“Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?” – The Beatles (1967)
Eddie Money will turn 64 the day before he arrives in Niagara Falls for a show inside The Bear’s Den Showroom at Seneca Niagara Casino on March 22.
He brings with him a life’s worth of musical memories, including a chain of Top 40 hits, platinum albums, and national television appearances that would humble any current artist who claims to be something special.
He rose to prominence during an era in which terrestrial radio and MTV were still viable instruments for propelling an artist up the charts and straight into the hearts and minds of the people, so he knows what it takes to make it in the industry.
“We had so many hits back then,” said Money, in a recent phone interview. “Think about it. ‘Two Tickets to Paradise,’ ‘Take Me Home Tonight,’ ‘No Control,’ ‘Gimme Some Water,’ ‘I Wanna Go Back,’ ‘Walk on Water,’ the list goes on and on. That’s a pretty impressive list. We even brought ‘Endless Nights’ back into the set, because the response has been so great.”
Despite that same industry’s exasperating obsession with youth, the question of whether or not we still need a 64-year-old Money Man should be easy for anyone to answer.
We need him, because he’s a true professional/multi-instrumentalist, and a former Brooklyn police officer whose hard work and dedication to the fans have made him one of the genuinely good human beings on the scene.
“I never thought I would be that famous,” he said. “I just put everything I had into the music and managed to reach people on a significant level. Being a recognizable figure means that I have to shave and shower just to go to the store, which is funny to me. I thought about going into comedy once for a while, but rock and roll is where I wanted to be. I’m still amazed by the amount of e-mails and support I’ve gotten about this upcoming tour, so it’s going to be a great time.”
For those who have seen him before or are skeptical of what he could possibly do differently this time around, he promises a much more intimate experience than in years past.
“We’re calling this tour ‘The Unplug It In…Again’ tour, because I really like the storyteller aspect,” he said. “We have two acoustic guitars, so it won’t be a super loud evening for people just looking to enjoy the music. Plus, I’m able to focus on the songs more and interact with the audience in a way that makes them feel part of the show.”
While the question of vocal stamina hovers over any sexagenarian artist, don’t let his recent Geico commercial fool you.
“I quit drinking three years ago, so I’ve definitely been keeping in shape. My health and voice are still good, though my doctor does tell me to get on the treadmill more. My weight is at 200, and he thinks I should get down to 185. I’m in my early 60s with 5 kids, which means that I’m always on the go and doing something.”
As for the commercial, Money doesn’t want that image to define him at this point in his career.
“The original plan was for my wife to be in the commercial with me, but Geico ended up using a different version that cut her part out. The a cappella version they went with had better acoustics for the room, so that’s the one they chose. When I saw my eyes popping out, I thought I looked like Barney Fife, but it was a lot of fun. I didn’t want to do Wife Swap, because what if my wife was paired up with some good-looking athlete?”
If Money radiates the same candor and quick wit into the show as he did during our 12-minute conversation, it promises to be one entertaining evening.
Eddie Money plays the The Bear's Den Showroom on March 22.
See http://www.senecacasinos.com for details.
Check out http://www.eddiemoney.com for all things Eddie as well as information about his Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.