Heart’s Nancy Wilson: We Took ‘Barracuda’ Riff From Legendary Band
For many musicians of a certain age group, there was one band that opened the imagination of what a world in music could be. Nancy Wilson tells The Music Experience's Squiggy in this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor, powered by Sweetwater, that while her family was musical from a young age, the Beatles heightened her desire to play.
"When we heard about the Beatles and then they came to America and we saw them on TV, on The Ed Sullivan Show, and it was devastating. It was wonderful. It was like the culture shift, so we were just possessed to have guitars and possessed to make a band, and sing and play and learn all their songs,” says Wilson.
One song in particular fascinated Wilson. “It was the beginning of ‘I Feel Fine’ where the guitar string goes ‘dinggggg’ ... That whole part. That was just the call, the call to arms,” says Wilson.
During the chat, Wilson also speaks about a defining concert moment that started off with a firing, but ended up with a huge break. She also recalled the creation of the guitar riff for their early hit "Barracuda."
“It felt really big. It felt so rock," said Wilson of the hard rocking riff. "We had been touring and opening for a band called Nazareth in Europe and also for Queen, actually. Nazareth had a hit with this Joni Mitchell song that they covered called ‘This Flight Tonight’ that kind of had that riff, so we kind of borrowed that and we made it into ‘Barracuda.’"
She continued, "It’s one of those sounds too. It’s one of the guitar tones where I’m still trying to figure out what we did, cause it’s hard to recreate. It’s very analog.”
Nancy and her sister Ann Wilson will reignite Heart for a summer tour this year, playing dates with Joan Jett, Sheryl Crow, Elle King and Brandi Carlile. See the dates here. And for all your gear needs, be sure to check out Sweetwater.com.
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