How Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo Bonded Over Their First Song
After successfully reworking the lyrics, which were originally presented from a male character’s perspective, Benatar then struggled with finding the sound she knew she wanted for the music. The solution to the second issue was to help form a partnership that’s lasted 40 years, as she told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“[T]he first song that we basically had all ready was ‘Heartbreaker,’” Benatar said. “When I got it, it had kinda all these English colloquialisms, and I changed a bunch of lyrics so it would fit. But the gender of the thing – bending the gender and having a female sing it instead … it was exactly what I wanted.”
The second issue was resolved by guitarist and later husband Neil Giraldo. “I heard it in my head but I couldn’t get anybody to play what I was hearing,” Benatar recalled. “And the minute he walked in, he knew exactly what I was talking about. He played it exactly the way that I wanted it, and the whole thing was born from that.”
Released on Oct. 26, 1979, “Heartbreaker” went on to be Benatar's first hit single, reaching No. 12 after two previous releases failed to impact, and helped secure a career that’s spawned 12 studio albums and nine live albums to date.
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