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Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,609 ratings  ·  315 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 extraordinar

Hardcover, 247 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by William Morrow
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Singer-Songwriter. Business Woman. Rock ’n’ Roll Icon. Feminist. Trailblazer. Wife & Mother. Put all that together (and then some!) and you have this weeks muse, the incredible Pat Benatar!

Growing up Pat dreamed of being part of a dynamic rock ’n’ roll duo. Jagger & Richards, Plant & Page, she may have had the vocal chops but to make it to Rocks greatest heights she knew she needed a phenomenal guitarist by her side. It was while working on her first album, In the Heat of the Night, that Pat wa
Steven Walle
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Autobiography of Pat Benatar.

I am a fan of Pat Benatar's and went to one of her concerts back in the 80's. One of my favorite concerts that I have been to. The story tells of her childhood in New York and how much of a "tomboy" she was and how her talent was "discovered". Her music training and so on. Then on to how she broke into the business. She spoke about every album made and her successes and failures. And the love of her life, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo.

I loved reading of her successes and ad
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Armand Rosamilia
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Growing up I was never much of a Pat Benatar fan. I knew only the hits and loved her voice but my tastes tended to run much harder so I blew her off as just another pop artist. As I get older I realize I missed out on her peak years and some of the deeper cuts to her albums that were actually very guitar-oriented and heavy.

This book allowed me to re-imagine and relive the 80's I missed with her band, and it was always a band. Some great inside and stories in this book about the rough times she
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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 h
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, ladyish
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
Giovanni Gelati
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Kevin Fanning
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Robin Warden
Jan 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
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 rated it it was amazing
Her story was fascinating, loved reading about her background and determination.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had been a fan of Pat Benatar’s music in the 1980s, but I actually knew very little of the woman, except for her marriage to Neil Giraldo. BETWEEN A HEART AND A ROCK PLACE is a very refreshing rock memoir because Pat Benatar actually remembers it all! No endless stories of rehab, of drunken or drug-fuelled shenanigans, but a fabulous account of this brilliant singer’s career. Pat Benatar is your ordinary woman, albeit gorgeous and with a spectacular voice, and she is a woman of integrity who n ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars might be a little generous, but whatever, I use the star ratings in terms of my personal enjoyment and not always quality. The writing's actually pretty good! but some of the music biz stuff--and there is LOTS of it--reads like "I NOW HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLAIN MYSELF THOROUGHLY" and won't be of interest to everyone. But she and the band are a pretty classic story of being jerked around by the music biz in the 80s and they've definitely lived through massive music biz revolution, so ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pat has always been one of my favorite singers, and now she’s one of my favorite people. This book was a TREAT. She shares her journey through the music world, from trying to make it in Rock and Roll as a female to the transition to digital music. She is an inspiration. I can’t imagine the strength she had to stick to her beliefs and be the musician that she always wanted to be, to make her family her priority, and be herself. She is a true rock star. I also loved hearing how she met Frank Sinat ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed learning about Pat Benatar, her career, and the rock industry that she helped change forever. I was not a big fan of the writing, but the information included, her views, and the description of her relationship with Neil Giraldo were definitely worth it. Worth reading. 3.5 stars
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good, easy to read autobiography. I'm not a particular fan (bit young and British to have caught the music at the time beyond general background/mainstay of classic rock compliations), but it was fascinating to see eg the rise of MTV, Lillith Fair, from her perspective as quite the trailblazer for women in the music business.
Dec 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Aug 02, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Andrea Facciponte
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
In 2009 I bought front row tickets to see Pat Benatar with my mother for her birthday. Little did I know I would walk away that night with a new musical role model. I obviously knew the classic songs like "Love is a Battlefield" and "Heartbreaker," but I barely knew anything about Pat Benatar the performer. As a singer and aspiring music business professional, reading Benatar's biography shed a truthful light on what the business is really like behind closed doors. It's sad, but true, that most ...more
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joe Meyer
May 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Angelique Stacy
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Penni Pappas
Dec 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Elizabeth Williams
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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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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