19 June 1996
Grizzly Rose, Thornton, CO
I happened to be staying in Thornton, CO, on a week-long business trip. While in town, I called up a former co-worker, Greg, who happened to live just a few miles down the road, and asked him if he'd like to see Eddie Money in concert.
Politely, he responded, "Would it hurt your feelings if I told you I wasn't interested?"
I said, "Nah, but I've never seen him before, and I'm gonna go." Greg replied, "I saw him about 7 years ago, as he was just starting to skid his way on downhill."
I can't say that the Grizzly Rose most closely matches Eddie Money's style and image--An '80's MTV-rotated Glamrocker who used to fill arenas, performing at perhaps the most s#*tkickin' dance place in the Denver Metro area.
The joint didn't have a real opening act, so they decided to let the lead guitar player in Eddie' band play a set. Not much singing. Not very much thought put into his guitar work. But certainly an interesting, competent lead guitar player, practically turning an acoustic guitar into a percussion instrument, while straddling his legs on stage like a 50's-era rockabilly. For some reason, I forgot his name 5 minutes after the show ended.
After a soundcheck break, Eddie, now clean and sober, yet more visibly scarred by drugs and alcohol than ever, strutted onto the stage at the opening bars of "Two Tickets To Paradise", sung a semitone lower to match Eddie's slightly lower singing range in 1996.
Next came the 1987 hits, "I Wanna Go Back", and "We Should Be Sleeping". After practically each song, Eddie smiled and reached out his hands to the audience in, from what I could tell, a sincere appreciation of what following he has left.
Eddie left no archive hit stone unturned, performing, "Walk On Water", "Peace In Our Time", "Think I'm In Love", "Baby Hold On", "Endless Nights", "I'll Get By", and others. It was obvious to many that Eddie was practicing for an upcoming recording of a live greatest hits album, which, as it turns out, will apparently be titled, "The Sound Of Money". Appropriate indeed, for its double meaning about something that is fading in the past.
He finished the set by taking off his shirt part way during "Shakin'". Actually, some audience members enjoyed this....................Aaaaanyway, for the obligatory encore of "Take Me Home Tonight", he brought out one of his daughters, in ersatz of Ronnie Spector, to sing the "Be my little baby" parts, which, of course, the crowd thought was cute. I suppose, one appropriate exception to current child labor laws.
In truth, Eddie Money got a lot of airplay in early 1988, while I was stationed in the Denver Metro area. Being able to see him, albeit eight years later, in the same general area, brought back some nice memories of good times, good friends, and me getting started in my adult Air Force career at the now closed Lowry Air Force Base. I guess recording acts that don't have a current hit do have their uses, after all.
[****] - Steven T.
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