Eddie Money is not your typical, calloused and jaded rock star. Although, with a slew of songs that reached the Billboard Top 100 and over 35 years in the business, he has plenty of reasons to have a head full of helium and little interest to play songs he wrote in his twenties.
Being blase just doesn't suit him. Like how his short stint as a New York City cop didn't suit him. “I couldn't see myself in a uniform for 20 years,” Money admits during a call from his home in California. “I'm just a regular person. Instead of working at a gas station or fixing your refrigerator, I'm singing rock 'n' roll.”
A regular person he may be. But he certainly isn't doing regular things, or for that matter, regular rock star things.
After every show, Money settles at the merchandise booth, selling t-shirts and talking with fans.
“A lot of the merchandise proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.”
A nonprofit organization, Intrepid Fallen Heroes serves U.S. military personnel that where injured, in addition to their families. “I do what I can to help the troops out.”
If he's not selling t-shirts, he's asking fans for feedback, assessing his performance from their perspective and getting a gauge for what they liked.
“I'm from New York so I'm a real chatter box,” he proclaims with an accent laced with the city. “I take all the information I can get from them – What songs they liked and how it sounded. - That way you can get a real feel for the show that night, and it only makes them better.”
Thanks to the video game Rock Band, he's not only getting reactions from fans that had their first kiss during “Two Tickets to Paradise”, but from fans that heard the song while testing their four-button skills.
Whether young or old, he holds a soft spot for his fans. They humble the singer, and reiterate why he still belts out grooves like “Gimme Some Water” as if it was the first time he's performed the track.
“It's really great to see a kid, like 7-years-old singing at a show, and know all of the lyrics to “Take Me Home Tonight”, he gushes. “People will tell me a lot of sentimental stories about my music. It makes me feel really good to see them get all lit up about my music.”
The song-writer may have an aversion to suits, but lately he's been a man of many hats, appearing in a Geico commercial and taking on the role as playwrite with his 2009 show, aptly titled “Two Tickets to Paradise.”
The play chronicles his life and bouts with rock 'n' roll stardom.
“It's about the camaraderie between the guys in my band, and when I OD'ed. Y'know, people ask me 'How'd you OD?' I always say, 'It was free. How'd you think I OD'ed?' But then I came back with one of my biggest albums, No Control.”
Just a regular guy or not, he's definitely got some rock star attributes.
Eddie Money performs at House of Blues in Cleveland on Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
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