Why Seattle’s so passionate for the classic rock band Heart

The legendary group returns to Seattle for a New Year’s Eve show.

Nancy and Ann Wilson of the rock band heart perform on stage at VH1 Divas Salute the Troops concert

Nancy and Ann Wilson grew up in a military family that eventually settled in Bellevue.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Belt out “Barracuda” at the top of your lungs — Seattle-born band Heart is reuniting for a New Year’s Eve show at Climate Pledge Arena and we’re feeling all the local love.

The classic rock icons — who sold more than 35 million albums globally — made our Mount Rushmore of Seattle Music this year alongside other greats like Jimi Hendrix. So put on those bell bottoms as we explore their roots through local spots that defined their journey to fame.

Ostroms Drug Store

The Kenmore pharmacy was where founding Heart member Steve Fossen bought records that influenced his music career (listening to the Beatles inspired him to learn electric bass). Fossen and his friends formed a band that made a couple of name changes before settling on Heart. In 1971, they put an ad in a Bellevue newspaper for a singer — Ann Wilson answered the call.

Aquarius Tavern

Wilson’s sister Nancy joined the band, forming a powerful singing duo, but Heart still had to pay their dues. One of their early gigs was at Shoreline’s Aquarius Tavern on Highway 99 in 1976 where they played songs off their first LP. That year, Heart opened for Supertramp at the Seattle Center Arena. Aquarius Tavern was eventually torn down (there’s a car dealership there now).

Bad Animals

The original Heart lineup broke up in 1982, but the Wilson sisters continued to knock out banging hits and eventually went into music production. In 1990, they revamped a local studio and renamed it Bad Animals after one of Heart’s albums. Legendary grunge bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden recorded there — not too shabby. Though the Wilsons gave up the studio in 1997, it still stands in Interbay.

The sisters went their separate solo ways, but found a way to reunite. Heart’s New Year’s show will be the first time they’ve played together in four years — and there are still tickets left.