The Up Close Concerts slate of shows just keeps getting bigger as owner and promoter Bob Cannella recently announced Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Max “The Mighty Max” Weinberg, who was inducted alongside the rest of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band in 2014, will be bringing “Max Weinberg’s Jukebox” to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Oct. 2.
“Max’s band is fantastic, and they are all world class musicians,” Cannella said. “This is flat-out a great rock and roll show. Max encourages fans to take videos during the show and share the fun with their friends.
“We know this show will sell out so we hope everyone gets their tickets early.”
While Springsteen spent the better part of the last two years on Broadway, Weinberg has been touring with “Max Weinberg’s Jukebox.”
“I don’t know what taking a break means, I’ve never taken a break,” Weinberg said on his website. “To me, it’s all a continuum, whether it’s Bruce (Springsteen) and E Street Band, which of course is my first love, or playing on my own, I don’t stop. I don’t see any reason to stop, I enjoy it. I get a lot of satisfaction from the fact that I’m 67 and I’m still doing it, and people enjoy themselves and I play different things on the drums every night.
“I challenge myself. I never really thought about not playing, like some arbitrary retirement age. I don’t think musicians do that.”
According to his website, the show will feature video screens containing a list of ’60s and ’70s rock and soul songs, and Weinberg will invite the audience to create the set list, in real time, that he and his four piece group, Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger and John Merjave, three-fourths of the Weeklings, will play that night.
Performing songs from the glory days of rock and roll guests get to choose from a video menu of more than 200 songs, including everything from the Beatles to the Stones, to Bruce and The E Street Band’s biggest hits — and hear the group “play ‘em the way they want to hear them played.”
“I’m having a blast,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve had the same set list for two nights, it’s so interesting. You never know what they’re going to ask for and the band, with Glen, Bob and John, they’ve gotten so good they can turn on a dime.”
Weinberg, who is originally from suburban New Jersey, began drumming at an early age, but his original intention was to be a lawyer. While attending college in 1974, Weinberg answered an ad Springsteen took out in the Village Voice newspaper famously requesting “no junior Ginger Bakers,” in reference to Cream and Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker’s reputation for long drum solos.
Weinberg auditioned with Springsteen and the core of the E Street Band, and a week later, Weinberg was offered a full time gig as the drummer. Over the next decade, Springsteen and the E Street Band became one of the biggest acts in the world, both on the radio, as well as a live draw.
The band reached the peak of their popularity in 1984 with Springsteen’s best-selling album ever, “Born in the USA,” which spawned a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles, “Dancing in the Dark,” “Cover Me,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “I’m on Fire,” “Glory Days,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” and “My Hometown.” The album, which stayed at No. 1 for seven weeks, remained a fixture on the chart for 143 weeks,which is more than two-and-a-half years.
In addition to touring the world with the E Street Band, Weinberg also played as a session musician, especially with songwriter and producer Jim Steinman. He drummed on the 1977 smash Meat Loaf album, Bat Out of Hell, including the hit “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
In 1983, Weinberg was featured on the No. 1 and No. 2 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 with Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.” Weinberg also recorded with Gary U.S. Bonds and Carole King. Weinberg was named Best Drummer in the Playboy 1985 Pop and Jazz Music Poll and Best Drummer again in Rolling Stone’s 1986 Critics Poll.
After 15 years together, Springsteen announced the E Street Band would be disbanded in 1989. After Weinberg spent several years considering a law career, he ultimately decided he wanted to continue his musical life. In 1993, Weinberg got the role as bandleader for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and assembled the Max Weinberg 7.
Ten years after Springsteen dissolved the band, he decided to reform the E Street Band for a series of tours and albums. Weinberg worked out an arrangement that allowed him to play with both O’Brien and Springsteen.
In 2009, Weinberg moved to the short-lived “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” as leader of Max Weinberg and The Tonight Show Band, but opted not to follow O’Brien to the new “Conan” show on TBS, instead deciding to tour with his own ensembles, as well as continuing to perform with Springsteen and the E Street Band.
In 2014, Weinberg was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the E Street Band.
In addition to Weinberg, Up Close Concerts is again hosting shows at both the Welk Resort Theatre, as well as Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre.
Things get rolling at Bandstand with Ronnie McDowell, who will perform special shows as part of the annual Branson Elvis Festival April 11 and 14. The April 11 show will feature McDowell’s “Tribute to the King,” while the April 14 show will highlight gospel music.
The venue will also host “Vicki Lawrence and Mama A Two Woman Show” on Mother’s Day, May 12, and Darryl Worley and Billy Dean May 18. Bandstand will also host the Platters Oct. 9, Gary Lewis and the Playboys and the original lead singer of the Buckinghams Dennis Tufano Oct. 12, as well as Moe Bandy Oct. 16, Mel “Sonny Boy” Tillis Jr. Oct. 23, Lee Greenwood Nov. 10, T.G. Sheppard Nov. 13. Crystal Gayle will present her Christmas show Nov. 20, 2019, followed by a Greenwood Christmas show Dec. 4.
Up Close Concerts will also host shows at the Welk Resort Theatre beginning May 3 with Howie Mandel, followed by Tommy James and the Shondells May 25, and Peter Noon with Herman’s Hermits along with special guest Mitch Ryder Oct. 18.