Baby, Hold On To Eddie Money! INTERVIEW

Today’s Guest: Eddie Money, rock singer, “Baby Hold On To Me,” Two Tickets to Paradise, “Gimme Some Water,” “Shakin'”

 

(NOTE–This Eddie Money interview (and concert review) was originally published on June 4, 1984.)

Eddie Money, Mr. Media Interviews

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When it comes to rocker Eddie Money, St. Petersburg fans “ain’t got no control.”

On less than a week’s notice Money sold out the 2,234 tickets available for his Friday night concert at the Bayfront Theatre and he rewarded the loyal with a rollicking, fast-paced program crammed full of hits and rock radio standards.

“My popularity in Florida has always been very good,” Money acknowledged in a telephone interview last week. “They seem to like us down South. .38 Special calls me a Yankee dog but we sell tickets. ‘Two Tickets to Paradise,’ ‘Shakin’,’ ‘Gimme Some Water’ – that old Southern touch to my material really helps out down here.”

IN ADDITION to those songs, Money performed his first big hit, “Baby Hold On,” and much of the material from his last two albums, Where’s the Party? and No Control. In addition to singing, Money often played saxophone and harmonica.

The secret to his immense popularity is no secret at all. Money works very hard. He sings all the songs you came to see, knows when you want to jump out of your seat to clap to the beat and gives the impression he’d like to get to know each and every member of the audience individually, if it were only possible.

EDDIE MONEY interview excerpt: “I knew John Belushi very well. The Chateau Montmartre (where Belushi died) is my old stomping grounds – I was there for a whole year. I can’t stay at the Chateau anymore because it’s haunted. I was hanging out with him when all that was going down … It affected me but I was in my own world. I can’t even remember when I OD’d. It was a year before that. I wrote ‘Passing by the Graveyard’ (on the ‘No Control’ album) about John. It’s Johnny-boy. He was good people.”

(Nearly three dozen female fans found their way backstage after the show Friday night and tried to give a startled Money just that chance before security guards restored order.)

At a time when bands dress up their shows with laser lights, overhead video screens and war paint in their hair, Money has stuck to the basics, as if he and his five-piece band were still just jamming in somebody’s garage. And for Money, the image works just as it does for peers like John Cougar and Huey Lewis.

“ALL THE communication I have is with my audience. A lot of lead singers look over people’s heads, they don’t really look at their audience. I’m very nosey. I want to see who’s out there. I want to see who came to my show. I have a lot of audience participation. It’s amazing how many people have faith in me. I love people that love what I love,” he said.

Although his voice is husky and raspy, it is oddly melodic and Money said he has no desire to produce the icky sweet tones of someone like Journey’s Steve Perry. “Growin’ up in New York – like growin’ up in Florida — there’s a lot of R & B. I’ve got a lot of Otis Redding in my voice, James Brown, Mitch Ryder. I use my voice as a vehicle for my soul. I write all my tunes from my heart.”

Money confirmed an old story about how his “strict” father, a New York City police officer, used to break records over his son’s head to shake his teen-age dreams of becoming {l rocker. “I guess he meant well but he just didn’t think rock ‘n’ roll was for his son. I think he wanted me to be a cop or a dentist or something.”

Eddie tried it his father’s way but only made it as far as the police academy before being thrown out for writing a letter to a friend encouraging the smoking of marijuana.

The turning point for his parents to accept his musical career was when they saw him play a show at a New York club called The Bottom Line. “My father’s really into the work ethic,” he explained “If you sweat, you work, and I sweat like a fever. My father finally realized how hard I work. He said okay, you’re no longer a bum. Now you gotta get married and go back to church… I’m still trying to get back to church.”

After releasing his third album, Playing for Keeps, Money had a nearly fatal drug overdose.

“You don’t have to be rich and famous to get loaded and drive your car off a bridge (trying to) kill yourself. I did some pentathol, thought I was snortin’ blow (cocaine) — which I don’t advocate at all any more — and I OD’d. I went out for 19 hours, killed the sciatic nerve in my leg. (The) doctor told me I was never going to walk again. I had to take therapy for a year, which is why I wrote “No Control” and “The Big Crash,” about the dangers of overindulging,” the singer said.

EDDIE MONEY interview excerpt: “My father’s really into the work ethic. If you sweat, you work, and I sweat like a fever. My father finally realized how hard I work. He said okay, you’re no longer a bum. Now you gotta get married and go back to church… I’m still trying to get back to church.”

THE SINGER, whose overdose came a year before John Belushi’s fatal injection, was a fast lane buddy of the late actor.

“I knew John very well. The Chateau Montmartre (where Belushi died) is my old stomping grounds – I was there for a whole year. I can’t stay at the Chateau anymore because it’s haunted. I was hanging out with him when all that was going down … It affected me but I was in my own world. I can’t even remember when I OD’d. It was a year before that. I wrote ‘Passing by the Graveyard’ (on the No Control album) about John. It’s Johnny-boy. He was good people.”

Money claims to have given up drugs entirely and even quit drinking a year ago. “I’ve cleaned my act up,” he insisted. “When I was in high school, I didn’t get loaded. I think if you’re really high when you’re onstage you’re ripping your audience off, cheating them of everything you have inside. I’ve been high enough. I’m higher than any-body in Florida, believe me.”

After kicking the drugs and getting back on course with a gold album (No Control} in 1982, Money thought everything was going well. Approaching the end of his contractual obligation to CBS Records, he produced a fine follow-up effort, Where’s the Party?, last year, only to find what he termed a lack of interest on the part of CBS.

“I’m very disappointed in my label right now,” Money said. “They’re turning me into a tax write-off for Michael Jackson’s hair transplants. I’m gonna get ‘em. I think (it) is my best record.”

Money is currently without a contract but expects to sign with a new company.

Opening the show for Money was a reggae-rock band from Fort Lauderdale named Special Forces. They demonstrated a special flair for blending island and continental rhythms in original songs like “Shaky Ground,” “Possession’s 9/10ths of Love” and “Battle of the Sexes.” Special Forces put on a good show and had a polished, timely and welcome sound.

Eddie Money WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubeWikipedia • IMDB


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About Mr. Media® Interviews-Bob Andelman

Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 16 books, including The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel, Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell, Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK, Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman's Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).