22 November 2016

Archie in MedallÍn


FROM MEMPHIS TO MEDALLIN

DC HAMPTON JACOBS presents
PART TWO of
HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER
THE ARCHIES Sing TONI WINE!
Art by STUFFED ANIMAL

HEAVEN HELP PLAYERS 2

SYNOPSIS
In early 2005, the adult members of THE ARCHIES had a joyful reunion with singer/songwriter TONI WINE. Toni had sung background vocals on "Sugar, Sugar" and other recordings they made as teenagers. When she expressed regret that her material wasn't right for the group, BETTY JONES insisted that it was. This led to a discussion about The Archies possibly cutting an album of Toni Wine tunes. 

 A month later, the possibility became a reality!  Toni and the band booked sessions at legendary SUN STUDIOS in Memphis; a Country-flavored ballad album was on their agenda. However, the record dates turned stormy when VERONICA and ARCHIE clashed with Toni over song arrangements. The Archies' regular producer, RALFI CHINGAS, was busy elsewhere; the band asked old friend DILTON DOILEY BRISEÑO to help them out. Dilton got the production back on track, but four months later the album still wasn't finished. Roni and Toni were embroiled in another battle over the album mix! 

 With the ladies at an impasse, The Archies departed Memphis to fulfill commitments in South America.  Veronica, Jughead and Betty carried shocking secrets with them!  Betts nervously awaited the results of a biopsy: possibly CANCEROUS tumors had grown inside her uterus. Babe maintained a cool façade, confiding in no one but PRECIOUS LOVEJOY, an empathetic stranger she met in Audubon Park. 

 Meanwhile, JUGGY had done the unthinkable and embarked on an adulterous LOVE AFFAIR with Roni!  Toni Wine had a secret, too: She was (and is) the earthly manifestation of VENUS, the goddess of love. It was actually her divine influence that inflamed FORBIDDEN PASSIONS between Betty's husband and Archie's wife.  Our story resumes in SOUTH AMERICA.

CPLBookScan

When Jughead f*cked Veronica, it was a four-alarm booty call! At Roni's urging, Jug ripped off her black lace brassiere and devoured her dark, ripe nipples. Then he snatched down her silk panties and tongued that clitoris until she screamed in ecstasy! This segued into ten minutes of frantic t*tty-f*cking. Roni gasped as dude slipped his little finger up her anus while plowing her c*nt.  Then he damn near drove her crazy, playing with her cl*t while f*cking her in the ass. Juggy finished by spurting hot jism all over her legs and back . . . but as he did these things, his mind was tortured by guilt and shame. Never before had he been untrue to Betty!

 Dude chastised himself: "I must be out of my mind!  My wife is the foxiest woman alive. WTF am I doing?"  He tried to break it off with Veronica by deliberately pushing her toward kinkier sex practices. During a tryst in Buenos Aires, Jughead boldly asked her for a rim job!  "She'll be grossed out big-time," he believed, "and that will be the end of it."  However, much to his surprise, babe didn't find the request repugnant at all.  On the contrary, this was just the kind of edgy sex play Roni loved best. Then when she let him sit on her face, Juggy thought the sensation was the closest thing to ecstasy he'd ever experienced!

Soon the forbidden lovers were playing around with butt plugs, strap-on dildos, Ben-Wa balls, sounding rods, etcetera.  Instead of pushing them apart, kinky sex drew them even closer together.  Archie's wife was such an exciting and versatile bed partner, Jughead struggled in vain to break free!  The taboo relationship became like a chain around his heart, and Veronica felt just as enslaved.  "I don't want to love him," she told herself, "Lord knows I don't! But I do. This so totally unlike me.  How did this happen?"

THAT'S WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT

These torrid activities took place during a brief personal appearance tour in South America. The Archies played concerts in Perù, Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and half a dozen other countries. Sparsely attended at first, the shows gradually began drawing sizable crowds; but Archies concerts always generated strong word-of-mouth business.

For the first (and last) time, Reggie Mantle served as touring music director.  Also for the first time, Veronica played lead guitar on stage and did herself proud!  Kevin Keller was on hand to play keyboards.  The band previewed "Love Me Like You're Gonna Lose Me", "That's What Life Is All About" and other recently-recorded Toni Wine numbers. These bilingual ballad performances not only lay a foundation for their tribute album, but also for ÈXITOS EN ESPAÑOL, a mega-hit LP they'd cut three years later.

BIG NIPSY FREUND YELPED: 
"¡COÑO!  THIS IS A F*CKING PORN MOVIE!" 

 In Medallìn, Columbia, the group laid over.  Their manager, Big Nipsy Freund, had used his international connections to arrange TV appearances. These were more than just guest-shots: The Archies were contracted to both sing and play bit parts in a major serialized production.  La Diosa del Aire starred Rita Phoenix, whom South American media had dubbed ¡la reina de las telenovelas ("queen of the soap operas")!  Renowned for her chew-the-scenery acting style, behind the scenes her voracious sexual appetite was just as famous; La Phoenix's many bedroom conquests included all of her past leading men except (maybe!) Ricky Martin.

REGGIE SHAGS, ARCHIE SEETHES

Ambitious Reggie Mantle had more than just a bit part in mind for himself. Gino flirted shamelessly with Rita, who directed as well as starred in the TV production. Predictably, the Latin diva offered him a seat on her casting couch.  He eagerly took advantage! After much panting, gasping and creaking of sofa springs, they emerged from behind her locked office door.  Gino's bandmates soon learned the reason for his self-satisfied smirk; dude had bagged himself a co-starring role! 

Archie was beside himself with jealousy: "Thimble-Dick Mantle strikes again!" he snarled! However, there were business matters to distract him.  He and Veronica were completing negotiations for an Archie Records distribution deal. Since 2001, their indie label had benefited from a worldwide hook-up with EMI-Capitol; however, neither of them were satisfied with South American sales figures. As a result of this new deal, legendary Latin label Discos Fuentes would market Archie product south of the border. The first release under this regional agreement was slated to be the forthcoming Toni Wine ballad album.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EP

A NEVER-RELEASED EXTENDED-PLAY DISC
Discos Fuentes EP DFX-39078 (SOUTH AMERICAN release)
FINE WINE (VINO SABROSO)
"IF WE BOTH HOLD ON" by JEFF BARRY + TONI WINE*/
"YOUR HUSBAND, MY WIFE" by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE**/
"A GROOVY KIND OF LOVE" by CAROLE BAYER-SAGER + TONI WINE***/
"HOLLY, GO SOFTLY" by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE****
*Lead vocals by ARCHIE, BETTY + JUGHEAD
**Lead vocals by JUGHEAD + VERONICA
***Lead vocals by BETTY
****Lead vocals by REGGIE
A WINE AND ROSES PRODUCTION
Arranged by DILTON DOILEY BRISEÑO
Produced by THE ARCHIES

Rita Phoenix's latest telenovela was an update of the film noir classic Mildred Pierce. In the 1945 movie, Joan Crawford had played a restaurateur; but in the hands of Rita's screenwriters, the character became a female media tycoon.  They also moved the time period from the 1940s to the 1950s and tweaked the story into a musical drama.

The job of composing songs was assigned to an up-and-coming Colombian musician known as Otrapussy. A transsexual Rock en Español bandleader, she was a Discos Fuentes artist.  Advantageously for The Archies, Fuentes was contracted to release the soundtrack. However, when Rita heard Otrapussy's original tunes, she was appalled.  "¡Putamadre!" she swore, hurling the iPod demo across the room. "¡Què ruido insufrible!"  The diva refused to even consider singing them.

\RITA PHOENIX DISCOVERS TONI WINE

The next day, she happened to pass Archie and Veronica's dressing room. The music coming from within froze her in her tracks! What Rita heard were song snippets from The Archies' new album: Roni had brought a portable mixing desk down to South America so she could work on (her version of) the final mix. Enchanted by Toni Wine's ballads, La Phoenix burst into the room; she caught Archie emerging from the shower, stark naked and dripping wet! But the notoriously horny actress paid no attention to his long, uncut polla. "These songs are perfect for La Diosa del Aire," she declared excitedly. "I simply must have them! How soon can Spanish lyrics be written?"

When a Latin diva wants something tanto, she won't be denied! After much discussion involving The Archies, Discos Fuentes' A & R chief Chiquitito San Erasmus and Toni Wine (via Skype), an agreement was struck: Spanish versions of Toni's songs would indeed appear on the TV soundtrack. Chiquitito was far from happy with this development: Otrapussy was his lover! But if he was p*ssed at Rita's refusal to cut the rockera's original songs (actually his own songs, credited to her), he was boiling mad after La Phoenix trashed her song arrangements.  "Why are you bringing me this Punk Rock mierda?" La Phoenix screamed, stamping her stiletto-heeled foot. "My new telenovela is set in the 1950s, and the music must evoke that era. If you can't give me what I want, I'll find somebody who can!"

That someone ended up being El Vato Maestro, the same man who salvaged The Archies' latest album sessions. Big Nipsy put through the call to Dilton Doiley Briseño, and dude hurried down to Colombia; as usual, he was armed with a wealth of musical ideas.  Rita was as enchanted by Dilton's arranging skills as Toni Wine had been; but he still had to eat her p*ssy in order to land the job!  (Babe was such a fox, Dilt didn't mind at all.)  El Vato was overjoyed to have a full orchestra at his disposal, complete with woodwinds, brass, strings, keyboards, percussion and even a harp. La Phoenix spared no expense to get the sound she wanted!

EN MEDALLIN

The only ones who didn't love the new arrangements were Chiquitito and Otrapussy.  Biding his time, Chiqui schemed to impose his own musical vision on the project.  For the moment, the disgruntled A & R man had to settle for writing Spanish lyrics to Toni Wine's music (again, under his lover's name). He asked The Archies for a digital download of their ballad recordings, but they balked at this request.  "Our material is best heard on wax," Archie insisted.  Accordingly, he had Discos Fuentes press up a vinyl acetate of the forthcoming album; this disc was given to Chiqui for translation purposes with the understanding that he'd return it later.

 However, Roni didn't trust him! Worried about bootlegging, she insisted that the acetate be cut in low-fi monaural sound. Babe definitely had reason to worry, but she suspected the wrong person. Back in the USA, bootleg tracks from the album sessions were being leaked to various Southern radio stations. The culprit?  None other than Isak Chaudhury, The Archies' substitute sound engineer!

ACETATE

All the while, Roni and Juggy's secret love affair proceeded at full steam; but they weren't the only members of The Archies that Venus was manipulating. In a parallel to the telenovela plot, Reggie seduced the actors portraying the daughter and fitness trainer of Rita Phoenix's character! This was, of course, in addition to the sex he was having with Rita herself. Not for nothing had Venus/Toni Wine urged him to record "Holly Go Softly", a song sung from a gigolo's point of view!

Both actors fell in love with Gino and began fighting over him; this led to some embarrassing scenes that weren't in the script! "What's going on here?" Rita demanded. When the diva found out about Gino's bisexual two-timing, retaliation was swift! Dude saw his co-starring role nearly reduced to that of a supporting player: His character Pinguita was killed off just four episodes into the series.  Archie was exultant! "So much for the casting couch road to stardom," he cackled.  "Serves your skank ass right."  Flashing him a middle finger salute, Reggie shrugged off the setback. "Acting really doesn't interest me that much," he yawned. "I'd rather make music videos."

LA DIOSA DEL AIRE
Around this time, Betty received the positive cancer diagnosis she'd been dreading! Babe compartmentalized the bad news and concentrated on her TV role.  She'd already decided to take Precious Lovejoy's advice and seek a second opinion; this she'd do after The Archies returned to the States. Her bandmates were still none the wiser, yet Jughead knew something was wrong. Betts had begun withholding his conjugal rights!  She told him "not tonight" so many times, it started sounding like a tape loop.  Her uterine tumors made sexual relations too painful, but she never told Juggy that.  Dude worried that she might suspect his infidelity!  However, those worries weren't enough to drive him out of Veronica's bed.

Sneak to your side
In the darkness
Where unfaithfulness must hide!

Before I say I want you
For the rest of my life
What are we gonna do
About your husband?
And what are we gonna do
About my wife?

Excerpt from 'YOUR HUSBAND, MY WIFE"
Music + Lyrics by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE
Published by EMI Soshaha Music/Irwin Levine Music/
R2M Music/Songs of LaStrada

JUG + RONI IN THE SHOWER

Venus also had her capricious way with Gay males in The Archies' entourage.  Kevin Keller had tagged along on their South American mini-tour. He also got cast in the telenovela and ended up staying in Columbia longer than he'd planned. Restless when not on the set, Kelly and Archies manager Big Nipsy Freund sought diversion: They hit the low-profile-but-lively Gay nightclub scene in Medallìn.  One evening, they heard about an all-male nude beach several miles outside the city. The boys decided to rent a dune buggy and take a day trip to the locale.

Arriving at Playa de las Pollas, they found dozens of Latin hunks having themselves a butt-naked beach party! Kelly and Nipsy eagerly dropped their cargo shorts and joined in the a lo desnudo volleyball playing, surfing and dancing. A mix tape was playing; former folksinger Nicholas had brought a guitar and he began strumming along.  When the tape ended, dude broke into an impromptu performance of "I'm Into Lookin´ For Someone To Love Me".  Though not slated for their new album, The Archies had cut this Toni Wine rocker during recent sessions at Sun Studios.

Kelly started harmonizing with Nipsy, and on the spot, the hunky blond was inspired to invent a new dance! The other men immediately took interest: "¿Què estàs haciendo, Rubio?"  Kevin explained: "This dance is like a Hawaiian hula, but with Hip-Hop moves added. First you move your butt this way . . . and then you move it that way.  Mira còmo se mueve la nalga." Dude dubbed his new step The Toni Wine and invited the guys to follow his lead. Few did, but it wasn't because they didn't dig his moves; all of them were transfixed by the sexy sight of a bare-assed Kevin Keller bouncing and wiggling around!

DO THE TONI WINE DANCE

His Toni Wine dance dialed the temperature on the beach up to fever pitch! Soon, the festivities turned x-rated: Men start pairing off in the sand dunes, and spontaneous orgies broke out. Even though he was engaged to marry a doctor, Kevin couldn't resist taking part. Neither could Big Nipsy!  The strapping redhead hardly had a choice, though: He was besieged by a small army of lust-crazed parceros, eager to sample his beefy ginger charms!

In the throes of passion, Nicholas happened to notice a teenager lurking in the dunes. In Spanish, he inquired of the cute brown-skinned chulo giving him a blow job: "Who's that, and WTF is he doing?"  Between slurps and gulps, the hunk replied: "That's Puchi, and he's filming us. Puchi is the director of this movie." Nipsy blanched and his d*ck went limp. "WHAT MOVIE?" he demanded.

By then, the big German had also spied two beach turtles crawling nearby. The reptiles had miniature cameras strapped to their shells, and the lenses were pointed right in his direction! "¡Mira què dulce!" his sex partner cooed. "Aren't they cute?  Puchi's pet tortugas are fascinated by Gay sex, so he puts them to work. He uses Turtle-Dum and Turtle-Dee as roving cameramen on every porno he shoots!"

MAN BITCHES PORN SET

"¡Coño!" The Archies' manager yelped, leaping to his feet. "This is a f*cking porn set!" Locating Kelly nearby, he yanked the blond out of a steamy clinch and quickly alerted him to their scandalous situation. The two naked gringos then beat a hasty retreat to their dune buggy! To no avail, Puchi pursued them down the beach. "¡No se vayan!" he shouted as they sped away. "Don´t go!  You two look wicked hot on film.  What's your fee? Let's negotiate, dudes!"

And that, in a nutshell, is how an uncredited Kevin Keller and Nicholas Freund ended up appearing in a 2005 Gay porn DVD called Man-Bitches On The Beach! Naturally, both men swore ignorance of the film when asked about it later. Six decades down the road, Puchi Schneider and his miniature cameras will still be busy; they'll figure prominently in the downfall of Ramsay Khalid Sharma, a member of The New Archies!

Videotaping and music tracking finished in mid-June. While Rita Phoenix sang most of the soundtrack songs, members of The Archies had vocal star turns as well. Most prominent was Betty Jones emoting to "I Think I Love You Again" in Spanish.  Roni Lodge-Andrews and Kelly Keller turned "Holly, Go Softly" into a comic duet.  Reggie Mantle, despite getting on Rita's sh*t list, held forth on a translation of "I Wanna See Morning With Him". At the Memphis album sessions, Veronica had taken the lead on this number; but Gino's exuberant reading gave it a whole different kind of edge:

Tonight we´re gonna see the sunshine
And I´m gonna love him
Though I´ll fight him for a little while

Then I´ll smile as he wins my heart away
Lips pressed on lips
Until the break of day
And I will be so happy when I
Wake up and see morning with him

Excerpt of "I WANNA SEE MORNING WITH HIM"
(translated from Spanish)
Music + Lyrics by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE
Published by EMI Soshaha Music/Irwin Levine Music/
R2M Music/Songs of LaStrada/Unichappell Music


La reina de las telenovelas performed overwrought Spanish versions of "A Groovy Kind Of Love", "I Loved Him Like I Love My Very Life", "Heaven Help The Non-Believer" and "That's What Life Is All About." Vain about her modest singing ability, Rita could hardly wait for the public to hear them.  "Your orchestrations are maravilloso," she purred as Dilton serviced her clitoris for the second time, "especially with my voice out front. I didn't think it possible for a music director to improve on perfection, but that's exactly what you've done . . . ay, màs dulcemente, Vato.  ¡Asì!  ¡Asì!"

"SO MUCH FOR THE CASTING COUCH," 
ARCHIE JEERED. REGGIE FLASHED HIM
A MIDDLE FINGER SALUTE! 

Meanwhile, Veronica and Toni Wine had finally agreed on mixes for two tracks: "If We Both Hold On", sung by Betty with prominent backing from Jughead and Archie; and "I'm Into Lookin' For Someone To Love Me", fronted by Reggie. Roni felt neither song was right for the new album, and Archie agreed; but he insisted that they be put out as a vinyl 45. The single was scheduled for July, but that pending release got derailed by what happened at the end of the month! 

The soundtrack for La Diosa del Aire preceded the telenovela into the South American market. Rita Phoenix got a complimentary copy of the CD, and The Archies were in her office when she first played it on her sound system.  Everyone was shocked by what they heard: Instead of Dilton Doiley Briseño's creamy 1950s-era strings and horns, the disc played snarling Punk Rock arrangements devised by Otrapussy!

CHIQUITITO Y OTRAPUSSY

Discos Fuentes' A & R chief had brazenly deleted Dilton's backing tracks; then he substituted new instrumentation performed by his lover and her Thrash Metal band. An outraged Rita was fit to be tied: "¡Es un desastre!  Why, you can barely hear my singing over those pinches guitarras gritando!"  Yet there was nothing she could do. The contract Chiquitito San Erasmus had with Discos Fuentes gave him the right to approve or reject musical arrangements.

Dude felt especially smug when his remixed soundtrack CD broke for a hit! Several of the selections were rushed into rotation on Colombian radio.  Consequently, the producers of La Diosa del Aire wanted them featured in the telecast. La Phoenix resisted, but in the end very little of El Vato's handiwork was heard on film. Dilton was heartbroken, and the bad news kept coming: he soon realized that his production work on The Archies' new album wouldn't be heard either!

When the radically reworked versions of her ballads reached Toni Wine's ears, babe hit the roof! "I trusted you, and you f*cked up my songs!" she screamed down the telephone at Archie.  He was willing to shoulder the blame, but Veronica rushed to his defense: "B*tch, how dare you talk that way to my husband?"  Fur flew anew between the women; lawsuits were threatened, and the call ended in much acrimony!  Promo copies of the new single had barely hit the streets before it was withdrawn from sale.

Post-production on the album ground to a halt.  As if that weren't bad enough, Isak Chaudhury got caught in the act of bootlegging Archies tracks.  When Big Nipsy Freund sacked him, dude retaliated in the most vindictive way imaginable: By deliberately corrupting the digital session tapes!  His electronic sabotage left the recordings both unlistenable and unsalvageable.

Naturally, The Archies sued the bastard for damages: They effectively drove his ass out of the music industry!  Rumor has it some of Nipsy's Mafia buddies "leaned" on Isak, too. For the next few years, he dropped completely out of sight.  Then in 2009, the Afro-Asian hunk resurfaced in the most unlikely of places: One of Puchi Schneider's Gay porn productions, as a strawberry-blond leading man!

TUTTI FRUTTI GOOD BOOTY_1

So instead of releasing an album everyone felt would've been a huge hit, The Archies had to settle for appearing in a successful telenovela. La Diosa del Aire drew excellent ratings in South America, going on to enjoy a cult following that rivaled that of the film noir which inspired it. What's more, the TV soundtrack lodged in the Colombian Top Ten for nearly a month!  The cast had mixed feelings about this turn of events; Rita Phoenix's memories of the project would always be bitter.  However, the diva was shrewd enough to parlay the soundtrack's popularity into a successful spinoff career: She promoted herself as a Punk Rock/bolero fusion singer!

Betty Jones was one participant who felt no bitterness at all. After traveling to Boston's Dana-Farber Institute for a second opinion on her diagnosis, babe was pronounced cancer-free.  Later in 2005, she had surgery to remove her fibroid tumors; there were no complications.  Betts recovered quickly and eagerly welcomed Jughead into her bed again. Renewed ardor for his gorgeous wife finally snuffed out Juggy's secret passion for Veronica . . . or did it?  Only time would tell.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN 3RD SINGLE

A SINGLE NEVER SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE
Archie Records 45 A-116
"I WANNA SEE MORNING WITH HIM"
by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE/
b/w "HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER"
by CAROLE BAYER-SAGER + TONI WINE*
Lead vocals by REGGIE
*Duet vocals by BETTY + VERONICA
A WINE AND ROSES PRODUCTION
Arranged and Produced by
THE ARCHIES with DILTON DOILEY BRISEÑO

The remainder of 2005 was taken up by group members' solo projects. Jughead and Kevin Keller had an on-again, off-again duet act they called Blue-Eyed Soul.  Basically goofing around, they sang old R & B hits at parties; but everyone thought they sounded great together. Producer Ralfi Chingas paired their voices on "Chapel Of Love", a track from The Archies' last album.  In late July, the buddies teamed up again at the request of their old friend, video director Raj Patel. With Josie + The Pussy Cats as special guests, the duo headlined MARV-elous! a pay-per-view TV tribute to Marvin Gaye. Against the odds, it scored high ratings!

In mid-August, Veronica asked the surprise TV stars to meet her in London; babe was cutting a solo album and wanted them to appear on it as guest artists.  Suspecting she just wanted to rekindle their affair, Jughead refused; but a contrite Roni laid his fears to rest. "I love you and Betty too much to break up your marriage," she assured him, "and I know you don't want to hurt Archie, either." He reconsidered, and along with Kelly contributed lots of production help on her LP: An Olivia Newton-John tribute called DEEPER THAN THE NIGHT. 

But no sooner did Archie Records issue Roni's solo dèbut than tragedy struck: Her billionaire father Hiram Lodge died of a massive coronary!  The shocking news dominated business media for weeks.  "We should have seen it coming," his widow Hermione sobbed. "Ram was the epitome of an Alpha male, and you know what kind of stress that kind of personality generates. I told him to stop eating those jalapeño chit'lins, too, but he didn't listen!" Veronica left off promoting her album (which tanked) and returned to Riverdale with Archie. They helped her mother arrange the funeral and deal with estate matters.

ON THE SCENE IN NEW ORLEANS

One tragedy followed another when Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast, causing horrific devastation!  The Archies and friends (sans Arch and Roni) traveled to the region and played several benefit concerts. They also took active emergency service roles: Betty, Kelly and Big Nipsy helped out with search and rescue efforts, while Juggy, Reggie and Dilton prepared and distributed food to flood victims. 

 As soon as Archie was able to break away from Lodge family concerns, dude flew down and did volunteer construction work for Habitat for Humanity. Veronica stayed in Riverdale, but sent generous donations to the hurricane relief effort. "It's what Daddy would've wanted," she sighed, "but I'd do it in any case." Hearing these words, Maya Lodge gave her grieving daughter a warm hug: "You're your father's daughter through and through!"

MEMPHIS TELETHON

Christmas 2005 found the group and their manager back in Memphis, headlining a Katrina telethon.  Playing rhythm guitar and piano, respectively, Big Nipsy Freund and Toni Wine subbed for an absent Arch and Roni. By now, The Archies had reconciled with Toni, mutually agreeing to put the album on indefinite hold.  The disguised Love goddess privately conceded that The Archies had indeed cut definitive versions of her songs! "Their Country recordings are superb, and they will see light of day," she vowed, "but not until I'm ready." Decades from now, the aborted single will appear on an Archies box set (and The New Archies will cover "If We Both Hold On").  As for that acetate containing the intended album tracks, Chiquitito San Erasmus filed it away and promptly forgot about it . . . 

Venus's secret participation spelled runaway success for the fundraiser: Over a million dollars was raised!  The telethon was hosted by Rev. Darling Lovejoy, the Memphis preacher who "slew" Archie in the spirit of Jesus.  Betty Jones met her for the first time when they sang "Take A Little Time Out For Love" together on live TV.  She wondered about the pastor's surname, identical to that of the young woman she'd met in the park. There was also a physical resemblance, so Betts asked if the two were related.

At the mention of Precious Lovejoy, all the color drained from the old woman's face!  Then she flinched when Betty described how Precious had helped her face a false cancer diagnosis. After a long silence, Darling Lovejoy stammered: "Yes, we're related.  Precious was my daughter. And yes, she did have uterine cancer. She died from it."  Betts recoiled in shock. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" she gasped.  "How tragic.  Precious seemed so healthy . . . it can't have been long since you lost her."  Fighting back tears, the pastor shook her head. "You don't understand.  Precious didn't die recently.  My poor, sweet baby has been with the Lord these last three years!"

As Betty digested this stunning news, another bombshell revelation was rocking Veronica's world. "Congratulations!" her gynecologist gushed during a routine visit. "You're pregnant!" Ignoring the deer-in-the-headlights look on Roni's face, the doctor continued to gush: "I know how much you and Archie want a child; you've tried to conceive for years.  Well, it's finally going to happen for you!" The expectant mother tried to appear joyful, but her emotions were in turmoil. Jughead was almost certainly this baby's father. . . or was he?  Could it be Archie's child?  Or did it belong to someone else entirely? To be continued . . .

BE KIND TO YOUR BED-HOPPING FRIENDS

And what of the lost ballad album? By 2045, Veronica and Toni Wine's competing album mixes will have long since disappeared; but there's sufficient interest in Discos Fuentes' ACETATE to spur marketing efforts. The first will be the two compilations mentioned in Part One, featuring bad remixes of the rare tracks. Those ill-conceived releases will deservedly fall by the wayside; it takes catalog A & R staffers at the Japanese PHILLES label to market the album in the proper way!

HEAVEN HELP 2098

They correctly predict that Asian Archies fans will love the "vintage" sound of that crackly mono acetate. In the year 2098, they'll release it with barely any audio processing. Listeners will even hear SKIPS in the vinyl! PHILLES RECORDS will compensate for the warts-and-all presentation with excellent packaging and an aggressive ad campaign in Japanese, Chinese and Tamil. As a result, HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER: THE SONGS OF TONI WINE will become a best-seller on the Asian continent.

What the catalog producers don't realize is that the acetate no longer plays Veronica's album mix!  Amazingly, it plays the mix created by Toni Wine, despite the fact that version was NEVER TRANSFERRED TO VINYL. Another strange fact about that recording: Behind BETTY JONES's lead voice on "A Groovy Kind Of Love", there's a prominent, Gospel-tinged FEMALE BACKING VOCAL that can't be identified.

It doesn't belong to Betty, Veronica or Toni Wine. REGGIE MANTLE and KEVIN KELLER´s high voices are sometimes mistaken for women, but it isn´t either of them, either; and ARCHIE didn't sing on that track.  The Reverend DARLING LOVEJOY won't live long enough to hear this album, but she would recognize that voice immediately. Betty WILL live long enough, but babe won't ever tell what she believes is true!

Heaven help the non-believer
Help him see the light that's shining
Heaven help the non-believer
To believe in love, sweet love

Excerpt of "HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER"
Music + Lyrics by CAROLE BAYER-SAGER + TONI WINE
Published by EMI Sosaha Music/R2M Music/
Songs of LaStrada

ARCHIE'S CHRISTMAS MIX 2

THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN AND DRAWN
BY A HOMELESS ARTIST
THE ARCHIES WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!
Ring it in with The Archies' Christmas Album featuring Betty + Veronica, 
still available on Fuel 2000 Records, and Cleopatra Records' brand 
new Archies box set Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection. 
Also look for another new stocking stuffer: The Ron Dante Anthology, 
available in late November 2016 from 
Sunset Boulevard Records.

19 November 2016

Archie in Memphis


HEAVEN HELP LOGO

DC HAMPTON JACOBS presents
PART ONE of
HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER:
THE ARCHIES Sing TONI WINE!
Art by STUFFED ANIMAL

HEAVEN HELP PLAYERS 1

SYNOPSIS
The superstar Rock band known as THE ARCHIES will disband in early 2033. Nearly 13 years later in the summer of 2045, legendary Latin music label DISCOS FUENTES acquires a rare prize!  Fuentes will have been in litigation for several years with the estate of a former A & R executive. Finally, the label wins a judgment, acquiring the rights to several recordings CHIQUITITO SAN ERASMUS had absconded with after getting fired. Among the cache of demos and session tapes that's turned over, executives find a long-lost vinyl acetate. It plays ten tracks from an Archies album that was never released!

Discos Fuentes will have had a longstanding distribution deal with ARCHIE RECORDS. For decades after the celebrated indie label folds, Fuentes will retain the right to market Archie masters in South America. In fact, the Colombian company will outright own several of The Archies' later recordings! Fuentes' A & R staff assembles a pair of compilations for the 2045 Christmas buying season. The balance of contents hails from the studio albums ÈXITOS EN ESPAÑOL and THE GRASS WILL SING FOR YOU, and ¡ADIOS AMIGOS!, a document of the band's farewell tour.  All three albums were (or will be) recorded with the South-American market in mind; but these compilations are designed to showcase the ten previously unreleased songs. They are spread across the two volumes of À LA LINEA: THE ARCHIES AT DISCOS FUENTES.

All ten songs are ballads, performed Country music-style. They'll be taken directly from the mono acetate. Fuentes will have hired RIKKI NINJA and TOBY MAXX of The New Archies to create mono-to-stereo remixes. After the downloadable vinyl LPs are released, reviewers will generally praise their work.  "Toto and Ninja's neo-Hip Hop overdubs make for a provocative fusion sound!" raves the SOUNDGARDEN website. However, longtime Archies fans are nowhere near as enthused. "Loathsome!" declares Andru Charles, 80-year-old President Emeritus of the VERONICA FAN CLUB. "Hip-Hop with Country music? It's the worst marriage since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie!" Andy's attitude neatly sums up the predominant fan reaction.

A LA LINEA VOLS 1 & 2

Controversy over these remixes will stall sales of À LA LINEA, VOLUMENES UNO Y DOS.  Ultimately, they'll fail to chart and be all but forgotten about. However, the truth about The Archies' lost ballad album is a story that begs to be told! It involves VENUS, The goddess of Love, also known by such names as Aphrodite, Kama, Freya, Ishtar and Oshún. This capricious deity has a special fondness for the members of The Archies!  Why that's so will become apparent as the story unfolds . . .

STILL NOT PREGNANT

Archie f*cked Veronica! He f*cked her against the bedroom wall. He f*cked her over the back of a living room chair. He f*cked her on a kitchen counter top. He f*cked her standing up and laying down. He f*cked her in the missionary position; doggy style; upside-down, backwards and sideways! Dude made love to her every which way, but no position he tried and no amount of hard hip thrusting managed to get Roni pregnant. Over and over, the couple had tried to conceive, even before their wedding night in June of 1992. It was now the winter of 2004; you can imagine their frustration!

After making love, Arch and Roni were in the habit of talking about love. On this latest occasion, Archie reiterated how he'd fallen in love at first sight with his future wife. "When I saw you step out of your dad's limousine that first day of high school", he confessed, "Cupid's aim was true!" Foolishly, dude inquired if she'd felt the same way. Veronica's reply was characteristically blunt. "Hell, no! I didn't like you at all back then. It was only later that I decided to love you."

TONI WINE TOLD VERONICA:
"SIT YOUR ASS DOWN, HONEY."

Blissfully unaware of her husband's hurt feelings, she continued: "Love at first sight? What  bullsh*t! How can anybody can fall in love with someone they don't want to love?  I'd be ashamed if I were so weak-minded. Unlike most people, I'm in total control of my emotions." Archie lay next to her in bed and listened in sullen silence.

From her high perch on Mt. Olympus, the goddess of Love also happened to be listening in. When Roni bragged of her mastery over affairs of the heart, Venus took personal offense!  "One day," she vowed, "I'll teach that bragging rich b*tch a lesson she won't soon forget!" And as it turned out, that day came sooner rather than later.

In late 2004, The Archies were on tour in support of JEFF + ELLIE SONGBOOK, their third consecutive Platinum album. After a sold-out concert in Baltimore, they hit the showers, changed into street clothes and ran across town to catch a fellow artist's show. The great Tony Orlando was playing @ The Soundstage! They all loved Tony, but it was the chance to see a member of his touring band that really prompted their attendance.

ORLANDO AND WINE

Toni Wine was a prominent background singer from their earliest days in the recording studio. Now she was part of Tony Orlando's stage act. Toni was (and is) a noted songwriter, and during the show she and Mr. O teamed up to perform a medley of her hits. The Archies stomped feet, clapped hands and cheered wildly as the duo sang "Candida"!  This fondly-remembered hit was originally recorded by Tony's vocal group Dawn.   In the year 2008, the band will record (but not release) a version of the song themselves:

Candida, we can make it together
The further from here, girl, the better
Where the air is fresh and clean

Candida, take my hand and I'll lead ya
I promise life will be sweeter
'Cause it says so in my dreams.

Excerpt from "CANDIDA"
Music + Lyrics by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE
Published by EMI-Sosaha Music/Irwin Levine Music/
R2M Music/Songs of LaStrada

TONI'S A SONGWRITER

Backstage, there was a happy reunion. As Toni filled Archie, Betty, Juggy, Roni and Reggie in on her activities since they worked together, her voice was tinged with regret. Suddenly, she blurted out: "I hate that The Archies never recorded any of my songs!  I really wanted you to."  "Well, I always wondered why we didn't," Reggie Mantle admitted. "We certainly didn't have anything against your material."

"I know", Toni sighed, "but when we worked together, you were all teenagers.  Most of my songs are adult love ballads. Don Kirshner felt my material wasn't a good fit for the market he was aiming for." Betty Jones took strong exception to this revelation. "Well, honey, that was then," she sniffed. "This is now! The adult Archies are a whole different kind of group; and I, for one, would love to cut some of your ballads."

By the time they parted that evening, the seeds of a musical concept had been sown. Over the next few weeks, emails flew between Archie Americana Productions and Wine 'n' Roses Music, Toni Wine's production company. After talking it over with their bandmates and their manager, Big Nipsy Freund, Arch and Roni-Lodge Andrews had exciting news for Toni: Their next project would be a tribute to her! "After three double albums of mostly uptempo songs, we need a ballad collection." Veronica believed. "The Archies are sophisticated stylists, not just rowdy rockers.  It's high time our fans knew that! Your hits will show off our vocal talents to good advantage." Archie added: "And our recordings won't just be cover versions, either. They'll be definitive!"

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN 1ST SINGLE

A SINGLE THAT WAS CANCELLED
Archie Records 45 114
"IF WE BOTH HOLD ON"
by JEFF BARRY + TONI WINE/
b/w "I'M INTO LOOKIN' FOR SOMEONE TO LOVE ME"
by CAROLE BAYER-SAGER + TONI WINE*
Trio vocals by ARCHIE, BETTY + JUGHEAD
*Lead vocals by REGGIE
A WINE AND ROSES PRODUCTION
Arranged by DILTON DOILEY BRISEÑO
Produced by THE ARCHIES

Once again, Toni Wine heard a member of The Archies make an improbable claim. Again? Yes! The first time was when she heard Veronica brag about having conquered love. Believe it or not, Toni Wine is the earthly form of Venus, the goddess of Love. "It's time to hold these braggarts to their word," the diety-in-disguise decided as she logged out of her email app. "Which one of their idle boasts will prove false? The first? The second? Or both?"

The recording site for the new album was a legendary music town: Memphis, Tennessee! The Archies booked Sun Studios for an extended stay. It was Toni's preference: She'd once lived in Memphis and had often recorded at Sun. However, the group were hardly strangers to the studio that introduced Elvis Presley to the world: In 2002, they'd cut vocals there for ARCHIE COUNTRY, their first Platinum album.

Toni was on hand to act as music supervisor, and Kevin Keller flew down to sing extra backing vocals.  However, The Archies' producer Ralfi Chingas was missing in action.  Why?  Ralfi was busy producing a Latin music festival in the Dominican Republic. By the time he'd be free, Toni would be on tour again with Tony Orlando. The group wanted her direct input at the tracking sessions; so for the first time ever, they decided to produce themselves.

TASKMASTER TONI WINE

At least, that was the plan going in; but before long, Veronica and Toni Wine were squaring off in opposing corners. The two strong-willed women launched a tug-of-war over control of the recording sessions! After hearing The Archies rehearse her songs, Toni decided that Betty and Jughead Jones should sing all the leads. This, of course, caused an uproar, with an indignant Reggie siding with Veronica against the idea. For their part, Betts and Juggy were speechless in shock!  Archie broke the logjam, insisting that leads be split between all group members. Betty ended up singing two solos; Archie, Jug, Roni and Gino got one solo each; there were three duets, all featuring Veronica; and a big ensemble number would serve as the album closer.

However, Toni Wine got her way in regard to song arrangements. Archie was slated to write them, but his music charts never met with her approval. "Dude, you keep giving me Country Rock," she complained, "and that's not going to cut it. You promised me definitive versions of my songs. Well, they won't be definitive unless they have an authentic Country sound. Think Carter Family, not Creedence Clearwater Revival!"

DILTON DOILEY BRISENO

Archie tried in vain to suppress his Rock sensibilities, finally admitting defeat.  In desperation, he called up his old pal Dilton Doiley Briseño. In addition to being a brilliant mathematician, Dilt was a classically-trained musician who effortlessly moved between genres.  His specialty was Tex-Mex, and his stellar work with Tejano artists had earned him the nickname El Vato Maestro.  When he got the call, dude didn't have to be asked twice: He'd longed to produce The Archies from the very beginning!

In fact, Dilton had taped the band's live appearances as much as a year before they were signed to a record label.  After Don Kirshner snapped them up, Jeff Barry was tagged as producer, much to his disappointment. Later, Ron Dante succeeded Barry in the control room. By 1992, The Archies' relationship with Don Kirshner had soured and they broke up; but when the band reunited eight years later, Dilt was elated. He thought he'd finally get his shot!

THE SAVAGE YOUNG ARCHIES

The Archies auditioned for a new producer, and dude was definitely in the running; but Veronica felt he didn't have the Pop sensibility the group needed. In her opinion, Dilton's music was too authentically Country, or Rhythm + Blues, or Latin, or whatever other genre he was working in. Reggie's pal Ralfi Chingas ended up getting the nod, but Dilt stayed in The Archies' loop. He was a sideman on their ARCHIE COUNTRY album and had just signed on as their touring music director. Now that he finally had his turn at bat in the studio, El Vato Maestro fully intended to knock Ralfi Chingas out of the ball park!

Although he'd only be credited as an arranger on this project, Dilton did supervise the album sessions.  He proved himself the perfect producer for The Archies, too.  The pint-sized Blaxican had a knack for making musicians relax and enjoy themselves. At the same time, he was adept at getting the best they had to offer. Dude delivered the old-fashioned Country sound that Toni Wine was after, and then some; she was delighted with his musical direction. Yet despite his confident and calming presence, tensions continued to flare!

SUN SESSION LOG

Take for example a tracking session that took place in early March 2005. While most of the material recorded was Country-flavored, Archie discovered a Soul number called "If We Both Hold On" in Toni Wine's song catalog. He felt it had strong single potential, and everyone was excited about the Stax-meets-Nashville-Sound arrangement that Dilton wrote.

Vocal tracking was where they hit a snag. Toni envisioned "Hold On" as a solo for Betty, but Reggie insisted on singing it with her as a duet. They tried it that way, but the songwriter turned an emphatic thumbs-down on the results. "Totally wrong," she complained. "Pairing Reggie's lead voice with Betty's . . . it's like serving tuna fish with champagne!" Jughead winced and thought: "Yipe!  Now the sh*t's gonna hit the fan."  And so it did: The stream of profanity Gino spewed in response was hot enough to fry a carton of eggs! Dude was so outraged at the unflattering comparison, he bailed out of the session early.

Veronica quickly took control of a deteriorating situation. Babe suggested a lead quartet of Archie, Betty, Jughead and herself: "The boys can sing the verses while we girls handle the choruses." Unfortunately, those choruses demanded a belting, Gospel-style delivery, and that kind of singing wasn't really Roni's forte. After 15 unsatisfactory takes, an exasperated Toni Wine declared: "Honey, sit your ass down! You're not bringing what we need here. Just let Betty do all the female parts."

Veronica complied, but the hot-tempered heiress could barely contain her rage! The feeling in the studio became so uncomfortable, Archie decided to adjourn the session right after Betts laid down her final take (which, by the way, was fabulous). Dude knew better than to take chances with that notoriously volatile Lodge temperament!

STAND BY

Roni and Reggie continued to clash with Toni.  Their personalities seemed designed to grate on each other!  She and Archie had their differences, too.  Dilton Doiley Briseño found himself constantly smoothing ruffled feathers! What's more, The Archies were working without Alan Mayberry, their resident audio wizard; Alan M was in Santo Domingo assisting Ralfi Chingas. In his place, they had an engineer that Reggie had recommended.

Isak Chaudhury had recently been cutting demos (as well as knocking boots) with Gino.  Having become one of Nashville's top demo singers, Reggie gave Isak his highest recommendation; but the rest of the band thought his soundmixes left much to be desired.  Arch and Roni coached the novice extensively on how they wanted The Archies' music to sound.  "He's never going to meet our standards," they agreed when he was out of earshot, "but hey, he's really trying hard. . . let's give him a break!  Isak will do until Alan M gets back." Little did they suspect why dude was trying so hard: He was bent on bootlegging the album sessions!

HIDDEN SEX YEARNINGS

Also unbeknownst to the group, the goddess of Love was stirring up mischief. Venus/Toni Wine toyed with the emotions of Veronica and Jughead!  Over the course of a week, she planted the idea of having an extramarital affair in their heads. Babe accomplished it by having them duet on a cheating ballad called "Your Husband, My Wife". The spicy song didn't cause the affair, but it intensified hidden feelings that already existed. When those feelings unexpectedly flamed into passion, the two longtime adversaries were completely blindsided.

Here are the juicy details of how it started: The Archies rented a house in Memphis to live and rehearse in while recording their new album. One night, Betty, Juggy and Veronica were there alone. Archie, Reggie and Kevin Keller were at the studio finishing up some overdubs. Betts was down in the kitchen cooking dinner; upstairs, her husband and her best friend were attempting to write a song together.

The adult Archies was almost strictly a covers band, but the members did write original songs. A good many were cut by Country artists, and by now a handful had scored smash hits. Naturally, the success of "Titty Twister" (cut by The Cadillac Three) and "On A Wrong-Way Street To Love" (crooned by Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks) encouraged The Archies to write more.

As usual when they interacted, Jug and Roni started arguing!  "The tempo is too fast," Juggy complained. "It's too slow," Roni countered. "People want to dance, not sit on their asses! This music of yours sounds just like Barry Manilow . . . it's Squaresville! When are you gonna get with it, dude?" This nasty jab at the great Manilow was too much for Riverdale's drum wizard to take. "Shut up, Veronica!" he snapped. "Sometimes I think you're the stupidest b*tch I ever met!" For a minute, they glared at one another in extreme exasperation; then both of them burst out laughing.  Seems like they were always going at each other about something!  As heated as the exchanges could get, though, there was always a deep, underlying affection.

AS JUGHEAD PRODDED HER
KIDNEYS, VERONICA THOUGHT:
"GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME!"

Just how deep became clear all of a sudden.  Roni's fingers entwined with Juggy's and then, shockingly, their lips met! The mismatched musical partners realized how much they wanted to shag each other: Like, really bad.  Afterward, Veronica couldn't remember how she ended up bent over her keyboard with her skirt pulled up to her hips, and her panties bunched around her knees. Likewise, Jughead couldn't recall how his pants and jock briefs fell down around his ankles. He didn't remember jamming his ten-inch prick up Roni's tight little twat; but the next thing both of them knew, they were screwing like hamsters in heat! "Oh, Veronica!" Juggy panted. "I don't . . ." Quickly, she laid a finger on his lips: "Hush your mouth, stud boy! Betty will hear us."

Babe really didn't want to be reminded who was turning her p*ssy inside-out. Jughead Jones? Gawd . . . how embarrassing. What would her gal pal Cheryl Blossom think? But when it came to sex, Roni Lodge-Andrews was insatiable! In addition to her husband, she'd partied with countless men: Reggie Mantle, Chuck Clayton, Big Moose Mason (who really wasn't that big) and Ron Dante, The Archies' former producer. Just to name a few!  Why, even the supposedly Gay Kevin Keller had sampled her charms; but Jughead had never shown interest her, nor she in him.

Yet, truth be told, Roni had always been tantalized by Juggy's ginormous endowment.  She first spied his monster johnson at a nude pool party. From that moment, babe had longed to feel every delicious inch inside of her. Now, it was finally happening! "Goodness gracious me," she thought as he prodded her kidneys. "Date night with Archiekins was never like this." Gleefully, Veronica bounced up and down on Jughead's swollen man meat like an energetic toddler straddling a pogo stick. "Stop fighting, you two!" Betty called out from the kitchen. "When are you ever gonna kiss and make up?"

DEEP INSIDE VERONICA

Before long, the Lodge Industries heiress and the Jughead's Diner restaurateur were living out the lyrics of "Your Husband, My Wife"!  Their affair was 75% booty call, but 25% was an intensity of emotion that frightened them both.  Venus/Toni Wine derived much private amusement from their predicament, but Arch and Betts had nary a clue.  Both were preoccupied:  Music Director Archie was working closely with Toni and Dilton, overseeing the new song arrangements. Dude was also frequently on the telephone to South America, conducting an important business deal.

As for Betty Jones, babe was shouldering a heavy burden: A frightening health diagnosis! Just before traveling to Memphis, Betts learned that she had fibroid tumors in her uterus. This news shook the blonde beauty down to her core: The same kinds of tumors had been malignant in both her mother and her sister. Both Alice and Paulette Cooper had died from uterine cancer!

Anxiously, she was now awaiting the results of a biopsy. Her sweet and vulnerable exterior hid an unexpectedly steely resolve; she chose to say nothing to the others.  Babe didn't even confide in her husband!  Betty chastised herself about this: "I can't have Juggy worried about me, but not telling him makes me feel so guilty. When we got married, we promised each other we wouldn't keep secrets." If she'd only known that Jughead was keeping a guilty secret of his own!

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN 2ND SINGLE

A SINGLE NEVER SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE
Archie Records 45 115
"LOVE ME LIKE YOU´RE GONNA LOSE ME"
by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE/
b/w "LOVE ME LAH-DEE-DAY"
by IRWIN LEVINE, PHIL SPECTOR + TONI WINE*
Duet vocals by ARCHIE + VERONICA
*Lead vocals by VERONICA
A WINE AND ROSES  PRODUCTION
Arranged by DILTON DOILEY BRISEÑO
Produced by THE ARCHIES

In explosive fits and starts, the album sessions lurched on.  They were the first at which The Archies switched off instruments; under Dilton Doiley Briseño's tutelage, they realized a musical freedom they'd never known before.  Everybody ended up playing a little bit of guitar, keyboards, drums and fiddle. Levels of expertise varied, so Archie called in members of his favorite Country band to augment their efforts: Katz + The Fiddles! Katz Rockland herself wasn't available, but Long Tall Wisdom and Frenchy Skaggs were, and they inspired everyone with their hot dobro and steel guitar-playing.

Dilton taught Betty how to play acoustic guitar, and like the quick study she is, babe picked up the basics in no time. One afternoon, she felt a need to spend some time away from the others.  Betts went off alone with her new instrument in tow; she found herself walking through Audubon Park.  Sitting down on a bench, she tuned the guitar and began to rehearse one of her solos: "A Groovy Kind Of Love".  Suddenly, she heard another voice singing along with her in perfect harmony. Jerking around to look behind her, Betty saw a pretty young Black woman standing nearby, wailing her heart out.

When I'm feelin' blue
All I have to do
Is take a look at you
Then I'm not so blue

When you're close to me
I can feel your heartbeat
I can hear you breathing in my ear

Wouldn't you agree
Baby, you and me
We got a groovy kind of love?

Excerpt from "GROOVY KIND OF LOVE"
Music + Lyrics by CAROLE BAYER-SAGER + TONI WINE
Published by Screen Gems-EMI Music

BETTY AND PRECIOUS LOVEJOY

She invited the stranger to sit beside her, and they began talking. Betts felt strangely drawn to the woman, whose name was Precious Lovejoy.  She began pouring out her heart; for the first time, she revealed her mortality fears to another human being. Precious was immediately empathetic: She told Betty that she, too, had suffered from fibroid tumors. She advised seeking a second opinion if worst came to worst and the biopsy returned positive for cancer.

Presently they began singing again, harmonizing on song after song. Betts closed her eyes and let the music transport her into another zone. Gradually, she realized that she was alone again . . . Precious Lovejoy was nowhere in sight when she opened her eyes.  Betty Jones left the park feeling as if a huge burden had been lifted from her shoulders.

Recording sessions that were originally scheduled to last two months stretched into four.  For the last couple of dates, The Archies relocated across town to Ardent Studios. During their extended stay in Memphis, the devoutly Jewish Joneses attended a local synagogue. Reggie and Kevin Keller (destined to be a couple, but that's decades away) spent Sunday mornings in yoga meditation. The Lodge-Andrews visited various Catholic parishes in the area; but one Sunday Archie decided to visit a Pentecostal congregation.  Slain In The Spirit Tabernacle was known nationwide for its great choir. Gino and Kelly agreed to accompany Arch and Roni to the church service.

The choir rocked hard, and the pounding Gospel music brought all of them to their feet. Even Reggie, whose religious beliefs lay just this side of atheism, found himself clapping hands and shouting amen!  Much to The Archies' surprise, one of the songs performed was "Take A Little Time Out For Love".  This inspirational number was written by Toni Wine, and the group was in the process of cutting it for their new album. Reverend Darling Lovejoy was truly righteous on lead vocals!

ARCHIE SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT

Archie was not only taken by Rev. Lovejoy's musical talent!  The sermon she delivered also stirred his emotions deeply. As she spoke passionately about the need to love one's fellow man, he had a "born again" experience: Dude started rocking back and forth and trembling all over.  Falling to the floor, the staunch Irish-Catholic began writhing and speaking in tongues! Nurses rushed to his side and laid him out on a church pew while a confused Kevin, an incredulous Reggie and a bewildered Veronica looked on.

Arch recovered consciousness just in time to contribute to the collection plate. After the money was counted, Rev. Lovejoy rushed back to the pulpit and threw her hands in the air. "Hallelujah!" she cried. "God has blessed us richly this morning.  It's the largest cash contribution we've ever received!" The congregation of Slain In The Spirit Tabernacle erupted in wild celebration! Archie, of course, was the benefactor.  His generous gift would fund a children's breakfast program though the end of 2005.

The Toni Wine tribute album was finally completed in early May; but predictably, a new battle broke out over the final mix. Toni Wine preferred to emphasize Dilton's musical arrangements, while Veronica wanted the group's vocals out front. Their standoff was unresolved when The Archies departed Memphis to fulfill commitments in South America. Further conflicts over music (as well as further sexual intrigues) awaited them in Medallín, Colombia!

Let's not take our love for granted
When in doubt, you're more romantic
Let's break up each night and say goodbye
Then baby, come on and love me
Lah-dee-day
Just like you're gonna lose me

Excerpt from "LOVE ME LIKE YOU'RE GONNA LOSE ME"
Music + Lyrics by IRWIN LEVINE + TONI WINE
Published by EMI-Sosaha Music/Irwin Levine Music/
R2M Music/Songs of LaStrada

IF WE BOTH HOLD ON SINGLE HERALD

THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN AND DRAWN
BY A HOMELESS ARTIST
HEAVEN HELP THE NON-BELIEVER 
concludes with PART TWO:
ARCHIE IN MEDALLÍN!
TONI WINE IS A REAL PERSON!!!
DISCOVER HER MUSIC AS RECORDED BY:
PHIL COLLINS (A Groovy Kind Of Love), TONY ORLANDO + DAWN (Candida), ROCK FLOWERS (Heaven Help The Non-Believer), MAGNIFICENT MEN (Holly, Go Softly), BOBBY VEE (I'm Into Lookin' For Someone To Love Me), CARLA THOMAS (I Loved Him Like I Love My Very Life), BRENDA LEE (I Think I Love You Again), PETULA CLARK (I Wanna See Morning With Him), KOFFEE (If We Both Hold On), THE CHIFFONS (Love Me Like You're Gonna Lose Me), TONI WINE (Take A Little Time Out For Love), RON DANTE (That's What Life Is All About) 
and BROOKLYN BRIDGE (Your Husband, My Wife).