Published on April 6th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Eddie Money On His New AXS TV Show “Real Money,” Family Time & Touring With The Rolling Stones
With over a dozen major radio to his credits, Eddie Money has reportedly sold over 40 million albums in his 40-plus years of mainstream success. Money has never stopped recording new music or touring around the world, but that doesn’t mean that the masses always followed his every move. In turn, Money wound up filming for an Oprah Winfrey-produced Where Are They Now? TV segment, which aired in 2016. This segment — which included Money’s wife Laurie and their five children — garnered a lot of attention and ultimately led to the Money family starring in a reality show of their own, Real Money, which is set to premiere on the AXS TV network on April 8th at 9:30 ET / 6:30 PT.
As a long-time fan of Eddie Money, when given the opportunity to talk with “The Money Man” by phone, I jumped at the opportunity. The man is not only entertaining on-stage, but is also full of one-liners and anecdotes when in conversation. Below are some highlights from our chat, which simultaneously show Money’s humility and over-the-top showmanship. More on Money, the Real Money series and Money’s very-talented family can be found online at www.eddiemoney.com.
On finding radio success:
Eddie Money: I wrote “Two Tickets To Paradise,” and they thought the guitar solo was too long and they didn’t think it was commercial enough to AM radio, because that was FM radio… The big goal was to get on AM radio, so when I wrote “Baby Hold On” it was after I saw a movie called The Man That Knew Too Much with Gregory Peck and Doris Day. They had a song in there called “Que Sera, Sera.” (sings) “Whatever will be will be, the future is ours to see.” I turned it into, “Baby Hold On To Me.” (laughs)
On encountering Doris Day as a result of “Baby Hold On”:
Eddie Money: I answered the door one day when I was still living in Oakland and she had a lawyer trying to sue m and tell me, “Eddie Money stole ‘Baby Hold On’ from ‘Que Sera, Sera.’ I knew who Doris Day was and I went, “Who is the f**k is Doris Day? What are you talking about?” But you know, I guess basically speaking, did I steal ‘Baby Hold On’ from ‘Que Sera, Sera?’ Not intentionally, I did see the movie three times so… maybe I did, who knows? (laughs)
On the success of his Two Tickets To Paradise musical:
Eddie Money: I also did the play up in Rochester, New York. I just finished doing it about two weeks ago, then I got standing ovations, the play went over fantastic. I was very happy about that, but I have got no time to really pursue the play right now. I have got this new record coming out, I have got the kids’ careers to think about. I am trying to help Desmond become a star, my son Joe writes electronic dance music, I’ve got these kids, I have to do something for these f**king kids of mine, you know?
On having some of his kids play in his band:
Eddie Money: The thing is, I don’t really have the three kids in the band. I mean Desmond plays guitar for me when he feels like playing guitar for me. Julian playing drums for me, he plays way better drums for Desmond’s band than he does for me. To this day he still hasn’t gotten “Give Me Some Water” right, which is one of my biggest f**king hits and he still doesn’t… Laurie is saying to me, “Don’t badmouth the kids.” (laughs) You know I’ve got the wife sitting here, so you are not going to get an honest interview.
On whether he wanted his kids to pursue music:
Eddie Money: Not at all. I wanted my kids to go to USC, I wanted my kids to go to UCLA, I wanted them to be a CPA, I wanted them to be a lawyer, I wanted my kids to be dentist. What happened? I wound up with a bunch of kids that, their paws are all over the house writing music like me, driving me crazy, but it is in their blood. What can I do? They are musically-inclined and maybe that is why it will be a good TV show.
On how the reality show came about:
Eddie Money: Oprah Winfrey wanted us to do show called Where Are They Now?. We did the show and she was interviewing me and stuff like that. Unfortunately, but I guess fortunately, my younger son was about 19 at the time, and I am an ex-alcoholic… I went up to his room and find a bottle of liquor in there. I got really pissed off that he was drinking. How did he get the bottle? I found out my daughter bought him the bottle of booze and I had a s**fit. They had it all on television and everybody thought, “Wow this is great. This guy Eddie Money cares about his kids.” All of a sudden there was a lot of reality in the show that I didn’t want it to be in there, but they really got a kick out of this. Mark Cuban said, “I like this guy Eddie Money, big fan of his, why don’t we do a show about him and his kids?”
So the next thing I know, they come taping me, taping the kids, so everybody was crazy about the show. My wife was in it, she was amazing and I don’t know… I’d like to see the show be successful because, you know me, I am a dad, l like to help my kids out.
On son Desmond writing the theme to Real Money:
Eddie Money: I wanted to write the theme song, he turns around and takes the theme song away from his own dad… That is my wife yelling at me for saying that.
On whether he has a recording studio at home:
Eddie Money: Why own a boat if your best friend owns a boat? I’ve got a million friends with their own recording studios. Why would I have to own one in my own house? I just go to my friend’s house to record music. They’ve got great microphones, they play great drums, I’ve got everything at my fingertips, which is amazing.
On the current status of the music business:
Eddie Money: Nobody sells records anymore. When they say the “video killed the radio star,” that is true. But you know what? The internet killed the recording star. Desmond’s got a great record that nobody is going to buy. Now everybody emails songs that they want to reach people. They closed up Tower Records, they closed up all the big record stores…
Think about how many records Taylor Swift would sell if people weren’t downloading the songs for nothing, or Imagine Dragons, all these bands. I mean, I sold 42 million records, but in my day people went out and they bought albums, they bought cassettes, they bought eight-tracks. These days you just email a song to somebody and all of a sudden a thousand people are listening to it for nothing.
On his next album, and how that relates to the state of the business:
Eddie Money: It is such a great record, you’re going to love it. It is so filled with so many great songs, I’ve got a song about me and my daughter. The songs are very genuine, and they are very sincere and heartfelt, like “Two Tickets To Paradise” or “Take Me Home Tonight.”
I made the whole record myself, and I did it on my own terms. Now I have got three or four really big labels… Kind of the chick in the high school that never got around, you know?
All of a sudden Eddie Money is happening again. I can’t believe it, it is really great, and the kids’ careers are good. Desmond, he doesn’t sound anything like me, but he is really a brilliant writer. Chris Lord-Alge, Chris is a very good buddy of mine, and his mixes Desmond’s material and he mixes my material. Things are going great out here, I am trying to get the kids a record deal, but these days, having a record deal, nobody even cares if they are on a label or not anymore. I don’t know what it is all about.
I’ve got this song called “Brand New Day” and I’ve got about 67 radio stations calling me. “This is a number one single, Eddie. This song is so good.” That is great, but who is going to buy it? People are going to email it to each other for nothing. What good does it do me?
On touring with The Rolling Stones:
Eddie Money: On our tour with The Rolling Stones, I did six cities with them and they fired me before I did the last three cities because I had “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets To Paradise” on the radio. You know me, I did everything. I mean, when it was FM radio I made sure that “Walk On Water” or “Give Me Some Water” or something like that, “If you are not going to play the hit, play this track, you might like this.” I just had so many songs on the radio and when you go out there and you are opening up The Rolling Stones or you’re out there opening up for REO Speedwagon or Styx, and you’re going to open up with “Baby Hold On” and you’re going to do “Walk On Water,” then you’re gonna do “Think I’m In Love,” then you’re going to do “Shakin’,” then you’re gonna do “I Wanna Go Back,” then you’re gonna do “Take Me Home Tonight”… How is anybody going to f**king follow that? Because I am going to go out there and kick everybody’s ass, that is what I want to do.
Mick Jagger said, “That’s great, fire him. We love Eddie, fire him.” (laughs) But if I can get fired from one of the Rolling Stones tours for being too good, that is a real feather on my cap, you know?
On his drug overdose in the early 1980s:
Eddie Money: The only thing good about the drug overdose is I was down to 165 pounds, and I looked great in a Versace suit. (laughs)
On last words for the kids:
Eddie Money: I am happy that the kids, my kids, they are not out snorting heroin, they are not getting DUIs, they are not doing Oxycontin. They are all living at home and they are basically good kids. I mean, I’d like to see them go to church with me and my wife on Sunday. I take my wife to church every Sunday, but then again it is the only nap I get all week. (laughs) That is one of my sh**ty jokes that she doesn’t like.
But, life is good, the kids are all doing good. Nobody is in jail, nobody is getting DUIs, nobody is wrecking cars and I guess I am having a good week. I mean, every week I look at things, every week the kids are growing up. I am happy, you know what I am saying?