Monday, February 2, 2009

Not your usual post-Super Bowl topic

Greatest Super Bowl ever? No doubt. Most exciting halftime show? It was, indeed, "Boss time." But what I want to talk about, which ties in to Springsteen nicely, is the time we met Max Weinberg at a wedding.

It was four summers ago and the son of a good friend from Chicago was getting married in Rhode Island. Word came that the bride's Uncle was Springsteen drummer, Mighty Max Weinberg. Joey, then 10, was very excited. I had just taken him to see Springsteen in Albany during the Devils & Dust solo tour.

The wedding was outdoors on a beautiful sunny day and it was moments after we arrived that we saw Max. I told Joey to go up to him, it was a wedding and mingling with the fellow guests was expected, even if one of the guests was pretty famous. But he was too shy, so I brought him over.

Max was very kind and asked Joey if he played any instruments. When Joey told him he played piano, Weinberg was pleased and told him to keep at it. Then Joey said, "I saw Springsteen." Everything you think about Bruce and the Band, that they are normal guys and genuinely good people, came out in Max's response. With a smile he said, "Isn't he the greatest?" We both agreed. Now at ease, Joey started throwing all his concerts out, especially Brian Wilson. That was the key that unlocked the conversational door. Max admitted to being a huge Beach Boys fan and that he'd played with them. He also volunteered that he had played with every Beatle at some point, save John Lennon.

Later, as the evening wore down and the kids were getting tired, we hung out outside planning our exit. From the wedding hall came the recognizable sound of Glory Days. Pretty ballsy, I thought, to play a Springsteen tune with Max Weinberg in attendance. We all strolled in and what we saw was a shocker - Max sitting in with the wedding band.
How many times was this band approached by the bride and asked, "Would you mind if my Uncle Max sat in? He plays drums." On this night, the relative could rock.

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