Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Lawrence Ferber
Pat Benatar recently performed her iconic ’80s hits for her lesbian legion during Dinah Shore Weekend in California. We can’t guarantee the same heavy homo turnout at her set of local shows: one in Dearborn and the other in Petoskey. But when you spot that mullet-sporting lesbian shouting “We are strong! No one can tell us we’re wrong!” during “Love is a Battlefield,” you’ll know – as if there were any question – that you’re in the right place.
Have gays played a large role in your career?
Yes. I spent most of my life before I became a (professional rock artist) in musical theater, and I sang in many of the cabaret clubs in New York.
One of your early gigs was co-starring in a 1970s off-Broadway rock opera, ‘The Zinger.’ Do any videos or photos exist of this spectacle?
No – I wish! If you ever find anything, you have to get it and tell me. It was great. I had an afro wig with glitter on! It was so fabulous. Someone has to have photographs or something!
What is the most obscure or bizarre project you’ve been asked to take part in over the years?
Ugh, god. There are many. So many little side things people thought were good ideas, and you’re just groaning. Benatards! A line of leotards called Benatards. Even at 26, I was smart (and said no)! Of course, my kids are screaming that I didn’t do it now. But I’m grateful it never happened.
You recorded a song, ‘Passion,’ for a 2007 Jell-O campaign. Did they hook you up afterwards?
Yes. I got umpteen cases of Passion Jell-O. I gave it to everyone I could. I ate some too, but how much can you eat?
I believe 1985’s ‘The Legend of Billie Jean’ is finally coming out on DVD. How do you now feel about that film and the song you did for it, ‘Invincible’?
God bless them. It’s one of those cult movies. People love it. I don’t get it, but my songs are in it and I’m happy. ‘Talladega Nights’ is one of my favorites, and I’m happy we’re in that, too; it’s great. That’s the really fun part – you’re hoping (your work) will have a legacy and legs, so it’s great when it happens.
Do you still have all your ’80s leotards and paraphernalia?
Of course! I have OCD; I keep everything. Are you crazy? My kids are so upset already because I have so many vaults of memorabilia. I know they’re just going to chuck it all when I’m gone.
What is the gayest Benatar song?
Oh god. Gotta be ‘Love is a Battlefield.’ They come in costume – I love it so much.
Is choreographed dance the best defense against pimps and sordid underworld types?
(Laughs) Possibly. Knowing that I have two left feet, I’m probably not the one to ask.
When the ‘Love is a Battlefield’ video came out, did you hope it might launch a new self-defense technique along those lines?
Definitely. It certainly worked for me.
I understand your husband has a new line of vitamins called On The Rock Nutrition. Is there a Benatar song one should listen to when they take the vitamins for an extra boost?
You’re asking me to be too clever too quickly. I have to think about it! I’m so much funnier if I get five minutes. (The vitamin line is) brilliant – so great. All organic. It works really well, and he’s very committed to it.
Have you thought about doing a big gay remix album of your hits?
Yeah. Someone has approached me once before, and if anyone else would like to do it, please, be my guest. The other day I heard a Shania Twain song all maxed-out with loops and everything and thought, ‘Well, that’s not a bad idea!’
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo
8 p.m. April 25
Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, Dearborn
8 p.m. April 26
Odawa Casino Resort, Petoskey
Additional reporting by Chris Azzopardi