Pop-rock god Pat Benatar celebrated her 68th birthday on Sunday, and it’s just the excuse I needed to look through old photos and Google her videos. She has a huge number of hits, but as a kid the first one I heard were “Love Is A Battlefield.” Somehow, the video never imprinted on me. From the lyrics I would expect it to be about the twists and turns of young love, but apparently not:
The first half seems to be about her fighting with her parents, and them being sad she’s gone while she falls into a dangerous life as… a working girl, perhaps, or a club kid? And then, after writing letters to her impossibly wholesome-looking younger brother, suddenly she and the other women are dance-fighting a guy in a vest who MIGHT be a pimp, and they aggressively shimmy to freedom, and she gets on a bus and looks sad. So I guess it’s Romeo and Juliet meets The Graduate. I hope she didn’t have to eat her arguments and go back home.
“We Belong” is a bit simpler: Pat Benatar is stuck in a toilet-paper cave with her band, until she can free her mind and astrally project herself underneath a waterfall:
The shots of her band over her shoulder REALLY take me out of the mood. Especially her drummer. It’s great. There are so many other Benatar earworms — “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (as a kid, Dylan thought the line “breaking little hearts” was “breaking little pots”), “Shadows Of The Night” — but these were my first two, and you never do forget them. Happy birthday, Pat! Still a heartbreaker.