Conan O’Brien Reveals Picks For Top Rock Musicians On ‘Stern Show’

Watch Conan share memories from Neil Young’s appearance on his final episode hosting ‘The Tonight Show.’

By Scott Bernstein Nov 10, 2022 11:23 am PST

While Conan O’Brien might be best known for his comedic abilities and stints hosting multiple late night talk shows, he’s also a fantastic guitarist. O’Brien was back on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday, where host Howard Stern queried him about his top musicians in the world. Conan selected Neil Young and Paul McCartney.

“He’s managed to stay completely authentic and raw in a way that almost seems impossible to me,” Conan said about Neil Young. “What he was doing with Buffalo Springfield in 1965, he’s still going for that. He hasn’t calcified. He hasn’t crusted over. So that guy blows me away.”

Neil Young appeared on O’Brien’s final episode as host of The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien in 2010. “It’s all a blur to me. I have PTSD and I’m medicated,” Conan quipped before recalling details from the visit. “Neil Young came on and did ‘Long May You Run’ and it was such a beautiful thing. It was amazing,” O’Brien added. “He was a mensch about the whole thing. He was great. A really lovely guy.”

Conan said he never formed a full-on personal relationship with Neil Young. “If I was going to meet Neil Young for a cup of coffee, I would get in my head about it because it’s Neil Young,” O’Brien revealed of the intimidating scenario. The former Simpsons writer went on to speak about how the same applies to McCartney. “I’ve found that the couple of times I’m interviewed him or been around him, it gets weird. I’m just looking at his hands and thinking ‘those are the hands that made the chords that did this and that,'” Conan noted. “You can’t go down that road. He’s a guy and you just gotta let all that go.”

Howard Stern found himself in a similar situation when chatting with Bruce Springsteen on Halloween. “He was sitting at the piano and I was watching his hands play the piano when he was playing ‘Thunder Road,’ and this guy is just playing this music that resonates with me. But his hands were fascinating to me,” Stern remembered. “I don’t know what I was expecting.”

Watch Conan and Howard talk top rock musicians below:

Revisit Young’s “Long May You Run” from the final Conan-hosted Tonight Show:

Follow this link for more from O’Brien’s chat with Howard Stern.

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