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Published: Friday, 7/25/2003

Money keeps old hits fresh

BY DAVID YONKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

“I don't do this for the money,” said Eddie Money.

Apparently no pun intended.

“I do this to see people's faces light up. `Two Tickets to Paradise,' `Baby Hold On,' `Take Me Home Tonight' - I share a lot of great memories with these fans.”

The former New York police cadet turned pop singer, who will be in concert tonight at the Toledo Club, seems to possess boundless enthusiasm for his music, and he's not about to abandon the songs that made him a star.

“I could put a new record out, but when I go to see Bob Seger or Tom Petty, I don't want to hear their new stuff,” Money said in an interview this week. “When I go to a Rolling Stones concert, I want to hear their old hits.”

Money enjoyed a quick start to his career when his first two albums - a self-titled debut in 1978 and “Life for the Taking” the next year - sold a million copies each. With such radio favorites as “Baby Hold On,” “Two Tickets to Paradise,” and “Maybe I'm a Fool,” Money opened concerts for such top acts as the Stones, Cheap Trick, and Ted Nugent before making the jump to headline artist.

The 54-year-old singer now tours almost constantly and said he doesn't mind singing the same songs every night, partly because he feels he is improving with age.

“When I first recorded these songs, I was really kind of green,” Money said. “Now I'm singing a lot better than when I first started. I've got everything fine-tuned.

“And my voice sounds great,” he said. “I'm a Catholic and I gave up cigarettes for Lent. You think you're giving something up for God but in the long run, it's for your own benefit.”

On the downside, he said, giving up smoking has led to a new challenge: keeping his weight down. “My metabolism's slowed down and I have to make an effort. I don't want to go out there on stage looking out of shape.”

While most of the songs he plays in concert are the old favorites, with his seasoned band Money is able to keep things interesting by mixing up the arrangements and the order for every show. “We open with `Where's the Party?' but I never write a set list,” he said. “We do it differently every night. I have to feel the crowd out first.”

Eddie Money will be in concert at 7 tonight in the parking lot of the Toledo Club, Madison Avenue and 14th Street. Admission is $25. Information: 419-243-2200.



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