Rocker & Writer On the Run PAT BENATAR, APPEARING WITH REO SPEEDWAGON, AUG. 21, TIME WARNER CABLE
Pat Benatar will be looking to sell books as well as concert tickets this summer. Her memoir, Between a Heart and a Rock Place (William Morrow, $25.99), will be in stores June 15. It’s a book the iconic rocker initially resisted writing because she thought her life with Cleveland native Neil “Spyder” Giraldo, her lead guitarist and husband of 28 years, and their two daughters was far too normal to interest anyone.
“But the publisher was really interested in how [my career] got started,” Benatar explains. “And there’s a lot of really good, juicy stuff in there.”
As Benatar prepared for her Love on the Run Tour, she talked about being a young female artist in the rock world, ending up on the same bill with REO Speedwagon and performing “Heartbreaker” at age 57.
You write about what it was like to be a woman in the male-dominated music industry. How bad was it?
It wasn’t a problem in our own camp. We were a band, and the fact that I was a woman had nothing to do with anything. Unfortunately, even your own record company executives were sexist pigs. The radio programmers were sometimes the worst. They would say, “Well, I love your record. But we already have a girl on the playlist.” Or they’d say, “Come sit down here, honey. Let’s see if we can get that record played.” People don’t understand — it was like the Dark Ages!
Did you cultivate your status as a sex symbol?
It was my own creation. I did it for me. I enjoyed it. It was a position of power. The only part I had issue with is when I got tired of it, [the record company executives] weren’t willing to let it go. This was a huge issue for the rest of our days together.
How did the Love on the Run Tour with REO Speedwagon materialize?
Oh, Spyder saw [REO Speedwagon lead singer] Kevin Cronin somewhere, and they got to talking. We had such a great time the first time we toured together in ’96 or ’97. ... It’s not always easy to tour with someone. It helps if you’re compatible on a personal level, and we are.
Are you surprised you’re still singing rock songs at this stage of your life?
When I was 26, the idea of being 57 and doing this would have horrified me. But it doesn’t feel any different than it did then. I’m just saltier.
Breakthrough Artist: Colbie Caillat OPENING FOR SHERYL CROW JUNE 18, STATE THEATRE
was a tanning-salon attendant when a friend posted her songs on MySpace
four years ago. Today, the 25-year-old singer/songwriter has a
Grammy-nominated second album, Breakthrough; a hit single, “Fallin’ for
You;” and a gig opening for Sheryl Crow. But the California native
reveals that her rise hasn’t been as effortless as it seems.
MySpace gave you exposure months of touring
never could. But do you wish you’d had a chance to develop as a live
performer before you became an Internet sensation?
definitely do. I had performed under 10 times in my life before I went
on tour with the Goo Goo Dolls after I got a record deal. It was just
the most terrifying thing. I’ve always had stage fright. ... I once
cried before performing on the Today Show. And every tour, I would have
to talk myself into walking onstage. Now I look forward to it.
Your father, Ken Caillat, produced albums
such as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tusk. Did you learn anything about
the music business, growing up around your father and the famous family
It’s hard to have relationships if you’re always
on the road. He always felt bad because Christine [McVie] and Stevie
[Nicks], their love lives maybe weren’t what they wanted. I learned what
I wanted to remember and to keep hold of.
In the Breakthrough liner notes, you mention a
time when you were “falling apart.” What happened?
year ago I was going between five studios, and I had moved to Santa
Monica by myself. I started getting really depressed. I was questioning
everything: Why am I even doing this? It became work. I’d go to the
studio every day, but I closed myself off. I just stopped answering my
phone. I’d drive back to my apartment and just watch TV. ... I started
getting worried, like, Oh, my gosh! I need to turn myself around. That’s
why I named [the album] Breakthrough — because I broke through that