Monday, March 24, 2008

Day eighty four...LA story.

I am going to perform on the Tonight Show.

Wait ... hang on just a second ... I ... I must be wrong ... let me check that email again ... .

OK. I'm back.

Whew, just as I thought.

I am going to perform on Jay Leno's Tonight Show on the National Broadcast Network.

On television.

I wish I could say I was speechless. That would make it easy for me to just turn off the computer and go to bed.

As I said. I wish.

The itinerary says The Young at Heart Chorus will be spending all day at the Tonight Show studio on Wednesday, April 16th. It's probably going to air that night barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Umm...and we're going to be on some show called Ellen.

I wonder if she's like Oprah.

And there's a gig planned to take place at the Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills. That should be fun too.

I've always wondered what it would be like when I got the news. What would the circumstances be as to how I ended up on late night television.

Would I be there as a puppeteer, a magician, a roller-skater (It was possible in the 70's) a comedian, or maybe a world class violinist.

Throughout the years I would fantasize about how my name would sound as the emcee of the show called it out, holding up my record for the camera. How would I feel as I heard the studio audience's applause wash over me, all the while knowing elsewhere unprompted claps and gasps would be emanating from the living rooms of my family and friends.

I think you know which one matters more to me.

I wondered how would I feel as I looked at the big cameras with their round red light on top, which I'm only aware of from seeing them filmed by an even more removed camera. Who will be the other guests? What will the green room be like? Will I meet a celebrity randomly who just showed up for the taping? Or better yet, would it be live?

Well, the only one of those questions I can answer with any certainty is the last one.

No, it will not be live. But once the song gets counted off I doubt we'll get the chance to take it again from the top.

All I know other than that is that I will be performing as a guitarist for the soon to be America's sweethearts, The Young at Heart Chorus.

On Leno.

I already cleared it with my probation officer. That was a huge sigh of relief.

Some people might think, gee, how sad. He has to get approval from an employee of the justice system in order to go out of state and play his guitar for the country. How embarrassing.

Ab-so-lutely not.

I am one hundred percent cocksure that if I did not have a probation officer to ask if I could fly to LA, if I hadn't gone through the humiliation of the two week confined treatment program, if I hadn't gotten myself in the most trouble I have ever been in in my whole life I wouldn't be going to LA at all.

90 days ago I was on a collision course with a pretty predictable end. It almost did end at the very least my professional career, and at the very most my existence.

I'm not being dramatic. I'm being honest.

Steve, who will also be part of the performances, told me that when he saw me show up at that gig in Boston with a head full of benzos and a bloated body covered with a torn Minnie Mouse t-shirt, dirty jeans and no equipment, he feared it was only a matter of a short time before I fell completely to pieces.

I knew it too.

Just about everyone in my network of family and friends knew.

And like a car on fire speeding at a brick wall at 90 miles an hour there's not much you could do to stop it.

All you can do is wait for the inevitable call to come down and help clean up the mess.

So I'll just cut this short and say I'm excited.

I'm excited that I have been pulled out of the way of a falling anvil. I'm excited that I'm about to enter a whole new chapter of my professional life. I'm excited to be going to LA, where I was born almost 38 years ago, and perform on what was my mother's favorite talk show. And I'm excited that I've found a way to express myself and be honest to not just myself, not just my friends, but to people who I don't know from a hole in the wall.

And you all will be able to clap for me when you see me on TV.

Like I said, I'll just cut this short and say I'm excited.

"In three-two-one... ."

"And now ... all the way from Northampton Massachusetts ... ladies and gentlemen, will you please give a warm welcome to ..."


Anonymous said...

f'n'a, that's tremendous! kudos to all in the band and chorus. It seems as though the 15 minutes are getting stretched a bit! Enjoy.

Libby Spencer said...

Way cool Alex. Congrats and I hope you don't let all this fame go to your head.... ;-}