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Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,867 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
For more than thirty years, Pat Benatar has been one of the most iconic women in rock music, with songs like "Heartbreaker," "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," and "Love Is a Battlefield" becoming anthems for multiple generations of fans. Now, in this intimate and uncompromising memoir, one of the bestselling female rock artists of all time shares the story of her extraordinary ...more
Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published (first published June 15th 2010)
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Jul 30, 2010 Mahlon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
Pat Benatar is one of Rock's iconic female artists, but her road to the top was never easy. In her new autobiography, she opens up about the obstacles she faced and the roadblocks people put in her way. Benatar relates the constant battles she waged against the sexism that was rampant in the industry, and how she had to fight for creative control of her music, all while trying to balance the schedule of a constantly touring musician with a marriage and motherhood. It helped that Pat's husband gu ...more
Diamond Cowboy
Oct 30, 2015 Diamond Cowboy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing read. Pat Benatar talks of her life in and out of the rock and roll life style. Pat managed to be a Wife to the same man, Neil Garado, for thirtyone years, a Mother of two daughters, and still bring us faboulas music from her albums, Heart Breaker, in the heat of the night, Crimes of passion, Precious time, Get nervous, Live from earth, seven the hard way, Wide awake at dream land, true love a blues album, gravity's rainbow, In and Go.
I recommend this to all. She also managed
Jan 29, 2012 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I think Pat Benatar is a rad lady and I've been looking forward to this one. I'm hoping that I'll come away from it thinking she's even radder than I already do. I'm only 20 pages in, so maybe it's too soon to say but so far it's kind of boring. It seems she's pretty much always had her head screwed on, had a good childhood, never abused substances...where will the drama come from?

UPDATE: Finished. Some of the writing was weak, some of it heavy-handed and hackneyed. For example, on 9/11: "It wa
Tracy Fleming-Swehla
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and dusting off my Pat Benatar music to listen to again after many years. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed “her” music, and never realized how much the music was really “theirs”.

I loved her writing voice, her ability to navigate the really tough music industry without needing rehab, her sweet love story, her strength in character to stand up to the good ole boys who wouldn’t give a girl the respect they’d give a guy. I’ve been in a “man’s job” and ha
May 08, 2011 jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ladyish, 2011
Note: I read this book in tandem with an audio book of Ricky Martin's memoir, Me. Fascinating, unintentional pair. I recommend this pairing for two "Other" perspectives on the commercial music industry.

Things I learned from this book:

Pat Benatar's music label steamrolled her over and over again until her contract expired, forcing albums from her every 9 months, demanding constant touring, micromanaging her image, her romantic relationships, her creative process, and denying her a fair share of
Kevin Fanning
Dec 29, 2013 Kevin Fanning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I only recently heard about this book and as soon as I learned of its existence I was like: Wait, I bet I would love that. I did!

Pat Benatar's career path, or at least her rise to stardom, wasn't super complicated, in terms of its Behind-the-Music-ness. She wanted to be a singer, worked hard, tried not to get sidetracked, and made it. Didn't do drugs, didn't end up in rehab, just tried to handle her business.

So without a bunch of topsy turvy plot points the bulk of the book is essentially an ac
Jun 19, 2010 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Pat Benatar. I've been to dozens of her concerts, I have all her albums (some in LP and CD format), I have all of her videos and many old interviews and performances on tape or on DVD. I have even met her (and she and Neil are really as nice and down to earth as they come across in the book). Suffice to say that I have waited for this book for a long time.

I became a fan in the mid 80's so I was actually really starting to
Robin Warden
Jan 08, 2011 Robin Warden rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Love Pat,but not the book. Time would have been better spent listening to her amazing catalog of music. On a positive note (and my humble opinion)the fact that this book was not very interesting can be attributed to the fact that she never got all caught up in the music-making machine of celebrity, she wasn't a party girl, but instead she put out consistently great music while maintaining her priorities of her marriage, kids, and family above all else. So I like her even more knowing that.
May 11, 2012 Jeanine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Her story was fascinating, loved reading about her background and determination.
I appreciate her music, but only know the chart buster songs. I'm more a fan of what she did. Along with Chrissy Hynde, but separately, Pat Benatar broke the male domination of hard rock. At this time, the business end of rock was almost thoroughly male, and the art form, itself, unabashedly accepted (and some say was characterized by) misogynistic themes.

This book is at its best when Benatar writes of her childhood and her rise to stardom. Other good parts include her experiences in the busines
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
I grew up listening to Pat Benatar. Her first single (Heartbreaker) was out before I finished High school. I bought my first Pat Benatar Album (Crimes of Passion) when I was just 19! I played it so much I am surprised the needle on my stereo didn't wear through to the other side. I knew all the words to all the songs (probably still do). I am proud to say, I still own that Album!

This was a real treat for me to read this wonderful book. It is a real "behind the scenes" look at the making of a ro
Sep 14, 2011 Lennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this memoir, Pat Benatar describes her 31-year career in the music industry. As part of the eighties rock movement she made strides for women by being one of the first solo female rockers. She had pure, clean vocals but her music was intense, hard-edged and guitar-driven which made the sound seem like it had attitude and aggression. It was pretty powerful and as a result she won four Grammys and sold millions of records. While this book addresses Benatar’s achievements as a professional singe ...more
May 09, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty well written rock autobiography, but when they do a "Behind the Music" on Pat Benatar, the only real drama will come in recounting her brave struggle against extreme dullness. I wouldn't say that the book was boring, or even that Pat Benatar's rise to fame was boring. But she seems to have set out deliberately to be the worlds' most boring rock star. No drugs, still married to the same guy for 30 years, two kids...I think I was hoping for a little more rock 'n' roll raunch. Oh, ...more
Ben Montgomery
In the early days of MTV, I have to admit that I fell for the gimmicky marketing ploys of the cable juggernaut. Like other young teenagers with evolving hormones, I was enamored with Pat Benatar - both as a musician and as a hot mama who knew how to rock.

Years later, Pat has penned a autobiography that discusses her travails as a pioneer for women rockers. Pat does discuss alot of those battles with her label, MTV, and her management about how much is enough when marketing sex. But, the book was
Derek Hale
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this autobiography. Autobiographies of rock stars are extremely hit or miss. This one was surprisingly more hit than miss.

I really appreciated Benatar's continued admiration and praise of her husband Neil Giraldo (she calls him Spyder throughout the book). She freely gives him credit for elevating her far beyond where should could ever have gotten on her own and their 31+ year marriage is extreme rarity in their chosen profession.

Benatar pulled no punch
Mar 09, 2011 Jean rated it really liked it
This memoir was a fast and intriguing read. I've been on a female rock memoir kick. Pat Benatar presents a lucid story about her musical career and the trials she had to deal with as someone trying to find their way, themselves and dealing with sexism without being heavy handed. You do feel as if she is telling you what she thinks.

It is really eye opening how the music industry is great at manipulating their artists yet is it really for the commercial success that they supposedly say is the rea
I liked it, but wouldn't recommend it unless you LOVE Pat Benatar. Which I do.
Angelique Stacy
Feb 22, 2015 Angelique Stacy rated it really liked it
Short, sweet , but full on inspiration.

A quick inspiring read, I'd only wish it was longer. On the kindle the photograph section ,the pictures are tiny and don't enlarge so fans may want the print version of the book.
Pat Benatar does it her own way. A fascinating look at how women were treated by the music industry,and how the rise of the independent musician inspired her to take her music in her own hands and evolve. What makes this important read for up and coming female musicians is a femini
Joe Meyer
As big as a fan that I am of her, the writing seemed too contrived. Patti Smith, she's not. There's a lot of cliched turn of phrases, and I guess I was expecting a lot of this. Don't know if it's because of her co-writer Patsi Bale Cox, or whether Pat herself is to blame for the prose.
With that being said, it was interesting to see her perspective on being an artist in the music industry. Just proves that a lot of the people that work for the recording industry don't know what the fuck they are
Elissa Williams
Mar 29, 2014 Elissa Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book thinking that it was going to be the usual Rock star sex drugs rock 'n roll story. Well, there was rock! At first I was wondering when the action was going to start, but as I read, I found it really refreshing to read a rock star story that didn't revolve around sex and addiction (side bar: I thoroughly enjoy the ones that do i.e. Slash, The Dirt etc.) I really liked this book. I found myself looking forward to reading it after work. I love her music, I still listen to it r ...more
Penni Pappas
Dec 17, 2010 Penni Pappas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this bio because Pat kept plugging it at the live show saying it will tell you about the old days of rock'n'roll. Did not live up to the promise. The only time Pat chucked while singing was because she was up the duff. Not quite the rock'n'roll bio she promised on stage, not rock'n'roll at all. And she tried to sell me online vitamins in the book - times are tough when the first record company you signed with owns the rights to all your songs and you wrote none of them. The one star I d ...more
Jan 28, 2014 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of her music. And this book was good, but in my opinion 3 star rating is stretching it. Better than 2 but not quite a full 3. And probably the reason behind that is her life has been very grounded, she has a good head on her shoulders. Or it could have been the writing style that seemed to have a tendency to repeat phrases from time to time. I liked that she vocalized the issues of a woman in this industry and the crap she had to deal with.
A good book for those that want to know more
Chuck Christiansen
Pat Benatar has been a rock idol of mine since the early 80s and this book does not disappoint! Trying to be a female rocker in a man's world of the record industry was not an easy thing but Pat fought tooth and nail to be the performer she wanted be and became an inspiration she is to women everywhere. Emotional, funny, and fascinating, I just could not put this book down. Now I'm listening to her greatest hits non-stop.
No frills account of Benatar's life in rock and roll. I've always been a fan (Hit Me with Your Best Shot was one of the staples of our playlist in high school band) and it was nice to read that Benatar is basically a normal person who puts her family first and really seems to appreciate her career.
Mar 16, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though this isn't the best written memoir nor is it probably the most interesting, I loved it all the same because it's more real. While I liked Pat Benatar as a performer and knew the '80s hits, I didn't know anything about Pat Benatar's life before I read this. I love her honesty and grit, for which I really admire her. And that's why I liked this book.
Tarah McCue
Jan 20, 2015 Tarah McCue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
When I was growing up, Pat Benatar was always one of my favorite singers. Her voice is just amazing and she sounds like no one else. She has been a huge inspiration in regards to my own love for singing, so I was thrilled to start reading her memoir. I love her attitude and she really is just a bad ass chick.
Krista Danis
Pat Benatar is not the first person you think of when seeking out a rocker's autobiography, but after reading Between a Heart and a Rock Place, I am convinced that she redefines our (mis)understanding of what it means to be a rock star. The reader walks away from this memoir feeling a little more inspired by Benatar's focus, drive, ambition, and perspective.
Miss Dandy
If you have already seen the VH1 Behind the Music episode about Pat Benatar, there is really no reason to read this book. It's a shame because I admire Pat Benatar and was hoping to learn more about her life and career through this autobiography. A very quick and (unfortunately) dull read.
Oct 29, 2010 Caren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this one 4 stars since I'm a huge Pat Benatar fan. OK, so it's not going to win a Nobel Prize, but it was entertaining!

Thanks, Mere, for a great birthday gift!
Giovanni Gelati
Jul 01, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once I saw that this was going to be released I had to read it; I made this be my non- fiction novel for the month. I must admit to being a big fan ( I am part of the Benatar Fan Club) and collecting all the cassettes (Just to give you an idea of prices at that time, I think a Slurpee with the collector cups cost $.25). Getting that out of the way, the first thing I did when I cracked the book open was go to the picture area in the middle, I love that part of the non-fiction books. Then I read t ...more
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Patricia Mae Andrzejewski (born January 10, 1953), known professionally as Pat Benatar, is an American singer-songwriter and four-time Grammy Award winner. She is a mezzo-soprano. She has had considerable commercial success, particularly in the United States and Canada. During the 1980s, Benatar had two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums, five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, three RIAA-certified ...more
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“I've enjoyed every age I've been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I've been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don't want a "perfect" face and body; I want to wear the life I've lived.” 67 likes
“The great times were never as great as they seem in the rearview mirror.” 7 likes
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