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Weekend Songs: Eddie Money, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’

Eddie Money, 'Two Tickets to Paradise'
Columbia Records

Classic rock is about heavy hooks, power chords, and tight harmonies, but it’s also about letting loose and enjoying the good times — and there’s no better time than Friday evening, when we pick up our paycheck, punch out of work, and enjoy a couple days of much-needed rest and relaxation.

This Friday, we’re raising a post-Thanksgiving turkey leg to Edward Joseph Mahoney, the Brooklyn-born second-generation cop who eventually ditched his badge and gun to pursue his rock star dreams as Eddie Money — and struck gold right off the bat with his 1977 self-titled debut album.

The record’s leadoff single, ‘Baby Hold On,’ was actually its biggest hit, but since we’re here to talk about weekend songs, it only makes sense to focus on the follow-up, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise.’ A sort of spiritual cousin to Bruce Springsteen‘s ‘Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),’ it’s written from the perspective of a young guy who’s desperately trying to convince his girlfriend to ignore her disapproving parents and come away with him “on a trip so far away from here.” With its smooth production, urgent uptempo chorus, and insistent melodic hook, ‘Tickets’ was a natural for late ’70s FM radio — where it found an immediate home, eventually working its way all the way up to Number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100.

While Money might have written ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ to convince a specific girl to leave town with him, its title became shorthand for that end-of-the-work-week feeling you get when you’ve fulfilled all of your responsibilities to the Man and you’re free to relax without obligations for a little while — like, say, at at an Eddie Money concert, where ‘Tickets’ has remained a constant fixture of the set list for more than 30 years. Simple yet effective, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ is a perfectly blue-collar song for a perfectly blue-collar emotion, and that’s what this series is all about. Grab your favorite pair of shades, hoist your favorite brew, and turn it up good and loud: The weekend starts now.

Next: Bruce Springsteen, 'Born to Run'

Hear Eddie Money, ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’

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