He suffered an acknowledged "drumming slump" around 1980, as well as repetitive stress injury and tendonitis, requiring seven operations on his hands and wrists. Upon recovery, he released a popular and acclaimed book on rock drummers and rock drumming entitled The Big Beat and promoted it through a tour of northeast universities. Despite his injuries, he made a full recovery and continued to provide a solid foundation to the E Street Band until Springsteen dissolved it in 1989.
Speaking publicly about the aftermath of the E Street Band dissolution, Weinberg claimed that he resolved to never again play the drums. He returned to school at Seton Hall University, completing the remaining 21 credits needed to obtain his bachelor's degree. He then briefly attended Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law, but withdrew before completing his first year.
Weinberg returned to the E Street Band when Springsteen re-formed the band in 1995, and again in 1999. He resumed touring with the Band in 2007 and 2008.
Weinberg went into the music business, joining a distribution company as a business partner. He found business life unfulfilling, and for personal reasons as well he needed to return to performing. He auditioned to be the principal drummer on the Broadway show The Who's Tommy, but was selected instead as the second alternate substitute percussionist. That night, he had a chance sidewalk meeting outside Carnegie Deli with newly selected Late Night host Conan O'Brien, where Weinberg spoke about his ideas for music on the show.
Since the inception of Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 1993, Weinberg has been the leader of that show's band, The Max Weinberg 7. However, on some comedy bits, Weinberg is comically presented as a twisted character with sexual fetishes and homicidal tendencies.
When Conan O'Brien was host of Saturday Night Live on March 10, 2001, his monologue featured a visit from the SNL studio to the studio for Late Night With Conan O'Brien, where Conan discovers Weinberg engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman on his desk (played by Max's real-life wife, Becky). Once Springsteen reunited the E Street Band in 1999, Weinberg began taking leaves of absence from the show in order to go out on tour. Springsteen made appearances on the O'Brien show in 1999, 2002, and 2006.
On April 12, 2008, the New York Post reported that Weinberg will move to Los Angeles to join O'Brien on "The Tonight Show" sometime in 2009. It is unclear if the other members of The Max Weinberg 7 will also make the move to the O'Brien-hosted talk show.
Weinberg comes from a musical family. His sister Nancy Winston is a professional pianist and singer who is well known in New York City for her regular appearances at the Cafe Pierre, the Plaza Hotel and other top piano rooms. Max played drums on Nancy's self-titled debut CD.
Weinberg's mother attends many concerts, often sitting stageside. Weinberg's sister, Abby, is a clinical social worker in the New England area. Her husband, Michael, teaches culinary arts in Peabody, Massachusetts. They have two children: Noah, who is a performing magician, and Jake, who is an avid photographer. They live in southern New Hampshire.
Weinberg lives on the New Jersey shore with his wife, Becky, and their two children, Ali and Jay. He and his family are season ticket holders and fans of the New Jersey Devils.
Weinberg is the author of The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock's Greatest Drummers (1991), a series of interviews with drummers from all eras, as well as a companion series of CDs released on Rhino Records.
In 1995, Weinberg drummed on two of Johnnie Johnson's songs: "I'm Mad" and "She Called Me Out of My Name," on Johnnie's 1995 album Johnnie Be Back. The Max Weinberg 7 released a self-titled album in 2000. He also played drums on the Meat Loaf album Bat out of Hell playing on the tracks "Bat out of Hell", "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" and "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". He was the live drummer for 10,000 Maniacs in 1992 after their drummer Jerry Augustyniak was injured.
Mighty Max mourns the Big Man; Max Weinberg returns to the road with a heavy heart, but a new band should help the guy who "loves to play.".(VARIETY)
Jun 26, 2011; Byline: JON BREAM; STAFF WRITER For a moment, Max Weinberg seemed to regain his equilibrium. It had been a tough, tough week --...