Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benatar 2)

Rory Gallagher and Pat Benatar

I liked working with Pat Benatar. From our first shoot together, backstage with the late, great Rory Gallagher in September 1979, through those backstage photos with John "Cougar" Mellencamp, to a couple of her own concerts in NY, I always found her to be easy to work with. I actually got to photograph her five times in less than a year, and went from seeing her good-looking husband Dennis backstage, to his being gone the next time, to finding that she was with her good-looking guitarist, Neil "Spyder" Giraldo (who she later married and is still with today)

Pat Benatar at The Bottom Line, November 1979

This shot was taken backstage at the Bottom Line after Pat's first performance there. Not only the band is in the photo, but the Chrysalis executives are joined by the owners of The Bottom Line, Pat's manager Rick Newman and more. Everyone just knew how big she was going to be, and they all wanted to have their picture taken with her.

Backstage at The Bottom Line, November 1979

But by the last show I did with her, I found that fame had taken over. I'm not blaming her at all, but I couldn't get near her. She was surrounded by her "people" and there was nothing I could do about it. They were controlling access and keeping her attention. I'm not saying that she and I had ever been friends (I tend to be low-key when I'm shooting- it's not about me, it's about getting the shot) and I doubt she'd even remember me at this point so many years later, but she knew me then, and I know we would have talked if she knew I was there, but she was surrounded. It was an interesting rock and roll moment.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In The Heat Of The Night (Pat Benatar)

Not many shows tempt me these days. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo onstage after all these years, well that would tempt me. (Though I'm probably not tempted enough) They're playing Monday and Tuesday at B.B. King Blues Club. Yep, tempting. Shot them a lot back in the day. Especially Pat.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo at The Bottom Line, November, 1979
I first photographed Pat Benatar a couple of times just before her album In The Heat Of The Night came out, before her first tour. One time, Chrysalis Records sent us to The Bottom Line to see John Cougar (yes, that was his name then) since Pat had released a cover of his song "I Need a Lover" (a really good song, both versions-- and it still holds up) 

Pat Benatar and John Cougar (Mellencamp) at the Bottom Line, September 1979

This was my favorite shot from that night and it ran in CREEM. Now that was a magazine...

All photos and text © sheri lynn behr unless otherwise noted.
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