Eddie Money Interview
His career dates back to the mid 70s when he was discovered by Rock promoter
Bill Graham. Since then, he's recorded over 12 albums and sold over 12 million
Maybe you've heard some of his songs; songs like "Two Tickets To Paradise", "Baby
Hold On", "Take Me Home Tonight", "Shakin" and "Think
I'm In Love".
He's had over ten Top 40 hit singles and managed to become a top in-concert
performer as well. If you're saying, that sounds like Eddie Money...well,
you'd be right on the money, because it is him!
Eddie Money talked to us about his life.
Q - Eddie, it's 10 AM. What are you doing up so early? You are a Rock 'n'
Roller aren't you?
A - I'll tell you one thing, I love great Rock 'n' Roll, but I'm too old
to stay up all night, do a bunch of drugs and shit. I hate hangovers, you
know. So, I thought the best way to go for me and for the sake of the crowd,
for everybody getting a hundred per cent of Eddie Money was to be a drug
free, alcohol free show. That's the way to go.
Q - I think it's a great idea! I question people who say they're doing
all those drugs while they're writing, rehearsing, recording, touring and
granting interviews. It doesn't add up. It would seem physically impossible
A - Well you know what? I don't really just stick my nose out and say I
do this and that. I just take everything one day at a time. I know one thing,
if I do a show today, I'm not going to be out of my fucking mind doing it.
I can't tell you about tomorrow. (laughs) No, it's great. Business has really
been fantastic. People still want to hear "Two Tickets To Paradise" and "Want
To Go Back" and "Take Me Home Tonight" and "Think I'm
In Love". I think a lot of the fans back in the early 70s really embrace
their artists so to speak, as compared to the 90s. People just don't hang
out anymore. People still listen to Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart and
Eddie Money. I don't know if the fans are going to hang on their stars the
way we did. Maybe Sugar Ray might be around, but who knows about these other
Q - Is it difficult for someone like yourself who's been out there for
a while to get the attention of today's Rock radio and Rock press?
A - Well, to tell you the truth, we do a lot of Classic Rock radio.
Q - I talked to someone who saw you at The Turning Stone Casino in Verona,
A - Oh yeah, great place.
Q - You liked it then.
A - Oh, I had a great time there. I really did.
Q - After the show, you did something not many acts do. You came out to
the lobby and signed programs, pictures...
A - Well, it's nice. I have a lot of fun. People who come to Eddie Money
shows are not always the richest people in the world. Sometimes their wives
are working or they're pulling double shifts. It's hard to get a (baby)
sitter. For people to take the time and the energy to get out there and
hear some great Rock 'n' Roll, I gotta tell you I love the people who come
to my shows. They're really, really great people.
Q - What was it like for a kid from New York to move to Berkeley, California
in the mid 1960s? Didn't you experience some kind of culture shock?
A - Oh, Geez, it was crazy! I was 19 years old. I was police triune in
the police department. Dropped out of that, came to California. I was working
on Telegraph Avenue, which is the main avenue where Berkeley University
is. Everybody was getting sprayed with shots of rock salt. It was really
crazy. There were cops all over the place. It was wild. But, you know what?
I ran a food conspiracy. Nobody was really prejudiced. It was a nice experience
in my life. It was a nice way to turn the corner. I went to the University
Of Berkeley, California. I got a great education. It was a good time in
my life. I got into a lot of great Rock 'n' Roll. It was fun.
Q - What's a food conspiracy?
A - You go down to the market yourself. You get a bunch of people to chip
in and you buy produce for your group. It's a lot cheaper and the food's
a lot fresher.
Q - Bill Graham "discovered" you at a San
Francisco Sound Of The Cities Talent Show. What was that?
A - The Sound Of The Cities Talent Show was actually amateur night at Winterland.
I said "What do you get to win?" You actually never get to win
anything. You get to play Winterland. And I had written songs like "Two
Tickets To Paradise" and "Baby Hold On". I had a large following
in the clubs in the Bay area in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, that whole
area down there. But, I didn't have a record deal. Then I got a record deal.
Next thing I know I was on Saturday Night Live and my material was really
getting played all over the country. I was on the road with The Rolling
Stones, The Who, Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper. You name it, I played with
'em. It was wild. I had a great time. The Big Guy Upstairs has blessed me
with a lot of hits. It's been a wonderful journey, I gotta tell you.
Q - Was there anyone else on that Sound Of The Cities Talent Show that
went on to greater fame?
A - No, I don't think so. Unfortunately not. But, you know who was around
at the same time? Huey Lewis And The News.
Q - In that area?
A - Yeah. In that area and the same time span. I know Toots And The Maytals
made it out of Berkeley, California even though they weren't from Berkeley.
I remember Patti Smith coming out to Berkeley from New Your and making some
big waves out there. You had groups like Tower Of Power coming out of the
Bay Area...Sammy Hagar. Now you got groups coming out of the Bay Area like
Q - You were in Big Brother And The Holding Company after Janis Joplin's
A - Yes.
Q - Were you the singer in that group?
A - I was the singer in that band and they liked me a whole lot. But, I
lost the gig out to a Blues singer from Chicago. His name is Nick Gravenities.
I don't think he was as good as me, but he had a gift of gab. You know what
I'm saying? I was a lot younger than the guys. He ended up getting the gig
instead of me, which is great because I don't think I could've ever held
a candle to Janis Joplin.
Q - It would be hard for anyone to replace Janis.
A - Oh, yeah. She was fantastic.
Q - Going up against a legend is almost impossible.
A - Right. I understand that. It's like trying to cover a Beatle song.
You'll never do 'em as good as The Beatles. Why even try?
Q - Or worse yet, be compared to Elvis or The Beatles and told you're the
next Elvis or Beatles.
A - That's the kiss of death.
Q - For the longest time you recorded for CBS. Then you went to CMC. Why
didn't CBS pick up your option?
A - Well, to tell you the truth, I had a bit of a falling out with Columbia
Records. I was with the label for a really long, long time. It was a good
label, but after Bill Graham died, they were more interested in "new" music.
I didn't think they were gonna give me the shot I really deserved. When
you get a little older, you sell less records. A lot of the fans who used
to buy Eddie Money records are going into Ace Hardware looking for sprinkler
parts. Buying records is usually for the younger buying public anywhere
from fourteen to eighteen years old. I don't really know what happened.
They wanted to put me on the Legacy label. Then I went with CMC. CMC didn't
do what I really wanted them to do.
Q - What label are you on now?
A - Well, right now I'm on an E.M.I. label and I'm on the same label as
The Bee Gees. It's Left Bank. It's out of Los Angeles. Bee Gees. Motley
Crue. It's a good label. It's called Beyond.
Q - How important is it for a new singer to have a manager like Bill Graham?
What did he do for your career?
A - He got me a lot of great shows. He made sure that I didn't burn out.
He said to me "If you keep your life together and you're really good
to your fans and you write a certain amount of hit songs, you'll have longevity
as an artists. You won't be a flash in the pan." There were a lot of
people that came and went during my career, but I kind of hung out. I'm
still very viable in the Rock 'n' Roll world. I'm still doing a lot of shows
and I've got Bill Graham to thank for that.
Q - What do you think your contribution has been to Rock 'n' Roll?
A - Well, I think everybody loves songs like "Shakin" and "Two
Tickets To Paradise". They were big songs. They're all songs that people
remember from Eddie Money for a long time and I really appreciate that.
© Gary James All Rights Reserved