Hello. I’m Tony and I am glad to learn you are still making music and putting it out there. One thing led to another while surfing the internet for my band and I decided to search for musicians that had an influenced on me. My passion for making and recreating music spans over 48 years. Your work in Heart was one of many influences over the years that still speaks to me today to the point where finding out why-became necessary. Here is what I have learned so far; Music is energy that is founded in vibrations of air. How those vibrations work together has everything to do with our energy as humans and how we interact with each other and all the vibrant energy that is life. The following is a case for any musically and commercially successful musician and music group. Lennon and McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel, Taylor and Simon are some examples. The list goes on and on.
Your energy, and hence your music making, was tuned-in to the energy of those around you at a point in time when all the pieces of the puzzle were present. It was not only the players, but also, the time was ripe.
The life experiences of your band mates had to run their course before they could come together to make the high caliber music that emerged. Coming together ten years earlier or later would likely have proved uneventful, but the time was ripe when personal and musical energies were mature enough to create. Of special note is the chemistry shared between you and Michael and you and Nancy Wilson. Some would simplify it to testosterone and estrogen, but it is much more than that. It seems on top of the hormones, personalities played a huge part. Your deep connection with Michael as brothers and your strong attraction to Nancy brought out a quality to your creativity that resonates to this day. The chemistry (personal and musical interaction) with Ann, Howard, Steve and Mike D. were absolutely necessary as well. It is synonymous to finding your musical sound. Most of us fumble around with guitars, strings, amplifiers and sound effects and try to latch on to a sound that is worth listening, but rarely do. (I am still searching. When some of the pieces are in place, I feel energized and melodies and words start to flow.) When Heart continued without your energy, a well-tuned balance was upset. The band’s direction lost a primal quality and assumed a more delicate demeanor. Your time in Alias did find some success. What made the 1976 line-up of Heart so musically and commercially successful? It sometimes seems the pieces all fall into place or they don’t. Have you ever replaced the pick-ups or tubes in your most favorite guitar or amplifier hoping to make a great sound-better, only to discover the outcome was not as strong as you hoped? Surely, you are finding musical success and satisfaction in your current endeavors. Few musicians get to experience the synergy you have been blessed to find with other musicians. I hope you continue to find it again and again.
My story is the same as for many musicians; still searching for that synergistic line-up of band mates. In the mean time, my youngest daughter recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. Some day when I visit her, as part of my bucket list, I hope our paths might cross and I get to hear you and Mike perform or maybe we get to talk a while over coffee. Until then, thank you for having made the music I still enjoy today.
Best wishes always.
RF: Thanks so much for your email, it shows great insight not only into the timing and relevance of a musical group, but a hint of a very rare triumvirate of human spirit, my love and interaction between the most important people in my life at the time, Nancy Wilson and Michael Fisher.
Heart was the crystallization of like-minded people who were all cognizant of the current music of the time, invested deeply in their personal quest of becoming musicians, and intently desirous of achieving a conquest. That was the formula for a wonderful rock and roll band that is still relevant and vital in today’s music picture. We have huge respect and gratitude to people like you who see deeply into the ongoing scenario.
Mike and I are about to release two new albums in 2016, Rog&TheTribeLive1, and All Told, a studio album that took seven years to complete. Seven years?!?, you exclaim. The reasons it took so long are several:
1. It is part one of a four-album package entitled One Vision. We needed to create synergy and interplay between four albums when we created All Told. That takes a lot of time and creativity.
2. Most the songs had been written already between the years 1980 and 2008. Finishing those tracks to our present standard was a responsibility we shared, fueled by what we perceived as a truly great collection of songs that deserved to be treated with the utmost care and a high standard of production excellence. That required countless hours nit-picking, rewriting, rerecording… a lot of effort.
3. Life! There are so many daily goings-on that take time away from our artistic work, it’s amazing we were able to finish at all.
4. Learning to relax and slow down was a major lesson for me. When I finally simply succumbed to the fact that the only way to be at peace with this project was to abandon my feeling of the urgent need to finish, I was so much more happy. The feeling of riding on the pace of one’s existence, as opposed to “pushing the river,” has made a wonderful difference in my daily attitude and personal feeling of well-being. The work will be done when it is done, and it will be the best we can do.
So in response to your last line, Tony, I’m very happy to say, “we are continuing.”