At the age of 40, Weinberg started working as the bandleader on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He then followed Conan to The Tonight Show.
The musician voted best drummer in the 1986 Rolling Stone critics poll can’t read music.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the music business?
No matter the path, the journey has to start with a hungry heart.
If you have a vision for your life, make it a reality. Work everywhere and anywhere.
When the E Street Band was disbanded, I took bar mitzvah gigs so I could play the drums.
What can you say about your experience with Conan?
He reminds me of the parable: He got what he wanted, but lost what he had.
He thought the grass was greener before midnight.
He made a rash decision to blow up his career and did not care about the collateral damage.
What did you learn from the incident?
Listen to your wife. When we moved out to Los Angeles, my wife wanted to rent. I said let’s buy. It is “The Tonight Show.” What can happen?
How did you land the gig with Conan?
I hadn't played in several years but I wanted to get back to drumming. I wanted to get out of the business life that I was leading. So one day my wife and I walked out of a deli in New York, and right at the corner was Conan waiting for the light to change.
About a week before he had been announced as the new host of NBC's Late Night, replacing David Letterman. So I went over to him and started to talk to him.
He was in the beginning process of putting the show together and we started to talk about music right there on the corner. That led to a series of meetings and he asked if I would audition, so I quickly put a band together and auditioned.
At the audition, on our third song Conan leapt out of his seat and started dancing to it. So I knew at that point that we were in pretty good shape. Literally, a week later, we were on the air.