E Street Band drummer opens up on Jukebox, Springsteen’s upcoming tour, and the holidays

There is magic in the air when a member of the E Street Band performs on the Jersey Shore while on vacation.

The experience gives the season a little extra sparkle for music fans. E Street drummer Max Weinberg will perform two concerts, Friday December 17 and Saturday December 18, on the Vogel Stage at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank.

“A vacation on the Jersey Shore brings out that generous spirit,” Weinberg said. “It’s still in Jersey Shore music, but I think it’s especially evident during Thanksgiving and Christmas and as New Years approaches, so I’m happy to participate this year. These are different songs than the ones. that we played before and I started to venture out with the audience again.

Max Weinberg, center, with his Jukebox and fans at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park in 2019.

Fans choose songs during Weinberg’s Jukebox shows. He first went out into the public to respond to inquiries ahead of the coronavirus outbreak, but in recent months he had cut that back.

South Orange’s Weinberg joined the E Street Band in 1974 after an open audition and he became the foundation of the group, combining explosive ferocity with an expert touch of style and finesse. He also became a TV star in “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”. He returns as Mario Vaqngelis in the CBS crime drama “Blue Bloods” next year.

As for the magic of E Street vacations on the Jersey Shore, Weinberg knows it well. The Max Weinberg 7 performed in the Springsteen Holiday Shows at the start of Convention Hall in Asbury Park. The shows also featured E Streeters, musical guests, celebrities and family members.

“These were vacation shows with Bruce being Bruce,” Weinberg said. “He liked to play with my group. He knew all the guys with LaBamba (Richie Rosenberg) and Mark Pender, so it was really easy to learn 20, 25 songs. Jimmy Vivino traced everything, every part, it was amazing. So it was very efficient and of course Bruce didn’t need the graphics, but the rest was very efficient and a lot of fun.

Heavy snow did not dampen enthusiasm for the December 5, 2003 show at Convention Hall.

“One time we played, there was a huge snowstorm and we were wondering if people were going to show up and they did,” Weinberg said. “It was pretty impressive from the audience. They braved this terrible, terrible storm.

Max Weinberg, Jay Weinberg and Jerry Only during a Slipknot 2019 show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

Fans of the E Street Band around the world are passionate about it and hope to see the band again live.

“Until the bus stops at my house, figuratively speaking, I’m not quite sure but I’m pretty convinced … (that) myself, my colleagues and interested people are going to be very pleasantly surprised in 2022, “Weinberg said. “I’m not making plans for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band but I’m feeling great for the next 18, 24 months. You know, Covid has really, really thrown a wrench not just on us, but on everyone, and these are global protocols that are subject to change, in some cases almost every week. So it’s a challenge to manage that. In some cases when we play in stadiums we have 200 crew members. “

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The Springsteen team is monitoring the situation, Weinberg said.

“My feelings about how we are going through this were beautifully summed up in a Charlies Blow column in The New York Times,” Weinberg said. “He speaks for me on this issue. I’m really sick of the idea that people believe a big lie that vaccines are bad for you. This is the only way to beat it and I am triple vaccinated. Everyone I play with is triple vaccinated.

Weinberg and his wife Becky Weinberg, parents of Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg and journalist Ali Rogin, recently attended the wedding of Olivia Tallent, daughter of E Street bassist Garry Tallent, in New Orleans. Olivia married Bradley Bourgeois on November 28.

“It was a great wedding in New Orleans,” Weinberg said. “What do musicians want to do at a wedding? Well they want to hang out with the group and sit down but there was no group so we got the chance to sit down and tell a lot of old stories and it was a lot of fun. (Springsteen) looks amazing. He looks amazing and it was fun spending time with Bruce, Southside (Johnny) and Garry. The vibe is like there’s just a handful of people in the world that’s been in these cars, in this van, on the bus for all these years. And the few of us who are still here, it’s like we’ve never been gone. “

Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger and John Merjave, three-quarters of Weeklings of Asbury Park, will be on stage with Weinberg on the Vogel Stage at Red Bank.

“Everyone learns material like the record,” Weinberg said of songs from the Jukebox, classic rock, ’60s R&B and more. “We don’t imitate records. What I’m trying to get people to understand is that it’s a party, so we’re trying to embody the joy that these records have given us – that’s important. It’s not chamber music. It’s made to be played and have a good time with it.

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, 8 p.m. Friday December 17 and Saturday December 18, The Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank. Starting at $ 30. Participants must have proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of door time. Info: thebasie.org

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Chris Jordan, originally from the Jersey Shore, covers entertainment and reporting for USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected].

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