As the surge of hormones ran through my teenage loins, Pat Benetar appeared on the scene in a a French sailor-style striped shirt and leather pants. I knew that god put her on the scene to turn me on, but I found her to be a complete turnoff. Her music sure didn’t help.
One of her hits from her unavoidable debut album was a song called “You Better Run.” The main guitar hook was easy enough that even I could play it, as I fumbled with my newly acquired electric guitar. It was as if god put that song on the FM airwaves to turn me on, but I found her singing and the twists and turns the song would take as it hit the chorus to be a complete turnoff. Her objectively cute, petite body in that outfit didn’t help.
No biggie. There was plenty of FM rock music I couldn’t stand in the late ’70s. I learned to ignore the music of Pat Benetar and not stress out over the fact that I didn’t find her appealing, even though I knew she was constructed to appeal to my burgeoning tastes in women.
Two years later, when I finally started to figure out how to be remotely cool, I bought a used copy of the classic Rascals’ greatest hits album and realized that “You Better Run” was actually one of their songs. I had no idea. The Rascals were cool, man. Their version must have been the definitive one that Benetar and her guitar-wielding mate Neil Giraldo butchered.