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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" -"TIMES HAVE CHANGED" FEATURING THE ALBUM "BIG BAMBOO" BY THE CHEECH AND CHONG IN HIGH DEF WITH NARRATIVE - EPISODE # 66 - THE CAPTAIN EXPLORES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACKS TREASURES FOR INSIGHT AND DELIGHT

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” -“TIMES HAVE CHANGEDFEATURING THE ALBUM “BIG BAMBOOBY THE CHEECH AND CHONG IN HIGH DEF WITH NARRATIVE BY CAPTAIN BILLYEPISODE # 66

“TIMES HAVE CHANGED

BIG BAMBU by Cheech and Chong (Ode, 1972)

Richard Anthony Marin, aka “Cheech” (named by his uncle after the Spanish word for Pork Rind), is one of this country’s foremost collectors of Chicano art, recently establishing the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in Riverside, California. But, in 1972 along with Tommy Chong, he was half of one of America’s most successful comedy duos Cheech and Chong, racking up 4 Grammy noms, and 7 films before disbanding in 1985. And, all this wealth was based on the silliness of being high.

Nowadays in California, I can call up my local dispensary, give them my credit card, and have delivered to my door any number of gummies, lollies, or premium Sativa, Indica, and hybrid pre-rolls with the Snoop Dogg or Willie Nelson label, but in 1972 this was a literal “pipe” dream, and possession of two joints could land you in the clink for an extended stay.

The Counter-culture knew that the war against drugs was a scam and Cheech and Chong were our not so secret society brothers that made a sumptuous living flouting the man with their blatant cannabis ridiculousness. The joints were baseball bat sized, and the billows of voluminous smoke that appeared wherever they went made our eyes water with visine-soaked glee. Looking back, I’m at pains to understand what was so funny about the one-note joke. Big Bambu has a “theater of the mind” cinematic quality, a trait derived from classic radio, and shared with the inventive work of Firesign Theater, a more intellectual purveyor of psychedelic humor. The recording features gentle satire rendered in 3D stereo, with perceptual shifts and clever sound effects. The humor centers around all things Dope (one of the skits, ‘LET’S MADE A DOPE DEAL” is a gentle satire of Monty Hall’s classic game show) – an in joke for those in the know.

More cogent is the underlying political message: on the back label of the cart is an exhortation for 18 year olds to VOTE, and as recent changes in many state’s Marijuana laws have demonstrated, these activists’ inanities helped further this political cause. And, not done without some risk: as recently as 2003, Tommy Chong was sentenced to 9 months for selling bongs by mail order, but thankfully the 84 year old has bounced back, looking good and hawking blenders for making your own cannabis butter on social media. But, stoners take note: with the new Conservative complexion of the Supreme Court, your local candy store might be shuttered once more, a casualty of SCOTUS’S quest to make America “Great” again.


By Rich Buckland 07/17/2022 02:43 PM

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