"It never felt like I was the side guy," he said. "It was sometimes portrayed that way, but it was never the way it was."
As his wife's producer, he had an enormous amount of freedom and responsibility.
"I always heard the records finished before anyone else did," he said. "I heard it in my head. The trick for me as a producer was to communicate what I heard to the other players and get them to play it."
From the very beginning, he and Benatar worked closely together, but he never thought it was weird when he found himself dating the boss.
Giraldo laughed and said, "It was inevitable. It couldn't be stopped. We were together all the time and love just kind of happened."
The couple married in 1982. They have four daughters together, which is why the guitarist ended up with so many tattoos.
"I got the first one when our first daughter was born," he said.
He added a new tattoo with each new baby.
"...And then the godchildren.
"It's a whole life story," he said. "The tattoos started with the oldest daughter, and now I get kind of itchy around November or December. It feels like the right time to get another one."
So far, he's managed to quell the urge for five years.
The hardest part of what he does now is the travel.
"That's the part that wears you down," he said, although he acknowledged that these days it helps that they have a good road crew and road manager. "It makes it very good."
The kids don't come on the road like they used to.
"We had a private jet for a while," Giraldo said. "We used to strap our first daughter in her seat, and she'd hold up her hands during takeoff."
He sounded like he missed that.
"Our youngest just turned 18. They don't really come out that often."
He added, "Maybe the grandkids will."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.