Benatar will take her best shot for Jack FM

Superstar from the '80s is among those heading the bill at Jack's 7th Show next month in Irvine.

August 29, 2012|By Heather Youmans
  • Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. (HB Independent )

Four-time Grammy winner Pat Benatar and guitarist Neil Giraldo will return to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine on Sept. 15 for Jack's 7th Show.

During 93.1 Jack FM's festival, the duo will share the stage with two other headlining acts — Joe Walsh and MC Hammer — as well as Toto, Gin Blossoms and Missing Persons.

"We're trying to grab a couple [songs] from every record and trying to put a new song in there and a couple of surprises I can't tell," Giraldo said in a phone interview.

While serving as producer, arranger, co-writer and lead guitarist for the iconic female rock vocalist, Giraldo helped build the "Benatar sound" from the ground up.

Together, the couple co-wrote multiplatinum albums and Top 40 hits, including "Love is a Battlefield," "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Heartbreaker," "Promises In The Dark" and "We Belong."


In 1981, Benatar and Giraldo became the first female and first guitarist, respectively, to appear on MTV when the video for "You Better Run" aired on the channel.

"The moment we hit the stage, we were already a couple," Giraldo said. "We were creators from the very beginning. We created this together. So, it's always been this way. We don't know it any other way."

After 33 years of marriage, Benatar and Giraldo still hit the road every summer.

In July, the couple embarked on a U.S. tour with Journey, which will make its final stop Oct. 13 at Cruzan Amphitheatre in Florida.

"The dynamic is great," Giraldo said of touring with the rock group. "We're all experienced, we've all been around a long time, we're all friends, and it's easy."

While on tour, Giraldo records the couple's performances each night.

In months to come, they will compile their best performances into a live record they hope to release in April or May, Giraldo said.

The duo will release a second Christmas-themed record in September or October 2013, Giraldo added.

On the album, Benatar will sing two songs Giraldo wrote for her, while the remainder of the tracks will be performed by various guest musicians, he explained.

"It ain't going to be no 'Frosty the Snowman,'" he joked. "It's dark, it's uplifting, it's sad, it's glad, it's funny — you know, all of the emotions. I want to grab everything. It's just not going to be a typical Christmas record."

In the meantime, the duo is collaborating on more new material for Benatar to sing.

Giraldo offered some insight into the couple's current songwriting process:

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