Pat Benatar, still running with the shadows of the night, turns 60 years old
"Wait! There are three girls at Ridgemont who have cultivated the Pat Benatar look!" I swear that's one of my favorite lines from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Why? Because it was so TRUE. Back in the early '80s, every girl wanted to look like Pat Benatar. Those who didn't at least wanted to sing like her. So it's almost mind-melting to realize that today is Pat Benatar's 60th birthday. And she's not slowing down. Check out her impressive list of upcoming tour dates.
Here are five things you maybe didn't know about Pat Benatar on her big day.
1. HER REAL NAME: She was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski, but Benatar isn't a stage name. When she was 19 years old, she married her high school sweetheart Dennis Benatar. They'd later divorce, but she kept the name because she had already begun her music career as Pat Benatar.
2. HER SIGNATURE FASHION: Totally unplanned. Legend has it she was running late to a performance and didn't have time to change out of her Halloween costume; she was dressed as a character from Cat-Women of the Moon. The audience loved her and her music that night, and so the clothing stuck around.
3. HER HUSBAND: Neil Giraldo, who also produced music by Kenny Loggins, Rick Springfield and a bunch more stars, provides all the catchy guitar hooks for Benatar's music. But his name wasn't added to the music bill until decades of success passed by. "We've always been a partnership; just in the early days, because of management and things of that nature didn't want that to happen, it was a very strange thing," he told me last year in an interview. "Patricia always thought it felt odd to be on stage — considering all the things that I do and what it means to the band — to not have my name there."
4. HER HITS: She's actually never had (not yet) a No. 1 song. Hit Me With Your Best Shot climbed to No. 9 in 1980. And that's not even her top hit. Love is a Battlefield and We Belong both peaked at No. 5.
5. HER BIRTHDAY PLANS: Nobody yet knows how Pat will spend the day, but in an August 2012 interview, her hubby gave away his preference. "I think we need to go to Italy," Neil told the interviewer. "If we go, we need to stay (laughs). I don’t know. Since I am Sicilian, we may stay. I’m like, 'Crap, we’re old.' She keeps saying, 'Spyder, did you ever imagine you’d be with a 60-year-old woman?' I go, 'Holy crap! What’s the right answer to that without getting in trouble?' "