“A whine cellar!”
And so begins my interview with Eddie Money, the legendary singer of recognizable hits like “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Baby Hold On” and “Maybe I’m a Fool.” Eddie (because two seconds into our conversation I’ve been reprimanded for daring to call him “Mr. Money”) will be celebrating New Year’s Eve from the VIP balcony above Sushi’s annual shoe drop, but only after he headlines a concert at the newly opened Key West Amphitheater at the Truman Waterfront Park.
From the gate, it’s very clear that Eddie is beyond excited to be performing in Key West. To be fair, Eddie is beyond excited about everything. Our twenty-minute conversation spans every topic — from charity work to Tom Petty to his children, with the occasional dirty joke sprinkled in for a little extra flavor. “I spent a lot of time in Key West honeymooning around,” Eddie explains. “I made a record for Criteria Studios and once we got a couple weeks off I’d go down to the Keys. It was really fantastic in the late 70s and 80s and I developed friendships with a lot of people down there. Key West is almost like a state in itself! And my wife Laurie is coming down with me for the show — I can’t tell you how exciting that is to me.”A portion of the proceeds from the New Year’s Eve concert will go to local charity Sister Season Fund, which offers financial aid to displaced tourism industry professionals – a vital support system in the wake of Hurricane Irma. “I’m really interested in helping these people out with the Sister Season Fund,” Eddie articulates. “They take care of the people who actually work and live down there and that’s really important. Hurricane Irma was devastating — it really threw the Keys for a loop. The flooding and the winds caused so much damage and it’s really sad. I’m a Christian and I do what I can for people, so I think this whole concert is going to be a lot of fun.”
The gates of the Amphitheater open at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 31st, with local outfit The Andy Westcott Band taking the stage at 4:45 p.m. Key West guitar god Caffeine Carl and his band The Buzz will follow at 5:45 p.m. and Eddie Money will start his set at 7:15 p.m., giving the audience (and himself) plenty of time to get to whichever New Year’s Eve celebration fits their fancy. Food and beverages from several local favorite vendors will be available on site for all your pre-gaming needs.
The Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheater is a state-of-the-art open air venue, situated right on the water at the Truman Waterfront. The Amphitheater has both general admission seating and an elevated lawn that offers great views from the grass with enough room to dance without annoying your neighbors. Leave those lawn chairs at home though — this grass is made for blankets and bare feet.
If you can’t catch the show on Dec. 31st or just can’t get enough of Eddie Money, his brand-new musical “Two Tickets to Paradise: the Eddie Money Musical” opens in Rochester, N.Y., this February and will hit Key West during its national tour. Eddie and his family are also the subject of a new reality show on AXS TV called “Real Money,” billed as an “hilarious and heartfelt look at the Moneys’ unconventional dynamic, as they live, laugh, bicker and rock all under one roof.”
Eddie may only have two tickets to Paradise, but if you’re in Key West you’re already there — now all you need are a couple tickets to the Eddie Money show. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/eddie-money-new-yearseve in-key-west-tickets-40132924658. ¦