Steve Fossen was riding his bike to a friend’s house, with a transistor radio fixed to the handlebars, when the song From Me to You by The Beatles came on.
Fossen was about 13 at the time.
“I got so excited that I almost drove my bike into a ditch,” he recalled.
He loved Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers and Ricky Nelson, and The Beatles came along and “they put all that music together” for me, Fossen said. “They really got me going.”
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Fossen especially admired Paul McCartney, and before long the Kenmore, Wash., kid picked up the bass himself.
It’s taken him far.
Fossen co-founded the legendary rock band Heart, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years ago.
He and Mike Derosier, the band’s original drummer, now are part of the Heart off-shoot band Heart by Heart, which will perform Aug. 15 in Kennewick.
The band plays Heart’s classics from the 1970s and ’80s, from Magic Man to Crazy on You to Barracuda and Alone.
“We’re trying to represent Heart’s music as faithfully and true as we can,” Fossen said.
The local band 3rd Date is opening the 21-and-older show at Clover Island Inn.
Gates open at 6 p.m.
Fossen met future Heart guitarist Roger Fisher in junior high, and eventually they formed The Army.
The band went through some lineup and name changes before becoming Heart, with Fisher, Fossen and Derosier, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese.
Fossen said the bandmates had a special chemistry.
“We always inspired each other to do the best we could, to come up with stuff that would inspire others,” he said.
Heart by Heart has that same kind of vibe, he said. Along with Fossen on bass and Derosier on drums, the group includes Somar Macek on lead vocals, Lizzy Daymont on guitar and vocals, Randy Hansen on guitar and Bob Rivers on keyboards.
Fossen has a soft spot for playing in the Tri-Cities. The first show he, Fisher and Ann Wilson played together was in Richland in the 1970s, he said.
“Those were really fun times,” he said, recalling floating in a canal and staying in a big hotel room close by the venue — the Towne Crier, he thinks — with several bunks.
The crew eventually made its way to Canada, finding success there and then hitting it big in the U.S. Heart has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.
Fossen parted ways with the band in the early ’80s.
He and the other original members reunited for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2013. It was an incredible night, Fossen said.
He’s made a life in music, fulfilling the childhood dream sparked by hearing The Beatles on the radio.
It’s not an easy path, he said.
“It can be done, but it’s probably way more work and heartache that most people are willing to invest in something,” he said.
It also takes more than being skilled at an instrument, Fossen said.
“You’ve got to have a deeper knowledge of life and situations that help you put something in the music that others can pick up on and relate to,” he told the Herald.
People have found plenty to relate to in his music. Those who come to Heart by Heart’s show can expect some fun, Fossen said.
“The fans who love Heart music will really enjoy our band,” he said. “We want everybody to have a good time — dancing, rocking and rolling, whooping and hollering and all that good stuff.”
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. A reserved table for 10 is $225 and a room plus two tickets is $115.
Advance tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com and Clover Island Inn, 435 N. Clover Island Drive.