Editor’s Note: Have you ever met a person that really impacted you from a brief conversation? I can say that I have. And that person happen to write some of the greatest power-pop songs ever written, and that person was Eddie Money. As a shot in the dark, for MUEN Magazine(RIP), I received the opportunity to interview Eddie Money himself. It was essentially a show preview type of interview to promote a concert at the legendary Surf Ballroom along with an album that he was working on releasing entitled “Shake That Thing”, along with a Broadway musical entitled “Two Tickets To Paradise”. I remember checking my Facebook and receiving word that “The Money Man” punched his ticket to paradise due to his battle with cancer of the esophagus. I remember seeing more and more posts on my Facebook newsfeed and I just saw this in disbelief and I remember weeping over his death. How can a person who I only interacted with for 15 minutes on the telephone have that impact on me? This was Eddie Money for you. The New Yorker was full of love, hope, and pride for his family and sobriety. He had a larger than life persona yet made you feel so important and such a big deal. I had to share my tribute to him via Madness To Creation on my experience with Eddie Money. I wanted to show our readers how larger than life he was, yes he sold over 40 million albums in his storied career, BUT he made YOU feel important too. He cared so much about his fans and family. If you treated him with respect, he had the biggest heart out of any musician I’ve talked to. Eddie, I say this with a lump in my throat, we may only have talked for 15 minutes on the telephone, but you made me realize that I wanted to do journalism for a living, you were a world class singer and more important a first class person. I wish I was able to pick up the telephone to talk to you again. I sincerely hope that you enjoy this interview with “The Money Man”. Our heart, love, prayers and condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. May you find some joy and comfort in knowing what a damn good man Eddie was in this interview.
MUEN: Hey, Eddie Money, how are you doing? Thank you for taking the time to interview with us for MUEN Magazine
Eddie: Hey, how are you doing buddy? Wish the weather was a little nicer, but having a good day, playing the hits, I can’t wait to get out there and do a good show for you guys, the fans out there. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the magazine, and thank you for doing the interview with me.
MUEN Magazine: You got it! My understanding is that you’re going to be creating a new album called “Shake That Thing”, tell me how the progress of the album is going, and I’d like to hear about the writing process of the album.
Eddie: ”Shake That Thing”, it’s a great record. I have a song that I wrote for my daughter. It was very hard for my daughter to go to grammar school because her father was a rockstar, and all the kids thought she was this little rich girl. She had a hard time in school. I also have a song on there called “Shake That Thing”, it’s a great song, it’s a very sexy song about a girl with a very nice figure. I also got a song on there called “I Ain’t No Wishing Well”, I wrote when I stayed at a Motel 6, and when I woke up, I was feeling miserable, we broke up for a while, and the album has ten great songs on there, and I think you’ll get a kick out of it. It’s an Eddie Money record, it sounds really good. Download my kid’s music as well www.dezmoney.com, I think you’ll like it.
MUEN Magazine: I’m just chilling in small town Iowa and I’m looking forward to seeing your show in Iowa at the Surf Ballroom. Any memories of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, or the Big Bopper?
Eddie: I love the Surf Ballroom. I played there before. I used to love Buddy Holly, and the song “La Bamba” by Richie Valens. Buddy Holly was quite the artist, I mean it was a long, long time ago when those guys died, that Surf Ballroom is a really nice place to play and it has a lot of rock-n-roll history, it’s been around since the 1950s.
MUEN Magazine: Going off of that, how has the music business changed from when you started out to the records of today? Basically, how does an artist have to adapt or evolve today from your point of view?
Eddie: The music business has changed tremendously because today it seems nobody pays for the music because of the Internet and things like that, it seems you can’t really make any money selling albums anymore, people can get music for nothing, my kids can get music for nothing, people are going to download the music for themselves and their friends, and that’s why all the record stores are closing all over the country right now. If you think about the big record labels, there was like 37 people on each floor at Columbia Records in New York City, and now, it’s one small group of people, the music business has changed horribly, and I’m glad I made my bones when I made them, I mean when I put my records out, I had plenty of hits and my voice sounded great, and used great producers. The thing is, if you’re an Eddie Money fan and you come out and see the show, you’re not going to be disappointed because we sound really great live. The drummer has been with me since 1973, and we’ve been around the block a couple of times. The band sounds great, but I tell ya, my kid has a record out. His name is Dez Money. Go to www.dezmoney.com and check his music out. I don’t think he’s going to sell the amount of records I sold, I sold 39 million records. These kids these days don’t sell records anymore, it’s horrible, I don’t know how these kids in music are going to make a living. The music is great, I just wonder how my kid is going to make money in this business. Because there’s these downloads and everything for nothing. I mean, he’s a good looking kid, and he’s a great writer. Go to www.dezmoney.com. Check him out, and tell me what you think of him, and if you think he’s a good artist.
MUEN: I can absolutely check them out and do a write-up on them.
Eddie: I think he’ll get a kick out of that, yeah! If you like the music, I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
MUEN: Tell me about the Eddie Money experience live!
Eddie: We open up our show with “Baby, Hold On”, and then we play “Wanna Be A Rock And Roll Star”, and if there should be anyone sleeping, I ask, “Does anyone want to be awake with the Money Man all night”, and I do a song for all my ladies from the 80’s, and then we do that song “Endless Nights”. We got “Walk On Water” in the set, “Nothing To Lose”, I mean I got a bunch of wood to knock on. The critics are raving about the new album, as a matter of fact, I got a nice shoutout from Lady Gaga, she likes my music too.
MUEN: What was your reaction when Lady Gaga talked about your music?
Eddie: I have an apartment in New York City and she actually lives in my building in a penthouse in my building, she’s very nice, a tiny girl from Queens, but she’s very talented, she said she grew up listening to my music, and I met her, and she was a very nice young lady, she’s very smart too. Did you see her on the Oscars or what?
MUEN: I haven’t.
Eddie: She was on the Oscars, she was good. She did the theme from The Sound of Music. Fans are going to love the show. We’re trying to make money for the troops for these kids that are coming back from Afghanistan and from Iraq with these head trauma injuries, we’re supporting the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Foundation. It’s a non-profit, charitable organization. It has two facilities, one in San Antonio with about 120 vets. They just built another facility in Maryland. We do what we can, we just wrote out a check for $4,000 selling t-shirts for these troops, you know? You pick up an Eddie Money shirt for $20 or $30, and it goes towards a really good cause. You going to come to the show at the Surf Ballroom or what?
MUEN: I absolutely will be there.
Eddie: The Surf Ballroom, I’ll tell you the truth, I love that place! If you think about the Surf Ballroom, it’s probably one of the most famous venues in the rock-n-roll business, it’s like Madison Square Garden, or at the Agora in Cleveland. Did you ever see that movie about Richie Valens with what’s his name?
MUEN: Lou Diamond Phillips?
Eddie: ”La Bamba” that was a good movie too, I don’t know if they actually filmed it at the Surf Ballroom, but I saw the movie, just a great movie.
MUEN: I’m not sure if they actually did or not, I do like the movie, and the history behind it is incredible. I used to work at the Surf Ballroom back when I was going through college and stuff, now I teach kids
Eddie: How do you like being a reporter, it’s a pretty good job, huh?
MUEN: I like it, it’s a fun job, I also teach special needs kids, and I get to live two dreams basically.
Eddie: Do you do any music? You have a pretty good voice.
MUEN: I sing some karaoke and I did choir in high school, but that’s about it. (laughs)
Eddie: Tell everybody to come down and shake it with The Money Man. I got two tickets and I’m taking everybody, and I’m giving you guys a dynamite show, man. I hope you make the show. I play saxophone, I play harmonica. The band sounds great, the guitar player has been playing with us for over 20 years.
MUEN: What was your inspiration to get into music?
Eddie: I grew up listening to a lot of Otis Redding, James Brown, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. I did a lot of r & b, a lot of Sam & Dave.
MUEN: I just wanted to say congratulations on your sobriety.
Eddie: Yeah, it’s been 5 years for me, it’s good, I like to drink, but with me raising kids, I don’t want the kids to think that I’m a pothead or an alcoholic, I started having a little more self-respect for myself. Were you in a spiritual program or what?
MUEN: I was involved with a church for awhile, been going off and on lately, I do my thing though by praying.
Eddie: Yeah, you don’t have to go to AA meetings to be sober, that’s not what it’s all about. It just catches up to you, you know? It’s just not good business, you know? If I was high on the phone right now, I’d sound like a real asshole, ya know?
MUEN: What is your favorite song to perform live?
Eddie: I like “Shakin’”, that’s a good song live, “Two Tickets to Paradise” is great, “Walk On Water” is a lot of fun to play live. When we do the hits, everybody lights up, when I see people happy and they dig my music, it makes me feel good, and we sound a lot like the record. We try to sound very much like the album sounds.
MUEN: Kind of a fun question here, tell me your most embarrassing concert moment.
Eddie: You know you can be embarrassed up there and this can happen to anybody up there, when you’re singing and your fly is open. How more embarrassing can that be? Singing “Shakin’” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” and your fly is open. Of course I always wear underwear, but it’s embarrassing. Once or twice I was up there, and unfortunately, my fly was open, it’s a drag. How would you like to do a speech in front of 600 people and you get up there and your fly is open? I don’t drink and I don’t curse on stage. I got a good rock-n-roll band, and we do our best to make sure the people are having a really good time. We’re a Christian band, we all believe in God, and we all thank God for our sobriety. It’s going to be a wonderful show. I’ve been doing this since 1976 and we just go up there and kick ass and take names.
MUEN: That’s what it’s about at the end of the day. Could you tell us about the upcoming Broadway musical, entitled “Two Tickets to Paradise”, what the inspiration behind that was?
Eddie: I wrote a play, it’s kind of like Jersey Boys. When I was a kid, I quit the police department. My father was policeman of the year, and after I quit the police department, I moved out to California and continued with my rock-n-roll career, and back in the 80’s, somebody slipped something in my drink when I was drinking, and I had a bad drug overdose. The whole thing is about moving out to California and leaving my parents, and leaving my father and my sisters. It’s a great play, and we’re trying to get it around the country. We got really good reviews in Long Island. We’re trying to put the play back on somewhere, but we’re so busy doing live shows, and we don’t really have too much time for it right now. The play is called “Two Tickets to Paradise”, and it’s a musical. It was pretty well received, we got pretty great write-ups, we’re trying to get it to Broadway, or at least some bigger venues.
MUEN: What do you want the audience to get out of this play?
Eddie: I tell you, it’s not all rock-n-roll, I wrote some songs that are like Broadway songs like Westside Story and Carousel. A lot of the songs aren’t rock-n-roll, it’s like a Broadway musical. It was different, and people seemed to like it, I’d like to get it going again. I got so many things happening. I have my kid’s career happening, doing a lot of shows, my voice still sounds pretty good. Everything is hunky dory, I quit smoking cigarettes, I’m happily married, go to church on Sunday, just trying to be a decent father and a good entertainer. I hope to see you at the show. I’ve enjoyed talking to you, you sound like a good reporter. You’re intelligent, believe me I’ve talked to some real assholes. (laughs)
MUEN: Well, I appreciate that! (laughs)
Eddie: I’m expecting a good article, you sound like a pretty good writer.
MUEN: I’m going to give you the floor to say what you want to say in regards to the new record, and where can people find you.
Eddie: We got a lot of shows coming up, just go to my website. We’ll be playing all summer. We played the Surf Ballroom a couple of years ago. You have a great day, and if there’s anything you forgot to ask, don’t be afraid to call my telephone, it’s been a great time! See you at the show!
MUEN: Thank you for your time Eddie!
Let us know on our socials what you thought of the interview and share your favorite Eddie Money song or Eddie Money memory with us. I want to share with you my personal favorite song by “The Money Man”. Thank you for inspiring me Eddie to pursue this journalism thing.
One more for the road: Eddie Money you are home now.