Max Weinberg, The Blues Drum-Driven Drummer

Max Weinberg was born on April 13, 1951. He is an American drummer and television personality known mostly for his drumming work for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.

He is also the bandleader for Conan O’Brien or the shows, Late Night with O’Brien and Tonight show with O’Brien. As a drummer, he started his career at an early age while growing up in suburban New Jersey.

Max Weinberg went to college where he was planning to be a lawyer, but he did not because of his drumming breakthrough after winning the audition to become the Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. For a long time, Weinberg has been serving as the mainstream drummer for the group, with whom he played in many concerts.

The band was disbanded in 1989, leaving him to consider a law career while trying on the business end of music. But later, he decided to continue drumming with his major role being the bandleader of The Max Weinberg 7 of the Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

He is defined by drum-driven jump blues, the sound that rings the show and which has given him a second career. At the dawn of 1999, the Springsteen band reformed the E Street Band for a series of tours and several other projects.

It was during the same time that Weinberg worked out a plan that allowed him to play with both O’Brien and Bruce Springsteen. He became one of the most sort-after drummers that could deliver the emotional touch needed in different music genres.

Weinberg moved to the short-lived Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien as the bandleader. After its fall, he settled on touring with his own ensembles and later followed O’Brien in another show in 2010. He continued playing for Springsteen, and in 2014 he became part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Weinberg has written a book called “The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Greatest Drummers.” The book is a collection of interviews with some of the most influential and respected drummers in the history of rock music, including Dino Danelli, Keith Moon, Neil Peart, and also some punk rock drummers.

In “The Big Beat,” Weinberg shares his own experiences as a musician and offers insights into the craft of drumming. He also discusses the impact that these drummers have had on him and on the music industry as a whole.


The first time Weinberg took his career to a serious level was in the spring of 1974, when he saw a notice in the Buddy Rich, the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were searching for a new drummer. They were very clear in their ad that they never wanted any “Junior Ginger Bakers,” which meant only serious drummers would be considered.

Weinberg was drumming for a long time since childhood and had developed his stead-hand, having learned everything from the pro-school in the pit of Broadway show. And with his approach, he took everyone by surprise, blowing Springsteen away when he auditioned. Hence, he was immediately hired and started working on “Born to Run.”

Listening to the album, it is impossible to imagine what it would be like if the drummer’s taut pulse was not included. It was one of the band’s first success stories, which led the drummer to fame, working with everyone from Meat Loaf to Bonnie Tyler.

And when he became the O’Brien bandleader, he managed to take up both responsibilities very seriously. Bruce Springsteen once said that he was in the same league as Bernard Purdie, Buddy Rich, and Keith Moon. 

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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