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"This tour is not for the faint of heart," declares song parody king Cledus T. Judd with a grin, minutes before he opens the Columbus, Ohio, show for his buddies Trace Adkins and Montgomery Gentry, aka Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry. It's the first weekend of their three-month Turn It Up and Bring It On Tour and Cledus is in his dressing room doing an interview with CMT.
Suddenly, the door bursts open and six masked police SWAT team members rush in yelling, "Get on the ground! Get on the ground!" Cledus is wrestled to the floor, face down.
"Don't cuff me!" he yells, perhaps just a bit more familiar with SWAT procedures than a casual fan of Cops ought to be. Looks like this tour really isn't for the faint of heart.
What Cledus fails to notice is that the room's onlookers are all struggling to hold back an explosion of laughter. Then, when the masked "officer" in charge begins reading from an arrest warrant that looks just slightly homemade, Cledus knows why.
"Cledus, you're under arrest!" declares a voice that sounds remarkably like Troy's. "You're wanted for impersonating a country music star and/or a comedian. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."
"You're readin' that off something," proclaims a now emboldened Cledus. "And I don't have anything to say. Just put me in a bunk with a chick. That's all I'm askin'. "
"It was Troy's idea!" declares a now maskless Eddie.
Then, Trace's booming voice chimes in, "That's for 'Every Light in the House Is Blown'!" a reference to Cledus' hilarious parody of Trace's 1996 hit "Every Light in the House."
Finally, Cledus looks at Troy, Eddie, Trace and several real-life SWAT team members- plus the camera crew that captured all the action for CMT-and proclaims, "All right, the game is on."
- DAVID SCARLETT
To read more about the tour put on by Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry and Cledus T. Judd , pick up the new Country Weekly hitting on newsstands now!