WANT TO GO?
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo
WHERE: Clay Center
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: $40, $55, $75
INFO: 304-561-3570 or www.theclaycenter.orgCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There are a lot of great rock 'n' roll stories. How Neil Giraldo got the nickname Spyder isn't one of them.
The heavily tattooed rock guitarist explained, "Patricia and I were walking around someplace, and we saw a sign that said Spider's Dinner Club.
"It was black and yellow, and she asked me, 'Don't you like black and yellow?'"
Giraldo told her, "Um, yeah."
So, she pointed at it and said, "I'm going to call you Spyder."
Somehow, the name stuck, and the 56-year-old has been using it interchangeably ever since. What didn't really stick was the name Patricia. Only a few people use that one. Most everybody else knows her as Pat Benatar.
The couple, married 30 years now, performs Sunday night at the Clay Center.
Benatar -- best known for a slew of arena rock hits like "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," "Love is a Battlefield" and "Heartbreaker" -- and Giraldo met in the late 1970s. At the time, he was finishing up work on a Rick Derringer record when he got a call from an executive at Chrysalis Records.
"He said they'd signed a girl who wanted to put together a band and record, but she'd tried working with some people and nothing seemed to work."
The record company asked him to see if he could do anything.
Giraldo said they hit it off immediately.
"She wanted a partner, and it was perfect: we were each other's muse. I made her work harder, she made me work harder, and we were a perfect combo -- kind of that Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, Robert Plant/Jimmy Page dynamic."
As a partnership, Giraldo did a lot more than play guitar. He arranged music for Benatar, helped choose material for her and her band, wrote songs and produced 11 of Benatar's 12 albums.