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September 19, 2014

Kevin Eubanks Dishes on 'Tonight Show' Memories, Ricky Minor

by Steve Baltin, posted Jun 2nd 2010 3:40PM
Kevin EubanksFor the past 18 years when 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' has started, Kevin Eubanks has been there to lead the band. However, June 1, Rickey Minor, best known as the musical director for 'American Idol,' takes over that gig as Eubanks moves on to other adventures.

Eubanks, for one, believes Jay Leno's band is in very good hands.

"I think he can deal with it," Eubanks told TV Squad, "I've known Ricky for a while, so I just kind of thought he'd be real smooth at stepping in. I think I'm right, I think he'll be alright."

Eubanks had a hand in picking his replacement, so naturally he feels that Minor won't disappoint. In fact, he's so confident that when asked to give some advice to his successor, Eubanks didn't offer any.

"He'll be fine," he said.

However, Eubanks did get more excited talking about his future plans.

"I'm looking forward to a lot of things," he said. "Playing live, raising money for some people that need it to keep getting lessons in instruments and all that stuff. We'll just kind of see what comes my way and things I'm interested in."

The band leader switch comes only a few months after Leno found himself the most hated man in late night after he agreed to retake the reins of the legendary show from the popular Conan O'Brien. But, Eubanks said his decision to leave was based solely on the fact it was time for him to move on. How did he know it was time?

"Well, 18 years," he laughed. "That's a lot of time. It felt like a good time. Everything was going just fine and all that, but 18 years, maybe that was my ticket, going 18 years. Somebody could be 15, 20 or whatever. Mine is 18, I guess."

If anything, Eubanks said the fact the show was so good to him is what kept him so there long.

"The show has been great, the whole thing's been good," he said. "If that hadn't been so successful and so different, maybe I'd feel different, but that was really nice security, so moving on that makes it a cool thing to do."

Eighteen years on 'The Tonight Show' has given Eubanks the chance to collaborate with many big names. But, Eubanks said it was hard to pick a favorite.

"Oh man, there's too many," he said. "Willie [Nelson] and B.B. King, Buddy Guy, I remember when Chicago came on, Grand Funk played one time."

"There are just so many different people that came on and it was just wonderful to see it."

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Jim

Douchebag > Ricky Minor > Jay Leno

June 02 2010 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

Is there some kind of delay in the new TV Squad system. The Fringe article from a couple days was about something two weeks ago.

This article was clearly written last week.

June 02 2010 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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