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Rock Hall of Fame finally gets Heart

Ann (l) and Nancy Wilson and their groundbreaking band Heart are among the new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced Tuesday. (Heart image)

A decade of disappointment has finally come to an end for Ann and Nancy Wilson, as word came down Tuesday voters have chosen Heart for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“I wasn’t quite sure this was real when I got the news,” Ann tells Rolling Stone. “We’ve just had this long running joke about it for so many years. But I got the text while I was at the airport and it took a little while to sink in.”

The Seattle sisters join Rush, Public Enemy, Randy Newman, Donna Summer and Albert King for the class of 2013.

It’s an honor many have argued is long overdue.

“You know, music is not the exclusive domain of the male gender but that’s the way unfortunately that the Rock Hall has operated. So it’s a horrible oversight that they have not been in before,” says Seattle-based author Charles Cross, who co-wrote this year’s autobiography of Heart “Kicking and Dreaming” with Ann and Nancy.

“I can’t remember the exact statistic now with the addition of Heart, but previously somebody added it up and it was like 10 percent of the performers in the Hall were female and that’s a crime I think that needed to be addressed and still needs to be addressed,” Cross says.

But he says their legacy is the groundbreaking music they made far more than the fact they’re women.

“Dreamboat Annie, Barracuda, Little Queen, Dog and Butterfly, those albums are truly some of the best classic rock albums of that decade (the 70’s). And they are long remembered by people and those songs have a history that are a big part of rock and roll.”

Cross credits the band with creating a unique concoction of hard rock tinged with folk that would influence a generation of musicians to come.

The Hall of Fame selection is just the capper on what’s been an amazing year for the sisters. They released a well received new album, Cross’ book made the bestseller list, and they got to meet their heroes Led Zeppelin, and play Stairway to Heaven for President Obama at the Kennedy Center Honors.

“It’s the sweetest of all things,” The band has been working hard and touring for the past 35 years without much stopping. It’s really good to go, ‘Hey, someone noticed,'” Nancy tells Rolling Stone.

“We’re always out there doing it. We’re always onstage. We’re always traveling. It can start to feel like you’re a tree falling in the forest, but nobody notices. So this kind of acknowledgement is really sweet,” says Ann.

The votes were cast by a panel that includes musicians, music writers, and industry leaders. For the first time, the public also had a say, with online balloting added to the others.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on April 18, 2013 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles and broadcast on HBO May 18.

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