New Jersey is home of some great talent in entertainment and sports as well in business, philanthropy, and the arts.
Max Weinberg is a perfect example of all of these areas. He could be inducted into New Jersey Hall of Fame for each of them.
Max Weinberg is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame E-Street Band drummer. He was inducted alongside Bruce Springsteen and the rest of E Street Band into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2014. The induction ceremony will take place in October 2022.
Max was born and raised in Newark, NJ. Max has given me the opportunity to speak with him and host several charity events.
One conversation I had was about Max’s musical influences. Max said that he got hooked on the drums after watching Elvis’ drummer, the great D.J. Fontana performs on television. Fontana, who was 6 years old, received a conga drum. He made a strap for it and began playing.
Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band perform at The Los Angeles Sports Arena
He was a teacher who was working as a volunteer at weddings and bar mitzvahs. He invited Max to join the class and became a local child star. Max says that playing music was his way to receive acceptance from his friends. It also opened him up and allowed him to explore a whole new world.
After Vini Lopez, drummer of E-Street Band left the band, Bruce Springsteen organized an open audition. This was a time when Bruce began writing. “Born to Run”Bruce had been working for months on the title track and hired Boom Boom Carter to drum on Born to Run. Max was hired and he performed on the rest of the album’s classic cuts.
Max bought a 5-acre parcel in Monmouth County. While on tour, he also studied books about architecture and design. He was able to build his own property and lend advice to his family and friends.
Max developed tendonitis, which was affecting his drumming and recording. This led to the need to create a healing program for Max and to rest. Max was well rested and healed when Born in the USA began. He was able to bang the drums for 3 hours per night and perform on a long, difficult tour that took him all over the globe.
Mighty Max and his band The Max Weinberg 7, were the house band. “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and in 2010 after O’Brien decided to move to another network Max decided not to join him.
Max Weinberg, performs during Springsteen’s performance with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band “Wrecking Ball”Concert tour premiere in Atlanta, Sunday, March 18, 2012. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Max, a member of E-Street Band, was inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a 2014 inductee.
Max suffered from heart problems and was hospitalized for a while. Jay took over the drums and replaced Max as Hall of Famer. Jay is also the drummer for Slipknot.
Max has given a lot to New Jersey through his time, money and talents. Max was a champion for conservation in Monmouth County. He also gave a lot to the Lakehouse Academy, where he mentored and taught young musicians.
I’m thrilled that the New Jersey Hall of Fame has decided to honor Max and proud that he’s such a big part of our music community. Congratulations Max!
This post is a reflection of the thoughts and observations Big Joe Henry, New Jersey 101.5 weekend host. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.
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The award goes to artists of any medium who preserve the legacy of their namesake by speaking “for the voiceless with an understanding of how a platform can be used to shine a light on our world, showing us what needs to be fixed and how to fix it.”