The Jewish Drummer Behind “The Boss”


What is it about drummers in the are-they-or-aren’t-they Jewish game? Ringo Starr? Got the nose, but no. The Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts? Some say yes, some say no. Max Weinberg? Oh yes.

You probably know Weinberg as Conan O’Brien’s former bandleader, or perhaps as the quiet drummer with the big beat behind Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band. As Mighty Max approaches his 40th year with The Boss, it’s time to show some love for one of rock’s top-rated drummers.

The Jewish kid from Newark, son of a lawyer and teacher, counts his childhood rabbi as one of the most influential people in his life. He spreads the good word of tzedakah and tikkun olam to Jewish audiences around the country, and he never said no to a little Jew-y shtick-ing with Conan.

Though he didn’t join Springsteen until the Born to Run sessions in ’74, he’s still arguably the best-known member of the The Boss’ tribe – and definitely the most kosher.

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