Friday, September 13, 2019

RIP Eddie Money

I was never exactly an Eddie Money fan. I was a suburban white boy growing up in the northeast in the late 70s and early 80s, so of course I knew and liked a handful of his songs; that's just how it was. But to call myself a fan wouldn't just be a stretch, it'd be inaccurate.

Still, it amused me when he scored an MTV hit in the early days. This not terribly telegenic and definitely not smooth and polished rocker, nothing like Michael Jackson or Duran Duran, was on nearly as often, thanks to his "Shakin'" video. And if I didn't especially want to watch it, much less listen to it, well, it still made me smile.

But I've always thought he did have one true shining moment of real rock and roll greatness. His breakthrough hit "Two Tickets to Paradise" is good. It's not great but it's good, maybe even very good. The drums, by the fabulous Gary Mallaber, are fantastic, the percussion's great, and the guitar solo is ever so sweet. But the lyrics to the verses are jejune and the chorus simplistic.

But the music during the verses is great. And if the music during the chorus is just okay, well, that all gets washed away during the B-section, the "waiting so long" part, which seems as simplistic as the chorus and yet somehow taps into something incredibly primal and eternal, thanks to the combination of the sentiment, the melody and the instrumental backing, along with Money's vocal delivery, which sells the underlying emotion perfectly. If I were to ever capture a moment that well, I'd be a very happy artist indeed.

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