kids call him Dad, but to everyone else, Richie Rosenberg
of Randolph is best known as LaBamba
Everyone except for his
wife, that is.
"I don't know idea why he picks on me," Rosenberg said jokingly in a phone interview from -- where else? -- NBC in New York, where he tapes "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" almost daily from 2 to 8 p.m. "But from day one, there was always a camera on Max and on me."
This year O'Brien will head west to take over "The Tonight Show," and while an NBC spokesman would not reveal the band's fate, Rosenberg
will be going along -- "a dream come true," he
"I can only speak for myself and not the band," Rosenberg
"I had no idea," Rosenberg
"There was so much adrenaline that I didn't feel any pain in my foot," said Rosenberg
, who recently suffered a foot injury.
Born to musically inclined parents, Rosenberg
took to the piano and choir first.
A sisterly intervention redirected him from the choir to the school's instrumental director, who introduced him to the trombone.
"My senior year in high school, the saxophonist in jazz band and I both made first chair in the Philadelphia All City Jazz band," he
stepfather instilled in him an appreciation of jazz, specifically trombonist J.J. Johnson.
After a short-lived first year at the Philadelphia Music Academy
abandoned his scholarship to tour with the band Vicki Allen and the Image.
"Bruce would rehearse with the band," Rosenberg
After joining the Jukes, Rosenberg
moved to the Shore area and lived in Belmar, Long Branch and "even across from the Stone Pony," he
"It was a fun atmosphere," he
asked us (the horn section) to go on the road with her
After a two-year tour with Ross, Rosenberg
returned, only to hit the road with "Little Steven" Van Zandt's world tour in support of his album "Men Without Women."
In the mid-1980s, Rosenberg
own bands, LaBamba
and the Hubcaps and LaBamba
's Big Band, made up of 13 horns.
musicians also have accompanied the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Tina Turner, among others.
brought his wife along for Springsteen's
"Tunnel of Love" tour, circa 1988.
Nearly 20 years later, in 2006, Rosenberg
made the rounds again, this time on Springsteen's "Seeger Sessions" tour.
"It was a great tour and a lot of fun to play, but it was a tough message to put across for Bruce fans," he
"I was never to a Bruce show where there were empty seats, but that first show in Boston there were."
While touring in Europe with Southside Johnny
in 1993, he
got a phone call from Springsteen's drummer, Max Weinberg, that piqued his
was telling me about auditioning for the Conan O'Brien show," Rosenberg
Sixteen years later, even as the show winds down, the Max Weinberg 7 remains an essential staple, musically and comedically.
In September, Rosenberg
big band on the show to perform, "the most outrageous experience ever, more so than the Super Bowl," he
"To have my own band on the show that I've been with this many years."
big band teamed up with Southside Johnny
for the album "Grapefruit Moon: The Songs of Tom Waits," released in September 2008.
"The first two sessions were recorded in Jon Bon Jovi's garage," he
Another Shore music connection, recent New Jersey Hall of Fame nominee Bon Jovi entered the circle as "an Asbury Jukes fanatic," Rosenberg
Besides, what's opening up your garage to band members you've admired since the 1980s.
(Bon Jovi) was in a band called the Atlantic City Expressway," Rosenberg
Rosenberg wrote the string arrangements and Randolph High School music director David Aulenbach conducted the students for a concert to benefit the Daytop Village substance-abuse program.
With five kids in the Randolph School District
is no stranger to the music department head.
"Being a long time Conan fan, I have always enjoyed watching (Rosenberg) on TV," Aulenbach wrote.
is able to come up for air, he
can be found out home helping his
wife, Susan, with his
In addition to Evan, 19, and Justin, 12, he
is the proud father of Reed, 6, Samantha, 9, and Jade, 17.
is currently working on new material.
was just made aware of a fan club in his
honor, on MySpace.
Perhaps, they will follow him on "The Tonight Show," too.
plans on leaving for the Los Angeles area following the New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony in May.
As for his
"I plan on keeping that going," he
Trombonist Richie 'LaBamba' Rosenberg, a Randolph resident, performs nightly with the Max Weinberg 7 on 'Late Night With Conan O'Brien.' He's also a longtime member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and leads several of his own bands.