Who could forget the days of Cheech and Chong. Up In Smoke and all the rest of their comedy reflected their hippie and drug based roots. Among their more famous routines was Basketball Jones, a song which was sung in falsetto by Cheech Marin, playing the title character Tyrone (as in “tie-your-own”) Shoelaces.
It told the story of Shoelaces’ love of basketball. It was a parody of the song “Love Jones” by Brighter Side of Darkness. In the album version, the song was preceded by a mock interview with Jones’ basketball coach named “Umgwana Kickbooti”, in a parody of a Wide World Of Sports interview conducted by a character named “Red Blazer”. Musicians who appeared on the record included George Harrison, Carole King, Billy Preston and Tom Scott. The Blossoms and Michelle Phillips (from The Mamas & The Papas) performed vocals as cheerleaders on the track. The song was released as a single in September 1973 and reached #15 in the US charts.
The animated short film of Basketball Jones was created to promote the release of the single.