By Kate Ward
Updated October 08, 2010 at 01:14 PM EDT

A rep for Max Weinberg — Conan O’Brien’s former drummer and band leader — tells EW that recent headlines indicating the musician did not join O’Brien for his upcoming late night show, Conan, because of recent heart surgery are false. Instead, Weinberg’s rep defers to Weinberg’s comments about his departure released in a statement late last month: “17 years — a lifetime on TV … 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.” An interview in Fancast reported that Weinberg’s health problem — he had open heart surgery in February — influenced his decision to not follow O’Brien to TBS. Subsequent headlines off that interview (“Max Weinberg Won’t Join ‘Conan’ As a Result of Heart Surgery, Report Says,” “Max Weinberg: ‘Massive’ open-heart surgery forced me to step down from Conan O’Brien’s new show“) indicated that the heart surgery was what pushed the drummer into that decision.

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