Heart Of Glass Meets Heartbreaker

Blondie and Pat Benatar are joining forces for their first tour together … ever!

We were kind of skeptical when the announcement arrived, attached to the customary brick-thrown-through-the-window that accompanies most press releases sent to our Fresno Coast HQ. There it was in toner-and-white, announcing the first time Blondie and Benatar had ever toured together.

Photo: Owen Sweeney III / www.baltimoremusic.org
Rams Head Live!, Baltimore, Md.

We were skeptical at first.   Blondie and Benatar must have toured together sometime during the last three decades. It seems so natural a co-headline that somebody, somewhere must have thought of this before. Right?

Then we remembered what rock radio was like in the late ‘70s. Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and a new band from Boston, The Cars, were getting heavy airplay and songs by the ladies were often tunes sung by Linda Ronstadt or Joni Mitchell. In fact, by 1979 the most-played songs on mainstream rock radio featuring women were often Fleetwood Mac numbers sung by either Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie.

In other words, rock radio 30 years ago was mostly a men’s club with occasional appearances by the ladies.  Heck, some radio programmers at that time were still going with the old programming philosophy that stations playing two female vocals back-to-back would cause listeners to change the dial.

Then came Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” With Deborah Harry singing, the song trampled barriers and received massive airplay on rock radio stations despite its disco beat. Later that same year Pat Benatar made listeners’ ears stand up and take notice when her first hit on the rock charts – “Heartbreaker” – blasted out of speakers everywhere.

Photo: Paul Parks
Pat Benatar and hubby/co-songwriter Neil Giraldo play to the faithful at Viejas Concerts In The Park in San Diego.

The “Call Me Invincible” tour starts in Saratoga, Calif., on July 21 at the Mountain Winery. Other California dates include Livermore July 22 at The Concerts at Wente Vineyards; Lemoore July 25 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino; and Costa Mesa July 26 at Pacific Amphitheatre.

Other stops include Phoenix (July 28); Albuquerque, N.M. (July 29); Memphis (August 1); Atlanta (August 2); Boston (August 8); Cincinnati (August 15) and Houston (August 23).

The tour will also showcase original artwork created by New Orleans artist Tim Neil, whose unique design blending both singers’ faces will be the recognizable image of the tour. Neil’s work will be available for purchase on select merch items.

“Pat Benatar is not only a friend, but a fearless female rocker who has entertained me and her wealth of fans for so many years,” Harry said. “This will be a reunion for us both and being able to bring our two shows to fans across the country is very exciting!”

“Deborah and I have been friends forever,” Benatar said. “I’m thrilled that we’re finally getting an opportunity to tour together, it should be a blast.”

For Blondie’s Web site and MySpace page, please click here and here.

For the Pat Benatar Fan Club Web site and Benatar’s MySpace page, please click here and here.