Legendary bassist Ricky Minor fronts and directs the Tonight Show band. I was fortunate enough to meet and talk with Ricky for a while a few days ago when the band I’m touring with right now played on Leno.

First of all, the Tonight Show band is DOPE. The one and only Teddy Campbell throwing down on drums, and all kinds of awesome from the other players. They played out a 9-min version of “What Is Hip” right before our segment on the show and it just smoked.

But more to the point, Ricky Minor is a DEEP dude. Very kind, very giving, and very wise. He came right up to us as soon as he could to introduce himself, and took at least 15 min to share with us about how important gratitude is in life. The moment that stuck out to me most came shortly before showtime, when he was jumping and loosening up behind the curtain before going out to play. Our monitor engineer asked him if he was getting pumped and getting ready, and he replied: “Man, you gotta STAY ready. If you’re always ready then you never have to get ready.”

And there it is.