Connor Bogart O'Brien - What's in a name?

Hi guys, my name is Connor O'Brien.

I don't know if you got the memo, but my name is eerily similar to a certain late night talk show host.

I never had this problem growing up. When I was a boy I didn't even know of anyone named Connor, let alone Connor O'Brien. That's probably because I lived in the United States and not Ireland. if I had grown up in Dublin, no one would have batted an eye at my Gaelic moniker. Connor O'Brien over there is more akin to "Bob Smith" over here, it's very common. These days is a completely different story. About ten years ago the name Connor most have popped up in a baby name book because I suddenly started hearing young mothers yelling my name out in Airports, and it wasn't because they wanted my autograph. As soon as I would turn around (and I always did, every time) a little boy would go darting past me, careening into some sort of mischief. Now there are Connors all over the place, and good for them, it's a great name, I love it.

Then came an SNL writer, turned late night talk show host, rising in fame just as I was working my way up the music scene ladder. And the jokes started rolling in. (And sometimes genuine confusion; here is a voice mail I once got responding to an ad for a keyboard player in my band)

My first band show ever, I was introduced with: "Put your hands together for The Conan O'Brien Band!"

Here's the thing though, unlike the indie singer songwriter Ryan Adams (who once kicked a fan out of his show because he requested "Summer Of '69") i happen to LOVE Conan O'Brien. Seriously. I think he is brilliant, and hilarious, and love watching his show. I even came up with a PR campaign once called "Connor On Conan" to try and get onto his show (in order to ask him to change his name as it was really screwing with my career). Needless to say, I could have chosen a better title. Talk about a good joke.

But the confusion persisted and still does to this day. Perhaps that is the wrong word. I wouldn't say confusion as much as a general annoyance. Every time I finish a show, whether it be at sea or with a Pops concert, whilst thanking audience members who came up to meet me afterwards, I can always spot the guy with the look on his face long before he actually gets to me.

"Hey, Hey! You know who your name sounds like??"

I'm way ahead of you here man.

"Me and the Mrs. thought that Conan was going to come out and sing!"

It worries me that you might have actually thought that. I think the guy has better things to do, and last time I checked, he wasn't doing many singing gigs.

But they always mean well, and I don't have a huge problem with it, so we laugh it off and I take it in stride. Anyone coming up to thank me for performing is a fan I am thankful to have. I could be working at Burger King for Pete's sake.

But, the time has come to make a change. And thankfully, I don't even have to do anything legally, nor come up with some random "Tom Cruise" or "Lady Gaga" identity that has nothing to do with what my parents named me. You see, my middle name is fantastic, especially as an entertainer, and can work very well as a last name if needed; and thus "Connor Bogart" was born.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still Connor O'Brien to my family and friends, and even in anything small performance related. But for my general career, to forge a new path, and to eliminate any celebrity confusion, I'm going to go by this new name from now on... well on stage anyways. The tricky part is all of the media, youtube videos, albums, songs and history I have as a performer with the name "Connor O'Brien". I haven't thought too much about all of that, but I figure this post might help alleviate some of the confusion in the future that we are both indeed the same Connor. I'm certainly not the first to do this either, I'm looking at you Jose Antonio Dominguez Bandera, John Bongiovi, Christopher Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele Sarfati, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, and Troyal Garth Brooks.

So that's it, I just wanted to set the record straight. Thanks for listening, and for your continued support.


Connor Bogart

P.S. My parents were huge Humphrey Bogart fans you say? Nope, it's actually a family name. My great grandmother's last name: "Van Bogart" shortened at Ellis Island when my ancestors came to America.

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