Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces

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"Basketball Jones" redirects here. For the basketball-related podcast, see The Basketball Jones.
"Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces"
Single by Cheech and Chong
from the album Los Cochinos
B-side Don't Bug Me
Released September 1973
Genre Comedy rock, funk, psychedelic soul
Length 4:04
Label Ode Records
Cheech and Chong singles chronology
Sister Mary Elephant Basketball Jones Featuring Tyrone Shoelaces Earache My Eye

"Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces" is a song by Cheech and Chong that first appeared on the 1973 album Los Cochinos.

Sung in falsetto by Cheech Marin, playing the title character Tyrone (as in "tie-your-own") Shoelaces, it tells the story of Shoelaces' love of basketball. It is a parody of the song "Love Jones" by Brighter Side of Darkness. In the album version, the song is 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."

"Jones" is slang for "craving" or "addiction."

While a "Love Jones" is when you love someone so much that you can't think of anyone else, a "Basketball Jones" is when you love basketball so much that you can't think of anything else.

Musicians who appeared on the record included George Harrison,[1] 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 on the Hot 100, becoming the only spoof to peak higher than the corresponding original. It was backed with "Don't Bug Me", also from Los Cochinos. To coincide with the graffiti artwork from the album's cover, both sides of the single feature the Ode label covered with graffiti.[2]

Some notes on the recording of the track, taken from the accompanying booklet to "Where There's Smoke, There's Cheech & Chong":  ... Cheech sings, and Tommy plays piano-that's all it was at first. In Cheech's words, "George Harrison and those guys were in the next studio recording, and so Lou (Adler) just ran over there and played (it for him). They made up the track right on the spot." "That was a wild session," Lou Adler recalls. "I probably called Carole (King) and told her to come down, but with Harrison and (Klaus) Voorman- I didn't call and say come in and play. Everyone happened to be in the A&M studios at that particular time, doing different projects. It was spilling out of the studio into the corridors." Other members of the ad-hoc all-stars included Nicky Hopkins (piano), Tom Scott (sax), Billy Preston (organ), Jim Karsten (drums) and Jim Keltner (percussion).

The song was covered by Barry White and Chris Rock in the 1996 film Space Jam. Rock performed the high pitched vocals and shouted lines.

The song is featured in a 2008 commercial for the Television Series House of Payne, and the season 22 episode of The Simpsons A Midsummer's Nice Dream.

Animated film[edit]

Tyrone Shoelaces

Basketball Jones is a 1974 animated short film based on the Cheech and Chong song. The cartoon was created to promote the song's release in the United States. It is about a teenager named Tyrone Shoelaces and his love of basketball. It was rumoured for many years that Ralph Bakshi created the short, when in fact it was designed by animator Paul Gruwell.

In the animation, Shoelaces is shown from birth having a skill for "dribbling" (in which he is shown to be drooling), and as a result, his mother gives him a basketball for a gift. Shoelaces takes an immediate liking to the ball and takes it wherever he goes. This sets up a trip to the "basketball tournament," in which he begins preaching to potential teammates, coaches, cheerleaders (complete with "day of the week" panties visible) to "help him out." A gospel chorus begins singing, and slowly escalates. A few short shots of Shoelaces actually playing basketball, mostly dribbling downcourt on a breakaway, are visible, but the rest of the video is primarily devoted to shots of increasingly unusual and distant people in "the entire stadium" and "around the world" singing along to "Basketball Jones." At the end of the short, Shoelaces begins growing at a dramatic pace, breaking through the stadium roof and becoming big enough to use the moon as a basketball while Cheech and Chong, Viet Cong, King Kong, alley cats, men in business suits, a mountaintop guru, aides to recently "impeached" Richard Nixon (who himself just looks and stares), The Singing Nun, and all four members of The Beatles (former Beatle George Harrison himself plays guitar on the track) sing along to the song.

"Basketball Jones" was originally seen in theaters in early 1974, before showings of The Last Detail at select screens.[3] It can be seen during the 1974 film California Split, directed by Robert Altman, although its use in the film prevented California Split from being released on VHS or Laserdisc due to Columbia Pictures' refusal to pay royalties for the song. Altman later removed the song (but not the cartoon) from the film so it could be released on DVD.

The cartoon was re-released in 1976, when it was shown before the film Tunnel Vision. The film is perhaps best known for being featured in the 1979 Hal Ashby film, Being There, where Peter Sellers's character, Chauncey Gardiner watches the cartoon in a limousine.

Credits[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter J. (1977). "1973 – Wings Over Europe". All Together Now – The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975 (Second ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 126. ISBN 0-345-25680-8. 
  2. ^ Los Cochinos ©#!!* (CD). Cheech y Chong. 1973. 
  3. ^ "Random Notes". Rolling Stone (Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.) (157): 28. March 28, 1974.