Friday, January 23, 2004

Bridge Over Troubled Bong Water 

Garfunkel, Chong Announce Fall 2004 Tour

LOS ANGELES, California (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) — In an effort to capitalize on the publicity generated by his recent arrest for possession of marijuana, representatives of Art Garfunkel have announced that the singer will team up for a tour of the nightclub circuit with fellow cannabis enthusiast comedian Tommy Chong.

Mr. Garfunkel, 62, who was arrested on January 20, near the town of Hurley, New York, hopes to begin touring some time in the fall. Exact dates, venues or even the nature of the act to be performed have yet to be decided, although it is already being called the "Still Smokin' After All These Years" tour. Reliable sources hint that the pair will perform a mix of music and comedy, using the occasion to showcase some of their best-known past work, although they insist it will not be all about nostalgia.

Mr. Chong, 65, is best-remembered as not-the-Mexican-one of the comedy team Cheech and Chong, and is currently serving a nine-month jail sentence for selling marijuana-related paraphernalia over the internet. Scheduled for release in June, he is actively seeking an early parole to allow for more rehearsal time with Garfunkel. To this end, he has updated his and Cheech's famous comedy sketch "Dave's Not Here" into an anti drug, public service message entitled, "Dave Just Said No."

Chong was "Like, totally psyched" about the idea from the start. "Yeah, like I couldn't believe it when I heard that Artie got, you know, busted," said Chong from a pay phone in the visitors area of the Taft Correctional Institution, in California, "Then, when I found out all he got was a summons and a $100 fine, I was like, Shit, man, I gotta move to New York."

As both men are accustom to working as half of a pair and neither has done so well as a solo act, ego clashes shouldn't be much of a problem. Chong's former partner Cheech Marin has gone on to a successful career as a character actor, and Garfunkel's former other half is, of course, Paul Simon with whom he did a much-anticipated series of reunion concerts last summer.

Reached for comment outside his home in Manhattan, Mr. Simon lamented his erstwhile partner's bad timing, saying, "What, he couldn't get busted before our tour and fill some more seats with aging stoners and maybe a few Phish fans... Sheesh, who's advising this guy? No wonder his career tanked after we split up," adding, "Did Zabar's look crowded just now? I don't want to spend all day waiting on line."

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