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SURVIVAL TACTICS

No, Ronnie Spector didn’t show up Friday night at the Greek Theatre to help Eddie Money sing “Take Me Home Tonight,” the catchy duet that re-established both singers’ rock credentials last year. Too bad. She missed a fun evening, though it took a while to get warmed up.

Money--the ex-Brooklyn-cop-turned-popster who hadn’t had a hit since 1982’s “Think I’m in Love"--maintained a lively pace from the start, but there’s a nondescript feel about much of his good-time music. Not until the celebratory “Can’t Keep a Good Man Down,” midway into the show, did he seem to assert any true individuality.

There’s a strong sense of survival about the raspy-voiced Money, whose near-tragic drug and booze exploits in the early ‘80s have been well publicized. When he sings “Good Man,” it’s as if he is sharing his own story--and is joyful about a second chance. So it was a bit ironic when many fans raised party-size cartons of beer in salute at Money’s entrance and kept the smell of marijuana wafting in the night air.

Mostly, however, it was a tame crowd, one that seemed quite satisfied by the clear-eyed, elder-statesman approach of Money and his six-piece band.

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