World's best drummer looking for the worlds brightest Galaxy.
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We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer, Drummer Max Weinberg at the Marqee Recording Studio in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
We managed to get a quick Q&A with the man during one of his rehearsals for his upcoming 'Max Weinberg's Jukebox' tour. It was a great opportunity to find out what makes this gentleman really tick.
As he enters there is one thing you notice first about Max, his relaxed nature. Behind a warm smile and casual jeans is a humble legend.
Most widely known as the longtime drummer for Bruce Springstein's E Street Band, Max has also been the resident bandleader on the Conan Late Night show and also the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian.
Sinking into a soft leather couch, Max sips his water ready for his first question...
Apart from your drumsticks what is the most essential travel item when touring with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band?
The right frame of mind. To realize and appreciate how special the experience is, particularly after 45 years.
How would you describe your self in three words.
Not for me to judge but I guess I'd say generous, empathetic, and proactive
Give us three things you remember about your kindergarten.
My first girlfriend, Shelly. My teacher, Mrs. Tinnen asking me to stop tapping on my desk. Oh and Air raid drills (duck and cover)
Lakes or Sea?
Both. I love the water
Which country makes the best coffee.
After New Zealand of course - Italy
What is the best street food you have ever tasted?
Roy Bittan’s favorite bratwurst joint in Zurich, I can't actually describe how good that tastes!
What was the last book you read?
“Ike’s Bluff” (about President Eisenhower’s subtle cold war strategy).
Three favourite films?
The Godfather, the original Mighty Joe Young and maybe Air Force One?
Now, you have travelled a lot with your profession, What is the most surreal place that you have visited?
Best piece of travel advice?
Travel light and leave a light footprint
What is the most interesting thing you have learnt whilst touring with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band?
The value of camaraderie and dedicated discipline
NYC or LA?
Haha... I'm gonna say New Jersey!
You're on the road with your 'Jukebox Tour’ this year, tell us what we might expect to hear at the shows.
Well it’s all audience requests of my favorite ’60-’70’s songs, so anything can happen. Main thing to come prepared for?... It’s a party, not a concert!
Most treasured Passport stamp?
As much as I love traveling the world my favorite passport stamp is when I return home.
Now many people might not know that you are quite into architecture... What two Architects have inspired you the most?
Frank Lloyd Wright and... John Lautner
Who are the three greatest living musicians?
So many! but for me I would have to say David Kikoski (jazz pianist), Tony Bennett, Carlitos Del Puerto (Cuban bassist.) Each of them are just extraordinary and continue to inspire me.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My 42 year relationship with my wife, Becky and my two children, Ali and Jay
First tape cassette you ever owned?
Interesting... I actually transferred my reel to reel recording of the weekend of President’s Kennedy’s assassination and funeral to the first cassette I ever bought. Probably not what you were expecting?
Favourite family tradition?
Going to the world’s great museums
Favourite venue to play?
They’re all the same - you give 1000% all the time.
17 years leading the house band and directing the music on the Conan O’Brien Show, can you tell us some of your favourite moments/memories across that chapter?
Surviving and thriving 17 years of the most challenging landscape in popular entertainment. Also, the first time I had nothing to say to Conan and just stared - huge laugh from the audience. You never forget that!
Any thoughts of publishing The Big Beat #2?
Interesting idea and I’ve been asked many times.
What has been your most intense musical experience?
Of course playing all these years with Bruce and the band but I think the most nervous I ever was was having my seven piece band back Tony Bennett on TV. I never dreamed I would get that opportunity and then all of a sudden you're there! It was wonderful. We really swung!
What language would you like to master?
Most admired athlete of all time?
Joe Namath during his glory years. He changed the game in the early 1960’s
You have received many awards across your career, is there one in particular that you are most fond of?
Well, I was nominated for an Emmy for Music Direction and up against John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, and two other giants of that genre. Obviously I lost.
Three key elements for a successful relationship?
Listening, don’t talk, write little notes to your significant other, slow down
Bungee jumping or Skydiving?
Haha, drumming for Bruce Springsteen is the most thrilling thing I do!
Would you rather explore space or the deepest part of the ocean?
Space! - sign me up now
Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa?
Rich and Krupa were clearly two of the most influential drummers in history. Having never seen Krupa in the 1930’s at his height I’d have to say Buddy Rich who I saw many times. But those two guys rhapsodized about the great 1930’s drummer Chick Webb.
Slipknot or Rammstein?
Slipknot and I hope to catch them in NZ early November
Best country in the world to observe the brightest galaxy?
Definitely Tekapo South Island of NZ. I tried to get there when we played in 2017 but sadly ran out of time. I will return!
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Perhaps ensuring you leave enough time to see the brightest Galaxy in the world with the Tekapo Star watching experience as loved by Max!