Friday, August 6, 2010

Between a Heart and a Rock Place by Pat Benatar

Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir
If you're looking for a tell-all, lurid tale of rock 'n roll depravity in this book, you've come to the wrong place. Pat Benatar is probably the most normal rock star who ever lived. She grew up in a blue collar home, and absorbed the middle class values, which she never really abandoned, despite her future fame and fortune.

Benatar's singing ability was discovered at an early age by her family, and when she was in junior high school, the high school choir teacher caught her after a concert, and proceeded to arrange for her to take voice lessons with a strict old German woman, whose teaching still is reminiscent of nuns in a Catholic school, "Ve vill haff discipline!" Pat sang in choirs all through high school, and had a highly trained voice before she ever started her rock career. Added to the fact that she never smoked or drank, she still has a powerful and clear set of pipes, even at age 57.

When she was getting ready to cut her first album, her manager brought in a guitar player to work with her, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo. She fell in love with him immediately, they later married, and they've remained together ever since. Not a very common occurrence in show business.

I think I lost track of her, musically, right around the time she cut her third album, and I was quite surprised to hear she's continued to sell new albums and tour throughout the years. Indeed, she's on the road with REO Speedwagon this summer. She and Spyder did guest appearances on a few tv shows, including an episode of Dharma and Greg, which I can't belive I missed - I loved that show!

All in all, Pat comes off in her book as just someone you wouldn't mind hanging out with and having a cup of coffee or two, chatting. She's tirelessly championed women's rights, the plight of abused children, for whom she wrote a song, "Hell is for Children", and working with the juvenile AIDs foundation. One thing she said was "I've enjoyed every age I've been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I've been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don't want a 'perfect' face and body; I want to wear the life I've lived."

I think we all "wear" the life we've lived, it just looks better on Mrs. Benatar.


Unknown said...

Blog-hopping by to visit and follow. It's nice to know that Pat Benatar's a completely noraml person (though lurid rock biographies are pretty fun to read). When I read Eric Clapton's autobiography it was like he was trying to come off as normal, but wasn't anywhere close. :-)

Jen said...

I was hopping on over to say hello -- and I enjoyed reading this post! I always thought Pat Benatar seemed cool, and I saw her at the House of Blues a few years ago -- she's still got a great voice!!!

Rachel said...

Just stopping by via the hop. I like your blog and am a new follower. This book looks really interesting!

And the plot thickens...