Ready For Anything Pat Benatar And Neil Giraldo Play Three In SoCal


PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO play Belly Up Aug 4 and 5, Pacific Amphitheater Aug 6.

It’s been more than 35 years since Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo first began working together and released the album, “In The Heat Of The Night.” Now, to celebrate their timeless songs and musical partnership, the two head to Belly Up in Solano Beach on Aug. 4 and 5, then over to Pacific Amphitheatre Aug. 6 as a part of their 35th anniversary tour celebrating three-and-a-half decades of music, collaboration and love.

“We figured we’d better do an anniversary tour now before we got too old to remember which damn anniversary it was,” Benatar said.

Benatar and Giraldo’s partnership began in 1979 when Giraldo (who also goes by the nickname, Spyder) was brought in as a guitarist to work on a young, relatively unknown, Benatar’s debut album. With the help of Giraldo, Benatar’s music took on a power and forcefulness that would become her signature sound. Her first album included the rock n’ roll anthem “Heartbreaker” and had listeners everywhere aching to hit the same searing, mezzo-soprano vocals as the fierce Benatar. The album was the beginning of Benatar and Giraldo’s musical partnership, rock n’ roll love affair and eventual marriage.

The hits persistently poured out from Benatar and Giraldo’s collaborative relationship. They managed to continually push their music to supreme quality and in 1980, Benatar’s second album, “Crimes of Passion,” (which featured the single “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”) went five-time platinum.

“We have been each other’s champion since day one,” Pat said. “We have tremendous respect for each other as people and artists. Spyder has always pushed me out of my comfort zone and I reel him in so humans can understand what he’s talking about.”

Their collaborative artistry continued to cement their place in rock n’ roll history. A year after the release of “Crimes of Passion” Benatar and Giraldo became the first female and guitar player, respectively, to appear on MTV with the video for “You Better Run.”

For Giraldo, the pair’s achievements lie in their ability to be completely honest with one another and in their determination to exceed the boundaries of averageness.

“We are not satisfied with just being mediocre and we challenge that by being truthful about the creation of music,” he said. “We can say we don’t like something to one another and it doesn’t hurt our feelings. It’s also hard work; we are not lazy and I believe you have to reinvent yourself everyday, expect greatness and never quit.”

With Benatar’s nine Grammy nominations and four consecutive Grammy wins for Best Female Rock Performance in the early 80’s, it’s impossible to dispute the success of this vibrant couple’s collaborative maneuvers.

Though Giraldo may never have seen the same amount of spotlight or celebrity status as his wife, his influence runs deep in the iconic songs of their shared music. Entwined with Benatar’s soaring vocals are the dynamic arrangements of Giraldo. His guitar finds a zen-like balance in those timeless tunes, always there to provide a tasty riff when needed most, but confident enough to let Benatar’s vocals take the lead and allow lyrics like, “Before I put another notch in my lipstick case, you better make sure you put me in my place,” to be branded forever in the minds of the countless who listen.

“A great song has many elements and they have to all line up — lyric connection, tempo, treatment, recording the ghost on the track…on and on,” he said. “I’m grateful and thankful for the success we have received from many of those songs.”

Their music has always had the ability to be a soundtrack to life. Whether listeners need a moment to feel desperately in love, relentlessly heartbroken or ruthlessly rebellious, there is a Benatar/Giraldo song that is bound to hit the mark.
With their huge catalogue of timeless tunes to choose from, Benatar and Giraldo continue to tour and perform with energy, vigor and glee for their adoring fans.

“We’ve been really lucky…” Benatar said. “The audiences are still so enthusiastic and are different every night. We go out there ready for anything, which makes it a lot of fun.”

The couple continues to support one another both musically and romantically more than 35 years after first meeting and their collaboration continues today. “As for where we’re going next, musically…who knows?” Benatar said. “Spyder always has something up his sleeve.”

Love may be a battlefield, but Giraldo and Benatar are certainly masters of harmony.

The new LIVE “35th Anniversary Tour” is available now at iTunes, Amazon and your favorite music retailers!