My body has a sick sense of humor. I mean this as a rather literal interpretation in that it seems it knows just how to quickly level a dose of illness to me immediately before or after some major event for me. I don’t know how many times I have come down with a cold, flu, strep or whatever the day before I am set to go on vacation or the day I get back. It’s like my body says, “OHHHH, so you were thinking about having some FUN, EH? Here is the common cold! Enjoy THE HELL out of it!” So today I sit semi-morose with a razory throat, stuffy nose, and fatigue from the cold that hit yesterday, right in time for MissSeven’s birthday dinner and me also needing to pack all of Mr11’s stuff for a 3-day camping trip. The dinner was held, the gear loaded, and lucky me, I can sleep most of the day if I so choose to, and I may very well choose to do so.

Most people are not so lucky when they get sick. They still have to go into work or school or milk the cows or take care of their manic toddler. He or she might have to stand in the road holding a “SLOW! CONSTRUCTION” sign while feeling like puking, or listen to sales projection presentations while mountains of mucus threaten to explode from the nose, or have to give a driving test to a giggling 16-year-old girl while a migraine threatens to end all life on earth. Sometimes you just can’t stay home and rest. I got to thinking, dammit, I was all set to get to work this week on a backlog of song recording, so much for that, and then I thought about real musicians. When you have a concert tour set up, you pretty much have to go ahead and perform no matter how you feel, unless you are Michael Jackson and are having some issues with insomnia and your choice of personal physician. Sometimes musicians can bail from a tour even if not deceased, but generally the show must go on, and it does.

Oh, there’s nothing sadder than a rock dude with a cold. It really takes away the whole swagger vibe when you see Angus McShred keep blowing his nose into a ratty Kleenex and whine to his manager that he wants some tea and cough drops. I swear to you that 99% of the time I have seen Ray Davies over the past nine million years, he has had a cold. Because I am me, I would go DUDE! AGAIN? and he would look mildly irritated and sort of roll his eyes and I would do some kind of HA HA! and AWWW! combination and then worry all mama-hen-like that his voice might break up during the show and then he would get really irritable. Ray needs some immune system support, but he always plays because he is a trooper.

How do they do it? I think about how I am feeling right now with this relatively-mild malady. If I tried to sing it would sound like a chicken at the moment of its beheading. Now top that with the enormous pressure of singing in front of an audience under hot stage lights, maybe with people smoking at you, and it’s a wonder you don’t see performers dropping like flies onstage, especially during cold and flu season. Maybe it’s the old-style Doctor Robert “Vitamin B12” shot that helps, which is essentially enough amphetamine to keep you ramped up for a few hours. Of course, if you get the “Dr. Nick” treatment, you might get this outcome:

Poor Elvis. I wish he would’ve karate-chopped old George Nichopoulos in the throat, guy deserved it. Lead guitarist Phil Demmel in the band Machine Head actually has a heart condition, and every so often he completely passes out onstage:

His bandmates must REALLY REALLY like him, bless their little pointed metal heads. Honestly, to pass out while in the middle of your guitar solo is pretty damn BADASS, if you ask me. Rock on, man.

Now, if you want to see how a rock star with a severe case of the flu handles a guy in the audience throwing crap at him onstage, well, I bring you Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. WARNING: Josh swears here as much or more than I do when I stub my toe or miss out on concert tickets. If you do not enjoy a wide range of verbal vulgarity from a feverish sweaty pissed off person, do not click on the video. If you do and want to get fired from your job quickly, click on it and turn the sound on your computer WAY WAY UP:

If Josh had also been able to throw up on the guy, I think the audience would have made him King of Norway. Isn’t “King of Norway” also a brand of sardines? I love sardines. Anyway, so the world keeps going ‘round for everyone, sick or not. Everyone deals, in their big or small ways. My little show went on, because I got out of bed long enough to write this. Wash your hands, get your flu shot, and cover your mouth, people.