Pat Benatar Won’t Be Playing This One Song Anymore
via Benatar Giraldo / Youtube
Pat Benatar, the iconic pop-rock singer of the 1980s, left an indelible mark on the music scene with her catchy tunes and energetic performances. Hits like ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘We Belong’, and ‘Love is a Battlefield’ propelled her to stardom and cemented her status as one of the era’s leading artists. However, if there’s one song that epitomizes Benatar’s career, it’s ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’. Yet, in a surprising move, Benatar announced her decision to retire the song from her live performances due to a deeply personal and heartfelt reason.
The Birth of a Signature Song
Written by songwriter Eddie Schwartz, ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ became Pat Benatar’s breakthrough hit, reaching the top ten on the charts and earning a gold certification. Schwartz recalls the challenges he faced in convincing the record label to demo the song and the subsequent erasure of the master recording. However, a stroke of luck saved the song when the engineer made a single copy for Schwartz, who remained devoted to the track.
The song’s path to Benatar took an unexpected turn when a music executive, Marv Goodman, played it repeatedly in the office while Benatar happened to be in a neighboring room. Her enthusiasm upon hearing the song through the wall led to her eventual discovery of ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’.
Retiring a Beloved Anthem
Despite the song’s enduring popularity and status as one of her signature hits, Pat Benatar made the difficult decision to retire ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ in 2022. The reason behind this choice was the pervasive issue of gun violence in the United States, which deeply affected Benatar and made it impossible for her to continue performing the song.
Benatar expressed her stance, stating:
“We’re not doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ and fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it.’ I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it.”
She acknowledged the title’s tongue-in-cheek nature but drew a firm line, explaining that she couldn’t utter the words with a smile on her face. Taking a stand against gun violence, she emphasized that her refusal to sing the song during live shows was her small contribution to protest and raise awareness.
Pat Benatar’s decision to retire ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ reflects her deep empathy for the victims and families affected by gun violence. Despite the song’s significance in her discography and the fans’ disappointment, Benatar remains resolute in her choice, urging audiences to listen to the song at home instead. By taking a stand through her art, Benatar aligns her personal convictions with her music, demonstrating her commitment to advocating for change.
Listen to the memorable ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ below and appreciate its place in music history while respecting Benatar’s principled decision.