Ann Wilson Covers John Lennon: Tampa Bay Ribfest 2012


Tonight I’m heading to Ribfest at Vinoy Park in St Petersburg, Florida, to see Heart perform their classics and new tracks from their just released CD, Fanatic.  Hard to believe but Ann Wilson turned 62 yrs old in 2012.   It’s been a big year for the Wilson sisters: their 13th new studio album plus, a box set retrospective called “Strange Euphoria” released this fall, and Ann’s memoirs have just been released in her book, Kicking And Dreaming. Should be a hit filled night of rock and roll favorites. Does it get much better, fireworks, great music, tropical breezes at night, and some decadent ribs and drinks on a November night on Tampa Bay?


Ann Wilson is a very brave woman to take on a song so tied to the legacy of John Lennon. From the debut album from John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, Isolation is a devastating song about loneliness and utter despair over the stress of life. Ann recorded her version of “Isolation” in 2007 on her “Hope And Glory” CD. It’s a faithful remake and you can totally feel Ann conjuring up some of the pain and heartache from her own life to bring some realism to such an incredible song.


Between the days of “Barracuda” in the 70’s and the 80’s smashes like “Alone” and What About Love” came the 1983 release, Passionworks. This song and “Allies” were the two highlights on one of the weakest selling albums in their discography. “How Can I Refuse” is an upbeat rocker that was underrated, it was so ready made for radio. Ann and Nancy’s lyrics were more sexual that usual here: “Should I drop my guard at the risk of being used but the way you do those things to me, how can I Refuse? I could get addicted to your energy the way you take me over, Pulling on me. Our hearts beat together, out timing is the same.” It’s one of my favorite Heart songs from the 80’s.