It takes a strong conviction to go out on the road and omit your signature hit in protest of mass shootings — but that's exactly what soon-to-be-inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Pat Benatar is doing. She and husband / guitarist Neil Giraldo have scrapped their 1980 Top 10 classic “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in solidarity with the families who are mourning the loss of loved ones from the spate of mass shootings in the U.S.
Benatar told USA Today, “We’re not doing 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' and fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it. I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. (The title) is tongue in cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t. I’m not going to go on stage and soap box — I go to my legislators — but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”
Benatar and Giraldo have been performing the Beatles' “Helter Skelter,” which she originally covered on her 1981 Precious Time album, as well as most of her other classics, explaining, “We’re doing a lot of songs we don’t always play like 'In The Heat Of The Night' and 'I Need A Lover.' We have what we call the 'holy 14,' songs that if we don’t play them, you’ll give us (a hard time).”
Pat Benatar told us that she keeps her connection to both her fans and her music by staying on the road: “We play live all the time just to stay involved. Because, y'know, for people of our age group and genre and things like that, making records — I mean, it's kind of ridiculous. I mean, it's just. . . y'know, you're not gonna get played on the radio. It's not gonna happen, but there's so many other ways to get music out there now, it's good. But, it's (playing for) people from our era is really the way to still stay in contact with the fans and everything, so that's why we do it all the time.”