Interview ~ Eddie Money

Eddie Money tried to walk the path of being a police officer like his father and grandfather before him, but after a few years he turned in his badge for a life of rock and roll. It’s been a wild and crazy ride for Money over the forty plus years that he’s been rocking all over the world. He’s struggled with drug and alcohol problems and experienced an overdose in 1981 that put him in a coma and nearly took his life. His wilder, partying days are long behind him although he’s still kicking ass onstage like never before. Nowadays, he’s happily married with five talented kids, clean, sober and in the best shape of his life. He even has a modern day twist on The Partridge Family as he takes his kids out on the road performing with him, but minus the 70s flowery, big collared jump suits.

He’ll be performing in Cary, North Carolina on August 12, 2017 at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre and headlining the Eight Annual Rock Your World Benefit Concert. One hundred percent of proceeds go to Hope for Haiti Foundation and Water for Good. Also performing will be Eddie’s son Dez Money and the Faze, Band of Brothers and Trey Heffinger & Friends. There will be beer and drinks, great food, raffles and a huge silent auction that including custom guitars, weekend getaways, concert tickets, restaurant and service gift cards. Tickets for the event can be purchased HERE. We recently sat down with Eddie about returning to the Carolinas and it opened a floodgate of memories and stories from his long career.

Hey Eddie! It’s always great to talk to you my friend; how have you been doing?

Eddie Money: I had to go to my therapist last week and I told him that lately I’ve been feeling depressed and I feel like a dog. He asked me how long I had been feeling like a dog and I told him actually since I was a puppy. He asked me if I wanted to lie down and talk about it and I told him I couldn’t because I wasn’t allowed on the couch. (laughs)

You definitely know how to kick off an interview!

I was doing a show the other night and there was this girl down front and her eye makeup was running down her cheeks. She was crying like a little girl who had lost her puppy or something. I was singing two tickets and couldn’t talk to her until the guitar solo came around. I made sure my wife wasn’t looking and I bent down to check on her and she said ‘you’re standing on my fingers.’

That ended up being a very emotional moment, but for a totally different reason!

What’s the difference between a drummer and a pizza?

I don’t know, what?

A pizza can feed four people.

Ouch! No love for the drummers?

Seriously though, the show’s going to be really good down there in North Carolina. It’s a beautiful part of the country to be in and I can’t wait to get back down there.  I’ve been getting a ton of emails from people wanting to come to the show and the promoter told me that I had a bigger guest-list than The Rolling Stones. What am I supposed to do?

There’s only one Eddie Money! You’ve been rocking the Carolinas for many years!

I’ve got a lot of good memories from playing in the Carolinas. I remember back in the day when the girls used to throw their bras and panties up on the stage. That’s a thing of the past; now they’re throwing up Depends.(laughs)

You’re killing us over here Eddie! You’re definitely in a good place these days and life is treating you well.

It is, life is really good right now; I even have a tv show coming up and it’s kind of like a reality show. I did this thing for Oprah and these big wig people were really into it. They do the Sammy Hagar thing and some of the other stuff on AXS TV. No wonder they want me; I have five dysfunctional kids that still live at home. I have a thirty one year old son who was in college for eight years. I thought he was trying to become a nuclear physicist or something. The kids are all good though; they’re not in rehab or jail or shooting heroin. Everyone says that they are very respectable, well everyone but me but what’re you going to do? My wife always tells me to quit picking on the kids; she asks me if I think I’m Joe Jackson or something. Seriously though, I take them out on the road with me and we have a lot of fun. You should Google my son Dez Money and check him out.

I know all about Dez and I love that new “She’s My Girl” song.

Oh great! Yeah, he was mixed by Chris Lord-Alge who worked with Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh. He has a great record album, but nobody sells records anymore. I was moving 150,000 units a week back in the day and now they’re lucky if they’re moving 20,000 a week and that’s your Britney Spears and Taylor Swifts. The only way you can make it in this business these days is to have a great live show and that’s why I want the kids to get out there and play.  That way, when I retire they can carry on the name like the King family of the Lennon Sisters. Jessica could do the vocals and Joe could play guitar. Joe went to the Berklee School of Music for two and a half years. He has a very high IQ, but he’s a stupid son of a bitch because he’s into this dubstep music which I don’t understand at all. It’s Skrillex and Deadmau5 and stuff like that; if I put that stuff on then I’m ready to jump out of the window.

How are these new shows going?

The show’s really good; you know I had seventeen songs in the Hot 100. There’s “I Wanna Go Back,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Two Tickets,” blah blah blah blah blah. The list goes on and on and my voice is holding up pretty good because I’ve been sober now for eight years. Now that I’ve quit drinking, everybody is happy except me (laughs). I tell everyone, ‘live from Betty Ford, it’ the Eddie Money show!’ The fans love it and that’s what matters. I’m sober, I’m not smoking cigarettes and although I’m not fat, I’d like to lose another ten pounds. I went to doc and got on the scale and asked the doc why he was bitching so much. I told him ‘look at all the weight I’m losing’ and he told me to put my other heal down.

Let’s go back to your kids because I meant to ask you if Jess was out on the road with you again?

Yes she is and she’s sounding great! She’s been writing and she comes out there and just steals the show.

Speaking of the show, tell me a little bit about Pets for Vets and the shirts you are selling.

I see all of these dogs with chains on their necks, freezing their ass off in backyards. Then, I ran into a veteran at a show a few months back and I was talking to him on the side of the stage. He told me that he’d like to get a picture with me and he had this beagle with him. He told the dog to go get his cellphone. The dog ran over to his wife’s purse about twenty-five feet away, opened it up with its nose, grabbed the phone and brought it back to him. He told the dog, ’Toby this is (his wife) Lorraine’s cell phone, I need mine.’ That little son of a bitch went back to the purse and brought back the right cellphone. I thought this was the most amazing thing that I had ever seen and it needed to be on tv. So, now we’re out there selling these t-shirts for Pets for Vets and it’ a lot of fun. We’re making money for the troops so it’s a great thing.

You’re always doing something to help the troops and I think new way is a really good cause. I’m sure you already know this, but your debut album turns forty this year.

I remember running into Plant and Page in this little shop years ago where Elvis Presley used to get all of his shirts made with those stupid fucking high collars. I told them that I saw them open up for Country Joe and the Fish for two nights in San Francisco. He told me that was when they broke in the states and they did those shows for Bill Graham. I got to taking to the guys and they told me, ‘you know that first album that you did was a good fucking record.’ Getting a compliment like that from Plant and Page is really great. I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of great people through the years. I’ve worked with Tom Dowd who worked with The Allman Brothers and Rod Stewart. I worked with Andy Johns who did the first Small Faces records and he even worked with Led Zeppelin. Bruce Botnick was my first producer and he was the engineer for all of The Doors records. Who was my first rhythm section? Lonnie Turner and Gary Mallaber, who were the rhythm section from the Steve Miller Band. I’ve really been blessed to have the career that I have.

You look out into the audience and I bet you see three generations of fans now.

There are all of these women out there who are probably in their 50s and I haven’t seen them for about ten years or more. I ask them where they’ve been and they tell me they’ve been raising this. I turn around and they have a twenty-some year old son of daughter. They tell me ‘I was raising him or her for twenty years and I couldn’t come to the show. Now I can and they know all of the words to your songs!’ These young kids are coming to the shows and they’re Eddie Money fans because of their parents and it’s amazing. We did a show not too long ago where the Hindenburg blew up in New Jersey; I did a show for the guys in the Air Force, Army and Marine Corp. We were there all day with them and their families. Those shows are so important to me because it makes me feel like I am giving something back to them. I sleep so great at night because of all of them and what they do. I brought some of the little girls up on stage with me and they were dancing. It was a really great show and they provide these little moments like that and I really enjoy those.

Speaking of shows providing moments, I mean to ask you the last time that we talk, but I ran short on time. Is it true that you got fired from The Rolling Stones tour?

I was opening for The Stones and I had my debut album out; I was getting two and three encores a night. I was on Merv Griffith, The Tonight Show, Mike Douglas, I had two tickets on the radio and I was making like a fucking thousand dollars a minute for this 75 minute show. I heard that the Rolling Stones didn’t want me on the show anymore because I was getting too many encores and Mick didn’t want to work that hard. I think it’s kind of a compliment to get thrown off of the Rolling Stones show for being too good! They fired us and Cheap Trick finished up the shows for us. Still, I met Keith Richards later on and he was just the greatest fucking guy in the world. You meet these guys and you find out that they’re not scumbags and they’re just like you and me. Then, you meet some like The Clash when I played the Silverdome with The Who and they were the biggest fucking scumbags that I’ve ever met in my life.

You mentioned doing the show for Oprah earlier and you showed everyone your man-cave on the show. I had someone who wanted to know if you are a collector of anything like guitars, albums or whatever?

I’m not really a collector anymore because I lost a lot of things that I had. My wife went out and had all of my album awards redone for me. I wish I had some of those original Eddie Money t-shirts that I see some people with. I left my saxophone in the van coming home from a show the other day and I thought I had lost it. When I was drunk one time back in the 80s, I had a rental car and I lost it. I had my horn in that car and it was a Super 20 horn which they don’t make anymore. It’s the one like Junior Walker played on “Urgent” by Foreigner. It was in the trunk of the fucking car that I lost and I get a phone call a year and a half later. A guy found the car in his back forty where he was planting soybean; the car was there with the keys still in it. To make a long story short, I had to pay for the car, we auctioned it off for charity and the fucking horn was still in the trunk.

Man, you need to write a book! You have a ton of great stories and they might piss some people off, but so many would enjoy them.

I can’t write a book because my wife’s from the south and she’s a very private person. I don’t want to embarrass her with all of that.

I get it, but it would be an amazing book.

You ain’t kidding! Everything was wild and crazy back then; we had a good time out there!

I see that we need to wrap this up and as always, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you again. I have one last question and we’ll end it on this one. What are your thoughts on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

To tell you the truth, I think it’s a great organization and it’s probably a great honor to be in there. To see Elvis Costello in there and not see Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels in there just isn’t right. I think it’s all very political; I think a lot of the people on the committee don’t like me. I’d like to see Styx get in, I’d like to see Survivor get in, I‘d like to see 38 Special get in, I’d like to see Mitch Ryder get in. I’d like to see a lot of my friends get in, but I can wait. I know Warren Zevon really wanted in before he died and they knew he was dying so why not go ahead and do it before he passed? That’s just my personal opinion and I’m probably making more enemies just by talking about it. I tell people that by the time I get into the Hall of Fame, I’m going to be in an urn on my wife’s fireplace.

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