Friday, April 9, 2010

Eddie Money is still giving fans their money's worth after three decades

Eddie Money scored No. 1 singles on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks with “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Think I’m In Love.” With 28 million records sold and more than three decades of touring time under his belt, the 61-year-old singer and saxophone player who started out as a New York City cop, is showing no sign of slowing down. And yes, women are still flashing him in the crowd. Eddie, who has a home in Palm Coast, Fla., performed March 5 at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. His daughter Jesse Money joined him on stage to provide backup vocals on “Take Me Home Tonight” and a soulful rendition of Sly and The Family Stone’s “I Want To Take You Higher.” He also gave props to the U.S. military by performing “One More Soldier Comin’ Home,” a tune penned by Detroit musician Greg Stryker, who has been hangin’ with Eddie on his latest tour.

I got to chat with Eddie on this tour bus before the show. What I enjoyed most about him was his candid delivery. While he’s written a play he hopes will one day reach Broadway, I think stand-up comedian could also be an option for him.

What inspired you to write a play?

“I went to see Jersey Boys and the camaraderie Frankie Vallie had with The Four Seasons reminded me of the same camaraderie I had with my first band.

I decided to write a play about me quitting the police department. My brother-in-law was in Vietnam at the time. My parents didn’t want me to move to California. So it’s basically a autobiographical play. The music is very Broadway and I’m very proud of that. It’s called Two Tickets To Paradise.

Did you write the music for it?

“I wrote the music, the script--I wrote it all. It took about two years. I picked up some actors and dancers. If you go to my web site you can see a little bit of the play on that.”

Since you have five kids now, do you have any parenting tips?

“What can you say about kids? They’re like AA--they’re cunning and baffling. They all live in California and they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do and try to get away with as much as they possibly can. They all think they’re gonna be famous because I’m famous and they don’t think I’m that good.They’re like ‘he made it and he’s not that good!’ No, I’m just teasing. My kids are amazing.”

Any secrets to longevity in the business?

“I had a lot of hits and a great management company. I had about 18 or 19 songs in the top 100 on the charts. I’ve played with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Miller, The Police. I’ve played a festival for 650,000 people. And I had “Gimme Some Water” and “Take Me Home Tonight.” I used to do shows singing Top 40 Monday through Thursday and then I’d do my original material at college clubs on the weekend, like “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets To Paradise.” Actually, you learn how to write doing other people’s material. So I became a writer and had a lot of hits and now, I’ve got a lot of kids.”

Being out on the road is there anything you get tired of...

“As long as my voice sounds good and I get a certain amount of sleep. And everybody’s out there knocking down their beverages, having a good time, but I can’t be smoking a million cigarettes and getting high because I’ve got to give a 100 percent out there. I’ve got to make sure they get their [Eddie] money’s worth.”

Have you ever sang any of your songs at karaoke?

“I sang karaoke in Idaho. Nobody knew I was Eddie Money and I got a couple drinks in me and did “Baby Hold Onto Me. It was a contest and I got beat out by this really heavyset woman who did ‘You Light Up My Life.’ That’s a true story.”

What’s the craziest thing a fan has done?

“I’ve had women chase me all over the country. It’s really been crazy. I remember one time I opened a wardrobe cabinet and there was a chick hiding in the cabinet. I’m asking her, ‘What are you doing?’ And she’s screaming, “Eddie! Eddie!” But you know without the ladies, I don’t think I’d be making any money. I don’t have a lot of guy fans out there screaming, ‘You rock!’ “Take Me Home Tonight” is still the biggest fraternity song in the world. So I got a bunch of drunken college kids loving that song now.”

Are there any artists you’d like to record with?

“I like Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels. I like Felix Cavaliere. But I record with my daughter and she’s really good. I have a lot of fun doing that.”

What do you do when you’re not touring?

“I try not to sit around and eat a thousand donuts. I play golf and now I’ve got to start thinking about going to the gym, jumping on the bike. The doctor says, ‘You’ve got this, you’ve got that.’ I say doc, do me a favor, just validate me and get me out of here.”

What do you think of music reality shows like “American Idol?”

“You know what? It’s a little too hokey for me. I’m more rock. It’s too straight. I’ve got a really straight sister and she loves the show. I’d sit in the basement with her and I don’t know what I’m listening to. It’s like Lawrence Welk goes to Hollywood and adds a vocalist.”

Eddie Money will perform at the Pompano Beach Seafood Festival April 17. Visit for details.