- Interviews
Eddie Money

Eddie Money IS a legend. And for a guy who has been through everything (and I mean everything) he has come out a survivor.
Born Eddie Mahoney, in New York, he started out as cop just like his old man, but escaped to California and to a infamous meeting with Bill Graham, who was fundamental in launching his career.
The great thing about talking to Eddie, is that he knows he’s a legend, ’Hey man, I’m a rock n roll star!’.
But not in the arrogant way, more in the fact he has a great ‘attitude’ and loves what he does, and loves playing to his fans.
To interview him you need not prepare questions. Just say howdy, and he does the rest! He was more than happy to chat about the ups and downs of his life, and clearly loves where he is now, hanging out with his wife and five children, one of which he put on the phone at one stage, and still playing and recording his tunes.
In a career spanning 20 years, he has sold over 11 million albums and played to thousands of people live every year, and basically lived the excesses of the rock n roll lifestyle to the max.
To those who see Eddie as balladeer, think again. In the middle of his career, he was indulging in most forms of excess, and partying every night. When I asked Eddie about the old partying days, he replies ‘Oh man, that was two ex-wives and three rehab’s ago!’
The most famous case of Eddie’s excess was a night that combined alcohol and drugs, and nearly lost him the use of his legs, due to a loss of circulation. Doctors told Eddie that if he pulled through, he wouldn’t be able to walk again. But true to the spirit of Eddie’s convictions, all he has to show for that today, is a slight limp. That experience also helped him dry out.

I talked to Eddie in February of this year, but what he talks about doesn’t age with time. He is one of the most laid back guys I have ever talked to and is totally committed to his craft. I caught up with him in a studio in Los Angeles, just hangin’ out.........

So how are you Eddie?
‘Great! Great! I’ve got this killer album out, I’m really happy with that and I’m touring with that and just hanging out.’
‘Man, the wife was a little cranky today - so I just grabbed my boys and I’m here hanging out with the boys smokin’ cigars and drinking some brews...playing cards!

Tell us about this album, ‘Love And Money’
‘Yeah, I love this album, it’s a great album, I’m singing great on this album - it’s real bluesy, you know, I’ve always loved the blues, John Lee Hooker, Janis Joplin, Hendrix. It’s a blues and soul album. I didn’t even want ‘After The Love Has Gone’ on there. I tried to have it left off! You know - I love the tracks like ‘Run Your Hurt Away’, ‘Almost Like we Never Met’ and ‘I’ll Be The Fire’. That would make a great tune on the radio, that’s a great song.’ ‘Died a thousand times is a great song, it’s a real romantic album.’

In fact, Eddie has always been involved with blues. After he walked away from his East Coast New York home at the age of 19, with his surf board and his Bob Dylan record collection, he surfaced as an anti-war protester in San Francisco in the hippie drenched 60’s. Searching for a place to start his music he joined Big Brother And The Holding Company after the death of singer Janis Joplin. He also worked with members of the John Lee Hooker band.

‘Is it all rap and shit down there on the radio?’
Yep, Eddie it sure is!
‘Yeah, it’s hard for a white man these days.’ ‘I loved making this album - relaxed and casual. Columbia wanted this album out a year ago, you know, that’s why Wolfgang is great. Definitely more control.’
‘I was six or seven songs into the album and they wanted it out. They wanted me to fill up the album with covers. (Gee, that sounds familiar!!) So I talked to the guys there (they were great), and they let me out of my contract. And if it wasn’t for that, some of the tracks wouldn’t have been on the album.

In a press release late 1995 Eddie says, ‘I made this record because I still feel that I have something to say. It’s just different that what I had to say four or eight or twelve years ago.’
‘I’m not trying to stay in the same place and I’m not trying to compete with what’s currently in fashion. That would be dishonest. But, at the same time, I’m different and the music reflects that to some degree.’

It could be said that much of the change in Eddie Money, from the rocker, to the quiet and reflectful blues and soul man he is at present, can be attributed to the death of longtime mentor, friend and manager Bill Graham, in a helicopter crash in 1991.

Bill Graham founded Wolfgang didn’t he?
‘Yeah, he was a great friend. He was with me through all years. It was a devastating day for me when he died. You know, I’m not saying things have been downhill since then, because I have a great wife, 5 great kids, and I’m doing what I want to do, but I’m singing the blues now and really feeling it.

It is at this stage that friend and current guitarist Curt Cuomo enters the studio.
‘Hey man, give me a smoke! Oh God! Lucky Strikes! Man these things will kill you!
Great jeans man.
Hey Andrew, he’s got these skin tight black jeans on. Where do you find jeans like those man, I’ve gotta get me some of those.
Hey Andrew, can you get jeans like that in Australia?’
Yeah, sure, but you gotta look for them!
‘Yeah, they are all these baggy shit looking ones over here!’

Eddie, I really enjoyed listening to ‘Unplug It In’ last year. Did you have as much fun recording it? It had a great vibe.
‘Yeah, that was great to be able to bring back some of the old tunes like ‘Save A Little Room’, and ‘Gimme Some Water’. It was great to give those tunes a run.’

What about the live set now?
‘Yeah, I’ve got a couple of old favs back. The fans came up to me and said, you know, I drove 3 hours to hear ‘Trinidad’ and you left it out! But we’ve got that back now, and I’ve just added ‘We Should Be Sleeping’ and ‘Baby Hold On’, I haven’t sung those for a while.
I would love to get some of the other older numbers out and play them. I think the fans would love to hear them.’

Going back a bit, you used to be a New York Police Officer, didn’t you?
‘Yeah, I did that to please my dad, but you know, I couldn’t stand the thought of having short hair for 20 years! Ha Ha! I just wanted to get out and do my thing, you know - grow my hair long and all that!
I moved out to California in ‘68.’

And that’s where you live and hang out now?
‘Yeah, I live right here in L.A.’

You like it there?
‘Well I love L.A. for the beach and stuff, that’s the reason I live here.
You know, I’m just a beach bum. I can go surfing all the time down on Huntington Beach and Malibu beach. I just hang out and surf with everyone down there. But I’ll tell you, I hate it when the 16 year old kids surf a wave better than I do!! They just come up to me and say - ‘sorry Mr. Money’! I love surfing and hanging out with the boys - you know we’re just sitting back right now having some brewski’s! - taking it easy!’

You still party then?
‘Oh yeah! Sure! I still do a bit of this and a bit of that. Some brews and there’s nothing wrong with a bud or two!!’

Were the old days a bit of a blur?
‘No man! I still remember! I was never that waisted I couldn’t remember!
You know, I did a lot of stuff, a lot of drinking, and I did some blow and that, but I never stuck a needle in my arm or anything. I just partied!!’

Eddie Money the wild man of rock?
‘Ha Ha Ha!!”

The great thing about Eddie Money's songs is that they all mean something, they come from his heart, and tunes he covers, he makes his.

Are there any new tunes on the album that have a great story behind them?
‘There is one song ‘Just No Giving Up’, that’s about two kids that came to me while I was recording. They didn’t have anything you know - practically living off the street. I took them under my wing and bought ‘em some new clothes and stuff, took them shopping. The boy said to me ‘my mom always said there is just no giving up’, and that’s where the song came from.

On that note I left it at that. A truely great guy to talk to, and one that will leave a lasting impression.