Which is why it saddens me (but only a little bit) to have to tell you that I have decided to step down in my position as Nancy Wilson in Barracuda.
I am a Mother of two children and when I set out on this wonderful journey I did not anticipate that the travel would take me away from my kids as much as it does. Since my kids are entering their teen years, I feel like I might miss everything if I am on the road.
And with the bookings coming in strong and steady next year already I know that Barracuda is poised to go to distant and wonderful places ....and so they should. My singing sister for the last two years, Donna Caruk, is truly the closest voice to Ann Wilson that I have ever heard and playing with her is like playing along to the record. I know that you all know it too because you all love to sing along with her just like I do and that is one of the most precious things that I will get to remember and carry with me always.
When Donna asked me to play this part a couple of years ago, my first words to her (after I realized that she was asking me to play Nancy and not Ann) were: "Don`t you know Taylor James?" I asked her this because:
Taylor has been my soul friend for the last 20 or so years. We were roomates back when she got her first electric guitar. I was learning rhythm at the time and we would sit on the living room floor and practice together till we fell asleep strumming.
Taylor carried on playing music in her life and I eventually put down my guitar, got married and had children. It is only recently that I returned to music. The reason I am telling you this is because I have seen Taylors dream as it's been built and I know how authentic it is.....and if I have to leave Barracuda and give my seat up, I couldn't think of a more perfect fit for the job than my soul sister, Taylor James.
Just as Donna is like "little Ann" Taylor is truly like "little Nancy" in all sorts of senses of the word.....I have known her for over 20 years now and I know in MY heart that she was meant to do this part. She will also bring a missing piece of the puzzle together for the line-up by bringing greater proficiency, which is the silver lining for Barracuda (so don't be sad, my sister D xoxoxox) ..and for YOU the audience, you will be blown away!
Which makes me so happy, because it will only get better. And that is why I am only a little bit sad about leaving because I am thrilled to be leaving you in very capable hands....
I am also taking with me many magnificent onstage experiences, new friendships, new skills, unexpected treasures and a newfound independence built on the knowledge that I can do anything I set my heart to. I have no doubt these gifts will arm, inspire and protect me throughout the next chapters that await. I have no fears about the challenges that I will face. So thank you all for that gift...... I have learned that I am comfortable writing my own book. I encourage you all to do the same.
And Taylor, she knows how much I've loved this gig, she told me that she wouldn't do this gig without my absolute blessing and so this is how I am telling her as well as ALL of you, that she not only has my blessing, but it is my hope and WISH that she takes the part! For I know she deserves the gifts that I have had the pleasure of opening. I can't help but look back on those nights we spent sitting on the living room floor playing guitar together and think that this is some sort of weird and wonderful, cosmic connection that has just come full circle...
So, my friends, when the time comes and you get to meet Taylor with Barracuda, please welcome my dear lifelong friend to the family with open arms, I absolutely know you are going to love her!!! xoxoxo