The way Eddie Money sees it, opening the DTE Energy Music Theatre each year is like a bit of a homecoming.
“Michigan, for some reason, has been my best market,” says Money, 61, who was born Eddie Mahoney in New York and trained to be a police officer before moving to California in the early ’70s to pursue a music career that features enduring hits such as “Baby Hold On,” “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight.”
“You look at people like Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, who I loved, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Bob Seger and Grand Funk Railroad, even Kid Rock ... What I do comes from the same place as all that, so I think people up there really connect with my music.”
And, Money says, he doesn’t take that for granted.
“These people,” he notes, “they’ll tell me, ‘I drove 120 miles with my husband’ or they’ll tell me, ‘I got a DUI on the way to the show and I’m hoping you’ll play ‘Think I’m in Love.’ So I’ve got to play everything the people want to hear.”
Money — whose 21-year-old daughter Jesse sings backup and also duets with him on the Motown hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — will also have some new music to play for his Detroit area fans this weekend. He co-wrote “One More Soldier Coming Home” with Greg Stryker, a Michigan native, while there are also original songs that are part of the autobiographical musical “Two Tickets to Paradise,” which premiered last year on Long Island and which Money hopes will eventually make its way to Broadway.
“The problem is the people on Broadway want nothing but (existing) Eddie Money songs,” he explains, “and I said, ‘Look, I don’t want to just do a Broadway musical. This isn’t ‘Mamma Mia.’ But the people on Broadway don’t want to hear anything new.
“So maybe this won’t be on Broadway; maybe we’ll take it somewhere else — but right now it’s on the back burner ’cause of all the summer shows I have to do. Then we’ll get back to it and see what we can make happen.”
Eddie Money and Jesse Money perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 28, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $34.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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