Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"You Better Run" by Pat Benatar January 24th 80's Quest Song/Band of the day

I had two idols in my tween and teenage years.  Deborah Harry of Blondie was one of them, and the other was Pat Benatar.  Oh my God, I absolutely LOVED her.  She was one of the few women in music who really rocked!!  She could belt out the songs, and she did it with attitude.  Pat Benatar seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't take anyone's shit, and if they tried to give her any...she would set them straight and not think twice about it.  Yet she wasn't brutish...she had a cool short haircut and really hip outfits.  Just cool, cool, cool!! 

I also learned something really cool about this song while researching for 80's Quest.  I'm sure everybody must know what the very first song/video played on MTV was, right?  ("Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles); but do you know what the second song/video played on MTV was?  THIS ONE!!!  "You Better Run". I also never knew that this song was a cover of a Rascals song.  All I know is that this has always been one of my favorite Benatar songs.  I especially love the whole part that she sings 2:05 into this song until the end.  Pat Benatar seems like a girl who would not sit home crying in her room being all brokenhearted, and I really admired this about her and wished I could be more like that.

Another neat thing about Pat Benatar is that she was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski  in Greenpoint, an area of Brooklyn that I get to quite frequently these days.  If anyone knows the exact address or street she lived at, I would love to know, so that next time I am walking around the area, I can take a peek.  I couldn't find anything about it online. Greenpoint, is known as "Little Poland" since it is inhabited by the second largest concentration of Polish immigrants in the United States after Chicago.  Her dad was a Polish sheet-metal worker and her mother was an Irish beautician.  The fact that she is half Polish makes her even more cool to me, as I am half Polish too!  Her family later moved to Lindenhurst out on Long Island, NY.

Pat took voice lessons and had classical and theatrical musical training.  She was planning to attend the Juilliard School, but blew that off, and went to college for health education at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  After only one year she dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar.  Dennis was in the Army.  He and Pat lived in Fort Lee, Virginia where he was stationed for three years.  Pat worked as a bank teller outside Richmond, Virginia at this time.  In 1973 she quit her bank job and began pursuing a singing career again.  She caught a big break when she performed at the Catch a Rising Star comedy club in New York in 1975.  The club owner called her back and became her manager.  Following Dennis's discharge from the Army the couple moved back to New York and Pat became a regular member at Catch a Rising Star for about 3 years before she signed a record contract.  In 1979 she divorced Dennis Benatar.  I read where he suffered PTSS after returning from Vietnam, but I'm not sure how that jives with them being in Fort Lee for 3 years, as mentioned above.

Halloween 1977 Pat attended a costume contest at Cafe Figaro in Greenwich Village dressed as a character from the B-movie "Cat-Women of the Moon".  Rather than changing, she went on stage later that evening at Catch a Rising Star in costume, and it turned out that even though she performed her usual songs, this time she received a standing ovation!  Around this time she also worked recording jingles for commercials for Pepsi Cola among others.  She headlined Tramps nighclub for 2 months in 1978 and caught the ear of several record company executives and was signed to Chrysalis Records.

She recorded her first album "In the Heat of the Night" in 1979.  It included such hits as "I Need a Lover" (the first single to be released).  The third single to be released, "Heartbreaker" became an immediate hit, followed by "We Live for Love". 

In 1980 she released her second album, "Crimes of Passion". "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" became her first single to break the US Top 10.  Other hits included "Hell is for Children", "Treat Me Right" and "You Better Run".  Benatar won her very first Grammy Award for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance of 1980".

In 1981 she released her third album, "Precious Time".  This contained the hits "Fire and Ice" and "Promises in the Dark" and earned her a second Grammy Award for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance of 1981".

In 1982 she released the "Get Nervous" album containing the hits "Little Too Late", "Looking for a Stranger", and "Shadows of the Night" (the video for this song featured Judge Reinhold and Bill Paxton, who were then unknown actors, as opposing fighter pilots).  Once again, Pat won another Grammy for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance of 1982".  She was untouchable at this time!!!

In 1983 she took a musical turn from hard rock to more of a pop sound with her "Live From Earth" album which featured the hit "Love is a Battlefield" and earned her yet another Grammy Award for "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance of 1983.

"We Belong" became her next hit off of 1984's Tropico album.  And "Invincible" (which was also the theme song of the movie "The Legend of Billie Jean") was a hit off her 1985 album "Seven the Hard Way".

Her final album during the 80's was 1988's "Wide Awake in Dreamland" which contained the hit "All Fired Up" and "One Love".  In 1989 "Best Shots" a 15-track greatest hits compilation was released.  Of course, Benatar released albums well after the 80's (her last was 2003's "Go"); however by 1993 she was not receiving much support and promotion from her record label.  Pat had become pregnant around this time (she was remarried to her lead guitar player and collaborator, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo.  Neil had been part of Rick Derringer's band prior to working with Pat), and the record company wanted her to keep this secret so that it would not affect her image.  This may have been part of the reason the support from the record company waned.  Eventually Chyrsalis Records was sold to EMI Records.

Pat and Neil are parents to two daughters Haley (who is now singing herself) and Hana.  In June 2010 Pat wrote a memoir called "Between a Heart and a Rock Place".  I just put it on my wishlist online, and can't wait to read it!


Whatcha tryin' to do to my heart
Whatcha tryin' to do to my heart
You go around, tellin' lies, and now you wanna compromise
Whatcha tryin' to do to my heart
You better run, you better hide, you better leave from my side, yeah

Whatcha tryin' to do to my soul
Whatcha tryin' to do to my soul
Well everything I had is yours, and now I'm closin' all the doors
Whatcha tryin' to do to my soul
You better run, you better hide, you better leave from my side, yeah

I love you, oh I love you so, can't you see, don't you know
I can't stand your alibis, you tell me lies, drive me wild, yeah

I say what are you tryin' to do to my head
Say whatcha tryin' to do to my head
Well now I'm gonna draw the line
'Cause you ain't gonna take my mind
What are you tryin' to do to my head

You better run, you better hide, you better leave from my side
You better run, you better hide, you better leave from my side
I could yell, yeah
I said go away and leave me alone
I can't stand you no more

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