Eddie Money plays Casino N.B. tomorrow

Had it not been for rock’n’roll, Eddie Money might have ended up being known as Officer Money.

It’s true; the man behind hits like Take Me Home Tonight, Two Tickets To Paradise and Baby Hold On was set to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a career police officer.

But after two years serving with the New York City Police Force, Money decided that the lure of music was too strong to resist. He flew west to California and began playing shows where he eventually met legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. Graham became Money’s mentor while also serving as his manager, helping secure him his contract with Columbia Records, which released his debut album in 1977, and helped set the musician on course for a successful career that includes more than 30 million records sold.

Born Edward Mahoney in Brooklyn, New York in 1949, Eddie grew up at a time that many would consider being the golden age of rock’n’roll.

“I listened to everybody from The Four Tops and The Contours to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones,” Eddie says from his home in California. “I was lucky to grow up in the ’60s when rock’n’roll was still really cool.”

Asked about his somewhat abrupt career change from police officer to rocker, Eddie says the thought of putting on a uniform every day was simply not something that he was willing to follow through with. Although Eddie played in bands while he was still in high school, he had never considered a career in music as being an option for him.

“I was in a rock band in high school so I had already had some experience with music. After high school, I had joined the police department but I woke up one day and realized that if I was going to be wearing a uniform every day of my life for the next 20 years, I should have joined the army and got it over with in four years,” he laughs.

With a live schedule that includes anywhere between 100 and 150 shows each year, Eddie has a number of other projects on the go, including a radio show and a reality television show which is currently being filmed and produced.

“My family is filming a reality television show but it is not like a Family Jewels type of show,” he says, referring to the popular show starring Kiss’s Gene Simmons and his family. “My wife and I don’t have a typical relationship in that we do not live together.”

Asked if he is concerned about any negative ramifications that might come with stepping into the reality television spotlight, Eddie does not sound the least bit concerned even though he admits that the cameras have not always caught him at his best.

“There is an incident caught on camera where I was upset about something and started knocking over water bottles and kicking over tables; I forgot the cameras were rolling. The show will be capturing me and my family, warts and all.”

Although his last proper studio album was released in 2007, one of Eddie’s most recent recording ventures is a track entitled One More Soldier Coming Home. Available for download on his website, proceeds from the track are being donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Established in 2000, the IFH Fund has provided more than $120 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service and to severely wounded members. Eddie says that he wrote the song to help shed light on the work being done by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I call the soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘kids’ but it’s because I’m in my late 50s. But honest to God, these young men and women who are serving our country are walking in 140-degree heat with 90-pound backpacks on,” Eddie says. “I feel sorry for them because I don’t think that a lot of people really appreciate what they are doing for their countries and for people on the other side of the world.”

Though the bulk of Eddie’s tour schedule these days falls within America’s borders, he admits to having a soft spot for the Great White North and is greatly looking forward to Friday’s show at Casino New Brunswick.

“I’m really looking forward to getting up to Canada, man. It’s not that I don’t love living in the United States but I just have such a great time when I’m there. It is such a great place just to hang out,” he says.

Performing alongside Eddie Money at Casino New Brunswick Friday night is ’80s band Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. The group, which rose from the ashes of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, dubbed itself Starship after being sued by former Jefferson Starship member Paul Kantner over the right to use that band’s name.

The group went on to score number one hits with We Built This City and Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

Article published in November 3, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript