Eddie Money, who died on Sept. 13 at 70, enjoyed a successful career that spanned 45 years with his natural larger-than-life attitude.

His self-titled debut album, released in 1977, featured the hits “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Baby Hold On” – but he said he received a surprising response when he delivered the first track.

“It took me about six months to write ‘Two Tickets to Paradise',” Money recalled in a previously unpublished interview with UCR from 2014. “And they said it wasn’t commercial enough for AM radio. … I said, ‘Holy fucking shit!’ So we turned around and Jimmy Lyon and I wrote ‘Baby Hold On’ in about two and a half days. I wrote the verse and he wrote the bridge, and that was the first big single and I couldn’t believe it.”

He noted that another song on his debut LP, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me," was "very big on the R&B charts. A lot of people thought I was a black artist in Harlem. My brother was a cop in Harlem, and he said that all the black people thought I was an American Negro. I grew up on a lot of Otis Redding and James Brown. My favorite Beatle was always John Lennon. I’ve always been a writer.”

Listen to Eddie Money's ’Two Tickets to Paradise’

While Money was happy to keep such classic hits in his set list right to the end of his career, he also retained an interest in performing different shows as often as possible. “I do my best to try to change the set list every night to keep the boys on their toes," he said. “We start out with ‘Two Tickets’ and we do ‘Baby Hold On,’ then the girls want to hear ‘Endless Nights,’ so we put that back in the set for all of my ladies from the ‘80s.”

Money reported that celebrity fans included Lady Gaga and Nine Inch Nails, and also Dave Grohl, even though Money couldn’t quite place him. “The guy in Foo Fighters is a huge Eddie Money fan," he said. "I forget what the guy’s name is – used to play drums for Nirvana. He talked my ear off, and I’m going, ‘I’ve seen this guy on TV.’ He said he has ‘Baby Hold On’ in the [Foos] set list. I couldn’t believe it.”

 

Rockers We've Lost in 2019

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