Oct 212011

Listen, Max Weinberg wouldn’t crack my Top 100 drummers list, but what so bad about his work with The Boss? I know he’s a bit stiff, maybe to say the least, but doesn’t he offset some of his stiffness with powerful kick and snare work and some fierce martial rolls at all the big points The Boss needs ’em? Was it when he dropped his stick at that big concert? Do any Springsteen fans prefer him to the orginal E-Street drummer, David Sancious Vinnie Mad Dog Lopez? Are his limitations magnified because of the large stage he plays?

Is there a drummer in the house (our a would-be drummer)? What’s so bad about Max Weinberg?


  27 Responses to “Is There a Drummer in the House: What’s So Bad About Max Weinberg?”

  1. I’m trying to close up shop for the week and your going to make me fish out the Pince Nez? Vinnie Mad Dog Lopez was the drummer on the first two albums.

    Ernest Boom Carter was the drummer on the first song of the third album.

    Then Max W.

  2. You get what I’m saying! Take all weekend if you like. Sancious played some other instrument, I suppose?

  3. tonyola

    Sancious played keyboards for Bruce along with a little bit of an instrument hated by RTHers – a saxophone.

  4. I think he left to play fusion or something and ended up as a side man for Sting or Peter Gabriel. Perhaps I’ll investigate further.

  5. If he played sax, even he’s embarrassed by it because it’s not listed on his official web site. Just keyboards and guitar.

  6. I’m speechless…


    (pls note the guitar player sitting…has this been talked about in the hall before?)

  7. tonyola

    Maybe he doesn’t mention his sax playing because he wasn’t very good at it. After all, everyone knows that good sax players get the hot chicks.

  8. shawnkilroy

    He’s a FUCKIN GEEK! that’s the problem with him. Maybe if he kept the coke shades and the sideburns, he’d come across a little cooler (Liberty Devito). Maybe if he wasn’t now more famous for being a Paul Schaffer type than he is for being in a real rock and roll band, he’d seem a little cooler. There’s nothing wrong with his drumming, it’s fine for what Springsteen does, but he looks like a giant fuckin dork. That’s the problem.

  9. BigSteve

    I don’t really want to get into this, because I find kneejerk Bruceophobia tiresome. Bruce is bad, therefore saxophone is bad, therefore Max is a bad drummer, etc. Whatever.

    But I will say that Max did not always look like a dapper accountant. The times I saw the band back in the 70s he was a lot bigger, at least 30 lbs heavier. He had a big thick beard, he wore a tanktop when he played, and it was like seeing a strongman do feats of strength. He played with power and precision.

    He’s trimmed down now. And he’s lost some power over the years, as most of us have. But anyway I know I’m not going to convince anyone, because the dissing isn’t rational or especially informed.

  10. I saw Max in LAX about 5 yrs ago. He was in fantastic shape, wearing a plain white tee and jeans. His snare drum was his carry on. I like his work when he was on Conan. His book was fantastic. I think he’s fine at what he does, nothing earth-shattering, but hell, you’d think Bruce hired Meg White.

  11. You’ve got it backwards: I’m okay with Bruce but Max’s drumming is one of the things that takes away from my enjoying him.

  12. machinery

    Meg White isn’t that bad. The two of them are heavier than most 5-piece outfits. What she lacks in timing, she makes up for in power.

    As for Max, I think it’s his drum faces that are the problem.

  13. I’m down with Lopez and NJ Beach Party Bruce but I can’t imagine the big, rock-show Bruce without Weinberg. Things like “Night” and “Candy’s Room” kind of depend on him hammering it home. I think he gets most of the blame for Born in the USA which is the worst of 80’s big drum sounds combined with overblown songs made to be played in football stadiums.

    Plus, he can lie back and play within the song like on this number (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VFctmbb5C0.)

  14. 2000 Man

    C’mon, everybody knows that good sax players get gold chains and scary chest hair.

  15. I think Max is a fine drummer because you don’t notice him.

  16. Speaking of female drummers, I don’t know her name but the drummer for Michael McDonald rocks… hard.

  17. tonyola

    Since when are gold chains and chest hair a problem for a performer?

  18. tonyola

    I’m the other way around. I have no particular objection to Max and I like saxophones well enough to play them. But I don’t like Bruce.

  19. jeangray

    I prefer his work with Conan.

  20. I do not like Weinberg’s drumming with Springsteen. I find it leaden and obvious. I do like his book about drummers, and I think he’s probably a lot more versatile than his Springsteen work would indicate, but I think the approach since Wild & Innocent has been to remove any real rhythm section eruptions that might detract from the song. There is very little “feel” in the E-Street approach, probably intentionally so, presumably to avoid muddying the slammin’ sound. I think Mr. Mod mentioned Candy’s Room, but I think that could be even better with the same drum part played with a looser feel.

  21. tonyola

    The drums on “Candy’s Room” are gimmicky, particularly with the overuse of the machine-gun snare. That shtick gets old really quick and ends up detracting from the song.

  22. I don’t care about his look. He plays like he is in a military marching band. No soul at all.

  23. An here is another reason (from Wkipedia):
    Weinberg also played as a session musician, enjoying particular success in connection with songwriter and producer Jim Steinman. He drummed on the very popular 1977 Meat Loaf album, Bat out of Hell, playing on the Steinman-penned tracks “Bat out of Hell”, “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth”, and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”. At a point in 1983, Weinberg was featured on the number one and number two songs on the Billboard Hot 100, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All”,[6] both Steinman creations.

  24. Case closed. Worst Drummer Ever

  25. He doesn’t swing (I mean his playing, I have no idea what he gets up to in his personal life)….it’s a problem. Even Conan’s band sounds better with his replacement, James Wormworth.

  26. trigmogigmo

    I’d like to see a related discussion of U2’s rhythm section. I notice Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton receiving some scorn in the Hall. Larry’s drumming has always seemed OK to me. Adam’s bass seems very basic but I can’t put my finger on what it is that is really bugging people.

  27. jeangray

    Mr. Clayton only plays one string.

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