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Eddie Money. Courtesy photo.




Eddie Money

When: Friday, May 29, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino Ballroom, 169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton Beach
Tickets: $30-$55 at casinoballroom.com




Hot ticket
Eddie Money talks

05/28/15
By Michael Witthaus music@hippopress.com



In 1978, Eddie Money landed a one-two rock’n’roll punch with “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise.” Both songs made the Top 40 and vaulted him from unknown to opening act at arena shows for the Rolling Stones. But Money didn’t get the memo about upstaging the headliner, which cut the experience short.

“I had a hit with ‘Two Tickets’ and everybody loved me; I was getting too many encores,” Money said in a recent phone interview. “We were supposed to have six dates, and we only worked four. The way I see it is this — if you’re gonna get fired from a Rolling Stones tour, get fired for being too good.”
Cocky and irascible, Money rode the charts into the early 1990s. His biggest hit was 1986’s “Take Me Home Tonight,” featuring Ronnie Spector reprising the iconic chorus from the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” Originally, the song was planned as a duet with Martha Davis, but the Motels lead singer convinced him to seek out Spector.
When he finally tracked her down, Money found himself talking to a housewife, not a pop goddess. 
“I could hear clinking and clanking in the background,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Ronnie, what are you doing?’ She said, ‘I’m doing the dishes, and I gotta change the kids’ bedding. … I’m not really in the business anymore, Eddie. Phil Spector and all that, it was a nightmare.”
Money turned on the charm, ultimately winning her over. 
“I said, ‘Ronnie, I got this song that’s truly amazing and it’s a tribute to you. It would be so great if you came out and did it with me.’ When she got there, she didn’t even remember it; she had a mental block against Spector. But then she came out and did the song. She was even better on a cheap bottle of wine and some crappy grass, I gotta tell you,” Money said.
“Take Me Home Tonight” received help from a memorable video that included Spector stepping from darkness to deliver her chorus, following Money’s “just like Ronnie sang” cue. The song reached No. 4 on the U.S. charts and in no small way helped introduce Spector to a new generation of fans.
The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Spector thanked him from the dais for the boost, along with friends like Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix. 
“That’s one of the greatest things in my career,” Money said of the shout out.
He doesn’t expect to be nominated anytime soon. 
“By the time I get in, I’m gonna be an urn in my wife’s fireplace,” he said. “But I want Styx to get in, REO Speedwagon, Peter Frampton, .38 Special, all my friends, man. I don’t give a crap if I get in. What about the boys?”
The self-deprecating singer may be selling himself short; the Sound of Money, as his current tour is dubbed, remains an indelible part of the rock canon. His backstory is terrific. 
Born Eddie Mahoney in Long Island, Money left a career in the NYPD for 1960s California. 
“I always loved surfing and wanted to get out to do that,” he said. 
He briefly fronted Big Brother & the Holding Company after Janis Joplin quit the band, only to be pushed aside by blues singer Nick Gravenites. 
After years of scrapping in the Bay Area nightclub circuit, legendary impresario Bill Graham took Money under his wing, booked him at San Francisco’s Winterland and helped him get a deal with Columbia Records. 
Success followed, and Money remains a solid draw at places like Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, where he appears May 29. Those are Rock Hall bona fides. 
If the Beastie Boys and Joan Jett are in, why not him?
“A lot of people don’t like people from New York, they really don’t like people from Brooklyn, and some don’t like cops,” said Money. “They think, ‘Bill Graham signed Eddie Money’ — that’s why I did well. Maybe I rubbed some people the wrong way at some point, maybe that’s what happened. Who knows? I opened for the Stones, Fleetwood Mac. I got a lot of breaks other people didn’t get. Maybe people are envious. I have no idea what happened.” 
 
As seen in the May 28, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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