Still a rock and roll star: an interview with Eddie Money

In 1977, with the release of his first album, Eddie Money let the world know that he wanted to be a rock and roll star and that if you held on to him, he’d give you two tickets to paradise.  Thirty five years later Eddie Money still rock n’ rolls the place and will do so this Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 2:00 p.m., along with Pat Benatar and Neil Girlado at the Good Life Festival to be held at the Encanterra Country Club in San Tan Valley, Arizona. In between his hectic life of concerts, cooking shows, charity work and attempts to create the next Jackson 5, the extremely affable Eddie Money shared these thoughts.

Q: You’ve picked a great weekend to come out.  It’s supposed to be about 78 degrees and sunny.

EM:  You know what.  I just love Phoenix.  I’ve spent so much time there as a kid. My grandparents lived in Sun City.  We got so many friends in Phoenix.  I sold an awful lot of records in Phoenix, Arizona. As a matter of fact, when I was with Columbia Records, one of my biggest markets, which was incredible, was the Phoenix area.

Q: What are you up to today?

EM: I just finished a show called Rock Star Kitchen on the east coast.  You get to cook and we did a couple of songs.

Q:  What kind of recipe did you share on the show?

EM:  I wanted to do a peanut butter stew.  A peanut butter stew is where you cook the chicken in a crock pot and then you put the potatoes in and the string beans and the carrots. You cook it with peanut butter.  You add a jar of peanut butter with a little paprika and some salt and pepper and you got a delicious dish.  But we didn’t get around to cooking that.  We wound up cooking a roast beef with mash potatoes and string beans or something. Actually it was really good. We did “One More Soldier Coming Home” and everybody in the place was crying.  Can you believe that?

Q:  Actually I can. If you don’t cry listening to that song, you have no heart.

EM: We did the new song I got out called “One More Soldier’s Coming Home.”  The proceeds from that song are going to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund which is a fund for these kids that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with head trauma injuries.  They got two non-profit facilities, one in San Antonio and there will be a new facility in Maryland.  My heart goes out to these kids.  (Eddie starts to sing) “all the flags are at half-mast as they take you to your resting place. There’s not a dry eye in the church but there’s still hope in your daughter’s face.” What a great line, huh? “One more soldier got in heaven tonight.  One more hero by the dawn’s early light.   We salute you.” And we do salute you. These kids are over there serving our country. It’s 114 degrees, they got a 70 pound pack on their back.  These people aren’t joining the armed services for GI love. These kids are joining the service because they love this country. My heart goes out to them. They’re wonderful children.

Q:  What prompted you to even get involved in that?

EM:  Well, you know what happened.  I was selling my t-shirts, the pink t-shirt for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and a lady came up to me and showed me this beautiful, gorgeous woman in a Marine Corps uniform.  I said, wow what a pretty girl and she said, we just lost her.  And my heart just sank.  The lady started crying and I said what can I possibly do for these kids.

Q:  You also raise money to help children with aids.

EM: I sell t-shirts for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and due to the advancement of medicine, these kids are doing much better than they did say five or six years ago. I’m very happy about that. There’s nothing worse than getting sick from that as a child.

Q:  I understand your kids are heavily into music.

EM:  Yeah, they’re very much into music.  Of course they all think they’re all going to be famous because they said well dad made it, he’s not that good. Jesse’s career is very promising and my other kids are playing music.  As a matter of fact, we’re doing a tv show and I’m trying to teach the kids how to play an entire set of Eddie Money.  If I could go out with my kids, like the Jackson 5 or like the Jonas Brothers or something else like that.  If you go way back when, the King family. My kids are very, very talented, but it’s like pulling teeth to get these kids to learn Eddie Money songs. You should check out the tv show. It’s going to be called Money Madness. It’s going to be a really great show. We’re very, very excited about it.

Q:  Other than having great songs, how do you last over 30 years?

EM:  Now that I get older I got to go to the gym and I’m taking boxing. The worse thing in the world is to step on the treadmill and it tells you how many calories you burned and you’re doing a quick paced walk for about 45-50 minutes and it says you’ve burned 170 calories.  I had two Cokes before I even got on the damn thing.  What’s that all about?  It’s a losing battle.

Q:  You’re a big sports fan. Living both on the east coast and the west coast, who do you follow for football?

EM:  I follow the Giants on the East Coast. On the west coast, I’m a Raiders fan. I like the Raiders and I like the 49ers. Then again, I live in LA so I like the Chargers too. And I’m a big USC fan. You guys are really into football too.  You got the Pac 12, you’re always kicking everybody’s ass.  I can’t stand it.

Q:  We try. Although ASU hasn’t done so well lately.

EM:  You guys will bounce back.  You’ll have your day in the sun. You got a new coach. You’re going to be happening man. You’re gonna be rocking.

Q:  What can we expect for the show this weekend?

EM:  Saturday’s going to be a great show.  Working with Pat Benatar is a real treat. She’s a terrific singer and a great entertainer and her husband is a good friend of mine. Neil’s a great guitar player. We’re both a couple kids from Long Island.  And we got so many great fans in Phoenix.  I just can’t wait. I think the combination of me and Pat together, “Love is a Battlefield,” and all those great songs like that, the combination of myself and her and we both got really great bands.  I think that everyone is going to have a wonderful time. I want to tell everyone to come out and shake it with the Money Man. Tell everybody, I got two tickets.

Heaven In The Back Seat – 1991 / Right Here

Eddie Money on XM Artist Confidential: Green Room

XM’s Artist Confidential is an original series that peers into the souls of important artists that have made a difference, with live performances and questions and answers with fans in the intimate environment of the XM Performance Theater. Discussing their past, present and future, it’s all about the process of creating music, the inspiration and the magic.

Eddie Money – XM Artist Confidential #062

EDDIE MONEY Baby Hold On To Me – live 1977 / Midnight Special


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