Neil Giraldo

Publié le 22 Juin 2019

Neil Giraldo (born December 29, 1955) is an American musician, record producer, arranger, and songwriter. He has performed, written and produced for many artists including: Rick Derringer, Pat Benatar, John Waite, Rick Springfield, Kenny Loggins, Steve Forbert, The Del-Lords, Scott Kempner, and Beth Hart. Giraldo's diverse work has sold over 45 million records and his contributions have produced five Grammy Awards and an additional four Grammy nominations. 

Neil Giraldo
Early life

Neil Giraldo was born Neil Thomas Giraldo on December 29, 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio to Sicilian parents, Anthony and Angela Giraldo. At the age of six, Giraldo received his first guitar as a gift from his parents. Giraldo notes his first live performances as playing Italian songs after church for family and friends, alongside his sister Priscilla, who played the accordion. He would later start playing in local bands at the age of fourteen, venturing into nightclubs with his uncle, who would sing while Giraldo played the guitar.

He learned to play the piano at age 12, and afterwards the drums. Throughout his childhood, Giraldo credits being influenced by revolutionary bands of the 1960s and 1970s such as The Yardbirds, The Kinks, and The Who. Blue's artists such as bandleader Count Basie, jazz pianist Jay McShann, and blues shouter Big Joe Turner provided inspiration and deepened Giraldo's respect and admiration for the genre.

Professional career

Giraldo began his professional music career in 1978 as a member of the Rick Derringer band after competing alongside 200 fellow guitarists for the position. Giraldo provided his guitar, as well as piano skills for Derringer's 1979 recording of Guitars and Women. In the spring of 1979, Mike Chapman introduced Giraldo to a singer named Pat Benatar who had recently signed a recording contract with Chrysalis Records. Chapman felt Giraldo's affinity for arranging and musical direction would facilitate the creation of a sound both identifiable and powerful. Over the years Giraldo has produced some of Benatar's biggest hits including "Love is a Battlefield" and "We Belong". Giraldo has performed on every Benatar album and produced all but two.

Benatar's debut album In the Heat of the Night was released in August 1979 and reached No. 12 in the US in early 1980. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in December 1980.[9] The album featured the Giraldo penned hit "We Live for Love". The release of Crimes of Passion, in August 1980, featured the single "Hit Me with Your Best Shot," which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold over a million copies in the United States, achieving a gold certification by the RIAA. Also on the album was the controversial song "Hell Is for Children," co-written by Giraldo, which was inspired by a New York Times article about child abuse in America The album peaked for five consecutive weeks at No. 2 in the US and was featured in the 1981 adult animated musical drama film American Pop.

Precious Time marked the first of many Benatar albums produced by Giraldo, and was released in July 1981, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard US Top 200 LP chart, followed in late 1982 by Get Nervous, which reached No. 4 in the US[8] and earned RIAA and CRIA platinum certifications. Live from Earth, recorded during the band's Get Nervous world tour, reached No. 13 and received RIAA and CRIA platinum certification. On August 1, 1981, the MTV network launched and debuted the music video "You Better Run," distinguishing Giraldo as the first guitarist to appear on MTV. The 1981 album Working Class Dog by Rick Springfield featured Giraldo as the guitarist, bassist, and producer for "I’ve Done Everything for You" and the number one hit "Jessie's Girl”. Giraldo was also the producer for the John Waite album Ignition, released on May 21, 1982. The album featured the single "Change", which also appeared on the soundtrack for the 1985 film, Vision Quest.

Tropico was released in August 1984, featuring a new sound, less hard rock. It, too, earned RIAA and CRIA platinum certification. A year later, Seven the Hard Way, was released, earning an RIAA gold certification. Giraldo and Benatar's success continued with Wide Awake in Dreamland in the summer of 1988, again earning RIAA gold certification. In late April 1991, True Love was released, followed by Gravity's Rainbow in 1993, which was the last album recorded with Chrysalis Records. Innamorata was released in June 1997 and was recorded under the CMC International record label. The album featured the single "Strawberry Wine". Giraldo began film scoring in 2001 with his debut work for the film Nailed, starring Harvey Keitel. The Benatar album Go was released in August 2003 under the Bel Chiasso label. The album included the 9/11 charity single, "Christmas in America". In 2004 Giraldo was the film composer for the film Smile, which featured Sean Astin, Beau Bridges, and Linda Hamilton. 

Other Ventures

In 2017, Giraldo founded and is the chairman of Steel Bending Spirits LLC. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the spirits company released its inaugural offering, Three Chord Bourbon in July 2018. 

Personal life

Neil Giraldo married singer Pat Benatar in 1982. They have two daughters, Haley Giraldo and Hana Giraldo.

Charitable Works

Giraldo is and has been a long time advocate for the support of children and their well-being. Since 1996 Giraldo and Benatar have been performing at fundraising events and lending assistance to the non-profit organization, The Children's Lifesaving Foundation. The Children's Lifesaving Organization supports the lives of homeless and high-risk youth in Los Angeles by providing social, academic and domestic support. In 2016 Giraldo and Benatar were awarded the foundation's Angel of the Year Award for their continued service. On April 12, 2016 Giraldo and Benatar were honored with the Artistic Award of Courage, celebrating both artists for their advocacy toward the ending of child abuse. 

The award was presented in conjunction with the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Board of Advisors, via The Stewart and Lydia Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. In 2016 Giraldo became involved with the Oakland School for the Arts, a public charter school located in Oakland California. In April 2016, the school unveiled the Neil Giraldo Recording Studio as a welcome gift to the music department.

Studio albums
  • Guitars and Women (piano, guitar) – (Rick Derringer) : Release date: 1979 Label: Blue Sky : Format: LP, cassette, audio cd
  • In the Heat of the Night (Songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals)     : Release date: August 27, 1979 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP, 8-track, cassette, cd
  • Crimes of Passion (Songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals) : Release date: August 6, 1980 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP record, 8-track, cassette, cd
  • Precious Time (Producer, songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals) : Release date: July 6, 1981 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP, 8-track, cassette, cd
  • Ignition (Producer) – John Waite : Release date: June 29, 1982 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP, vinyl
  • Get Nervous (Producer, songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica) : Release date: October 29, 1982 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • Live from Earth (Producer, songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards) : Release date: September 22, 1983 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • Tropico (Producer, songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards) : Release date: November 1, 1984 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • Seven the Hard Way (Producer, Guitar, songwriter, Keyboards)     : Release date: October 30, 1985 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • Johnny Comes Marching Home (Producer and Mixer) – The Del-Lord : Release date: 1986 : Label: EMI America : Format: LP
  • Based on a True Story (Producer and Mixer) – The Del-Lords : Release date: 1988 : Label: Enigma : Format: LP
  • Wide Awake in Dreamland (Songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards, Producer) : Release date: June 22, 1988 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • True Love (Guitar, songwriter, Producer) : Release date: April 9, 1991 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • Gravity's Rainbow (Songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards, Producer) : Release date: May 24, 1993 : Label: Chrysalis : Format: LP
  • Innamorata (Songwriter, producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals) : Release date: June 3, 1997 : Label: CMC International : Format: LP
  • Go (Producer, Guitar, songwriter, Vocal, Keyboards) : Release date: August 12, 2003 : Label: Bel Chiasso Records : Format: CD

Rédigé par Rolling Stones Stories

Publié dans #Musicien, #Producteur

Pour être informé des derniers articles, inscrivez vous :
Commenter cet article