Last week we had the opportunity to interview Eddie Money at his beautiful home north of Los Angeles. Because of his hospitality and kindness it created a relaxed atmosphere for our “sit down”. We even got to meet his dog “Bingo” who chimed in with a good bark when we touched on a sensitive subject. All “Ed-Heads” know that he is a walking encyclopedia of musical knowledge. His musical acumen is so vast that he’s been appointed the “Godfather of Rock n’ Roll”. Eddie said, “I didn’t think I was that old but since James Brown is dead why can’t I be donned the Godfather of Rock?”
Most of his musical knowledge was drawn because he was raised in a family where music was respected and through the years he continues to maintain a strong reverence towards the art. Eddie feels very strong that his audiences our paramount and he will at all-times deliver the best show that he is capable of delivering. He would never go the route of a Jim Morrison and get so drunk that he’d fall down on stage. Money mentioned when asked about young bands…. don’t fall into the traps of creating chaos on stage. Money clearly stated, “Everything you say and do is probably digitally recorded so it behooves you not to make a fool of yourself; because down the road it will haunt you”. Some very good advice from a veteran rock star! Eddie Money’s monster hit was “Take Me Home Tonight” which featured the vocal backup of Ronnie Spector. Originally, they were thinking of using Martha Davis of the Motels to sing that part but Eddie said the song was written about Spector and the song “Be My Baby” inspired the song so he personally called her up and asked her to appear on the track and in the video. Eddie recalls, “That during my phone call with her she was doing the dishes and graciously accepted his request.” To this day the video is a cinematic Picasso in every detail! It was as if Martin Scorsese or Orson Wells had directed it; it was a film noir. This track peaked at #4 on Billboards Pop chart.
Eddie Money moves to Northern California from Brooklyn to live out his hippie dreams. Instead, because his brother was serving in Viet Nam, he had become a major political activist. He began to be part of the alternative political epicenter of the world. He spoke of knowing Angela Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Participating in many anti-war protests and a strong proponent of People’s Park in Berkeley. Money fulfilled his political mantra by joining the S.D.S.. This part of our interview is what fascinated me the most! My understanding and respect of Eddie Money had jumped to a gargantuan level. Money’s commitment to “the movement” is what gave him the inspiration which was later used in his brilliant songwriting. It takes important events in one’s life to write a great song. If a picture tells a thousand words than a song tells two million.
Artist like The Beach Boys, Mamas and Poppas, The Byrds, The Eagles Tom Petty and Eddie Money (I’m sure I missed many others) though musically different from each other shared in two facts: 1. With the exception of the Beach Boys they were all transplants of L.A.. 2. All of these iconic artists were the conduits of dreams people had about California. “Take Me Home Tonight”, “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Baby Hold On” were the epiphany of the dream of moving to California. His songs were festooned with archetypes of the mindset of the West Coast. He created a soundtrack for one’s fulfillment of romance. For example, “Baby Hold On” painted a picture for people to reclaim the romance that had been lost or never had. It can only be compared to classic movies that created the emotions.
But let’s not forget Eddie’s amazing ability to perform and connect with his audience. Throughout our interview he continually came back to this issue. Eddie claimed that his manager at the time, Bill Graham said, “People paid to see you to therefore you have to deliver the best show you can.”
I can’t let this piece go complete without mentioning Eddie’s current charity program which is called “The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund” which supports the families effected by the war in the mid-east. On his website , Eddie Money.com he has a song to download, “One More Soldier Coming Home” where all the profits will go to this very worthy and important charity. His support of our troops is something I am in complete support of!
During my chat with Eddie Money I noticed that he has an uncanny sense of humor. He had performed in a Geico Insurance commercial and appeared in an episode of the hit T.V. show with Kevin James, “King of Queens.” Which both were absolute hoots.