The Story of How Pat Benatar Made Me Love History
I was a child of the eighties. I think we can all agree it was a... "special" time.
My parents were definitely young in the eighties, though. They were in their mid twenties, and were very hip and with it. They were "cool" parents to a degree. Their friends made turquoise jewelry, rode around in dune buggies, had long hair, and drank beer at softball games.
So they, being young and hip, definitely enjoyed cable tv, which means they also loved MTV. In fact, my Mom used to keep a VHS tape (eugh, I feel so old) in the player, so she could record her favorite videos and watch them again later.
One of my favorites was this one, "Shadows of the Night" by Pat Benatar.
I had seen quite a few videos in my young life. So many times, you'd see ladies in videos either not wearing very many clothes, being chased by men, dancing and smiling, or something else silly. When I saw this, my little brain changed.
I guess I allowed myself to "forget" that it was all a daydream. Doesn't matter really, does it? She was a PILOT. She snuck around and SPIED. She planted a BOMB on the bad guys! She gave an awesome thumbs up! She saved the day! She had great hair and awesome friends! It was intrigue, it was danger, it was heroism! And a lady was doing all of it! I thought she must be some kind of superwoman to do that in a music video. I mean, I'd seen Wonder Woman and all, but that's not quite the same. This was more real. This was something my little brain could conceive of happening.
It really inspired me to want to be like her. I wanted to be a smart spy who rode around in airplanes and bested the bad guys. But really, all I did was try to lift the old fashioned air vent in our bathroom (that kind of looked like the one Pat planted the bomb in in the video) and "bomb" things there. My parents were not fond of that.
Looking back now, I wonder if the video may have had more impact than I realized. Throughout a lot of my teenage, college, and adult life, I've always bee interested in history, particularly during the period of World War Two. The History Channel is one of our most DVR'd channels, and we have a ton of documentaries about Amelia Earhart and Hitler on Netflix.
Badass Ladies in Planes? Check.
Did Pat Benatar Make Me Interested In History?
You know what, it probably did have some impact, at least. And watching it now, it's a little cheesy but it's still a good video. And I recognized not only Judge Reinhold, but Bill Paxton in the cast. How fun. Either way, somehow the chemistry mixed, and Pat Benatar made a video that made one kid grow up to be a history nerd.