Roger Fisher Open To Heart Reunion

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Original Heart guitarist Roger Fisher sounds these days like he would welcome a reunion with the Wilson sisters, as well as the other original members of the group.

Heart recently released a new live version of the group’s first album, Dreamboat Annie, which I reviewed here back in October. In that review, I reveal my disappointment that resulted from a performance from the group’s current drummer that fell far short of my expectations for a recreation of an album as brilliant as Dreamboat Annie.

Learning recently that original guitarist Roger Fisher appears to be open to the notion of playing with Ann and Nancy Wilson again and hearing him say that original bass player Steve Fossen original guitar, keyboard player and vocalist Howard Lesse and original drummer Michael DeRosier are still all "active players" makes the idea of a Heart reunion of all original players quite tantalizing.

I did discover, however, that researching the original players led to a somewhat complicated scenario when one considers original drummer, which was he point I was most critical about when talking about the version of Heart that is together today.

I discovered that there were at least three different drummers on the original album. According to Wikipedia, a drummer by the name of Dave Wilson played on "Magic Man," while another guy named Kat Hendrikse played on "Crazy on You," as well as a number of other songs. Then there’s Duris Maxwell who played drums on "How Deep It Goes." This leaves the drummer Heart settled on as their permanent drummer at that time, Michael DeRosier, playing on only two songs, "White Lightning & Wine" and "Sing Child."

It has been a while since I had heard some of those names. Probably as far back as the late 1970’s when I originally bought the album. I also began to wonder who true to the original recordings Michael DeRosier was after joining the band as their permanent drummer. This of course, led me to YouTube, where I discovered a bunch of Heart videos from the 1970’s featuring whom I presume is Michael DeRosier on drums.

Since both "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man" were two big hits from Dreamboat Annie and are also my favorite songs from the album, those were to two I was most critical of when I critiqued current drummer Ben Smith’s performance, and to him I have to offer a partial apology since it appears that DeRosier was not quite true to the original recordings of those songs either, and this may simply be attributable to each performer’s preference and what he thinks sounds best. Obviously, I am heavily biased in favor of the original recordings.

At any rate, what this all boils down to is that I much prefer the work that was laid down on the original tracks by Dave Wilson and and Kat Hendriske when compared to how both Michael DeRosier  and Ben Smith approached them, although comparing the work that DeRosier did on subsequent albums with the group places me firmly in his corner if he is to be compared to how Smith currently performs Heart’s material today.

The best quality recording I was able to locate on YouTube was from a performance the group did for what appears to be a German TV program sometime during the late 70’s. All the instruments are obviously off the original recording as it is identical. There’s also the fact that the drums are not mic’d up and you can actually hear them a bit at the end of the performance as their sound bleeds though to the vocal mics or the mic being used by the host. Since there are some vocal "ad libs" by Ann Wilson during the performance, it suggests that the vocal mics (or at least hers) are live during the performance and mixed with the insturmental work from the original recording.

With all that said, I still think it would be great to see the original Heart form up for some kind of reunion. For me, it would be the only way to actually see "Heart" perform again. Call me a "Heart purist" if you must but when it comes to the work I respect as much as what was originally done on Dreamboat Annie, there is no compromising.

Since I’ve probably taken this to a level that far surpasses any interest that someone other than a die hard Heart fan would have in all this information, let me just say that you can check out the performance below if you want to know how a fussy old Heart fan like myself wants to hear "Magic Man" performed.

Thanks to Heartlinker for the pointer to Roger Fisher’s site.

7 Comments

  1. Jack April 20, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I am along time Heart fan like you.I saw them in 1977,78,79. the original line up. They were the greatest shows that I ever saw. And I would very much like to see a reunion. What can I do to help get this done? Mistral Wind live with the original line up is awesome.

  2. Sailor Sal July 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    This is for the ladies Ann and Nancy: When will you go back to the original members who are still ALIVE? I have followed HEART since 1977 when I was on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt on it’s final Mediterranean Cruise. Heart in general were the inspiration for me picking up a guitar. I first saw or became aware of the group when a fellow sailor had received the subscription of Rolling Stone Magazine which featured Ann and Nancy on the cover and a very lengthy write-up. When I first heard “Crazy on You” I realized what Rock music was all about. It was, is and will always be my all time favorite song. Someone once told me that when they hear the song coming on the juke box they know that I am around somewhere. So ladies, please, please put all things aside and Reunite, and Ann as the song you wrote clearly says “If we still have time, we might still get by, everytime I think about it I want to cry” etc., etc., etc.

  3. ValterraBlue September 12, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    -Heart could have a true Bellz out Rennasiance!!!(did I mispell that?) of the magnitude of Led Zeppelin’s 90’s re-union- if they had the original line-up which translates to the original Magic for me! BUt instead- they are currently on one of those nostalgic multi-band circuits- when we all know they should be a Headliner- and they don’t need any other bands!

    One of my favorite songs- is Little Queen- (also my fav album) I didn’t like Dog and Butterfly- and I read a falsely hyped review – so I went out and bought it- I think it was a rush job- contract fulfilling situation-

    Dreamboat Annie stands the test of time as does Bebe Le Strange-

  4. Barb Erickson July 26, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    As a fan of Heart; I echo the sentiments above. No; none of us know for sure what happened within the band itself, I’m sure all suffered for their art! What I do know is the chemistry between that set of original players was incredible. They are all great individually & solo but it would be a thrill for us aging boomers. If Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac can put their differences aside; I wish Ann, Nancy & Roger could. All parties seem to have moved on with happy lives; so why not? It could be about the music alone now – give us old fans a treat!!

  5. Chris Yancik September 24, 2010 at 3:01 am

    As much as I love the original Heart, as well, it is completely unrealistic to hope for a reunion. Ann dated Roger’s brother and Nancy dumped Roger for Michael Desrosier! Do you really think they want to hang out with old boyfriends from 35 years ago? AWKWARD! I think they have more than moved on and I’m sure they feel today’s Heart is just as good, if not better. I’m sure Roger would love to relive past glories and score a nice paycheck in the process, but it ain’t gonna happen! Ann and Nancy ARE Heart and they can work with any players they wish to.

  6. Boon Companions February 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Put it back together – namely the two brothers and the two sisters – plus virtuoso mates. It’s the professional thing to do. You’re ALL great. Fine. GET OVER YOURSELVES and do the right thing. You’ll all be dead a long time.

  7. Ed May 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Yes a RE-UNION is wanted by many Heart fans with the origianl live lineup.Mike Derosier on drums please!

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