Pat Benatar – Still Fired Up! By Michelle S.
Let’s face it, when it comes to women in rock music, Pat Benatar is one of many in a special elite group of women that were able to tough it out in a predominantly male music industry and pave the way for future generations of women in rock music. Pat Benatar has always been a rule-breaker and a trail-blazer. She remains a bold and distinctive artist both on stage and on record, and now, after more than three decades in rock ‘n’ roll, she’s a bonafide-living-legend!
A four-time Grammy winner, Benatar is a classically trained mezzo-soprano, and opera was the original path that she was heading down. But after awhile, she realized that this wasn’t what she wanted for herself, so she explored different avenues.
At 19, she dropped out of college and got married to her childhood sweetheart and moved away from New York to Virginia. After a while, things were not working out and they eventually got a divorce. Benatar quit her job as a bank teller and started pursuing her music career in Virginia.
She did ok, by performing locally, but she wasn’t going anywhere until she attended a concert and realized that with some work, she could be doing the same thing. She packed her bags and moved back to New York never looking back. This is the stage in her life where she became the starving artist doing small gigs and working with songwriters etc.
In 1975, she decided to try a local open mic night at Catch a Rising Star where she finally performed at 2am singing a Judy Garland song to a small group of people mostly made up of friends and family. The song got the crowd reeling! After Hearing the room explode, the owner of the club, Rick Newman, rushed in to see who was causing such a commotion and demanded “Who Are You?” This is where Pat Benatar met her manager.
In 1987, in between different gigs, Benatar was scheduled to headline New York City’s “Tramps” nightclub, where her performance made such an impact that the record companies came to her. A review in the Post didn’t hurt her career either!
In the spring of 1979, producer and writer, Mike Chapman, introduced Benatar to Neil Giraldo, an up and coming guitarist. Giraldo began his career in 1978, as a key member of the Rick Derringer band. Chapman felt Benatar needed a musical director and partner who could establish a more aggressive sound and thought Giraldo was the perfect choice. In each other, they realized that they were the perfect musical power duo and the rest is pretty much musical history!
Pat Benatar has became the best-selling female artist of all time, she’s had 15 songs in the Top 40 over the years and Pat Benatar is acknowledged as the leading female rock vocalist of the ‘80s. A feat marked by her unprecedented winning of four consecutive Grammy Awards between 1980 and 1983, as well as three American Music Awards.
Today, Benatar and Giraldo remain a rock ‘n’ roll powerhouse, selling out concerts and still wowing audiences after over three decades in music together. Theirs is a chemistry that will, undoubtedly, be thrilling music-lovers forever. Enjoy!