart… we have a great band!

Seems to me Texxas Jam was filmed, wish we had the footage!

2.)  That was part of the reason for me needing to leave the band, I always leaned toward innovative, not necessarily commercially-safe territory. 

To me, Drosh is correct in voicing the tendency for people to try to do “what works” for the sake of sales and popularity, which is, of course, contrary to pure art - that is, unless you define pure art as inclusive of the marketing machine.

3.)  Mike Fisher might be able to provide more insight into that reply… Mike?