2011 flashback: Eddie Money tries 97.1/The River morning show from California

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29:  Original MTV VJs and current SiriusXM hosts Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter along with musician Eddie Money pose for a photograph before recording an MTV 30th Anniversary Special for SiriusXM's '80s on 8 channel at the SiriusXM Studio on June 29, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Original MTV VJs and current SiriusXM hosts Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn and Alan Hunter along with musician Eddie Money pose for a photograph before recording an MTV 30th Anniversary Special for SiriusXM's '80s on 8 channel at the SiriusXM Studio on June 29, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Credit: Neilson Barnard

Credit: Neilson Barnard

Originally posted November 11, 2011 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

That whole sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll cliche? Eddie Money has lived it.

Now 62, he's married and has been clean and sober for two years. But rock 'n' roll remains in his blood, and he's trying a new gig as morning host on local classic rock station 97.1/The River.

"I hope this radio thing works out," Money said in a phone interview from his home in Westlake Village, Calif. "These people at The River are really nice. To be able to do radio every day is so cool."

He's enjoying the job so much he's considering getting a place in Atlanta. "I should have been born in the South," said Brooklyn-born Money. "I love eating fried chicken and hush puppies. I like the Braves and the Dirty Birds."

Calling himself "the Money man" on air, he does his show most of the time from his home. "Don't touch that dial," he told listeners on a recent Tuesday morning. "I'll smack your fingers!"

He will sometimes tape bits in advance but goes live as well. He has no compunction going on the air at 6 a.m. EST (3 a.m. his time), working for three hours, then going to sleep as the sun comes up. "I'm like Dracula. I stay up all night."

The rocker remains a busy man, touring 150 dates a year on weekends with a collection of hits such as "Baby Hold On," "Shakin'," "Think I'm in Love" and "Take Me Home Tonight," his biggest song, featuring Ronnie Spector. The River plays all those tunes.

Lee Cagle, River program director, said Cox Radio was seeking celebrity jocks for the station and Money "tested really high." Cagle had a friend in Los Angeles broach the idea to Money, who was receptive and, within six weeks, they had a deal.

"We just have to feed him the right things to say," Cagle said. "He's already come to Atlanta several times so he gets to learn the city."

Cagle said he's training Money on the art of radio. "He's catching on pretty quickly."

Sometimes, Cagle said, Money gets so excited he talks too fast and his distinctive Brooklyn accent becomes too heavy.

"He has to remember he's not on stage. Slow down. Take it back a notch! He's catching himself now."

"It's short term for now to see how it works," Cagle added. "But we all want it to work. We're putting a lot into it."

And Money's advice to Cagle? "Play more of me!" (Money has had 11 songs on the Billboard magazine Top 40.)

Greg Kihn --- a fellow 1970s/'80s rock star best known for such hits as "Jeopardy" and "The Breakup Song" --- transitioned into a full-time morning jock at a rock station in San Jose, Calif., 13 years ago. "You need a lot of [guts] to go from rock 'n' roll to radio," said Kihn, a friend of Money's.

Other stars with regular shows include Alice Cooper, Mike Reno of Loverboy and Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.

"Radio," Kihn said, "is a sprint, not a marathon. It's fraught with peril. There are days you don't feel good. You had a gig the night before and you're hung over. You have to suck it up and do it.

"That's what makes you a professional."

Concert preview

Eddie Money

9:30 p.m., Nov. 18.

$25.65 to $112.80, after fees. Wild Bill's Atlanta, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 678-473-1000, www.wildbillsatlanta.com

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