Conan O'Brien reacts to Max Weinberg leaving
Calls former band leader a 'huge part of my life'Conan O'Brien confirmed Monday that his longtime band leader, Max Weinberg, would not join him on his TBS show "Conan" this November.
"Max has been a huge part of my life for the past 17 years and he is an incredible band leader and musician. I hope he can find time to stop by the new show, sit in with the band, and pretend to find my monologue funny," O'Brien said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
A rep for O'Brien says it was a mutual decision for Weinberg to leave.
Said Weinberg, "17 years -- a lifetime on TV. Conan and I met on a New York City street corner in the Spring of 1993 and my association with Conan, his staff, and crew has been a deeply rewarding experience for me. And, making music with Jimmy Vivino, Mark Pender, La Bamba, Jerry Vivino, Scott Healey, Mike Merritt, and percussionist James Wormsworth enabled me to become a better musician and bandleader. I thank them for their first rate work on the bandstand. I wish Conan and his show the best and I do look forward to dropping by."
Vivino, a longtime guitarist and keyboard player, told The Riverfront Times of St. Louis he'd be replacing Weinberg.
Vivano said Weinberg -- who has been a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band since the 1970s -- will focus on his other gigs: "Max has his big band out there that has been his dream all his life, kind of a Buddy Rich band. And there's a kid in Jersey that works with him occasionally. A singer-songwriter! Some guy that's got some hope over there!"