Niagara Gazette

March 20, 2013

Eddie Money's the local ticket this weekend

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — This weekend’s best bet for music is the money man, Eddie Money, who will be appearing at Seneca Niagara’s Bear’s Den on Friday. Money last appeared in the area at the Labatt’s Canal Concert Series July 6 in Lockport.

Also coming to town over the next few days, Aaron Bruno’s Awolnation stops at The Rapids Theatre on Sunday and Carrie Underwood will be at The First Niagara Center on Tuesday.

Eddie Money’s path to rock stardom is an unlikely one. Money (whose real last name is Mahoney) was born to an Irish Catholic family in Brooklyn, and like many Irish Catholics in the region, he began a career in law enforcement.

When I spoke to Eddie by phone last summer before the Lockport show he told me “I couldn’t see myself in uniform. My father did it for years and was a heavy drinker. My father and my captain would get on me about having my hair long. My old man, he was tough, Irish Catholic, very strict.”

As far as Money’s drinking is concerned, he quit drinking over three years ago. “I joked with a crowd once telling them I was sorry I drank a quart of vodka and that I would try and put on a good show. The next day it’s all over the Internet that I am drinking again. I was just kidding with the audience!”

The funny thing is that as he was arriving to the Lockport pre-show meet-and-greet he used the same line to fans waiting outside.

Money is best known for catchy rock songs with a heavy rhythm and blues influence. In addition to singing he plays saxophone. His biggest hits include, “Baby Hold On,” “Take Me Home Tonight” and “I Wanna Go Back.”

Money’s signature hit is “Two Tickets to Paradise,” a song that recently reappeared in a GEICO commercial (when I interviewed him he was in between takes for the commercial) In July, he spoke to me about the inspiration for the song.

“There was this girl I was dating at the time that came from this rich family. For a while her parents thought she was living in a sorority house going to college but she was living with me. When she went home her parents would introduce her to lawyers and accountants because they wanted to get her away from me. The song is about how we would take bus trips to northern California, like a Greyhound, to get away. I couldn’t afford Hawaii or anything like that so those bus tickets were really special.”

Awolnation are coined as an “electronic rock” band, but their unique brand of music doesn’t fit neatly into any genre. The band’s music has been featured on many television shows including Sons of Anarchy, Common Law and The Vampire Diaries.

One thing that I love about The Rapids Theatre is that they do a great job booking interesting bands from across many musical genres. You can easily preview Awolnation’s music online and decide if they are worth the $20 ticket price.

They are definitely one of those bands that have the potential to become a major national act.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.