Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
Drummer Max Weinberg hasn't had a vacation in quite a while. After globetrotting with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the last two years, he returned to his night job as music director of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. And somewhere in between, he managed to record an album of swing and boogie tunes, The Max Weinberg 7.
Why a swing band for the Late Night show? When I was growing up, the quintessential TV band was the Doc Severinsen Tonight Show orchestra. Nobody ever sounded better. I loved it when Buddy Rich sat in. I wanted to get back to bands in suits and ties all dressed up for a show.
What did you learn about being a bandleader from Springsteen? I learned hard work, dedication, discipline and being able to focus on your objective. Things that you can apply to life in general. And also creating an atmosphere where everyone feels their creativity to the maximum, which is something that Bruce always did.
What was it like getting back on E Street? As much fun as you might imagine it is, it's really 100 times more fun than that. When I'm on the road with Bruce, I get to wake up really late, eat whatever I want and then play for four hours. And my only responsibility is to play great. It's almost like a vacation.