A Real Life Rock n Roll Love Affair
A Real Life Rock n Roll Love Affair
Their current tour celebrates 40 years of a unique chemistry, partnership and music legacy that has generated rock hits like “We Belong,” “Invincible,” and “Promises in the Dark.” The event will be held on May 2nd at 8 p.m.
For more information on the event, click here
More about the Duo on how they got started and more…
Pat Benatar has been known as a rule-breaker and a trail-blazer. She remains a bold and distinctive artist both on stage and on record, and now, after more than three decades in rock ‘n’ roll, she’s a bonafide living legend. Pat has been a four-time Grammy winner who is a classically trained mezzo-soprano. During the 1980s, Benatar had two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums, five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, three RIAA-certified Gold albums and 19 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot“, “Love Is a Battlefield“, “We Belong” and “Invincible“. During the early days of MTV Benatar was one of the most heavily played artists on the popular music channel.Her hits continue to be as unforgettable now as they were at the dawn of MTV, when Pat emerged, fearless, fighting and forging a path for other female rock stars around the world.
In 1978, in between appearances at Catch a Rising Star and recording commercial jingles for Pepsi Cola, Benatar headlined New York City’s Tramps nightclub, where her performance impressed representatives from several record companies. She was signed to Chrysalis Records by co-founder Terry Ellis. In the spring of 1979, producer and writer, Mike Chapman, introduced Benatar to Neil Giraldo, an up and coming guitarist. Giraldo began his career in 1978, as a key member of the Rick Derringer band, after beating out 200 other guitarists for the position. Chapman felt Benatar needed a musical director and partner who could establish a more aggressive sound and thought Giraldo was the perfect choice. In Giraldo, Benatar found someone as strong as her, someone who could match the same fire-power, someone who could inspire her, while being inspired by her. Their connection was instantaneous……..It was indeed, a perfect fit.
In the Heat of the Night, was recorded in June and July 1979. This was the first time the world was introduced to Giraldo and Benatar’s enduring partnership and their rock ‘n’ roll love affair. In The Heat Of The Night, which included the classic “Heartbreaker”, as well as the Giraldo-penned hit, “We Live For Love”, went platinum.
1980 Grammy winning album, Crimes of Passion, saw Giraldo arranging, playing guitar and keyboards and providing vocals for songs like “Fire and Ice”. The album included her signature song, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and reached quintuple platinum while giving Pat her first Top 10, million selling hit. The following year, Benatar and Giraldo cemented their place in music history forever, by being the first female and first guitarist, respectively, to ever appear on MTV with the video “You better Run”.
The duo continued in 1981 with Precious Time, which had Giraldo officially on board as producer and arranger; as well as guitar, keyboards and vocals. Precious Time delivered a second Grammy for Benatar, for the lead single, “Fire and Ice”, and went double platinum, outdoing its predecessor by hitting #1. These achievements cemented the Giraldo/Benatar partnership as an increasingly unstoppable force in the music industry.
Of the ten Grammy Award ceremonies in the 1980s, Benatar was nominated for Best Female Rock Performance nine times, including for “We Belong” and “Invincible” in 1984, “Sex as a Weapon” in 1986, “All Fired Up” in 1988 and in 1989 for “Let’s Stay Together”. She won an unprecedented four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Performance from 1980 to 1983 for her second LP, Crimes of Passion, and the songs “Fire and Ice”,”Shadows of the Night”, and “Love Is a Battlefield“.
Other platinum albums followed. The team repeated their musical arrangement on Get Nervous, which featured yet another Top Five hit and Grammy-winner, Shadows of the Night.
In 1999, Benatar and Giraldo opened their private vaults and compiled an extensive three-CD collection, Synchronistic Wanderings: Recorded Anthology 1979-1999. This impressive set includes songs from soundtracks (including Speed), contributions to tribute projects and benefits, previously unreleased live recordings, outtakes and demos, B- sides, and rarities never before available on CD.
In the summer of 2002, Benatar and Giraldo released a thrilling live CD and DVD. The CD, Summer Vacation Soundtrack Live, and the DVD, Summer Vacation Live, featured a 90-minute concert filmed at the Grove Theatre in Anaheim, California. In addition, they debuted four new songs (“I Won’t,” “Girl,” “Out Of The Ruins,” and “Please Don’t Leave Me”) as well as previously unrecorded acoustic versions of “We Belong” and “Love Is A Battlefield.” Summer Vacation Live DVD included behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews.
Later Benatar released “Go”, her first album of new songs in seven years. Benatar described the record as a “contemporary guitar-driven record” and “the natural progression of where we should be”.
After being inducted into the Long Island Hall of Fame in 2008, Benatar released her long-awaited autobiography in 2010, the appropriately-titled Between a Heart and a Rock Place – which allowed the world a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of one of the most beloved female rock ‘n’ roll icons of all time.
Neil “Spyder“ James Giraldo, has been a professional musician, producer, arranger and songwriter for over four decades now, changing the face of the pop charts throughout the 1980s with his collaborator, muse and wife, Pat Benatar. More thanjust an explosive steel bending guitar player, Giraldo’s innovative vision helped him create the signature Benatar sound, from its inception.
His impressive back catalog includes more than 100 songs written, produced, arranged and recorded for Benatar, as well as many hits he helped create for John Waite, Rick Springfield (Number One, Grammy-winning classic “Jessie’s Girl” and Top Ten hit “I’ve Done Everything For You” included), Kenny Loggins (Top Twenty hit “Don’t Fight It” – also Grammy-nominated), Steve Forbert, The Del Lords, Beth Hart and countless others.
Giraldo began his career in 1978, as a key member of the Rick Derringer band, after beating out 200 other guitarists for the position. It wasn’t long before Rick discovered Neil’s piano playing prowess and quickly put those skills to work in the studio as well, while recording Guitars and Women.
In the spring of 1979, producer and writer, Mike Chapman, introduced Giraldo to an up-and coming singer who had recently signed to Chrysalis Records. While impressed with the young vocalist, Chapman felt she needed a musical director/partner who could establish a more aggressive sound. The vocalist was, of course, Pat Benatar. Giraldo found someone who could match the same fire power, someone who could inspire, while being inspired by Benetar.
Shortly afterwards, the world was introduced to Giraldo and Benatar’s enduring partnership and rock ‘n’ roll love affair via her platinum 1979 debut album, In The Heat Of The Night, which included the classic “Heartbreaker,” as well as the Giraldo-penned hit, “We Live For Love”.
Finding new and innovative ways to shadow path his way into songs, Giraldo formed a habit early on of, not just playing along with his favorite artists, but writing different parts for himself within those tracks. At the same time, the budding guitar wizard also became proficient on piano by playing along to Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis records, and played drums to Simon & Garfunkel albums to explore how different rhythms could change the complexion of the songs. These were habits and practices that would go on to give Benatar’s biggest hits – like “Love is a Battlefield” and “We Belong” – their truly unique identity.
Today, Giraldo’s career is as dynamic as ever, as he is in the process of completing two books – one an auto-biographical novel, one a coffee table book — as well performing in a new band project with Scott Kempner from the Del Lords/Dictators. He is also further expanding his Bel Chiasso entertainment company, which develops a variety of television andfilm projects. In addition, he has also opened up his large vault of unreleased, unfinished songs and will be completing and releasing various new tracks with Benatar, as well as with other artists, in the coming months.
As their thirty-eighth anniversary approaches, Benatar and Giraldo still hit the road every summer, thrilling audiences just as they always have. Whether, it’s in support of the vocal, or a guitar solo, or jumping from piano to guitar and back again, Giraldo’s gift is knowing how to always up the power in a song, increase the excitement and keep himself and Benatar as creative as they’ve ever been.