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The latest news from Benatar | Giraldo

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    Pat Benatar is Giving It Her Best Shot

    Pat Benatar has survived by being the hard woman of the music industry, Scott Kara discovers.

    Dressed in black, with a shock of big hair, and revealing the occasional pouty sneer, Pat Benatar looked smoking hot and pretty damn tough back in the late 70s and early 80s.

    And she needed to, because the male-dominated music world was not a welcoming place for a stroppy 20-something with aspirations of being a rock star.

    "Every day was tumultuous, but it was fun and I was up to it. It was like sport," she laughs. "I used to call it the gauntlet, because you used to wake up every day and think, What else could they [the industry] possibly throw at us today? It was a time when females were really fighting for position and a lot of men didnt know how they were supposed to behave."

    She recalls going to radio stations where sleazy programme directors would be after a bit of slap and tickle from her as a pay-off for playlisting her songs. "He would pat his lap and say, Why dont you come and sit down over here and well see if we can get that record played. I was like, F*** you. I dont think so, pal. I wanted it to be played because it deserved to be played, not because I was going to sit on someones lap."

    And her songs, such as 1979s Heartbreaker, off debut album In the Heat of the Night, and Hit Me With Your Best Shot - still her two most famous songs - did get played without her having to do any dodgy favours.

    From 1980 to 1983 she won four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Performance, thanks to songs like Love Is A Battlefield and Fire and Ice from second album Crimes of Passion, and she was repeatedly nominated through the decade for tracks such as Sex As a Weapon and Invincible.

    "I had an idea in my head and I wasnt going to quit. I was militant and warrior-like and there was really nothing they could throw at me that could keep me from doing it. And in 1980 the womens movement was in full bloom and everyone was going crazy. I was just basically part of that movement that was happening then.

    "It was a great time, knocking down all the barriers, and Im happy I got to be part of it," she says on the phone from her home in "sunny California", ahead of her first tour to New Zealand next month.

    "We had little kids for a long time. Its a long trip down there [to New Zealand] and we took them touring every time we went, but theyre all grown up now," she laughs, by way of an excuse about never making it here during her 40-year career.

    Though the 80s was Benatars heyday, with 1985s Seven the Hard Way her last big-selling album, she has continued to tour and release albums. But how does the 60-year-old relate to some of her early hits these days? Because clearly love is no longer a battlefield - she married her guitarist husband Neil Giraldo in 1982. She calls him by his nickname, Spyder, and hes the man behind most of her songs most famous riffs, including Hit Me With Your Best Shot. The pair will celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary in New Zealand.

    "Songs like Heartbreaker, Promises In the Dark, Battlefield are still relevant to me ... because just because were married doesnt mean there arent confrontations," she jokes.

    "Some of the lyrics of Hit Me With Your Best Shot are a little juvenile now, but if I do it tongue-in-cheek then its not a problem. And people still love it so much that I find a way to do it every night. Remarkably, Heartbreaker, which was the very first song we [Benatar and Giraldo] recorded, is as relevant today as it ever was - I love singing it.

    "When we [she and Giraldo] played Heartbreaker for the first time, thats when the lights went on. It was exactly what I was going for. And it was the song that was the catalyst for everything. I sing it every night and when it first starts it makes me smile every time, because I remember 1979 and how important it was back then."

    Benatar and Giraldo met following a conversation she had with In the Heat of the Night producer Mike Chapman (Blondie) about not wanting to be like a rock chick, "where its all about me".

    "I wanted it to be more like a band, like a partnership. I wanted someone who was going to be as equally involved as I was in the music. Mike said, I have this kid. Hes 22 years old. Hed be perfect. I had no idea he would be so handsome. And so he walked in and first and foremost I thought, Oh, youre so hired. But he was also exactly musically what I was looking for - and we became each others muse from the first moment we met each other."

    She says Giraldo was the one who pushed her to sing higher (check out the range of songs such as Invincible and Hit Me With Your Best Shot) and more powerfully.

    "I wanted to get the balance of really raucous and blasting guitars underneath really pristine singing. But Im kind of lazy, because its easy for me to do well, but for me to be great, I needed to be pushed and he was great in that he knew I had far more in me and really pushed me like crazy, and I would do anything for him. So hes responsible for getting all of those high notes out of me."

    Read the full article by Scott Kara for The New Zealand Herald


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  • 01/21/13--12:50: Newsday Music

  • After Sandy hits, rocker and hubby give it their best shot to help her hometown.

    Love is a battlefield, sure. But when Pat Benatar saw that her beloved Lindenhurst was looking like one in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, she knew she had to do something.

    It was just insanity, says Benatar, calling from her California home. I have family there, and they had 8 feet of water in their basement. They sent me these pictures, and its just heartbreaking to see all this stuff piled up in the street. Its just a nightmare.

    Download the full article by Glenn Gamboa for Newsday Music here


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    In the early 80s, American Pat Benatar was big - that included in New Zealand - and her songs, Love is a Battlefield and We Belong, made the top 10. But she was also an anomaly.

    Most of the female artists who topped the Kiwi charts in 1983 and 1984 did so using pop (Irene Cara, Bonnie Tyler, Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox) or soul and jazz (Tina Turner, Sade).

    Benatar was the only woman who made any impact on the charts with a more rock sound, often the preserve of male performers. Shed been doing so since 1980 with the no nonsense rocker Heartbreaker. By We Belong in 1984, Benatar, who trained as an opera singer, had multiple bestselling albums, singles and Grammy awards.

    Today, Benatar, who turned 60 this month, has mixed feelings about her 80s achievements. On the one hand: It was great. It was fun, she says. But she remembers the blatant sexism. Love wasnt the battlefield. Instead it was whether women should perform rock songs and how they look and dress.

    It was hard work. Every day was a battle. The country was in flux, the womens movement was in full blast. I was going for it. There was nobody who was going to tell me I couldnt do this thing that I wanted to do. I believed it to be my right and destiny.

    But every day was a constant battle. I was fighting with programme directors and promoters. [Theyd say] Oh we have a girl singer on our playlist right now

    I wanted everything to stand on its own on the music and everything. I fought really hard. But it was still that time in America when it was kind of creepy and weird. You just had to fight that every day. So besides trying to get your music [done] you had to do all this other stuff on top of that. It was nuts.

    Benatars popularity continued through the 80s, but doubt crept in. There was a time, probably in 88, where I was just going to retire. I had totally lost my grip. But it wasnt because of the music, ever. It was because of the drudgery of being in the music business. They made it so unpleasant and just having to do all the garbage you had to do in those days. It kind of ruined it for me. I was pretty much done.

    Benatar says as a response she deliberately decided to do something different and in 1991 released the album True Love, which embraced an up-tempo blues sound. In the US it was her lowest charting album since her 1979 debut, In the Heat of the Night.

    It was to clean the slate and do something that you love. It was to erase where you were and start from there and move forward. And it really did the trick.

    Post True Love, Benatar has released only three albums. For several years she focused on raising her family - she had two daughters with guitarist and hit songwriter Neil Giraldo, whom she married in 1982.

    For the past 12 years she and Giraldo, who will perform with her in Wellington and Taupo next month, have concentrated on touring.

    At the time of this interview, Benatar is in the middle of a tour with fellow 80s chart rockers Journey and Loverboy.

    s just been amazing these last 12 years. Its been so absolutely gratifying. The audiences have been amazing and we are having such a good time because we dont care. We are just playing for fun.

    Benatar says today she has a broad audience and it includes fans who were born after her 80s heydays.

It is pretty mixed and really hilarious. Youll have people who are maybe 19 or 20 when you began and theyre in their 50s. Then theyll have their kids who are in their 30s and then theyll have their kids. Sometimes I have 8-year-olds singing every lyric to every song on their dads shoulders. Im like What? Thats so great

    Benatar says thats the bottom line for her. Not the chart success, not the awards. Its making the music she wants to make and the audience responding to it.

    Music is really a spiritual, emotional thing and when its pure and youre having a great time - so is everybody else.

    Click here for the full article by Tom Cardy for


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    On Jan. 25, rock sensation Pat Benatar and her husband, Neil Giraldo, performed at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, Long Island, an iconic venue that is dear to her heart since she grew up in Lindenhurst. This was a benefit concert where the proceeds benefit the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

    Throughout her career, Pat Benatar has won four Grammy awards and she has helped pave the way for such female vocalists as Mariah Carey, Martina McBride, among countless others.

    She commenced her set with All Fired Up, where she showcased her trademark pipes and impressive range.

    As the stage was graced in a red backdrop, she followed it up with her empowering and took the time to greet the Long Island audience.

    Well, hey! How are you doing out there? she asked the crowd. It is snowing outside. We are happy to be here and we are happy that you all showed up. This is a night for a celebration. We will have some fun.

    She continued with So Sincere, which is the closing track of her debut studio album.

    After belting out River of Love, she noted that she and her husband, Neil, who is also known as have been married for 31 years and that when they first starting writing songs together, they were inspired by other peoples experiences. As the years went on, they added that their songs got more personal and were subsequently based on their own experiences.

    Equally powerful was her rendition of Promises in the Dark, for which she garnered a standing ovation.

    This is the part of the show where we get to sit down because were old, Pat said with a laugh as she sat on a stool.

    How are you all doing tonight? Neil asked. I feel like an adopted son of Long Island, he added.

    One of the most controlled vocals of the evening was We Belong, which commenced with her mellifluous humming and turned into a true vocal event, which resulted in theatergoers waving their hands up in the air and singing along to the classic rock ballad.

    Thank you, Pat exclaimed and she blew a kiss to the crowd.

    Pat noted that in 1981, her song You Better Run from her Crimes of Passion album was the second video ever aired on MTV and that her husband, was the first guitarist to ever play on MTV, which is quite a remarkable accomplishment.

    She managed to get the NYCB Theatre at Westbury to put on their dancing shoes as she sang her signature song Hit Me With Your Best Shot and her Grammy-winning hit Love Is a Battlefield, as the stage was graced in a green backdrop.

    Thank you, the rock queen said and brought out several Lindenhurst dignitaries and local fire department officials on stage with her. These individuals played a major role for the town as it was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

    The mayor of Lindenhurst honored Pat and Neil and proclaimed the followed day, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo Day in their town. Particularly impressive about that proclamation was that its wording included twenty-three of her song titles.

    For their encore, they returned and she sang s Stay Together and it was followed up with a medley of and Johnny Cashs Ring of Fire.

    They thanked their fans for coming out and reminded them to be good to everyone. Pat also underscored the importance of refraining from drinking and driving. See you guys soon. I am so happy to spend the night with you, she concluded.

    Pat Benatar was amazing, stated Barbara Goldsmith, a huge fan of the rock songstress and attendee. Her voice still sounds as it did in the 80s and Spyder is still the best guitar player Ive ever heard.

    According to Christine Nagy, the esteemed New York radio personality from the Bronson and Christine morning show from 106.7 Lite FM, she remarked, Not only is Pat Benatar an amazing vocalist, a mezzo-soprano rockstar, but shes married to Neil Giraldo for over 30 years, so she is my relationship idol as well. Congrats to a woman whos been able to carry on a successful career and marriage and for making it all work.

    The Verdict

    Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo got their Westbury fans all fired up and gave them a night of acoustic rock music to remember as they raised money for a great cause. The night was filled with nostalgia as they dusted off these rock classics and introduced them to a brand new audience of fans. Pats vocals were dynamic, captivating and as strong as ever. Vocally, she is in the same league as Ann Wilson from Heart and they both stand out as two of the greatest singers in the rock genre. Pat truly gave it her best shot and Neils guitar-playing ability is second to none. Pat is the epitome of beauty and natural talent and class in rock.

    There were no gimmicks in tonights show. It consisted of a woman who was able to command the Westbury stage thanks to her spell-binding voice and charisma and her gifted husband who is able to make musical magic from his guitar (and subsequently play some of coolest guitar solos in rock music).

    One of the most puzzling facts about Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo is that they have yet to be nominated let alone be inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, even after multiple decades in the music industry (and after multiple accolades and awards they have garnered); however, if Hall of Fame voters ever need proof of their immense talent and whether or not they are worthy of a Hall of Fame induction, all they need to see is a highlight reel of this concert. They definitely deserve to be in there along with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart (who are getting inducted this year).

    Click here for the full article by Markos Papadatos for


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    Lindenhurst alum Pat Benatars recent concert at Westbury raises money for Lindenhurst Sandy Relief.

    January 25, 2013: Pat Benatar thanked the Lindenhurst Fire Department, the Village and all of the volunteers in the aftermath of Sandy for everything theyve been doing to help Sandy victims. Also up on stage were Lindys own Dan Lauria and Wolfie from WBAB, LFD Chief Jim Gallagher and Captain Dave Collins, Mayor Tom Brennan and Village Administrator Shawn Cullinane and representatives from Habitat for Humaity ReStore Credit Mark Schoen.

    To see more photos and the original article by Barbara Capella Loehr for Lindenhurst Patch click here.


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    What an incredible trip.

    The Kiwis welcomed us with open arms, their warmth and hospitality was phenomenal. The staggering beauty of the countryside was breathtaking.

    Thanks to everyone who worked on the tour especially our band and crew, Bachman-Turner, America and the Greenstone Entertainment gang.......Amanda and Dean Calvert, youre the best! We had a blast and cant wait to return...

    Thank you New Zealand, you Rock!

    Check out some photos here. A full tour recap from Pat & Neil including reviews and more is coming soon! Stay tuned.


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  • 04/02/13--14:10: A Message from Pat & Spyder
  • "Spyder and I are excited to announce our summer dates with our good friends Cheap Trick starting in June!! Get your tickets before its too late!"


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    Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will be teaming up for a short run of US concert dates this summer.

    The tour kicks off in Lincoln, California on June 7 and will continue through a number of other west coast dates, including stops in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Saratoga and Bakersfield.

    The west coast trek tails off in Tuscon, Arizona on June 16, though there is an additional east coast date, August 20 in Vienna, Virginia.

    There is no official word on whether any other dates will be announced.

    Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo Tour Dates:

    6/7 Lincoln, Calif.
    6/8 Los Angeles, Calif.
    6/9 Santa Barbara, Calif.
    6/11- Saratoga, Calif.
    6/14 Bakersfield, Calif.
    6/15 Las Vegas, Nev.
    6/16 Tucson, Ariz.
    8/20 Vienna, Va.

    View the original article here.


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    Pat Benatar and Cheap Trick are teaming up for some shows this summer. The two acts have a half-dozen dates set so far.

    According to Benatars website, theyll be performing five shows in June, making four stops throughout California before heading to Las Vegas. Their only other show so far is on the other coast a couple of months later. Theyre set to appear together in Vienna, Virginia on August 20th. As it stands the trek is slated to begin in Lincoln, California on June 7th.

    Both Cheap Trick and Benatar also have a number of other dates scheduled. Cheap Tricks next performance will be at the Funshine Festival in Tampa on May 3rd. Benatar will be performing this Thursday in Panama City, Florida. Fans can find their full lists of tour dates at and

    Pat Benatar-Cheap Trick Tour Dates

    June 7 - Lincoln, California, at Thunder Valley Casino
    June 8 - Los Angeles, California, at The Greek Theater
    June 9 - Santa Barbara, California, at the Santa Barbara Bowl
    June 14 - Bakersfield, California, at the Rabobank Arena
    June 15 - Las Vegas, Nevada, at The Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino
    August 20 - Vienna, Virginia, at The Filene Center at Wolf Trap

    View the original article here.


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    Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo are hitting the road with legendary band Cheap Trick for whats expected to be one of the summers biggest concert tickets.

    Shows will kick-off on June 7, 2013 in Lincoln, CA. Performance stops will include Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Tucson among other cities.

    Tour Dates:

    June 7
    Lincoln, CA
    Thunder Valley Casino

    June 8
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Greek Theatre

    June 9
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Santa Barbara Bowl

    June 11
    Saratoga, CA
    The Mountain Winery

    June 14
    Bakersfield, CA
    Rabobank Theatre

    June 15
    Las Vegas, NV
    The Pearl Concert Theatre @ Palms Casino

    June 16
    Tucson, AZ
    Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater

    August 20
    Vienna, VA
    Wolf Trap Filene Center

    Will you see Pat, Neil and Cheap Trick? Find more ticket info here.

    View the original article on


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    Whether she realizes it or not, Pat Benatar has an interesting connection to Corpus Christi.

    Back in 1985, The Legend of Billie Jean, a movie starring Helen Slater in the title role along with a very young Christian Slater was filmed in and around the area. While the flick may not have been all that memorable, its theme song, by Benatar, sure was. In fact, that particular tune was among a highly impressive streak of chart singles that the Brooklyn-born rock singer released between 1979 and the late 1980s.

    She brings that impressive body of work to Corpus Christi when she and her band led by guitarist Neil Giraldo, her husband of 31 years, take the stage Tuesday night at the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium.

    Giraldo, who the spandex-clad Benatar met back in 1979, turned out to be both her romantic and musical soul mate.

    s guitar technique played a big part in creating what is now my signature sound, Benatar revealed.

    Not only is Giraldo an incredibly adept guitarist and pianist, but also hes proven himself to be an equally skilled arranger and producer.

    So how do Benatar and Giraldo make it work on stage and off? She attributes it to not only the love that they share, but also to the fact that they really each other.

    Sure, everybody has days when things arent going the way you want them to, but what we do with the music gives us something special. It really is an extension of ourselves, Benatar said.

    The products of that collaboration can be heard on Benatars 12 studio albums, a catalog that has yielded four Grammys and one American Music Award. And while that kind of recognition is always great, Benatar is actually even prouder of something else.

    You see, Im a Capricorn. I tend to be really focused, and when I set my mind to do something, I go out and do it, she said with a laugh.

    Knowing shes helped fellow female artists along the way is gratifying.

    What means the most to me is the fact that I helped pave the way for females in music, she said as she reflected on her early days as a performer. For one of my first auditions, I showed up in a vampire costume because I was doing a theater production at the time and didnt have time to change. So thats how a part of my visual persona took shape. But my vocal approach has always been a powerful one.

    Benatars strong, no-nonsense attitude continues to be the fire that ignites her electrifying, hit-packed stage show. Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Love Is a Battlefield and We Belong are among the many familiar tunes that are on the set list for her show in Corpus Christi. All of those titles make for show stopping moments, but which song does she still look forward to night after night?

    After all this time, its still (her first hit) because thats not only the song that started it all, it made it clear that teaming up with Neil all made sense, she said.

    And that unbreakable bond has also made Benatar and Giraldo a rock and roll power couple that is nothing less than invincible.

    Check out the original article by Jesse De Leon for here.


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    When MTV went live in the summer of 1981, we all got to see how annoyed Pat Benatar looked as she barked out her metallically-flavored cover of You Better Run, originally done by the Young Rascals in 66. Many of us knew it was really just some sort of drag - part of the act. After all, when married with lipstick and animal-print-spandex, a sneer is much more provocative than a boring smile. It made middle-aged women uncomfortable - suburban moms werent quite sure what she was up to, although its hard to argue with that operatically-trained voice. For a younger generation coming away from the hedonism of disco into the rising, righteous anger of punk, however, Benatar presented a palatable alternative, not to mention a pop star whose image projected a strong backbone. The musical recipe was a heavenly combination of soaring female vocals - the real thing, not new-wave affectations - respectably edgy guitar work and bouncy rhythms that elevated tracks like We Live for Love to unforgettable status. If your mom didnt like the scorned vixen thing, it only scored Benatar some extra credibility. That probably said more about them than it did anything about Pat Benatars true personality.

    Thirty-five years on, Benatar still tours every year. She still packs the house most nights, whether splitting the bill with other former arena giants like Journey, or headlining with her longtime collaborator and husband, Neil Giraldo. If theres any question in your mind regarding what Giraldo brings to the table, go find the rare demo of floating around on You Tube, which was cut before he added in some much-needed rocking cajones to create the version you know so well. The difference between the two is a large part of what catapulted Benatar to becoming a household name.

    Warming up for their summer run with Cheap Trick, Benatar and Giraldo sold out the Moody Theater Saturday night, treating an enthusiastic crowd of mixed baby boomers and curious younguns to a super-tight 80-minute hit parade. No less rousing than they were back in their heyday, Sex as a Weapon, You Better Run, Hit Me with Your Best Shot, opener All Fired Up and Love is a Battlefield (complete with some shoulder-shimmying) all came across with addictive bite - the same bite that drew her audience in to begin with, and her delivery remains just as contagious without spandex and a tiny figure (although, at 60, Pat Benatar still looks damned good). Its also proof that the music held (and still holds) value well beyond the long-disposed-of image.

    Giraldo kept his end of the bargain by making sure there was a hearty dose of guitar-hero-glory in every tune, save perhaps for We Belong, during which he casually noodled with an acoustic, letting the familiar drum machine pattern and co-ed chorus drive the song along. He served up extended piano introductions to Hell is For Children and the epic Promises in the Dark, which he noted as a personal benchmark of maturity regarding the couples songwriting abilities. Band mates Mick Mahan (bass) and Chris Ralles (drums) provided sturdy rhythmic support throughout, particularly on the deep-cut So Sincere, which busted wide open in the middle and again at the end, as well as the circularly-churning 1993 single, Everybody Lay Down.

    The level of adoration at Saturdays show was something to behold, as aging fans took turns coming down the center aisle to get a decent photo. The fact that Pat Benatar is still blessed with the pipes that bent ears all over the world at the onset of her career is further proof of whats possible when you avoid rock star excesses earlier on. After all, the juiciest tidbit in her recent memoir, Between a Rock and a Heart Place, wasnt about late night partner-swapping or mountainous piles of cocaine, but rather the amusing (and rather down-to-earth) admission that shed briefly fantasized about doing away with Linda Blair, whom Giraldo was dating when they originally met. One look at how Giraldo is holding up at 58 and, well you can tell hes always taken good care of himself.

    Closing with an extended run through which included a fun foray into Led Zeppelins classic of the same name as well as Johnny Cashs Ring of Fire, Benatar and her band left the crowd satiated, but not over-stuffed. After 35 years, she errs on the side of brevity - 80 minutes is just enough to make sure folks will come back, and we certainly will.

    Photos by Steve Hopson, words by Chris Treacy. Click here to view the original article for


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    Hi Yall!! Just wanted to give a shout out to our dear friend Heather McCloskey Beck and all the good things shes doing on her Peace Flash page!!!


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  • 04/23/13--10:36: Jordan Thomas Foundation
  • Please everyone...check out Jordans page-his story is amazing and truly inspiring!!!

    Jordan Thomas founded the Jordan Thomas Foundation at the age of 16 while recovering from the loss of both legs in a boating accident. He realized that there were other children in the hospital who would not have the advantages that he did and who would go home without the limbs that they needed to have a full, active, and happy life.

    So, he decided to do something about it.

    His site is dedicated to helping children improve their quality of life and what he does is amazing!!

    Check it out here:


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    We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in Boston and West,Texas. Words seem insignificant in the face of such terrible grief and loss. We pray for healing and answers for everyone affected.

    Peace, love and light to all.


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    Get up close and personal with the music ingenues and legends from the May issue of Elle in this exclusive documentary film featuring Pat Benatar. Check out the video here.


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  • 04/25/13--11:13: Where Eagles Dare

  • Check out Neil Giraldo in the May-June 2013 issue of Guitar Aficionado! Neil shares his collection of iconic vintage B.C. Riches and well-worn music-making tools.

    Read the article by Richard Bienstock with photos by Travis Shinn here.


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    "For my Brother....Our Sweet Andy Boy-Happy Birthday.... Miss you everyday!"


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  • 05/01/13--17:06: Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
  • Amy Poehler saw Pat Benatar in concert in the 10th grade and has been a super fan ever since! Check out the video of Amy interviewing Pat below:


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    Its an up-and-coming bands dream come true: the chance to open for a superstar in front of thousands of people.


One band will get that opportunity.

    Pat Benatar is coming to Memorial Park on June 28 as part of Bank of the West Celebrates America. Loverboy is one of the openers; the concert-holders have begun a contest to find another. Bands can enter themselves or fans can nominate their favorites up until May 10. Judges will pick five finalists, and a winner will be chosen by public vote.

    Some people in the local music scene told us who they thought would be the best pick:

    Eric Ziegler, store manager at Homers Music

    I think the coolest would be Rebecca Lowry and All Young Girls are Machine Guns . Theyre super cool and she plays ukelele and sings; she has a super soulful voice.

    Rick Sorick, head used-music buyer at Drastic Plastic

    s a really entertaining group that plays 70s-style music, its called Bennie and the Gents. They play glammy, 70s kind of stuff and theyre quite good. They would fit in with the kind of stuff that she does.

Julie DeWitt, Maha Music Festival board member, in an email:

    Rock Paper Dynamite: Im partial to this band right now because they will be playing at Maha this summer. They are a high-energy rock band and their sound would definitely fill up the park. I think they would really get the crowd going. Blue Bird: I feel like their music is meant to be played outside in the sunshine. This is a talented group of musicians fronted by a woman with a strong voice (Marta Fiedler). Blue Bird would be a nice lead-in to another woman with a strong voice.

    Satchel Grande: You just cant go wrong with Satchel Grande. First, the band has nine or ten members, so it would fill up the stage. Secondly, they have a danceable funk sound, some cool saxophones and keys in the mix. Third, they wear ties to every show. I think everyone would appreciate their class.

    Val Nelson, community outreach and fundraising for Omaha Girls Rock:

    We would love to see any sort of female-fronted band like The Mynabirds , HERS, Azure Ray or All Young Girls Are Machine Guns , just anyone with female members represented in the show. Since Pat Benatar is such an iconic female musician, it would be great to have that represented in the opening act.

    Spencer Munson, a Lincoln-based DJ and assistant director of marketing and promotion at Bourbon Theatre suggested Lincoln rock band Universe Contest, in a tweet.

    Munson later followed up with a Facebook message:

    I didnt realize that it was for Pat Benatar. Universe Contest is a new fuzz/experimental rock band out of Lincoln that combines the raw psychedelic energy of The Flaming Lips with the heavy forward-thinking electro-rock of Trent Reznor. They have a great wild live show and have been successfully touring all over the Midwest off and on for the last six months. Great band but may not be the best choice for Ms. Benatar.

    Rick Carson, producer, mix engineer and part owner of Make Believe Studio

    I would love for Snake Island to open for Pat Benatar. I always remember that Pat Benatar rocks; I dont think too many people associate her with rocking. Its probably because its an old 80s band and a lot of people think the 80s (were) old and cheesy. Pat Benatar doesnt fall in with the hair metal bands of the eighties, shes one of those people who are rocking. I think Snake Island would be a good fit with her because Snake Island rocks, theyre a good rock and roll band.

    Local group All Young Girls Are Machine Guns tweeted about Witness Tree.

    Ken Boucher: The problem is, Im not sure the bands I love want the gig. Id love to see The Bishops or the Fishheads open, but is that really their style?

    MarQ Manner: Digital Sex

    Katherine Kelly: Lang Brothers

    Katie Kouma Lockhart: The Millions!!

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