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Interview:
Veteran singers put a little Jingle Bell in their rock
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

`Tis the season to be...rocking. At least that's the way Eddie Money, Lou Gramm and Mickey Thomas feel.

But the trio is concerned that fans might get the wrong impression about its Jingle Bell Rock tour, which they say is more about the rock than the jingle.

"We do a couple of Christmas songs, but not a lot," says Money, 62, a perennial Detroit favorite who's made several appearances in the metro area already this year. "We do my single, 'Everybody Loves Christmas.' We do 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town;' I think we do it better than (Bruce) Springsteen.

"But we do our hits, too. Lou does 'Midnight Blue,' 'I Want to KNow What Love Is,' 'Jukebox Hero.' Mickey does 'Sara' and 'We Built This City' and 'Jane,' and 'Fooled Around and Fell in Love.' I do 'Two Tickets (to Paradise)' and 'Shakin'.' There's more of that than the Christmas music."

Former Foreigner frontman Gramm, 61, adds that "it's unfortunate that whoever is in charge of the advertising more or less slanted it towards giving the false impression that this is just Christmas music. This is a rock 'n' roll how."

The Jingle Bell Rock concept came from a benefit Money performed at a Los Angeles club during the summer, where Gramm and Starship singer Thomas also appeared. The three share a booking agent who was planning a Money tour for the holiday season anyway and subsequently broached the idea for a three-man package.

"It sounded intriguing," Gramm says. "I wasn't sure how it would go over, but I was interested enough to find out, so I signed on, and it's been fun. It's going over real well."

The Jingle Bell Rock shows have given the singers a bit of respite from their other projects. Gramm is working on "a full-on rock album" with his own band to follow his 2009 Christian rock album. Money, meanwhile, is promoting a new song called "One More Soldier Coming Home," which benefits the Fallen Heroes Foundation, and he's also lining up a reality show that will feature him with is five children -- including daughter Jesse, who tours with Money and his band.

"I want to call it 'The Moneys,' 'cause it's the real deal," Money says. "I talk to all these parents and they've got kids on the honor roll and this and that. And I look at my kids and go, '...My mother was right; 'Some day you're gonna have kids just like you!' ' I used to think 'What's wrong with that?' Now I know.

"I"ve met Gene Simmons. His show ('Family Jewels') is really good, but my show is real. You'll see."

Jingle Bell Rock with Eddie Money, Lou Gramm and Mickey Thomas takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $46 and $42. Call (313) 237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.

Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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