Asked a few years ago what it’s like to go from top of the charts to playing amusement parks, as he will again Saturday at Frontier City, Eddie Money replied, “I’m just glad people still want to see me.”
He may be a shameless self-promoter — 35 years in the business can do that to you — but the classic rocker just wants to show people a good time.
“I love getting out there, and at the same time I’m out there, I’ll work my ass off. I tell my bus driver to hang the shirt in the back room, see if I can get two or three days out of it. Because it’s $7.99 a shirt,” Money said. “I’ll go out there the second night and wipe the salt stains off the shirt. And I might get another day out of it. I can’t help it. It’s because I grew up making no fucking money at all in rock ’n’ roll.”
Fueled by the hits “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise,” his first album’s blend of blues boogie and blue-eyed soul with a heartland rock veneer struck big. Suddenly a big star, Money developed star appetites. He was drinking like a fish and had a nose for cocaine.
“David Crosby once told me I didn’t need a sponsor, I needed an exorcism,” Money said, “People say, ‘Eddie, how did you O.D.?’ and I say, ‘Hey, man, it was free.’” In the early ’80s, following a long night of vodka, he snorted barbiturates; the combination put him in a coma and killed the sciatic nerve in his left leg. It’s the widest, longest nerve in the human body, starting in your lower back and running to your toes; without it, you can give up any hope of walking.
Money spent a year in therapy.
The experience inspired 1982’s platinum-selling “No Control.” The music videos for its “Shakin’” and “I Think I’m in Love” made him an MTV staple, launching him to another level.
“MTV was just coming out, and I was like, ‘I’ll bet this is going to catch on,’” he said.
After peaking with 1986’s chart-topping “Take Me Home Tonight,” Money faded into the background in the ’90s, releasing one album in the last dozen years.
Today, he notes how Lady Gaga and Hinder said they grew up on his music, and that Will Smith and Oscar De La Hoya are also fans.
Still, Money can’t get no respect.
“By the time I get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said, “I’m going to be an urn on my wife’s fireplace.”