Eddie Money is preparing for a massive homecoming. The rock singer, who grew up in Plainedge, is turning 70 on Thursday with a big birthday bash at NYCB Theatre at Westbury.
“I’m really looking forward to it. This is going to be my favorite gig of the year,” says Money. “Because of all my relatives and friends on Long Island, I’m going to have a bigger guest list than the Rolling Stones!”
WE ARE FAMILY
Currently, his band contains three of his children: his son Julian, 23, on drums, his son Dez, 28, on rhythm guitar and his daughter Jesse, 30, on background vocals. “We are like the Osmonds. It’s a family affair,” says Money. “I’m proud of the fact that I’m playing with my kids.”
They all appear on his AXS TV family reality show, “Real Money,” which starts its second season next month. “When I put on my body mic for the show, my wife and my daughter take advantage of me,” notes Money. “They make me feel like Eddie Haskell from ‘Leave It to Beaver.’ ”
NEW ALBUM COMING
However, Money’s main focus is on his upcoming new studio album, “It’s a Brand New Day,” featuring his first batch of original material in 20 years. “This is the best record I’ve made since ‘No Control’ (1982),” claims Money. “It’s got that late seventies rock and roll feel to it.”
Coming back to Long Island reminds Money of the old days when he used to perform in Battle of the Bands with his former group, The Grapes of Wrath. “We used to play at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, The Tiger’s Tail in Plainedge and Soiree in Levittown,” recalls Money. “Billy Joel’s old band The Hassles, my band the Grapes of Wrath and the Rich Kids used to go head-to-head in the late ‘60s.”
The Westbury venue, formerly known as Westbury Music Fair, also holds fond memories for Money who grew up seeing shows there as well as performing in the building.
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“I used to watch Janis Joplin, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The Rascals there,” remembers Money. “With that rotating stage, the last few times I played there, I ended up getting stuck behind the amplifiers and then having to climb over them like a monkey. Maybe this time I’ll get lucky.”
Despite his age, Money feels strong and embraces his good fortune. “I’m lucky to be here at 70,” he says. “I’m sober, I still got my hair and my weight is down. It’s a good week!”
Eddie Money with special guest John Waite
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m., Thursday, March 21, NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd.
INFO 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
ADMISSION $49.50 to $125.50
Moneyman’s hit list
Eddie Money had hits up and down the radio dial from 1977 to 1988. Here are some of his well-known singles and his memories behind them.
‘BABY HOLD ON’ (1977)
“When I was writing it, I had just seen that movie, ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ with Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart,” says Money. “The film had that song, ‘Qué Será, Será,’ which inspired the lyrics for the chorus.”
‘TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE’ (1977)
“I wanted to write a hit. I had this line in my head: ‘Pack your bags we’ll leave tonight, I’ve got two tickets to paradise.’ So we ended up reversing the lyric,” says Money. “Originally, Columbia Records felt the guitar solo was too long. But we pushed, and radio ended up loving it.”
‘SHAKIN’ ‘ (1982)
“What’s happening in that song is the drum beat. I had this drummer named Gary Ferguson. He said to me, ‘I’m going to give you a drum beat that’s going to go down in history.’ He learned it from playing in strip clubs for years,” says Money. “Plus, we had Apollonia in the video. I, on the other hand, look like a singing shoe salesman.”
‘TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT’ (1986)
“One of my favorite songs of all time is ‘Be My Baby’ by Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes. I think she’s a fantastic singer,” says Money. “Originally, I was going to use Martha Davis of The Motels, but I tried getting a hold of Ronnie. She was out of the business at the time, but I talked her into doing it.”
‘WALK ON WATER’ (1988)
“I have bad memories of that song because when we shot the video my wife wanted to be in it, but we had to use this actress that Columbia Records wanted,” says Money. “I never heard the end of it from my wife. She still brings it up to this day.”
DAVID J. CRIBLEZ