Monday afternoon, as I was walking by a local marquee, I saw that Pat Benatar was playing that evening. I thought, wow! I love Pat Benatar! I started mentally going through songs, and then it came to me — “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” — and that voice! Yes, that iconic Pat Benatar voice.
Later, I was on my second round of work for the day. But, at about ten of eight, I checked online for Pat Benatar tickets and yup, there it was… a single ticket waiting for me. I bought it and took off to the local venue.
When I walked in, the band was just getting started, so I perused the venue, checking the scene. But something just didn’t look right. I wasn’t sure what it was, so I took some time to process. What struck me was that I was expecting a lot of older rockers, and what I was seeing was a much younger demographic —30s and 40s, and mostly women. Whooaaa, I was in a sea of beautiful women at a rock and roll concert. Was I dreaming? Having a past life experience? This is fun!
Nearby, there was a group of four girls standing by the bar. I told them I would buy them a drink if they would answer one question for me. So, I bought them each a drink, and then asked them, “Why are you here at a Pat Benatar Concert?” They huddled, compared notes, and then in unison blurted out “Because she is “Bad Ass!” I said, “Bad Ass, wow!”
I smiled, thanked them for the insight, and moved towards the front of the stage as Pat Benatar and her husband, guitar player Neil Giraldo, came on stage and started playing. Her voice was incredible. I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t seemed to age at all. I was really happy I chose seeing this concert versus going through emails for the evening.
The evening was great. I was just rocking along, song after song. Then she sang “Invincible”, and all of those women that I had talked to earlier where singing this out loud. I listened to the lyrics:
“We can’t afford to be innocent
Stand up and face the enemy
It’s a do or die situation, we will be invincible.”
And I said to myself, wow, Pat Benatar is bad ass! She is a rebel. Then thought about the songs I was going to hear like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “Heartbreaker”, “All Fired Up” —and it felt really good. Here is a women who is a beacon, a true north to all of these women, this is just fantastic.
But that is not the real story here. After everyone sang “Invincible”, Pat Benatar went over and kissed her husband Neil on the cheek and said, “This is our 35th anniversary tour.” Everyone cheered, and I thought, wow, 35 years! And then it came to me, why it felt so right and felt so good, in this standing-room-only concert. I couldn’t get the phrase “bad ass” out of my head.
Then I remembered that “Invincible” was the theme song for “The Legend of Billy Jean”, which was a mid-80s movie about a women who stood up to harassment. Then it hit me again, Pat Benatar is a “bad ass.”
I continued to enjoy the music, and when it couldn’t have gotten any better… she sang “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and the place went crazy! I was rocking along with a big smile, and again, so happy to be in this happy place.
It finally became so clear to me, why I was there. It was because this women and her husband have been doing what they love for 35 years. Yes, imagine if you and all your friends did what you loved for the next 35 years. What if you loved what you did so much you couldn’t wait to get on stage or into your next meeting? What if you couldn’t wait to do your next business plan or your next budget?
Yes, that was the true message here. When you do what you love, you don’t age. And when you do what you love, you never work a day. What if today, and for the rest of your life, you did nothing but what you love… without compromise.
Pat Benatar is a women who is doing what she loves and doing it her way. A women who busted through the men’s club of rock and roll, that was the real message. She is someone who stood up to an entire industry, singing songs with meaning, and who, in this very moment, is an inspiration to me and to everyone else in that venue.
I said to myself that night, and I ask you now… are you only going to do what you love, starting today, and for the next 35 years? If you only did what you love, starting today, how would you plan your day out? What would you do? I will never forget what I learned, and the reminder from Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo to do what you love.
Then I started to think about the women that I had talked to at the beginning of the concert, and I wondered how many of them are doing what they love? I had much hope that they are, and that they will continue, because they where absolutely right. Pat Benatar is a “bad ass,” doing what she loves.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/terwilliger911/3703628552/#