Max Weinberg is crazy for real estate

By A. James Memmott

April 12, 2008 at 9:57am

Turns out that drummer Max Weinberg marches to the beat of a different drummer.

Weinberg, who plays with Bruce Springsteen’s legendary E Street Band and also leads the show band on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” is, according to the Wall Street Journal, “born to renovate.”

Ben Casselman wrote yesterday that Weinberg is “real estate obsessive,” a guy who gets his kicks reading property records and searching for just the right countertops.

Weinberg and his wife, Becky, built their 8,900-square-foot, seven-bedroom house in Middletown, N.J., in the late 1990s.

The home sits on a 40,000 acres, 22 of which Weinberg is hoping to sell as a three-lot subdivision.

Weinberg is a trustee of the Monmouth (N.J.) Conservation Foundation, and some critics say it’s hypocritical of him to develop the land.

Weinberg counters by saying the development is “very conservative” and not the sort of development the foundation opposes.

Regardless, the house - valued at $1 million - and the land are proof that Weinberg, 56, has come a long way since his younger days as an aspiring drummer looking for work.

A native of New Jersey, his big break came in 1974 when he got the job as the E Street Band’s drummer.

The band backed Bruce Springsteen on his break-through album Born to Run (1975) and a series of later albums including Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) and Born in the U.S.A. (1984).

The members of the band also toured extensively with Springsteen until he severed his relationship with them in 1989.

Weinberg, who had been beset with repetitive-stress problems in the 1980s, took a break from drumming for a while, but returned to work.

In 1993, he signed on with Conan O’Brien as the leader of the comedian’s studio band, The Max Weinberg 7. He has become a fixture on the show, taking part in skits and doing other comedy bits.

“To my (two) children, I’m the television guy,” Weinberg told “They grew up with me on television, so seeing me playing in a rock band was something that they had not really experienced before.”

Weinberg has taken leaves from the show from time to time, returning to his rock roots. He rejoined the E Street Band when it linked up again with Springsteen in 1995. Since then he and the band have made several tours with the singer, including the current tour.

Weinberg told TheCelebrityCafe that he has “the best of both worlds,” being on television, but also having the “experience of playing those classic songs that Bruce wrote.”

The tours also give him a chance to scout out light fixtures and wallpaper and all the other things he needs to make his house a home.

“When I was on tour, I had a lot of time on my hands,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “And all I did was read books about architecture and how to build houses.”

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