When Eddie Money sings “I Wanna Go Back” and other hits, he wants fans to hear them like they sounded upon their recording in the studio.
His hits spanned three decades, starting with “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise” in 1978, and going through the 1980s with such ditties as “Take Me Home Tonight/Be My Baby” with former Ronette Ronnie Spector, and “Endless Nights,” and into the 1990s with “I’ll Get By.”
Ready to play Friday at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, Money gave a phone interview between holes during a golf game last month in southern California. Stating “the Big Guy upstairs has been good to me,” he repeated why he counts his blessings using the number 12.
Having placed “12 songs in the Top 100,” Money said he loves to play each song in its original, studio form, “a lot like the record.”
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“When you close your eyes,” he said, “you actually think you’re listening to the record. It makes me feel good.”
Seeing the “great fans” who attended shows years ago bring “their kids” today gives Money more gratitude. He also voiced being so careful to “be on your best behavior” in this modern age of YouTube and all, because in concert, even his cracking a joke about alcohol could be caught on video. Money, proud to have “quit drinking about four years ago,” said he doesn’t want any mixed message going out on his part.
When he looks back at memories of the 1970s and ’80s, Money said highlights include performing at Madison Square Garden in New York with Cyndi Lauper, and doing the first US Festival in his home state of California, attended by 650,000 people and so hot, near 100 degrees, that “we sprayed water on people.”
Breaking the conversation to give his self-assessment in driving on greens, Money said he’ll never run out of trees to hit.
“If there’s a tree, my ball will find it,” he said.
At home on daytime TV
Comfort in his career field came easily for Money, remembering help for “my first record deal” with help from his late manager, Bill Graham. He also called himself the “first rock artist to do daytime TV,” on shows for the late Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore, Money said he helped “cook a leg of lamb” with Shore, and that his mother “came on TV on danced with” Douglas.
Crediting help from another departed icon, Dick Clark, Money said he’s always enjoyed visiting the variety shows with such hosts as Jay Leno, Arsenio Hall, and “Solid Gold” with Marilyn McCoo.
In 2002, Money also had “a lot of fun” making a cameo as himself, playing his 20-year-old hit “Shakin’ ” on an episode during the nine-year run of “The King of Queens” on CBS, before its current gold mine of reruns on TV Land and TBS. The saxophonist said filming his parts “didn’t take that long” and that he rented a nice “school horn” to play.
Money’s connection to the show’s main character, Doug Heffernan, played by Kevin James, goes back to their real-life friendship.
“I played at his wedding,” Money said.
He also was happy to point out a co-star in his “Shakin’ ” music video, the driver who picks him up. That was two years before her role in the movie “Purple Rain,” for which she played Prince’s love interest and had succeeded Denise “Vanity” Matthews as lead singer of a trio – joining Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie – in Apollonia 6. This lady, Patricia “Apollonia” Kotero, also recorded the duet “Take Me with U” with Prince for the movie and would later star in the CBS nighttime drama “Falcon Crest.”
A married father of a daughter, Jesse Money – a background singer on his tours who also has appeared on the MTV reality series “Rock the Cradle!” – and four sons, Money said all the children have been drawn to facets of the music business.
“I never pushed any of them into music,” he said, also eager to see Desmond Money’s “good material” take him places.
“He’ll be on the charts before you know it,” the father said.
Money found rock ‘n’ roll after attending a police academy and considering that occupation his father had in their native Brooklyn, N.Y. A star in the “Police Academy” movies, Steve Guttenburg portrayed Carey Mahoney, with the same family surname into which Money was born.
Money cited police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services, and people who move the U.S. mail for “their work around the clock … in civil service jobs.”
“My heart goes out to everyone who works so hard,” he said, also proud of this country.
“I fly over the USA and see nothing but farmland. We feed the world.”