Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo bring ‘We Live for Love’ tour to Beaumont

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo bring ‘We Live for Love’ tour to Beaumont

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will perform together for the first time in Beaumont on Saturday, Feb. 20, inside the historic Jefferson Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets for the 35th anniversary “We Live for Love” tour are $80-$45 and can be purchased at the Beaumont Civic Center box office and Ticketmaster outlets including ticketmaster.com and by phone at (800) 745-3000.

We all know and love Pat Benatar — three decades of rule-breaking and trail-blazing in the music world, winning four Grammy Awards while selling more than 25 million albums.

She and “Spyder” Giraldo have been attached musically at the hip since her debut album in 1979 — In the Heat of the Night.

The powerhouse duo has decades of chart-topping hits, and their outstanding show features favorite rock songs like “Love is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “We Live for Love,” a motto that is not only synonymous with the show’s title but one that shines from the couple throughout the performance. Benatar and Giraldo wed in 1982.

Born in Brooklyn, Benatar began singing in elementary school. At 19, she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar, who was drafted by the Army. They later divorced.

She quit her bank teller job to pursue a singing career in the early ’70s. Benatar was gigging in Richmond, Virginia, and in 1975, she packed her car and with $2,500 headed back to New York City.

A big moment in the classically trained mezzo-soprano’s early music career came in 1975 when Benatar tried an open mic night at Catch a Rising Star. When she sang a cover of Judy Garland’s “Rock A Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody,” the entire crowd was blown away, including club owner Rick Newman. The two then began a working relationship that lasted 15 years.

Some two years later on Halloween night in 1977, Benatar dressed up as a character from the movie Cat-Women of the Moon. From there, her “spandexed” signature stage persona was born.

She signed her first national contract with Chrysalis Records in 1978 when she first met Giraldo, who was an up-and-coming guitarist for rock star Rick Derringer. Girlado has proved to be more than just a guitarist. From Cleveland, Ohio, Giraldo got his first guitar at 6, then later mastered the piano, becoming a master songwriter, producer and arranger working with the likes of Kenny Loggins, Steve Forbert, the Del Lords, Beth Hard, and with Rick Springfield on his No. 1 Grammy winning song “Jessie’s Girl.”

Benatar’s debut album was released in ’79 and featured the hit songs “Heartbreaker” and “We Live for Love,” which Giraldo had written. Benatar’s sophomore release came a year later in 1980 with Crimes of Passion, which earned her the first of four Grammy Awards and sold more than 4 million copies, thanks in part to the song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”

In 1981, MTV called. Benatar and Giraldo became the first female and first guitarist, respectively, to ever appear on the network in the video for the song “You Better Run.” Benatar then ruled the network with a string of hits like “We Belong,” “Promises in the Dark,” “Sex as a Weapon,” “All Fired Up,” “Shadows of the Night” and “Invincible.”

In 2010, Benatar released her autobiography Between a Heart and a Rock Place telling her stories of both struggle and success.

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