It’s not easy getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Just ask Kiss, Deep Purple and a number of other acts who aren’t there. .
Pop-rock band Heart was inducted in April, along with Rush and Public Enemy, and in his induction speech, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell sang the praises of the first female rock band to play the songs they crafted.
Heart, made up of vocalist Ann Wilson and her sister, guitarist Nancy Wilson, has sold more than 30 million albums. Together the Wilsons wrote and recorded hit after hit, such as “Barracuda,” “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man,” and they have had 10 albums on the Billboard charts.
No wonder Heart will live forever in the hallowed halls of one of America’s most entertaining museums.
“We’ve worked so hard for everything that we’ve gotten,” Ann Wilson said by phone this week. “We’ve earned everything that has been given to us.”
Heart, which performs Saturday at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek, has been together for more than 40 years. While the makeup of the band has changed considerably over that span, the Wilson sisters have always been the constants.
“We’re sisters and we also get along,” Ann Wilson said. “We’ve always loved being in this band. We always loved music. “
When the Wilsons were kids coming of age in Seattle during the ‘60s, they were huge pop music fans.
“There were so many recording artists, who had a massive impact on us,” Wilson said. “You had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, just to name a few that already had incredible careers when we were so young. Great music felt like it was everywhere. It was so inspiring.”
The Wilsons were moved to form a band and write songs. “We had no problem coming up with (tunes),” Wilson said. “The songs come from what’s happening in our lives. What we come up with is genuine. It’s about people we know and about feelings that we have.”
The Wilson sisters don’t play it up, but they are pioneers for women in rock. “It was a male-dominated industry,” Wilson said. “Just look back at the bands from that era who were dominant. You don’t see many women in those bands. That’s just how it was. I think we did have an impact. I think we loosened things up a bit. ... But it wasn’t something we dwelled on. It was beyond anything to do with genders. It was about making the best music we could make. That’s something that never changed with us.”