Pat Benatar Digs Lady Gaga, Has No Regrets for 'Battlefield' Dance
By Nicki Gostin Posted May 24th 2010 08:40AM
There are some big things missing from this book. Where is the sex and drugs?
There was tons of sex, [but] it just happened to be with my husband!
What about all the coke? It was the '80s, after all.
I was too busy running around doing good stuff and it wasn't my thing. Believe me, everyone else was doing it. I was watching them being idiots. I just got used to it. I would stand around as the designated non-drug user.
You don't have kind words for record executives. What's a lower life form -- algae or record execs?
[Laughs] I wouldn't go that far. They're just businessmen, and they don't take human beings into consideration. You are an artist and they are a corporate entity. When they try to cross over and control your personal life, that was when there's a problem.
You had a very sexy image.
I was really experimenting. It was my idea, but once the record execs realized they had something in their hands so valuable, they wouldn't let me change it. I totally understood, but at the same time, it wasn't working for me anymore. They had something recognizable and I decided I didn't want to do it anymore, so they were freaked out.
Who do you like today?
I love Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. I think Gaga's pushing the envelope every day and I really like that. Beyonce is doing a real service to girls everywhere by being so classy, and then there's also Sheryl Crow.
Do you regret the dancing in 'Love is a Battlefield?' [Laughs] No! I regret [that] I was a bad dancer, but I don't regret doing it. I look back at it now and laugh. It's hilarious, but when you're in so deep and you're part of the genre you sometimes go so far and that's the fun of it. You have to look at it like it's a time capsule.
Do you think it's harder being a singer now?
Musicians don't get a chance to develop careers very much. It's kind of disposable and over quickly. That's kind of a shame because the real interesting part is when you have time to develop. You can change and grow.
Is it harder to make a living now?
I think that's probably true. It's interesting because there was a moment where you could see where this was going and the record companies just wouldn't pay attention or they were so arrogant that they thought they could squash it. This could have been alleviated if someone had just stepped in. They closed the barn door after the horse had bolted and now they're spending their time playing catch-up.
You also experienced a lot of sexism.
Our mothers didn't get to participate in the women's movement, so we were the first people to try and put it into practice. It was challenging because it was uncharted territory. Everyday some other person was trying to keep you from achieving. It was difficult, but it was also exhilarating. It was boring to be objectified, but mostly it was pretty exciting. My 16-year-old doesn't get it. She doesn't understand that what she takes for granted didn't exist when I was 16. You were literally there every day with your fists in the air, saying, "No, no, no." She's just walking the path.
You have two kids.
They say, "Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems." It's the truth. It's so much easier deciding if they should have Cheerios for breakfast than driving in the car and being asked if it's okay to smoke pot. And I'm older. I'm 57. Everyday I look at my husband and say, "What were we thinking?"
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