Money doesn't matter as much to Eddie Money as it did in the ‘80s when his lavish rocker lifestyle was fueled by unhealthy habits and Billboard hits such as “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight.”
“When I opened for the Rolling Stones, I made $1,000 per minute but I spent it almost as quickly,” recalled the veteran rocker, who turns 65 next month. “Fortunately, I’ve learned over the years that the things you can buy with money aren't really what's valuable in life.”
The multi-platinum selling recording artist, who performs during GAC's opening concert at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, took time from his current tour to talk with Credit Union Times about his musical career, his moniker and his mission to help military veterans.
Born Edward Joseph Mahoney in Brooklyn, N.Y., the former New York City cop turned in his gun for a microphone in the late ‘60s. Then he headed to Los Angeles.
“I dropped the “a” and “h” because I didn't think Mahoney would look as good in lights,” he added, laughing.
With the help of legendary promoter Bill Graham, Money was catapulted into the spotlight. His string of Top 40 hits included “Can't Hold Back,” “Baby Hold On,” “Think I’m In Love,” and “Shakin.” He toured with the Rolling Stones, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, Steve Miller and many other iconic bands. His popular MTV videos combined rock and comedy, two of his longtime passions.
“I’ve always enjoyed having fun on stage, joking around and making people dance – and laugh,” the jovial musician explained. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that being happy and healthy are what matter the most.”
In addition to leading a healthier lifestyle and enjoying new hobbies such as golf, Money is also passionate about supporting military veterans and other American heroes. To show his support, he released a single, “One More Soldier Coming Home.” Proceeds benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a non-profit organization, he said.
“I am donating 100% of all the proceeds, including the publishing rights,” he explained. The song can be downloaded on his website –www.eddiemoney.com
“The band sounds great, pretty much like the original recording,” he added. “Everybody in D.C. should come shake it with the Money Man. I’ve got two tickets and everybody's invited.”
In addition to selling more than 28 million records, Money and his songs have been featured in dozens of movies, television shows, video games like “Grand Theft Auto” and “Guitar Hero,” and a recent GEICO commercial, where he lampooned himself.
“I’ve always had a lot of loyal fans, including some who call themselves Ed Heads who know every lyric to every song, but people really started recognizing me again after that commercial, so my wife said I can't leave the house in my pajamas anymore,” he quipped.
Money and his wife, Laurie, a former model, have been married 25 years and have five children, he said.
“I’ve been lucky to have been blessed with a beautiful wife and five great kids, and that means I have a whole lot of mobile phone payments, car payments, insurance payments and a long list of other things, which is why I almost named my last son “Owen Money,” he joked. “To me, what matters most is spending time with my family and enjoying life.”
Money performs in D.C. again on March 21 at The Hamilton and he's currently touring across the U.S. He's also a featured performer with Alice Cooper on Royal Caribbean's third-annual Rock Legends Cruise, which embarks from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 19, 2015.