AA_Feb18_WEB

ericnudelman

Photos by Jeff Crespi

Night With Conan O’ Brien and The Tonight Show.

His love for music started at an early age when his mother, an

avid Broadway fan, began bringing him and his sisters to Broadway

musicals. At only 5 years old, Weinberg discovered his calling

in life. While watching Elvis Presley and his drummer DJ Fontana

perform on The Milton Berle Show, Weinberg knew he wanted to

play drums. “As soon as I heard DJ Fontana play that big drum roll

in Hound Dog I started banging on the floor along with Elvis Presley

and his band’s music and never looked back.”

Then at 7 years old, Weinberg got his first break at a Bar Mitzvah.

His mom asked the band leader if Max could play a song,

and he drummed along to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The

bandleader was so impressed that he brought him on to play the

drums at his club dates and weekend events. By the time he was 16,

he played all kinds of engagements including the iconic 500 Club in

Photo by melissa korman

Atlantic City, where Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis got their start for

the legendary impresario Skinny D’Amato.

While playing in the pit band for the Broadway show Godspell,

and attending Seton Hall University, destiny or fate intervened

and Weinberg got his big break over the summer of 1974. An ad in

New York City’s The Village Voice announced that new Columbia

Records artist, Bruce Springsteen, was looking for a new drummer

and he auditioned to be part of The E Street Band.

“The band auditioned some 60 plus drummers; I got called back.

Two days later, I joined the group. I left Godspell, dropped out of

college (though he went back and received his degree in 1989), because

in the moment I played with Bruce I could tell he was the real

deal. I was also deeply impressed with all the guys in the band at

my audition, Clarence Clemons, Garry Tallent, and Dan Federici— it

was incredible how they focused on exactly what Bruce was doing.

I’d never experienced that kind of musical cohesion in the 16 or so

years I’d been playing the drums,” said Weinberg.

Two weeks after getting the gig, Weinberg was on the road touring

with Bruce and the E Street Band… and the rest is a 44-year history.

“I think Bruce has maintained his incredible career these nearly

fifty years because of his dedication to pursuing his music, to paraphrase

JFK, ‘…along lines of excellence.’ Bruce has said on more than

one occasion that our aim (and job) is to give people more than

their money’s worth and I think the fans appreciate that,” he said.

“It’s rare and I’m so fortunate to still be doing something that

keeps me in touch with something I loved to do when I was a kid.

Playing drums keeps me young,” he said. “Being able to get people

out of their seats and dancing to my beat has always been my goal.

When you are dancing you’re not thinking about anything else and

you’re having a good time.”

“Retire? Musicians don’t retire, you just keep going and it keeps

you going. Being able to give some happiness to people whether it’s

at a big stadium with the E Street Band or the Delray Arts Garage,

is very rewarding.”

Come have a party with Max Weinberg’s Jukebox at The Arts Garage

on February 17th and 18th in Delray Beach. Visit his website

at www.maxweinberg.com.

www.AtlanticAveMagazine.com | FEBRuARy 2018 | 61

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