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Between a Heart and a Rock Place: A Memoir Hardcover – June 15, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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 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 early days in the New York club scene of the 1970s to headlining sold-out arena tours, Benatar offers a fascinating account of a life spent behind the microphone and speaks candidly about the realities of breaking into the boys' club of rock and roll. Written with the attitude and defiance that embody Pat Benatar's music, Between a Heart and a Rock Place is a rock-and-roll story unlike any other, a remarkable tale of playing by your own rules even if that means breaking a few of theirs.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

One of the most accomplished female rock musicans of all time, multiple Grammy Award-winner Pat Benatar has sold more than 22 million records and produced nineteen Top 40 singles. She lives in California with her husband and two daughters.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061953776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061953774
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Beninato VINE VOICE on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you were a teenage girl in the eighties, you knew (and probably loved) Pat Benatar. While there have always been females doing rock Pat was really the first to stand on her own as an artist, belting out songs that the best hard rock acts of the day would have been proud to call their own. It wasn't a woman singing rock, it was a rock singer who happened to be a woman. In her memoir "Between a Heart and a Rock Place" (sorry, Pat, had to take a half star off for that lame title) Benatar details in a voice that is clearly her own the remarkable circumstances that led a little girl from a working-class town on Long Island to become a rock goddess.

If you're looking for dirt and gossip a la "I'm With The Band" this isn't your book. "Mine is one of the only stories that doesn't involve at least one trip to rehab," Benatar writes, and it's true. About the closest she comes to that is writing about her first marriage to a man who suffered from PTSS after returning from Vietnam--who was also the man who gave her her famous last name. Wanting to be with him derailed Benatar's original ambition of a classical career, blowing off her Julliard audition much to the horror of her high school vocal coach. It was another man, however, who understood what Benatar wanted to do and collaborated with her--Neil "Spyder" Giraldo, whom Benatar immediately fell in love with while recording her first album and gives major credit for shaping her sound, not to mention being her husband of nearly thirty years. Pat Benatar is not a solo artist in their minds, but a band, and the stories that are told show that mindset.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By C. Peak on June 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is definitely not the `cookie cutter' celebrity bio ghost written story, but an emotional tale of a one woman's rise to unbelievable fame. The book definitely has a unique voice that is undoubtedly Benatar's,and it sways effortlessly from personal stories to growing up with her little brother to detailed accounts of her tumultuous relationship with the record companies. You find out interesting Benatar facts like she had a pet monkey named "Jo Jo", and was forced to hide her pregnancy by record companies, the isolation of being a superstar before the internet. The book is funny and beautifully written, and you learn that Pat Benatar is not just a rock star, or not just a rock star whose career seemed to suddenly stop at the height of its popularity. (You also learn why!) Her record company essentially imploded, she chose family and love over continuing to be a rock superstar, but she always remained true to herself. I was glued to each page as Benatar takes you on an incredible detailed musical journey with constant battles with an abusive record company, her honesty and ideology is straightforward and cuts to the bone. No Benatar does not have a crazy tale of booze and drugs, but one of seriously standing up for herself. The book also is a fascinating and beautiful love story between her and her husband/collaborator. Fans will definitely love every page of this book, but I think it is also just a REALLY good read for anyone. A fascinating and beautiful tale of a woman who not only changed music, but stayed true to herself, kept her amazing vocal talent in tact , and is an absolutely beautiful and inspiring human being.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By C. Johnson on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read many biographies, auto-biographies etc of various persons that were written and they seemed to follow a certain formula more often times than not. Being a fan of Pat Benatar I had been looking forward to this release and silently praying to myself, don't let it suck or be a formula. It absolutely does not suck, and is not formulated in any way, quite like the organic flow of the variety of music that Pat and Neil have produced over the years. If you have any inkling of what the world was like during the late 70's and the 80's, this is an insightful look into the inner workings of a piece of life that most of us would not be privy to. Make no mistake, this is not a book simply about the 80's. As we age, we grow and with this book we see Pat and Neil grow beyond the 80's, the grammy's, parent hood and the record industry as it used to be.

I found myself laughing out loud over many pages, nodding on some information I knew, and crying and reflecting at other times. I often thought of my own upbringing and the calamities of my youth which one again reinforces the fact we are all people, and its those life events that make us who we are today, and being a human is a huge commonality no matter your 'Rock Star' status. The way Pat writes this is truly captivating and even if you are not a fan I dare you to put it down, because you should be afraid of missing that next nugget of insight, humorous tidbit, cautionary tale or life experience which may help you to steer yourself a bit differently.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kasey G on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Pat Benatar chronicles her rise to rock stardom in this memoir. This first-edition hardcover version is just shy of 250 pages with 8 glossy pages of photos including Pat on various video shoots, outtakes from studio sessions, etc.

Pat starts off remembering her childhood and upbringing by hard-working, blue-collar, self-sacrificing parents; her early mentors who helped her hone her craft; and an unsuccessful teenage marriage.

Things get more interesting as she recalls her time in New York leading up to her discovery and signing with Chrysalis Records.

Around the time her career took off, she met her soul mate and musical collaborator, guitarist Neil "Spyder" Giraldo.

She's honest about her battles with the label and their betrayal. She states than during 1980-81, when she was at the height of her success commercially with "Crimes of Passion," she was actually at her unhappiest and most stressful period.

Pat has to fight chauvinism and sexism in the form of sleazy disc jockeys and record producers, constantly trying to preserve her artistic integrity and personal beliefs. She tells of her frustration in wanting to be known for her vocal talents instead of being marketed for her sex appeal.

She gives detailed accounts of the writing and recording process, as well as fun anecdotes about some of her video shoots such as "Love is a Battlefield".

Those looking for dirt will be disappointed. With Pat, there are no lurid tales of drug or alcohol abuse, or drunken debauchery while on tour.

Later in the book, Pat writes of the difficulties in juggling motherhood with touring and making music; of her decision to try new musical directions and adapt to the music biz in the digital age.
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