FROM THE VAULTS: Eddie Money ‘bigger in Minnesota than in L.A.’For the Rock the Block season finale, rocker Eddie Money will put on a free show at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, in front of Fond-du-Luth Casino on Superior Street.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Budgeteer March 30, 2008.
Eddie Money is a funny, funny man.
“Some of my biggest fans are right out of Minnesota, man,” the singer told the Budgeteer. “Wisconsin, Minnesota, northern Michigan — no offense, but where there’s a lot of white people, I go over great.
“I’m sorry to say that — I don’t want to sound prejudiced — but I’m a lot bigger in Minnesota than I am in Los Angeles.”
Of late, this legendary party man — who moved to L.A. 20 years ago because his new wife didn’t want him “anywhere near the old wife” — has been seeing a lot of fresh faces at his shows.
“I read that the most popular song in the last five years in all fraternities is ‘Take Me Home Tonight,’” he said. “That’s the reason we get all these young people coming to the shows … but they could be coming to see my daughter too. [Laughs] Who knows. ”
The singer, who shot to fame in the late ’70s and early ’80s with hits like “Baby Hold On” and “Think I’m in Love,” is referring to Jesse Money, who is already following in her father’s footsteps.
“She’s into rock — Martha and the Vandellas, Etta James, Janis Joplin,” Money said. “I mean, my daughter, she should’ve been born when I was born, to tell you the truth.”
In addition to the duet with her father on his recent covers album (they tackled “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”), Jesse also appeared on MTV’s “Rock the Cradle.”
As you might deduce from its title, the show pitted the offspring of rock royalty (Joe Walsh’s daughter, Lucy, was another contestant) and other musicians against one another.
“She’s been [singing] for the longest time,” Money said. “She’s been banging them out with me, singing background.
“… Everybody seems to love her out there [when she joins me on the road]. She does two songs and she gets a standing ovation. I gotta do 18 songs just to get that, you know?”
Joking aside, Money is quite proud of his daughter — though there is not much he takes too seriously.
Before he made it as a rock ‘n’ roll star, Money (born Edward Joseph Mahoney) was in training to become a police officer in his native New York.
“I worked as an undercover typist then,” he joked about those training days.
While there are many rumors about why he decided to abort his career in the force, Money has a tongue-in-cheek explanation for it all: “My hair was getting really good in the back, so I quit the police department,” he said with a big laugh. “I couldn’t see myself in uniform for 20 years in short hair. If that was the case, I should’ve joined the Army or the Coast Guard — or even the Marine Corps.”
After moving out to the West Coast, Money broke onto the scene in 1977 with his self-titled debut. The album spawned three Top 100 singles: “Baby Hold On,” “Two Tickets to Paradise” and a cover of the Smokey Robinson-penned “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.”
“I think I’m most proud of ‘Two Tickets to Paradise.’ I mean, who in the world wouldn’t want two tickets to paradise? Me included,” he said when asked what one song he was most proud of in his entire career. “‘Two tickets to paradise, pack your bags we’ll leave tonight’ — I should put that on my tombstone.”
After saying this, Money offhandedly mentions that he’d like to be buried next to his wife.
“Of course I’ll be dead way before my wife — I married a younger woman,” he adds in his thick New York accent. “By the time they put me in the Hall of Fame, I’m probably going to be in an urn on my wife’s fireplace. [Laughs]”
Despite the popularity of his songs, sometimes Money would rather just play the songs he “cut his teeth on.” Enter the aforementioned covers album (aptly titled “Wanna Go Back”), which features a number of tracks he used to play back in Long Island with his first band, the Grapes of Wrath.
“I did (songs like) ‘Good Lovin’’ for years, but, once I became Eddie Money, I had to do Eddie Money songs. It’s really a lot of fun getting back and doing these covers,” Money said. “People say, ‘I hate being in a cover band’; I used to love being in a cover band. I’ve been Eddie Money for 30 years. I wish I was in a cover band … instead of playing ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ every night, I could go out and play the songs I wanna play.”
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