NEW YORK, N.Y. – The journey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be a long and winding road for some acts. For Heart, it took more than a decade, and sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson admitted they were losing hope.
“(The) running joke in the band was (we) would never get in,” Ann said.
But all that changed when the group made the class of 2013, announced this month.
“Well, it just goes to show you that just when you think you know the shape of rock ‘n’ roll, it changes shape on you,” Ann said. “This is really more than thrilling.”
Her younger sister, Nancy, was glad the speculation over whether they’d make it was finally put to rest.
“We feel like we deserve it, so we’re happy to be here,” Nancy said.
Since their seminal 1976 release “Dreamboat Annie” that spawned the classic hits “Magic Man,” and “Crazy on You,” the band went on the sell more than 30 million albums worldwide. They took time off in the 1990s so Nancy, then married to director Cameron Crowe, could raise her family, but have been performing and touring for the last several years. This year, they released their 14th studio album, “Heart Fanatic,” and also released the book “Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll.” Their most recent tour resumes on Jan. 25 in Worcester, Mass.
With their induction, they are part of only a few rock bands in the hall fronted by women (others include Jefferson Airplane with lead singer Grace Slick. Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie with Fleetwood Mac, and Chrissie Hynde with the Pretenders).
Neither sister feels she was an inspiration to other women that eventually played in rock ‘n’ roll bands.
“Boys invented rock to get girls, so when girls came into it they had to make a new universe,” Ann joked, before adding: “I’m just looking forward to the time when we don’t have to have a gender designation on music. To me, that will really be the time when we’ve done something.”
The 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on April 18. Other acts who will be part of the 2013 class are Rush, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Public Enemy and Albert King.
They’re proud to be among the more senior rock acts still touring today (Ann is 62; Nancy is 58).
“Rock ‘n’ roll does not have an age limit as long as it’s authentic. Rock and roll is just as beautiful as when Keith Richards plays it as jazz would be when Thelonious Monk would play it,” said Ann. “But the key to all that is that it has to be the real deal. It can’t be some old washed up dudes thinking … ‘Let’s go out and do it some more.’ No. It has to still be vital.”
Derrik J. Lang contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
John Carucci covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow him at —http://www.twitter.com/jcarucci_ap