On his 1977 debut album, Eddie Money sang about wanting to be a rock'n' roll star.
Money not only reached stardom, he is still rocking after all these years.
What keeps him going?
"The way the business is now, you have to knock on wood," said Money in a phone interview while taking a break from his current tour, which includes a stop at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe Friday night, presented by WLEV.
John Waite, former lead singer for The Babys and Bad English, will open the show at 8 p.m.
"I'm probably the only rock star who has to use double coupons when I shop at the supermarket," added Money with a laugh.
Money is quick with his wisecracks, and the interview has the feel of a stand-up comedy routine.
"We like to do a little slapstick on stage, too," he noted. "We have a lot of fun. I have five kids, and I'll do anything to get out of the house."
Born Eddie Mahoney, he had followed in his father's footsteps as a police officer in New York City before leaving for California to pursue a music career.
While performing around Berkeley, he caught the attention of legendary rock impressario Bill Graham, who became his manager. He changed his name to Eddie Money and signed a deal with Columbia Records.
His debut was an immediate hit, with Money's soulful vocals and catchy hooks producing his signature hits "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise," which reached numbers 11 and 22, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
In 1978, Money's sophomore effort, "Life For the Taking," peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart, improving on the number 37 peak of his debut. The album included the singles "Maybe I'm a Fool" and "Can't Keep a Good Man Down", as well as rock radio favorite "Gimme Some Water."
1980's "Playing For Keeps" album peaked at number 35 and "Trinidad" received airplay, but it was 1982's "No Control" that returned Money to the Top 20, thanks to the singles "Shakin'" (which it number nine on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks) and "Think I'm in Love" (number 16 Hot 100, number one Top Tracks).
Money also took advantage of the popularity of the then-new music video channel MTV with videos for those songs.
Money reached a career peak with 1986's "Can't Hold Back" album, which featured his number one hit "Take Me Home Tonight", which included a duet with former Ronette Ronnie Spector.
Money has also scored several hits stretching into 1991, including "Walk on Water," "I Wanna Go Back," "Endless Nights," "We Should Be Sleeping," and "I'll Get By."
It is that string of hits that keep his fans coming back and has won him some younger followers as well.
"People like to reminisce, and these songs take them back to another part of their lives," said Money, now 61. "I have a lot of fans that I got through the power of the Internet. There was this one group of kids called 'the Ed Heads' who had cardboard cutouts of my head."
Speaking of his own kids, Eddie's daughter Jesse competed on the 2008 VH-1 reality series Rock The Cradle, which featured the offspring of rock stars. On tour, Jesse sings the Ronnie Spector parts on "Take Me Home Tonight."
Money's latest project is a single titled "One More Soldier Coming Home," which he said was inspired by the parents of military members he has met over the years.
"I dedicated this song to the fallen heroes who didn't make it home," mentioned Money, turning serious for a moment. "It's a sad song, and we're making a video for it. I did it because I meet all these parents who have kids over in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Money will perform his biggest hits at The Peak, and that is money in the bank for him and his fans.
"I've sold 17 million records, but when you get in that upper tax bracket, you've got to keep working," he joked.
John Waite to open
English vocalist John Waite was the lead singer for The Babys from 1977-1980. The Babys recorded five albums during that span and scored a number of hits, combining power ballads and mainstream pop rockers.
The Babys' two highest charting songs both reached number 13 on the Hot 100: "Isn't It Time: (1977) and "Every Time I Think of You" (1979). Other hits included "If You've Got The Time," "Head First," "Back on My Feet Again," "Midnight Rendezvous" and "Turn and Walk Away."
After The Babys broke up, Waite went solo and gained notice with his video for the song "Change" on MTV in 1982.. Waite then topped the singles charts with his ballad "Missing You" in 1984.
Waite also had a stint in the short-lived supergroup Bad English, which included members of The Babys and Journey and produced a number one hit with "When I See You Smile" in 1989.
Waite continues to tour on his own and has also been a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band.
WLEV Presents Eddie Money with special guest John Waite at Penn's Peak on Friday, Nov. 19. Doors open at 6 p.m. with showtime at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39 for premium reserved seating and $34 for regular reserved seating. Tickets are available on-line at www.ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, including Boscov's and Gallery of Sound, and at the Penn's Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant. Call 1-866-605-PEAK for more information.