Their Best Shot

On February 14 and 15, rock legend Pat Benatar and her husband, guitarist/producer NeilSpyderGiraldo, will appear as themselves when they will show Karen (Nia Peeples) how to get over her stage fright (the musical couple should check out the special section in our 2/12 Digest to see just how everyone in Genoa City is connected). Benatar will also perform “Every Time I Fall Back” at the Indigo. We sat down with the Grammy-winning superstar and her long-time spouse (married since 1982!) for the following chat. Soap Opera Digest: How did this Y&R gig happen?
Neil Giraldo: We have a friend David Kurtz who is a composer for the show, and he’s been asking us, “You guys should go on the show, they’d love to have you.”
Pat Benatar: Here we are!
Giraldo: We’re happy to be here.

Digest: Do you watch the show?
Giraldo: Not that much.
Benatar: We don’t get to watch too much because we’re always working, but we’re happy to be on the No. 1-rated daytime show.

Digest: What inspired the song you’re singing on the show?
Benatar: It’s an old song, from [the album] Gravity’s Rainbow. We were having our second child and I was feeling all mellow and sentimental.
Giraldo: But we do it differently now. That’s why we decided it would be good for this show today because it’s much moodier in acoustic form.

Digest: You did a great job with your lines today. Is acting something you’d like to do more of in the future?
Benatar: No [laughs]. I have to tell you, it’s a lot harder than it looks.

Digest: How did you enjoy your experience today?
Benatar: It was great. Everyone was terrific. They’re so sweet, helpful and kind.
Giraldo: Really kind. It should always be this easy.

Digest: You produce, write and perform. Do you have a favorite part of the music process?
Benatar: For me, it’s live performance. Always. I love live performance. It’s spontaneous, you have that one-on-one thing with the audience right there.
Giraldo: I think writing a song is my favorite. Just starting with the element, the seed that becomes the song, that’s my favorite part.

Digest: Today’s show was about you helping Karen with her stage fright. Have either one of you experienced that?
Benatar: No. My mother said that they were trying to get the hook and get me off the stage. How about you?
Giraldo: No.
Benatar: Me neither. it’s the best place to be.

Digest: How did you get the nickname Spyder?
Giraldo: I wish I had a great exotic story.
Benatar: It’s not a really good story.
Giraldo: My wife just gave it to me.
Benatar: During our first tour.
Giraldo: Every really good nickname never has that great of a story. It’s a good nickname, but the wife gave it to me. I’ve been Spyder for a long time.

Digest: Neil, You have another soap connection to Rick Springfield (ex-Noah/Eli, GENERAL HOSPITAL). You helped produced “Jesse’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything for You.”
Giraldo: Yeah, me and Rick did some stuff. Rick’s a great guy. We see him all the time.
Benatar: Our kids went to school together. We know each other’s families.

Digest: Your daughter Haley was a Golden Globes girl in 2002.
Benatar: It was so exciting.
Giraldo: She was beautiful.
Benatar: She looked like she belonged on a cake.
Giraldo: What an angel. She did fantastic.
Benatar: I was like, “Please, don’t let her fall, lease don’t let her be nervous,” but she just had no problem.

Digest: Are either one of your daughters (there’s also Hana) interested in the entertainment business?
Giraldo: They both are, to different degrees.
Benatar: I keep trying to get a doctor or veterinarian, but no.
Giraldo: That’s what I want. Or an architect.

Digest: Do you have a favorite song that you both have written together?
Benatar: That’s kind of hard. I have a lot of favorites that we wrote. The one that’s fun, that still plays is one of the oldest that we did, “Heartbreaker” but there’s so many. “Hell is for Children,” “Promises In The Dark,” “Love is a Battlefield.”
Giraldo: You know what, it changes all the time.
Benatar: It depends where you are in your life at the time. Some things have more relevance if it changes all of the time.

Digest: Do you have any new albums or tours coming up?
Giraldo: We’ll tour in the summer for a bit and we’re in the process of doing a couple new projects; maybe an orchestrated project of some of the songs that we’ve done in the past and some new songs, as well.

Digest: How do you maintain a balance in your relationship in this crazy business?
Giraldo: She’s always right.
Benatar [laughing]: That’s a good answer.
Giraldo: It’s not that hard.
Benatar: I met Spyder when I was 26 years old and that was a long time ago and this is the only way we’ve ever done it. We have a really strong family unit.
Giraldo: We started this way and that’s how we end up. I don’t want to fight. I just let it go.
Benatar: He’s the nice one.