Eddie Money took us all to paradise

It was almost hard to believe when I heard Eddie Money was coming to Kitsap County to play the Fair & Stampede.

Being a child of the ’80s, I grew up listening to Mr. Mahoney’s music. I knew every song and sang along every time they came on the radio. He wasn’t as big a star as some of the other musicians of the time, but his songs were fun to dance to and he seemed like such a down-to-earth person.

Before the show, I was asked to write an article for an insert in the paper. I would do a piece highlighting the musical talent coming to the Fair. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to actually talk to Eddie on the phone?”

I contacted his road manager, Joey Shalloe, via an e-mail I found on the Eddie Money Web site. Believe it or not, he contacted me within two hours with a phone number to call him. Upon making that call, Mr. Shalloe informed me that Lee Beverly, Money’s bassist, was the point of contact for Eddie while they were touring. He gave me his cell number and told me to call him, which I did. I left a voicemail message and went home, hoping to hear from him soon.

The next day, while sitting at my desk, a call came in. It was Beverly. He informed me that Eddie was on vacation with his family in Colorado and he was still trying to get me in contact with him.

Seriously? I really did not want to interrupt someone’s vacation, especially a rock ‘n’ roll guru. But Lee said it was all part of the job and told me he would keep trying to get in touch with Eddie for me.

A couple of days later, I got a call from Lee while taking photos at the scene of a collision. He said Eddie decided it would be best to just have me call him on his cell, so he gave me the number. Yes, I said he gave me Eddie Money’s personal cell phone number (AT&T in case you were wondering). Holy crap!

I made the call from my cell phone here at the office and recorded the interview. It was awesome! He answered my questions, told me about how difficult it was to breathe in Colorado being a mile up and never made me feel as though he was better than me.

When the Fair came to town and the night of his concert arrived, I went out to get photos. I arrived early hoping to get a chance to meet him and his band in-person, but I was not expecting it to happen.

I talked to Fair director Bruce Waterbury and explained the situation. I told him I had interviewed Eddie over the phone prior to the concert and was hoping to meet him. Waterbury asked me to hold on while he checked with Eddie’s people. I waited like some groupie, excited at the thought of “hangin’ with the money man.”

Bruce approached me and waived me over. I followed him into a gated area where the band was relaxing before the show. I introduced myself and shook Eddie’s hand. He introduced me to his band and crew and then began talking about baseball, like an average Joe. He talked about Ken Griffey’s home run count and about the Mariner’s chances. I was surprised at how much he seemed to know about baseball. Looking back, I don’t know why I was so surprised, but he was the first celebrity I had this much contact with. It was very cool. I wish I could do it over again because I know I had to come off as some goofball, but I am still glad to have had the chance to meet him.

The show rocked. He sang song after song, played the harmonica and saxophone and even did a little dancing. He won’t win any awards for his rug cutting, but his vocals were dead on and the energy he and his band possessed was off the charts. It was everything I had expected and more.

Steven DeDual is a staff writer for the Bremerton Patriot.

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