In Rick Mason's epic interview with longtime music legend Al Kooper (who is being honored at the Dakota this Sunday), Kooper dropped an interesting little tidbit about the future of Conan O'Brien's longtime house band. The band has historically been led by drummer and E Street Band member Max Weinberg, and shares several members with one of Kooper's bands. Kooper says that while many of his bandmates have moved out West to continue to play behind Conan, Weinberg is no longer going to be a part of O'Brien's lineup.
"He's not in that band anymore," Kooper said. "They let him go. This is a big transition, and they're all signing new contracts and everything so they replaced him, as far as I know."
When asked if the whole band was being replaced, Kooper said: "No, not at all. That's the only change. But I mean, there was a lotta conflict because of Springsteen. So now he can play with Springsteen whenever he wants."
Mason was unable to confirm Weinberg's departure with other sources, but he notes that he has not been with the band during O'Brien's recent standup appearances, and has started his own project, The Max Weinberg Big Band. There are also rumors that Weinberg has approached Jay Leno about taking over the current Tonight Show band when Kevin Eubanks leaves, though this update from MovieLine squashes that idea.
Read the entire interview with Al Kooper here.