Written by Kyle Bluth Friday, 02 July 2010 00:00
It’s kind of like the show before the show. For anyone who might picture peace and quiet backstage before a concert, especially at an Eddie Money concert, better think again. Eddie Money emerges and sits down at one of the picnic tables, almost unaware of his success. He is about as approachable, down to earth and funny as they come. Upon meeting this icon you almost forget who he is for a moment and you get the sense he might even do the same, but it isn’t possible, not here, and definitely not on Long Island. Everyone seeks an autograph, a picture, or at the very least, just wants to bask in the glow of his charismatic smile. He takes it all in stride and you get the sense he’s seen this before. After all these years one thing is certain, Eddie is still Money. The Levittown Tribune sat down with the Island Trees High School alum for a little Q & A at his recent concert at Point Lookout.
Tribune: How do you feel about growing up in Levittown?
Money: Levittown never down. That’s what we used to say. It’s great to come back and visit my old high school. I did that big benefit at Island Trees High School for the football team. (Laughs) I ran into all my old neighbors, I used to mow their lawns and they always tell me I did a sh*** job on their backyards.
Tribune: Do you catch up with old friends when you come back and visit?
Money: I’ve got a million friends here. I try to take care of everybody at the event with free parking and stuff like that.
Tribune: What are your fondest memories of growing up in Levittown?
Money: You want to know the truth? (pauses with a mischievous smile) Long Island girls.
Tribune: You’ve been very successful in your career. How did you first get into music?
Money: It was back in high school, I found out the best way to date cheerleaders was being in The Grapes of Wrath, that was my group. We used to play in the battle of the bands. Whoever won that got to play in the junior prom and then wound up playing the senior prom. But back in my day, it was like, you know, we treated women with a lot of respect.
Tribune: Did growing up on Long Island help to hone your skills as a musician?
Money: Definitely, no doubt about it. I grew up with bands like the Young Rascals and there was a group called the Vagrants we used to go see, which was really great. Then we used to go into the city and see Janis Joplin. I tell ya my roots have always been Long Island and, you know, I wouldn’t be in rock n’ roll if I wasn’t in a rock band in high school, you know. I was actually in a rock band before The Beatles came out, Chuck Berry stuff.
Tribune: Can you tell us a little bit about your song One More Soldier Coming Home?
Money: Yes, it’s actually about a poor kid that lost his life defending his country. It’s a beautiful song and I want to send it out to our veterans here tonight.
Tribune: When you were putting together your tour dates for this year, what made you choose this event?
Money: Well, I wanted to come back and play Long Island. Playing Long Island in the summertime is what it’s all about. The best place to be in the world in the summertime is right here in Nassau County, you know. I played Yankee Stadium today but now I’m right here in my own backyard and that’s special to me. I’ve got two tickets to paradise and I’m takin’ everybody with me.”