Eddie Money lived quite a life.
“Rest In Peace My Dear Friend Eddie Money,” wrote The Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick, who sang background vocals on his song “Get a Move On.”
“I was so honored to be one of your background singers. Sending all my heartfelt condolences to Laurie and the family. Thinking of you and sending my love.”
The “Two Tickets to Paradise” singer’s death came less than a month after he announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer.
“The Money family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning,” his family said in a statement to PEOPLE. “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.”
Here are some of the funniest, and most touching, moments from Money’s colorful life.
Joking about his own name
Born Edward Joseph Mahoney, the singer changed his name to something a bit more rock ‘n’ roll. However, in the early days of his career, he often saw jokes about his name in the headlines.
“They used to call me ‘Freddie Foodstamps’ or ‘Eddie No Money,’ he told Rolling Stone in 2018. “You read reviews and people get ‘shortchanged by the Eddie Money show.’”
“These critics are soooo clever with the words, but if you got a name like Money, people are gonna love it or hate it,” he continued, before offering up his own punny take on his moniker.
“I was gonna change my first name to Owen,” he said, laughing. “Owen Money.”
Giving a no-nonsense interview with a young girl
Following one of the star’s 2012 shows, Money sat down to speak with a young girl, who was interviewing the rocker for her children’s show Pavlina’s Kidz Place.
“I like your tie,” Money remarked at the beginning of the interview. “You look pretty cool.”
During the interview, Money always remained respectful of the young girl while answering her questions honestly and plainly.
Towards the end of the interview, the rocker shared that these days his priorities were simple: “Not to drink, be faithful to my wife and kids and give everybody a good show.”
Before the pair parted ways, the rocker thanked his interviewer for taking the time to talk with him.
“Thank you so much — much luck on your career,” he said, before offering up a piece of fatherly advice. “Whatever you do, don’t start dating. Boys are pretty crazy until they get older.”
Stealthily cracking a joke
Remembering the hitmaker, singer Richard Marx opened up one of the final moments they shared together.
“Such a sweetheart. Saw him in January at our benefit for the Malibu fires/Borderline shooting victims and hadn’t seen him in years,” he wrote.
“He gave me a big hug and immediately, while still hugging me, whispered a dirty joke in my ear. ‘So this guy’s wife…’ RIP, pal,” he added of the singer.
#EddieMoney Such a sweetheart. Saw him in January at our benefit for the Malibu fires/Borderline shooting victims and hadn’t seen him in years. He gave me a big hug and immediately, while still hugging me, whispered a dirty joke in my ear. “So this guy’s wife...” RIP, pal. ❤️💔— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) September 13, 2019
Accidentally leaving a joint behind at a radio station
After news of Money’s death was announced, a New York radio program shared the way the singer is always with the station.
“With the unfortunate passing of #EddieMoney, Here’s the joint Eddie accidentally dropped in the @1023WBAB hallway, when he visited the station in 2015,” the Rock On Your Radio with Roger & JP wrote, alongside a photograph showing the leftover doobie.
“Our Promotions Manager @wbabuzzkill has kept in a jar since that day,” they added.
With the unfortunate passing of #EddieMoney, Here's the joint Eddie accidentally dropped in the @1023WBAB hallway, when he visited the station in 2015. Our Promotions Manager @wbabuzzkill has kept in a jar since that day. What should we do with it? #RIPEddieMoney pic.twitter.com/GadTfUhYc1— Roger & JP (@RogerandJP) September 13, 2019
Resurrecting Ronnie Spector’s career with “Take Me Home Tonight”
One of Money’s biggest hits came in 1986, when he released “Take Me Home Tonight” — but he wasn’t the only one whose career got a boost from the song.
While working on the tune, which includes a nod to The Ronettes’ 1963 song “Be My Baby,” Money contacted Ronettes frontwoman Ronnie Spector about making a guest appearance on the track.
Describing that phone call in 2015, Money said he “could hear clinking and clanking in the background” as Spector was doing dishes at the time, according to Billboard.
“I’m not really in the business anymore, Eddie,” she told him, before ultimately agreeing to sing the line “be my little baby” in the chorus.
“If it didn’t have Ronnie on the tune, I never would have done it,” he later told the Detroit Free Press.
On Friday, Spector honored her late collaborator with a heartfelt post.
“Eddie’s voice was soulful Rock & Roll, I just loved it. That’s really why we got together in the first place. I loved his voice, he loved mine. He introduced me to a whole new generation of fans in the 1980s with our recording and video of ‘Take Me Home Tonight,’ ” she wrote. “Working in the studio with Eddie was way different from any other sessions I’ve been involved in. He had a crazy, great sense of humor, and was a real character, with the kind of positive vibe that we don’t see today, but we sure could use more of.”
“Eddie brought joy to a lot people with his music and performing, and he never stopped. My heart is with his wife Laurie and their children. Rest Gently, Eddie. Love, Ronnie.”
Actively campaigning for the rights of musicians and songwriters
While many knew about the fun-loving side of the singer, fewer knew about his activism.
“What many may not know is that in his later years, Eddie Money became a vocal activist for musicians and songwriters across America,” Rhode Island congressman David Cicilline wrote on Twitter.
“I met with him a few years ago as Congress worked to update copyright laws for the digital age. He will be missed.”
Rest In Peace, Eddie Money.— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) September 13, 2019
What many may not know is that in his later years, Eddie Money became a vocal activist for musicians and songwriters across America.
I met with him a few years ago as Congress worked to update copyright laws for the digital age. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/XP6w4MTQFE
Giving the real story behind that “na na na” chorus from “Walk on Water”
When it comes to his hits, there’s one song Money was never that big a fan of — even though it was a favorite with fans.
“Everybody really likes ‘Walk on water,’ and I hate singing ‘Na na na na na na na na na,” he told Rolling Stone in 2018.
“I feel really silly singing the song, but you gotta go out there and do the songs they love,” he said. “I mean, come on. You try doing that for 30 years in a row. It’s not even a lyric.”
The singer went on to explain that part of the song was never supposed to be sung in the first place.
“It was supposed to be a horn part, but the horn player never showed up, so I had to do it with my mouth.”
That Geico Commercial
Back in 2012, Money starred in his own Geico commercial, based around the premise that the singer was running his own travel business — and would sing “Two Tickets to Paradise” to get people hyped about their upcoming trips.
Offering up an inside look at the commercial, Money told the Naples Daily News that his wife was initially going to make a cameo.
“Yeah, I love that GEICO commercial! My wife was trying to get back into television. She was going to push the button on the tape deck. But she wound up on the editing room floor,” he said. “Now people say to her, ‘How do you like your husband’s commercial?’ And she says, ‘He sounds pitchy.’ ”
During the silly clip, Money sings his hit song a capella — and he says it was the last take that ended up making the cut.
“I thought I looked like Marty Feldman with my eyes getting really big, but people seemed to love it, you know?” he said, adding that he was looking forward to seeing it less often.
“Now I gotta shave and shower just to go to the store, you know? And then I take pictures with people, and they don’t know how to work the camera. Their friend is trying to work the camera. And I’m like, ‘Hey, the lens cap is on! You didn’t shoot it with the flash! What are you doin’!’“ he joked.
In honor of the late singer, donations in Money’s behalf can be made to the Eddie Money Cancer Research Fund at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.