GODFREY — Area residents who spent the ’70s and ’80s listening to the works of Eddie Money literally can grasp “Two Tickets to Paradise” Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Alton-Wood River Sportsmen’s Club as it presents the Coors Light Music Fest for the third year.
Starting at 1 p.m., music fans of all ages can enjoy a tangled concoction of classic rock, blues and country as artists such as Shooting Star, Devon Allman, Mars Needs Guitars and Broseph E. Lee share the stage with legendary classic rocker Eddie Money.
“I have a lot of friends in that area,” Money said as he chatted with AdVantage News during a phone interview. “What a beautiful place with the scenery. I love visiting the Riverbend area with the bluffs, skiing on the Mississippi — the food and the people are great.”
Money came on to the music scene and enjoyed the spoils of almost instant stardom through connections and opportunities along with the help of San Francisco area concert promoter Bill Graham. Initially deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps with the New York Police Department, Edward Mahoney made the decision to leave the badge behind and take the road that led to his transformation into Eddie Money.
“My dad, grandpa and some nieces and nephews were and still are police officers,” Money said. “I have nothing but respect for the badge, the uniform and the men and women wearing it. I lost many friends during the 9/11 attacks. At the time I was going through the academy, I was in a band and I wanted the long hair. My father was patrolman of the year in New York and was anti-long hair. After a lot of thought, I didn’t want to feel stuck in the uniform for the next 25 years. I quit, grew my hair and started making records instead.”
Having a roller-coaster career throughout the 1980s, Money thinks back to his humble beginning and is thankful for the direction his life experiences brought him. With several albums and tours to reignite his career, Money has 12 chart-topping hits, including “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Baby Hold On To Me” and “Walk on Water.”
“I’m sober now, but I’ve spent some time on the Coors mountain,” Money said, laughing. “I’m thrilled to be performing at the Coors Light Music Fest. I don’t drink anymore now, but back in the day you couldn’t get Coors in California. When I went through Colorado, I’d always bring a few cases of Coors back. I had a lot of friends here who loved it and would get a case when I brought it home.”
Money looks back over his time in the music business and realizes he’s still learning and evolving as an artist.
“I tell people the joke about how I met my wife,” Money said. “I was on stage and there was a woman at my feet and she was bawling. I thought she was beautiful and I must have really touched her heart with my music as I saw her cry. It wasn’t for a couple of minutes staring at her that I realized I was standing on her fingers. Now we have five children and they all have a part in my music. That’s how we came up with the ‘Sound of Money’ — two of my kids are playing, too. It was in honor of the 50th anniversary of ‘The Sound of Music.’”
Broseph E. Lee will take the stage before Money to warm the crowd with a unique country sound with a twist of rock ’n’ roll. Composed of local musicians from Granite City, Beardstown, SIUE and Greenville, Broseph E. Lee is turning heads while bringing original music to a growing audience.
“To be honest, we never thought we’d play in front of anyone,” lead singer Brock Jones said. “We played in a local bar for free beer, so we thought of the name Broseph because it means brotherhood or friendship. We took my middle initial for the ‘E’ and Lee is one of the band member’s middle names.
“Me and one of our guitar players wrote the songs. We wanted to come up with something that is fun to play live. We want to get reactions from the audience, see drinks up in the air and give the crowd a good time. We want to play live, original music with lots of energy so it gets people up on their feet.”
The festival has grown over the last three years and is brought together with the help of nonprofit organizations such as Patches and Badges for Kids, Mission American Gratitude, Quilts of Honor, Bluff City Athletics, Alton Renegades, Delta Waterfowl, Wounded Warrior Project and the Godfrey Firefighters Association.
“We anticipate a crowd in the range of 5,000 throughout the day and evening,” event promoter Brad Beck said. “In the past we went with straight country music. This year we decided to go rock with some blues and throw in a little country from a band who is going to be huge one day. We believe this is the best music fest lineup yet. I was introduced to Broseph E. Lee on a video that was shown to me at a wedding reception. I was immediately hooked. I have followed them and their career as well as have booked them three times. I honestly believe they are the next Zac Brown Band.”
For ticket information and VIP packages, visit www.coorslightmusicfest.com or stop by the Sportsmen’s Club at 3109 Godfrey Road in Godfrey, (618) 466-3042.