Eddie Money Redeems His Ticket To Paradise; RIP at 70
It began like a lot of hit songs, a giddy love ballad Eddie Money wrote for this then-girlfriend. The girls mother wanted her to marry a doctor, lawyer. You know, someone of substance, not a long-haired one-night-stand musician.
The song was Two Tickets to Paradise. In the lyrics young Edward Joseph Mahoney implores the girl to run away with him, to hurriedly leave right tonight for a future unknown except for a Paradise of love the two will live on, promises Eddie.
The song became so popular, legendary even that it was made into a Broadway musical. The song has appeared in countless movie and television shows (ok they can be counted if you want to search it all out) and was even the centerpiece of a GEICO commercial featuring Eddie as the owner of his own travel agency.
In the spot when the client family asks Eddie if their trip is ready, he breaks out into the song acapella sans any voice enhancement, backing band or studio to the annoyed customers who interrupt reminding Eddie they need four tickets for their vacay not two.
Of course the song we've been talking about is Money's breakout hit single Two Tickets to Paradise.
Early Years and the NYPD
Eddie Mahoney was born in Brooklyn into a large Irish Catholic family that came prepackaged with all the stereotypes. Money's grandfather, father and brother were members of the New York Police Department. The natural pull to become a police officer was strong and he actually became an NYPD trainee for a period of time but left in 1968 for California to pursue his musical calling.
Money became a favorite live musician in the Berkeley night clubs and dance halls. Another reason I constantly implore the radio audience to attend live music shows and venues, you never know when you'll catch a rising star and these people need to eat now.
In due time he got an opportunity for a real recording session and then signed a contract with Columbia Records.
Two Tickets to Paradise, and the accompanying Baby Hold On charted on Billboards Top Forty Chart for a combined total of over seventy-weeks. And the rest they say is history. As an epilogue to his life I can virtually assure you these two songs will live forever on the radio on classic rock stations. We'll always have Eddie Money.
Money was a prolific songwriter with a talent for meter, rhyming and incredible melodies. He was also known for his comedic manner from the stage with audiences and though I never met him seemed to be one of those stars who just act like regular everyday people, without airs or pretension. Or the ego trappings that sometimes accompany celebrity.
Cancer Takes His Voice
In a statement released by his family they said: The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music.
Money had recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer that has now silenced his voice forever.
Eddie Money is survived by his wife Laurie and five children, daughter, Jesse Money and sons Zachary, Joseph, Desmond, and Julian. He was seventy years old.