After guitarist Jimmy Vivino let it slip that he would indeed be taking over as Conan O’Brien’s new bandleader when Conaw debuts Nov. 8, both O’Brien and Weinberg were forced to spend the weekend crafting their official responses, issuing a joint press release today that calls the decision a “mutual agreement” and handily sidesteps those rumors that Weinberg had pissed off Conan by making a play for Kevin Eubanks’ chair on The Tonight Show. Anyway, O’Brien’s statement was typically gracious and self-deprecating, with the host saying, “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.” Weinberg also waxed nostalgic, saying:
“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.”
Us too! As Conan points out in the following clip, you just can't replicate this sort of chemistry.