Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo


BY : Annette Higby / BackStage360


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Image – Brian Tierney / BackStage360



Pat Benatar with her husband, Neil Giraldo, was the middle portion of the first night of the 2012 Journey/Pat Benatar/Loverboy concert at the San Manuel Amphitheater in hot San Bernardino, California, appropriately beginning with their hit “All Fired Up”. The drummer and the bass player came out first followed by Benatar and Giraldo. Pat was dressed in a black mini-dress and black blazer. Their second song “Invincible” included dueling guitars by Giraldo and Mahan for a portion of it. This was followed by “So Sincere” from their first album in 1979, “In the Heat of the Night”, that went platinum and changed the face of music forever when it exploded on the music scene. Pat said that she wrote the next song “Promises in the Dark” reflecting her personal story at that time and with some trepidation slipped it under Neil’s office door, unsure how Neil would react to it. He apparently liked it, as did the fans as Pat belted out its lyrics.

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Image – Brian Tierney / BackStage360


Benatar and Giraldo sat down for the next number “We Belong”, because as she said, “they’re old”. She made several disappointing references to being old but the way she was energetically bouncing around the stage you wouldn’t think she was as old as she claimed to be.

This was followed by “Hell is for Children”, co-written in 1980 by Roger Capps when they were living in New York City. An expose on child abuse came out at that time which is what this song is based on. Pat said she plays it at every concert to show solidarity for the children and she will continue to do so until every child is safe. Neil played very strong guitar in this song and the crowd was very enthusiastic.

Their hit “You Better Run” from their “Crimes of Passion” album that was performed next was the second video played when MTV was introduced in 1980 and in it, Neil was the very first guitar player to be shown on MTV. Their “Crimes of Passion” album also went platinum. This was followed by “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” that had the crowd eagerly singing along with Pat. The concert ended with “Love Is a Battlefield” with very strong vocals but then the band came out for an encore of “Heartbreaker” that included a portion of Johnny Cash’s “Burning Ring of Fire” with an instrumental ending. With over 30 years of platinum hits under their belt, it was probably a challenge to figure out which of their great hits would be played when they only had time to play ten songs.

The band members include Pat Benatar, lead vocals; Neil Giraldo on lead guitar; Mick Mahan on bass guitar; and Chris Ralles on the drums. Mike Mahan has been with Pat and Neil since 1995.

The 2012 Summer Tour with Journey and Loverboy will continue through December of this year as more than sixty shows are scheduled all across the country and up into Canada.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo have been married since 1982 and have been working together since 1978. Their partnership has not only withstood the test of time but also the test of producing wonderful music and many extensive concert tours over the many years. Pat Benatar is a four-time Grammy winner with four more nominations, as well as winning three American Music Awards. This helped to establish her as one of America’s leading female rock vocalists, along with the rave reviews and countless sold-out concerts.

The Benatar/Giraldo partnership remains an unstoppable force in the music industry. Neil Giraldo serves as producer, arranger, co-writer and lead guitarist for Benatar. The acclaimed multi-instrumentalist is also known for helping shape the distinctive and renowned Benatar sound. Benatar and Giraldo have sold over 30 million copies of their 12 original albums along with two live records and an anthology. In August, 2003, the CD “Go” was released, the first album of new songs in seven years. Benatar released her autobiography in 2010, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place”, which showed the world a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of one of the most popular female rock ‘n’ roll artists of all time. Benatar and Giraldo are developing new music that is slated to be released in 2013.


Annette Higby / BackStage360

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