Editor's note: We interviewed Neil Giraldo, husband and bandmate of Pat Benatar, for this story previewing the group's scheduled performance Sunday with Journey and Loverboy at Memorial Coliseum.
The coliseum just announced the concert has been postponed, but it will be rescheduled. More information is at right.
Here is the interview with Neil Giraldo:
Fans of late 1970s and 1980s music will get a special blend of rock 'n' roll when the Journey 2012 tour takes center stage Sunday at Memorial Coliseum. Rock groups Journey and Loverboy perform, as well as Pat Benatar and her lead guitarist/husband/producer Neil Giraldo.
Giraldo recently took a break between performances to speak via phone from his tour bus in Tulsa, Okla. He said each of the three acts will perform 50-minute sets.
“We'll perform the hits, as many as we can get in. By the time we're done, we will make you tired,” Giraldo said. “We have surprises. I put bits of songs inside other songs,” he said of Benatar's set.
Their hits include “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Fire and Ice,” “Love Is a Battlefield” and “We Belong.”
Giraldo, who has collaborated with Benatar since her first album, “In the Heat of the Night” (1979), put their professional and personal relationship in perspective.
“When you start something correctly, you can finish correctly, and by that, I mean, when we met, both of us respected one another. Musically, we were on equal terms and had an ultimate relationship together,” he said. “We've been a partnership since day one.”
They became romantically involved and married in 1982, and have two daughters. According to Giraldo, the oldest used to perform musically, but now is interested in jewelry and design. The youngest is a theater actress.
“I tried to discourage it (the music business) passively. I don't want them to experience pain,” he said. “I'd encourage them if they wanted to, though.”
Benatar and Giraldo are all too familiar with experiencing pain in the music business.
“We had some tormented years. The record company (Chrysalis/EMI) wanted a record every year, which is downright impossible to do. We did that for 10 years, plus I was working on other records. It was a nonstop roller-coaster event,” he said. “EMI has a lot of the catalog. I do speak to people there when we need songs. I don't want to burn the past.”
It was during this time Giraldo also was producing the music of The Del-Lords, Kenny Loggins, Rick Springfield, The Cruzados and Scott Kempner.
Eventually, Benatar and Giraldo formed their own label, which he said is doing well 10 years later.
He also attributed their success and longevity in the music business to his foresight.
“I tried to make the records sound different than the last thing we did,” he said. “I always looked forward — to the future. I knew if I made music in the present it would be no good later.”
Benatar and Giraldo's dynamic also contributes.
“Guys stare at me and want to play the guitar like I do. Girls stare at Patricia and want to sing like she does. They say, 'I want to be like him and her.' We represent a lot of what people want to have,” he said.
Giraldo said his favorite album is “True Love,” a 1991 jump blues record. “In 18 days, I captured the feel of the band. It was a pleasure to make. You hear and feel the positive things in the band.”
Giraldo said he and Benatar are working on a Christmas, holiday-type album with guest artists, including Kempner, which will be released next year.
Giraldo said he also is pleased to play with Journey and Loverboy.
“Journey has that San Francisco sound. We have the East Coast edgy sound. Loverboy is from Canada, and you get that sound. Makes for a good blend of music,” he said.
Journey's hits include “Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin',” “Any Way You Want It,” “Don't Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms.”
Loverboy's hits include “Working for the Weekend,” “Lovin' Every Minute of It,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “Turn Me Loose” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts.”
The tour, which includes about 70 dates, will end Nov. 20.
Maybe then he can work on his backstroke. “I'm going to try to become a better golfer. I want to look good on the course anyway.”