In today's hot button political world, the topic of building walls around the U.S.A. is a political nightmare that thankfully the Stuck in the '80s blog does not delve into. However in the '80s we were able to laugh at immigration issues with the help of Cheech & Chong and their lost hit Born In East L.A.
In yesterday's travels we featured Bruce Springsteen singing about his home state of New Jersey and today we travel on the map to California with the parody song Born In East LA by Cheech and Chong that was inspired by a song by The Boss - Born In The U.S.A.
Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong met in Canada when California native Marin moved to Vancouver to avoid the Vietnam draft in the late '60s. Chong, whose father was of Chinese descent, was already an established musician in Canada as the guitarist for Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers and it was Chong who penned the song Does Your Mother Know About Me that was a Top 40 hit in the U.S. in 1968. After Chong left the Vancouvers, the musical/comedy duo of Cheech and Chong was born and before they hit the big screen they had Top 40 singles in the '70s with Basketball Jones Featuring Tyrone Shoelaces and Earache My Eye.
The '80s were a busy time for Cheech & Chong with albums and a string of stoner movies like Nice Dreams and Things Are Tough All Over. In 1985, the duo made a short form video to accompany the album Get Out Of My Room. The first single/video off Get Out Of My Room was Born In East L.A. The single made to No. 48 on the singles chart and the video is quite humorous as Cheech is mistakenly deported to Mexico despite being a native East L.A. resident. The video also features a cameo by Elvira - the Mistress of the Dark.
Get Out Of My Room would be the last album for Cheech and Chong as Marin wanted to explore a full time acting career. With the positive reception for the video for Born In East L.A., Marin turned the song into the movie Born In East L.A. that was released to lukewarm reviews in 1987. However the lack of success of Born In East L.A. did not hamper the acting career of Marin as he has been part of many hits including being a regular on TV's Nash Bridges and starring in movies like the Spy Kids series. Marin is a favorite voice actor in animated movies as well voicing Banzai the Hyena on The Lion King and Ramone in Cars.
While he does not have the resume as Marin, Tommy Chong still has kept busy acting and was a recent participant on Dancing With The Stars even as he was approaching his late seventies. Chong has also dabbled in voice acting scoring the role of Yax in this year's Zootopia, not to mention he is the famous father of actress Rae Dawn Chong (Commando).