Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir
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Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,109 ratings  ·  186 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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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
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...more
Kevin Fanning
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...more
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...more
Giovanni Gelati
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
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...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...more
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...more
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
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...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Penni Pappas
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
Elissa Williams
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
Robin Warden
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.
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.
For the first time in a long time I was finally able to stick with a book and finish reading it. I liked it alot. Some things weren't surprising while at the same time there were a couple of things I didn't know abut Pat Benatar. The parts about how the music business was back then was an eye-opener.Some things really don't change. All in all it was good and an easy read.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Her story was fascinating, loved reading about her background and determination.
My introduction to rock and roll came when I first listened to Crimes of Passion. I wasn't as into the sounds of guitar at the time so I didn't really appreciate the genius of Neil Giraldo, but as a singer myself I was blown away by her voice. I also credit Benatar with some of my feminist awakenings. I mean, the album starts out with the song "Treat Me Right." I had never heard songs from women that were so powerful and self-confident. I never did (and still don't) like songs where women acted...more
James Perkins
Although I've never been a big Pat Benatar fan, I've certainly been aware of her music - it got a lot of airplay in Australia in the 1980s, and she produced a few catchy tunes. Her autobiography is an interesting tale, since it shows her as a normal person, who could easily be any one of us. She reflects on the pivotal moments of her life, and while she is diplomatic, she doesn't mince words when describing the rabid sexism and corporate greed from the music industry of the 70s and 80s. Yes, she...more
If you know nothing about Pat Benatar and want to be fully surprised about her life and career, there might be SPOILERS.

From the time I was a small child, I've been a huge Pat Benatar fan. From that aspect, I was excited to read her autobiography and I was not disappointed. I loved reading about her childhood and her growing up years, her relationship with her parents, brother and other family members. I loved reading about her relationship with her high school choir director and her rise to the...more
Product Description

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 career, telling the truth about her life, her struggles, and how she won things—her way.

From her earl

In New York, when I was in my twenties, in my college days, I loved going to comedy clubs. There was a club in Manhattan called “Catch a Rising Star.” Every Monday night they would present new acts, mostly singers and comics. One night when I was at “Catch a Rising Star,” I watched this young woman perform some songs. She would belt out her voice as if she were an opera singer. She was very attractive, thin, and appeared tall and sure of herself. She owned that stage. And so I went back on other...more
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Pat Benatar - Greatest Hits Pat Benatar : Wide Awake in Dreamland, Piano, Vocal, Guitar

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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.” 39 likes
“The great times were never as great as they seem in the rearview mirror.” 5 likes
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