Max Weinberg, the drummer in Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, and the leader of Conan O’Brien’s band for all the years Conan’s been on the air, has revealed that he’s recently had open heart surgery that Weinberg describes as "massively invasive," Adam Buckman reports for Fancast.
Says Weinberg in an interview with Buckman, " I haven’t talked about [this] to anybody, but on Feb. 8, I came to the end of a 26-year watchful, waiting odyssey that culminated in 12 hours of massively invasive open heart surgery."
The surgery, which put Weinberg on a heart-lung machine for seven hours, was to replace a bad heart valve that Weinberg knew at some point would have to be replaced. The drummer says, "Did it play into my decision to remain where I am [and not go back out to LA with Conan for the TBS show]? Maybe. I mean I had three months of very difficult recovery. When I say it was life-changing – I’ve always been a person who smelled the roses, but everything looks a little brighter. Everything looks a little bit more manageable. Nothing is really that big a deal to me anymore. I’ve never felt better. I thought I had energy before [but] I’m a thousand percent better. I’m playing better than I ever did. I’m not looking backward. I feel wonderful about where I’m at – physically, personally, professionally."
Weinberg’s surgery came just two weeks after Conan’s gig hosting "The Tonight Show" ended.
The drummer also tells Buckman, "Frankly, I do prefer living in New Jersey and that was one of the problems I had. I love playing in L.A., but my kids and my wife are back east, and we live part of the time in Italy, so it was hard to structure my life [and have a job in Los Angeles]."
Talking about Conan’s abbreviated tenure on "The Tonight Show,’ Weinberg says, "[A]ny abrupt ending to anything is shocking. It was very weird and awkward and, of course, I felt really bad for some of the people who moved out there – over a hundred people from New York who really took the hit, people who had purchased homes. I know of one case where the day this news broke, which I think was Jan. 5 or 6, this individual had just closed on a house and that’s a real shame."