LEGENDARY GUITARIST AND SONGWRITER
FROM 'H E A R T'
ON THE RAY SHASHO SHOW
Seattle, Washington native ROGER FISHER was the hard driving electric fury that established HEART as a rock and roll powerhouse in the 70’s. Originally known as Hocus Pocus, Heart was formed by guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen, and Roger’s brother Mike Fisher who became the band’s manager. They met Ann Wilson at one of the bands gigs. Soon thereafter, Roger, Mike, Steve and Ann Wilson moved to Canada. Heart was officially formed in 1973 with their new songstress and songwriter Ann Wilson. The following year guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and sister, Nancy Wilson joined the band.
With the help of producer Mike Flicker and session guitarist/keyboardist Howard Leese (who became a full- time member of Heart in 1975), the band recorded a demo tape. Heart’s debut album Dreamboat Annie was subsequently recorded for Mushroom Records in Vancouver, Canada. The seductive album cover featured a bare shouldered Ann and Nancy leaning up against each other.
The singles, “Magic Man” and “Dreamboat Annie” quickly gained notoriety over Canadian airwaves. Dreamboat Annie was released in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day 1976. “Magic Man” became the band’s first Top 10 hit. “Crazy On You” reached #35, and the single, “Dreamboat Annie” reach #42 in the U.S. on Billboard’s Hot 100. The album sold over 1 million copies and became a mainstay on AOR radio stations worldwide.
Heart became instantly identifiable as a rock phenomenon. A band fronted by two beautiful and multi-talented women, backed by hard rock virtuosos. It was that very combination which gave the band its true identity. Brothers Roger and Mike Fisher became romantically involved with Sisters Nancy and Ann Wilson, and “Magic Man” was written about Mike’s torrid love affair with Ann.
After the success of Dreamboat Annie, Heart left Mushroom Records due to a publicity stunt that stated the sisters were actually lesbian lovers. The group signed with Portrait Records and later released the album Little Queen in 1977. The album featured, “Barracuda” a tune that would become recognized as Heart’s signature song. Roger Fisher’s pivotal hard rock thrusting intro to “Barracuda” will forever be glorified in rock and roll history. Ann Wilson penned the tune out of sheer anger over Mushroom’s lesbian publicity stunt. Roger Fisher was a co-writer on “Barracuda” and on many other tracks on Little Queen. “Barracuda” reached #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Another preeminent arrangement on the album was Roger Fisher’s co-written masterpiece titled, “Love Alive.”
In 1978, Heart appeared on stage at California Jam II, a music festival held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in California. The concert featured Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Santana, Dave Mason, Foreigner, Heart, Bob Welch (with special guests Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood), Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush and Rubicon. More than 300,000 people attended.
Later in 1978, Heart released Dog and Butterfly on Portrait Records. The album spent 36 weeks on the charts and peaked at #17 on Billboard’s 200 -highest selling albums. “Straight On” was the first song released from the album reaching #15 on the charts. The title track, “Dog & Butterfly” reached #34 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Dog & Butterfly spawned several profound arrangements including, “Minstral Wind” an incredible rock measure co-written by Roger Fisher.
In 1979, Roger’s romance with Nancy Wilson ended. Later that year, Roger Fisher was voted out of the band. Mike Fisher also left the band after breaking his relationship with Ann Wilson. Heart lost their rock and roll backbone when Roger Fisher was asked to leave the band.
Roger’s songwriting and iconic guitar riffs have been used in numerous TV commercials, TV shows, Guitar Hero (3 songs), and in several movies, including Charlie’s Angels and Shrek 3. Other artists have covered his material, including Eminem. His timeless anthem guitar intro to Barracuda is frequently used as the lead in for America’s number one rated radio talk show, Rush Limbaugh. Tony Robbins refers to Barracuda as part of the turning point in his life. It was also controversially featured by Republican presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, John McCain and Sarah Palin in the 2008 election. The original line-up of Heart was inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013. His latest release is album one – ALL TOLD – of a four-album package entitled ONE VISION, with brother Mike, aka Magic Man.