In 1953, Pat Benatar was born in Brooklyn, New York to Mildred Knapp and
Andrew Andrzejewski. As a young girl, Pat Benatar moved with her family to Virginia
where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar, in 1972. While
in Virginia, her husband Dennis enlisted in the Army and she joined a local band as the
lead singer. After Dennis was discharged from the Army, they moved together to New
York City so Benatar could pursue her career to be a singer and songwriter. She began
attending open-mics and working the club scenes. One of those clubs turned out to be
instrumental in launching her career. While performing at ?Catch A Rising Star,? on
Halloween night in 1977, she was discovered by Chrysalis Records, who quickly signed
her to a recording contract. As time went on however, Benatar’s marriage began to
unravel and they decided to divorce in 1979.
Once Pat signed her contract, she needed members to complete her band. While
searching for these various artists, she met Neil Giraldo. He later became the lead
guitarist in Benatar’s band and also the lead love in her heart. After a few years of being
together, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo quietly wed in 1982.
Although her first released single was not very successful, her second single
“Heartbreaker” became a big hit and put her on the musical map. Her fame really
skyrocketed, however, when she released her second album, ?Crimes of Passion, ?which
won Benatar the award of ?Rock’s Premier Female Vocalist. ?Her three biggest hit singles
from ?Crimes of Passion?, was “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “Treat Me Right” and “You
Better Run”. It also featured a controversial song called “Hell is for Children”, that she
wrote after being inspired about a story she heard about abuse among foster children.
Benatar was also nominated for a Grammy Award, an astonishing eight times for ?Best
Female Rock Performance, ?which was a huge deal!
After nearly two decades of fame, Benatar decided to go on a world tour in 1995
with a variety of other rock bands, including Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, and
Orleans. To her surprise, the world tour was a huge success and she tried to make a
big comeback in 1997, by signing a new record deal with CMC International Records.
But sadly, even after a successful world tour and a great history of hit songs, the new
record struggled to become successful.
Despite her most recent failure, Benatar has had a very impressive music career.
According to thefamouspeople.com, throughout Pat Benetars career she has had eight
#1 singles, four Grammy Awards for “Crimes of Passion”, “Fire and Ice”, “Shadows of
the Night” and “Love is a Battlefield”. Benatar has produced ten platinum and three gold
albums, and has been inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. However, even
after all of these accomplishments and her huge contribution to the History of Rock n’
Roll, Benatar has yet to be inducted into the ?Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame?. Personally, I feel
Pat Benatar should have that prestigious honor after all that she has done in the music
industry. She has had to fight throughout her career and has had to overcome failures
to do the kind of music she wanted and gain the respect she deserves as a female Rock
n’ Roll artist.
One of my favorite Pat Benatar songs is “Heartbreaker”. I apparently am not
alone. According to Steve Peake, the song “Heartbreaker”, is one of her most popular.
After listening to the song, I realized that I have heard it before. It has been used in
dozens of movies and television shows, as well as in the video games ?Rock Band ?and
Guitar Hero?. When I heard the name Pat Benatar, I always thought she was a solo act.
I never realized that she had the same band members backing her up on her recordings
and concerts since the early 1980’s. Now when I listen to her music, I can hear the
other members of her band and it shows how important their contribution was to the
making of her hits. In many of her songs you can hear her husband, Neil Giraldo,
playing long guitar solos, and Myron Grombacher playing the drums, Charlie Giordano
on the keyboard, and Mick Mahen on the bass. Without their contributions and
collaboration, the whole aspects of her songs would change entirely. This is just another
example of how great of an artist Pat Benatar is. She understood the importance of
creating a cohesive sound when she hand-picked each of these individuals.
Pat Benatar is an icon for both women and for Rock n’ Roll itself. She
deserves to be recognized for all of her accomplishments. Pat Benatar fought hard to
gain respect as a women in the Rock n’ Roll industry. You can see the common theme
of empowerment to women in all of her songs. Her lyrics encourage women to stand up
and fight for what is right. The sound of those songs were pure Rock n’ Roll and
became a big influence to future artists. Even though she has yet to be inducted into the
Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame?,? I have faith that she will get there one day. Pat Benatar is
the perfect candidate for an inductee. She started small, but worked hard and became a
rock and roll icon. She has several hit songs, she is a four-time Grammy award winner
and has sold more than 30 million records worldwide. My only questions is, why
wouldn’t she be in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? When I think of Rock n’ Roll, I think of
Pat Benatar and everything she has contributed. I hope her time will come to be
honored for the amazing artist she truly is.