Love Takers

Pat Benatar

Bet you think your most memorable Pat Benatar moment is your best friend's finger pistol pointed at the school principal during the noontime talent show. For at least six months, every young girl went around nonchalantly inviting anyone within striking distance to give it a go, belting out the it-takes-two-to-tango ode "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Some did it in front of the entire school and will never live down the horror.

Bigger than that image were those first few moments after the Buggles' video truly killed the radio star when the second MTV video, Benatar's "You Better Run," took it from there. That's not to say there haven't been other sing-alongs to add to your karaoke repertoire: There's the break-up paen "Heartbreaker"—and we swear if you drunkenly sing "We Belong" one more time, it won't be your heart that's hurtin'.

That's what happens when multiple Grammies adorn a singer's mantle, one who was the original electroclash chick ("Love Is a Battlefield"). You become part of the pop-culture soundtrack, the lyrical lexicon. Benatar's smooth pop/rock made her one of the more popular female vocalists of the early '80s. She busted onto the male-dominated rock scene leaving coquettishness at the corner, but her pop sensibilities helped her rule the charts. Billboard magazine calls her the most successful female vocalist of all time. We call her wise because all these years later, we (sort of) finally understand that love is a battlefield, indeed.

Pat Benatar and hubby Neil Giraldo perform at the House of Blues, 1530 S. Disney Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-BLUE; www.hob.com . Thurs.-Fri., July 12-13, 7:30 p.m. $54-$75. All ages.

 
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