M’TOWN: MIGHTY MAX GIVES BACK TO THE MAC

MaxWeinbergE Street Band drummer and Middletown resident Max Weinberg does it “talk show” style, in a benefit for the township’s Arts Council that takes place at the Middletown Arts Center on Sunday night, November 17. (click to enlarge)

Press release from Middletown Arts Council

On Sunday, November 17, the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) will host An Evening with E Street’s Max Weinberg to benefit the Middletown Arts Council, with the 7 pm event presented as a talk-show style question and answer format, followed by a VIP meet and greet reception.

Event moderator Tom Cunningham — host of the Bruce Brunch, which airs on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. on 105.7 The Hawk Classic Rock Radio — will engage the audience in lively conversation with Weinberg, and show rare video footage from his star-studded career.

Currently touring world-wide with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Weinberg looks forward to talking to audience members about his career, past and present. Citing his work through the years with Bruce and The E Street Band as, “the attainment of everything a 12-year-old drummer from the suburbs of Jersey ever dared to dream,” Max has kept himself busy for nearly four decades performing with the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, Tom Jones, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bono of U2, Levon Helm and the Band. Of particular importance — and one of Max’s biggest thrills — was his backing Tony Bennett on television, a venue where Mr. Bennett rarely performed without his own group.

Following the E Street band’s breakup in 1989, Max worked on several different projects , including starting his own record label, and a brief attempt at law school. Ultimately, he would find great success as the musical director and band leader for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Having literally talked his way into the job following a chance meeting with O’Brien on a New York City street, Weinberg put together a top-flight set of musicians to form the Max Weinberg Seven. Max was featured on “Late Night” and the “Tonight Show” not only as bandleader, but also as a comic foil to O’Brien, particularly in the show’s sketches.

Weinberg has also worked as a session musician, enjoying particular success in connection with songwriter Jim Steinman. Weinberg drummed on the immensely popular Meatloaf album, Bat Out Of Hell. At one point in 1983, he was featured on the number 1 and number 2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” — both of them Steinman compositions. He is also the author of The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock’s Great Drummers, a series of interviews Weinberg conducted over two years with his favorite drummers from different eras, including Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, Levon Helm, and Elvis Presley’s longtime drummer D.J. Fontana. The book is considered an important addition to rock literature.

Bruce Springsteen has said of his longtime bandmate, “The mighty Max Weinberg, star of late-night television, found a place where Bernard Purdy, Buddy Rich, and Keith Moon intersected, and he made it his own. I ask and he delivers for me night after night.” Weinberg, for his part, offers the credo “Show up, do a good job, and give the people more than their money’s worth!” The Middletown Arts Center is thrilled to have the unique opportunity to host  this up-close-and-personal evening with this musical mover and shaker, to benefit the arts in Middletown.

Doors open at 6:30 pm for Sunday evening’s event, with general reserved seating priced at $40, and a limited sale VIP ticket package including premium seating and reception at $75 per guest. A beer and wine cash bar is offered. Call (732)706-4100 for reservations.