Eddie Money Dies at 70
Eddie Money, who went from New York City police officer to one of the most reliable hitmakers of the late '70s and '80s, died today at the age of 70.
“The Money family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning," reads a statement provided to Variety by his family. "It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music.”
Last month, Money publicly revealed that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer and that it had spread to his stomach and liver.
Born in Brooklyn as Edward Joseph Mahoney on March 21, 1949, Money came from a family of New York City policemen, and while he had planned to continue in that tradition, he left the force in 1968 after two years, moved to the Bay Area to become a musician and changed his last name. According to his website, he was befriended and managed by the guru of the local scene, Bill Graham, which led to a contract with Columbia Records.
A string of hits started with his double platinum 1978 self-titled debut, which included "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise." His next two albums saw a slight commercial decline, but Money rebounded with 1982's No Control on the strength of "Think I'm in Love" and "Shakin'," which ran into some trouble because of a certain word.
"Nobody noticed it," Money said in 2018. "And Bill Graham was so, so pissed off at me because he said that could've been a Top 5 single, and 'You and your sophomoric fucking bullshit, now I can't get it on the radio.' But when I talked to people, they go, 'I loved it when you said that! Wow!'"
The relative commercial failure of 1983's Where's the Party, followed by a three-year layoff, nearly signaled the end of Money's hits. Then he got some help from someone who needed a career boost even more than he did: Ronnie Spector hadn't had a Top 40 hit since the Ronettes' "Walking in the Rain" in 1964, but she put her trademark "Be My Baby" purr on "Take Me Home Tonight" and gave Money his biggest-ever hit, reaching No. 4 in 1986.
The success was no fluke. Two more singles from Can't Hold Back -- "I Wanna Go Back" and "Endless Nights" -- reached No. 14 and No. 21, respectively; Nothing to Lose from 1988 resulted in two more smashes, "Walk on Water" and "The Love in Your Eyes." Money placed two more hits in the Top 40, 1990's "Peace in Our Time" and 1991's "I'll Get By."
Money is survived by his wife Laurie, whom he married in 1989, and their five children, Zachary, Jessica, Joseph, Julian and Desmond.