College is a time fraught with confusion for most young women. You’re out on your own, there are boys everywhere, and you still have no idea who you are yet. How to stand strong? Well, if you were attending college in the early 1980s the easiest way was to put a record (yes, we had records) on the record player (yup, those too) and join your girlfriends in belting out the lyrics to “You Better Run”, “Heartbreaker” or “Love is a Battlefield”. Pat Benatar was our guide in those dark days. She was the first female singer I’d heard who said you were in control, you did not have to be treated badly by stupid guys. More importantly, she rocked. She wailed, she screamed, she empowered us. She was the pre-Alanis Morrisette and there were numerous nights when I strolled home from the bars with a group of friends screaming, “Whatcha trying to do to my heart? You better run, you better hide, you better leave…” It was grand. We felt strong.
That’s why I’m so happy to see Benatar in this month’s issue of Elle’s Women Who Rock. She’s 60 now but looking as fabulous as ever. And despite her kick-ass attitude she is still married to her lead guitarist, Neil Giraldo, after 31 years. Even better, she has two grown daughters who want to borrow her famous striped spandex tee shirt.
Thank you, Pat for being there then and being there now. Now go over to youtube and take a stroll down memory lane- and sing along!