So we went to Park City and the film festival….to DC and the Inaugural…now we’re in LA. And I’m sick. Not a big surprise. Someone always gets sick on the the road and we still bull right through it. This time was different. This was Leno. We had to be great. I’ve been on Leno before with Ringo and it’s an amazing thrill and I wanted Georgia to feel what that’s like so I can’t be sick. Then on the morning of the show….3AM actually…I woke up and….I was sick. I had no voice. None. I could not get a sound out. Off we go in our rental car to find a 24hr clinic to see if something can be done. I am NOT cancelling Leno. The Doctor checks me out and offers a steroid shot that should take down the swelling and let me sing. “Is the show soon?” he asked. “Tonight” I reply. “Good luck with that” he said sadly. If I do not talk all day…I might, just might…get thru a three and a half minute song.

We do sound check and camera blocking and I do my best Marcel Marceau impression. Jay comes into our dressing room and hangs around a bit. He is such a nice guy and he is giving us an incredible break here. No sign of our other guest, Dustin Hoffman. Probably as intimidated by ME as I am by him.

Showtime. We stand behind the curtain and wait for his introduction. Georgia is calm but excited like the pro she is should be. Kenny has a very satisfied look on his face as if he willed this moment into existence two years ago. The curtain rises.

Three and a half minutes later…..we have just officially nailed our first performance on late night TV.

I can collapse now. Oh, wait…tomorrow is three videos and a live show. I am coughing up fist sized balls of phlegm by now and feeling, as the French say, “Le Poo Poo”

We go to the Yahoo taping and with a little help from the steroid shot I am able to get through it….but I am now in the “If Gary doesn’t stop now he may be taking the big dirt nap sooner than he likes.” Management steps in. I once played an entire show with a broken hand. I do not call in sick. Tonight I have to call in sick and it makes me feel like a great big mucous-filled baby.

Our Saturday…the one day off on this entire trip…the day we had to BE in LA and visit the Grove and eat good bad food….it is toast. I am turning in my rental car so I will not even be tempted to go to Mel’s Diner. Shades are drawn. Drugs are on display across the coffee table. (This is not the 60’s. My drugs are from CVS) I have an entire day to heal up so I can get on a plane and fly to Nashville to continue this insanity. Is this a young man’s game? Fuck that. People get sick. Old people, young people. You go on tour during cold and flu season and someone surely gets hit. This was MY turn in the barrel. That’s all.

Tomorrow I will sleep in my own bed and that will fix everything. This leg of the tour ended on a bit of a sour note but the CD comes out in three (3!!!!) days and we have a lot of fun things to do in this coming week. Once I get all the phlegm out.