Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Night in 'Paradise'

If you're thinking an Eddie Money concert in Times Square that was promoted with a Groupon would be a 50-something bridge-and-tunnel extravaganza, then step to the front of the line. 

Appearing onstage at B.B. King's at 8 o'clock sharp -- people have bedtimes, after all -- Eddie launched right into his best song, "Baby Hold On," then proceeded to deliver a tight show, including all of his other hits ("Walk On Water," "Two Tickets to Paradise," "Think I'm in Love," "I Wanna Go Back"), leading up to his biggest, "Take Me Home Tonight" (daughter Jesse filled in for Ronnie Spector, and also filled in for Dad while he took a break mid-set, sounding far better than her eliminated-first-from-MTV's-"Rock the Cradle" status might indicate).

The set was filled out with key album tracks, Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me," "Wanna Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" and "No Control." But when it came time for the encore, that's when things got rowdy, with me leading the chants for "Shakin'" -- the song I gladly paid full price for on the assumption that it would be performed. Eddie didn't disappoint -- the crowd went wild as the famous drum intro began -- then he quietly came out afterward to sign autographs and pose for photos.

After our initial photo-op failed -- I'd left the camera on movie mode and Michael didn't know how to fix it before Eddie, like an unchaperoned Alzheimer's patient, began wandering out onto 42nd Street -- my friend Yogita tried to sidle up to him for a do-over.

It was at this point when Miss Congeniality Long Island 1974 (above left, all but posing for Michael) tried to shoo her away, screaming rather patronizingly at her: "You don't even know who he is." Not about to let my friend's Eddie Money cred to be besmirched by someone who speaks with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth, I stepped in to inform her that she was mistaken -- that it was in fact Yogi's idea to go to the show. "Well it was MY idea to come to this show, too!" the former debate captain responded, to which I said, "Well, good. But you're still wrong." "I'm not wrong about anything," she insisted, "she's my dawwwwwter's age." "Well, that may well be, but you're still wrong." After playing "I know you are but what am I?" for another round or two, Pamela Des Barres' evil stepsister stopped, looked me in the eye and said: "You know what you are? You're a loser." And then without missing a beat, she attempted to board Eddie's tour bus on what was shaping up to be the greatest night of her life -- she was refused admittance -- and that was, oddly, one of the greatest of mine, too.

That man was Shakin' (and it may have been Parkinson's)


Anonymous said...

I had a coworker years back who was obsessed with Eddie. I wonder if he was there?

Sadly, I can't remember a single one of his songs. I'll have to check him out on Utube.

Anonymous said...

Sadly (or happily) I *do* remember a lot of his hits. He was the very first live rock concert I ever went to as a kid. “Baby Hold Onto Me” hit that year. He was touring in small Texas towns with Santa Esmeralda opening for him. It must have been in ’78, and I think I was in 5th grade or so. A friend and I snuck in thinking we would use very bad, very obvious, fake ID’s. (I’m sure we fooled no one, but they probably let us in because they needed the ticket money. It was Wichita Falls, after all.)
Every time I hear that song I still kind of get small swooning feeling inside. If I ever met a man who could understand that sort of feeling for this song, I’d probably marry him.

Glad you had a nice time at the concert, Kenneth.


Blobby said...

Apollonia looks horrible in that last picture.

James Greenlee said...

I once saw a Eddie Money/Cyndi Lauper double bill in Columbus, Ohio. I was jealous, because my ne'er-do-well brother was working the door, and got to go back stage. Anyway, Eddie was pasty and spastic. . .a little chubby, but not scared to flash his stomach to the audience. And I thought it was passable. When he was done, HALF the audience just walked out. I was stunned. I was there to see Cyndi! She came out, and announced that she had bronchitis. . .but rocked the shit out of Columbus. The half that left were fools. And the half that stayed saw a show 10X what Eddie offered.