25 April 2014

Say Goodbye To Riverdale: Part Three


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Say Goodbye to Riverdale
The Secret History of Archie Records
Cartoons + Castanets presents Part Three 
of a bawdy cartoon burlesque starring
The Archies
Josie + The Pussy Cats
Sabrina the Sorceress
Toni Topaz     Jason Blossom     Kevin Keller
and other fan art images based on 
Archie Comics Characters
with super-bitchin' cameo appearances by Burt Bacharach,
Jeff Barry, Pat Benatar, Mario Canedo, Andru Charlz, 
Anderson Cooper, Ron Dante, Jackie DeShannon, 
Neil Diamond, Louise Goffin, Art Greene, Mick Jagger, 
Carole King, Sherry Kondor, Eileen + Jerry Maneker, Barry Mann, 
Wynton Marsalis, Ricky Martin, Bill Medley, Tom Mourgos, 
Phil X Milstein, Mike Pellerito, Laura Pinto, 
Chuck Tackett, Jon Trouten, Cynthia Weil
and Nero the Dog
Burlesque written, directed and staged by 
DC Hampton Jacobs

2011
Archie and Veronica are upset over poor sales in France. It's one of the few countries where Archie releases have failed to make much impact. "The only Archies singles that have sold over there had Juggy on lead vocals," Roni observes. "So what if we used that delicious baritone of his as our primary French marketing tool?" At Archie's request, Jug signs a one-album deal with Archie Records. Then he, Arch and Roni put their heads together and conceive a French-language solo album targeted at Parisian discotheques. "I like Disco," Juggy reveals, "and while I would never call myself a Disco singer, I think I can do a decent Barry White impression!" The January 2011 release, titled Tout ce qu'Ils Dirent de Moi is a strong collection of original songs; half are co-written by Jughead himself. While the LP sells respectably in several foreign territories, France remains stubbornly indifferent: Deejays there respond to Juggy's dance floor ditties with a firm non! Never to be issued in North America, this album will be much coveted by future generations of Archies fans.

Reggie finally rejoins The Archies, but not as bass player. He switches over to keyboards, while Veronica fulfills a longtime ambition of becoming the group’s lead guitarist! She first recorded a lead on 2007's “Lady Jane", by which time babe had been fronting the band on stage for a while.  "I am woman!", Roni exclaims after the change is finalized.  Strapping on her Stratocaster, she cuts loose with some serious white noise:  "Hear me roar, motherf*ckers!"  Archie loves seeing his wife happy. "Roni, you are a trip!" he laughs.  He switches over to rhythm guitar, and is surprised to find himself more comfortable in that role. Trevor Smith’s addition brings the group’s number up to six.

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PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES SINGLE 
"LOOKING AT TOMORROW"

Songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil attended a 2010 Return To Archie Country! concert and loved the group’s performance of their song “I Don’t Wanna Love You” (featured on Archie Country). They tell Veronica as much, and learn that she’s a longtime fan of their work.  Roni proposes an Archies double-length Mann and Weil songbook album, with Barry and Cynthia acting as executive producers. She lays the Lodge charm on extra thick, and the deal comes together quickly; but during the sessions at Jeff Barry’s Chapel of Rock, the duo clashes with Ralfi Chingas. They accuse him of over-producing! Phil Spector has always been his primary role model, and heavily-layered tracks are the rule rather than the exception with him.  “Oy vey!“ complains an exasperated Barry Mann. “What’s next, dude?  The kitchen sink?”  "That depends," Ralfi rasps, "on whether I can find somebody to play it the right way."  Cynthia Weil is not amused, and they heatedly go back and forth . . . 

Arch begins to worry about another aborted album project à la Carole King.  Happily, it doesn’t come to that. After three tumultuous months of recording and remixing, Hits Of The Sixties is finally done; the creative tension has resulted in twenty very strong tracks! Veronica pronounces it her favorite Archies LP. Some of its strongest moments are provided by Reggie: dude shines especially bright on the ballads "Looking Through The Eyes Of Love" and "Magic Town".  What's more, his spicy version of "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" makes the Eydie Gormé original sound bland in comparison!  However, the singles culled from HOTS are sung by Archie and Trevor (“Glitter And Gold”, a Top Five million-seller), Trevor (“Looking At Tomorrow”) and Jughead (“Love Her”).

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PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES' 
INTERNATIONAL SMASH,  
"LOVE HER"

The latter tune triggers most of the in-studio conflict. Unhappy with a baroque string section that Ralfi has arranged for the track, Cynthia Weil lays down the law: “You little sh*t! You are not going to drown my lyrics in corn syrup.” She and Barry Mann insist on remixing “Love Her” with engineer Tom Mourgos. Their stripped-down, near-a cappella mix scores an across-the-board international smash! 

 It’s a triumph for them, but Ralfi's semi-Wagnerian production style still wins critical praise. Years later, it will be revealed that he buttressed the rhythm section with dog barks from Jonniemae Trouten’s pet poodle, Nero! Properly mixed, Nero’s voice gave the tracks a massive, orchestral roar.  "If I'd known about that at the time," Cynthia Weil will snarl, "I'd have grabbed Ralfi by that shaggy red mop of his and lifted him right off the ground!"  (Luckily she didn't, because Ralfi is actually bald as an eagle . . . his famous red mane is a toupé.)  The poodle, whom everybody grows to love, appears in the music video for “Looking At Tomorrow”.

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MUSIC VIDEO FOR "STOP! AND YOU'LL BECOME AWARE!" 
PERFORMED BY JOSIE + THE PUSSY CATS 
TOGETHER WITH THE ARCHIES

The world tour launched to promote Hits Of The Sixties is The Archies' most successful yet: SRO crowds from New York to Nairobi!  For the Christmas season, Arch compiles a best-of-the-label compilation called Pop Art! It features recent recordings by The Archies, Josie + The Pussy Cats and Savoy Sound, along with the Black Belt Smackdown! theme, previously-unreleased solo sides by Veronica and himself (both featuring Blue-Eyed Soul), and a new track taken from Kevin Keller’s forthcoming solo album. Pop Art’s first single is a new Ralfi Chingas/Alexandra co-production that features The Pussy Cats and Archies singing together: “Stop! And You’ll Become Aware!” Rolling Stone calls it “a rowdy stomper of a Northern Soul oldie, with ballsy lead vocals by Betty, Veronica and Britain's own Melody Munro-Jones.” (Decades later, a no-Pussy-Cats alternate version will surface with Reggie on lead vocals.) Raj Patel directs the beach party-themed music video, in which The Archies gyrate in barely-there swimwear.

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NERO THE DOG, JUGHEAD AND KEVIN KELLER 
CO-STAR IN THE BITCHIN' MUSIC VIDEO 
FOR ARCHIE'S SOLO SINGLE 
"LAND OF MILK AND HONEY"

The second single is Archie’s Grunge Rock remake of his favorite recording by The Vogues: “Land Of Milk And Honey!” A cult skateboarding film called Dogtown and Z-Boys inspires the video, and Arch has a blast bustin’ his buns on a customized board. (Juggy and Kelly also strut their stuff, and Nero the Dog pops up in this clip, too.) Both vids go into heavy rotation on VH1, but hardly anyone will remember them in later years. That's because the video Raj directs for the third single, Kevin Keller’s “My Clone Sleeps Alone,” stirs up such a storm of controversy! Even the New Year's firework displays aren't as explosive as Kelly's single and video, both of which drop on 31 December.

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THE PROVOCATIVE MUSIC VIDEO FOR 
KEVIN KELLER'S DÉBUT SINGLE, 
"MY CLONE SLEEPS ALONE"

2012
With his provocative work for Reggie, Britney Spears, Beyoncé and other cutting-edge artists, Raj Patel has become the hottest video director in the world! He models “My Clone Sleeps Alone” on Maurice Sendak’s 1970 children’s book In The Night Kitchen. Kevin Keller cavorts in the nude, jumps into a giant mixing bowl, and ends up getting baked into a crumb cake! It is unprecedented for a former US senator to (knowingly) be filmed dancing naked; Kevin’s political enemies aim vicious public barbs at him (“just another Republican pervert”), and Washington DC pundits have a field day!

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PROMO FOR "SOUL AND INSPIRATION", 
A MARRIAGE EQUALITY FUNDRAISER 
SINGLE CUT BY BLUE-EYED SOUL

Less than a month after it's released, the song (originally an obscure Pat Benatar album cut), has topped the Billboard charts. The video-generated media uproar is partially responsible, but Kevin’s Freddie Mercury-style vocals are what really sell the number. Who knew dude was capable of holding his own with Heavy Metal guitars?  Performing with Jughead as Blue-Eyed Soul, Juggy's voice was always to the fore, and on Archies albums, Kelly's high background harmonies blended with those of Veronica and Reggie. Archie convinced his reluctant friend to cut a solo single, which Kelly thought might sell a few hundred copies at most; he didn't really care, so why should anybody else?  In fact, dude was so naïve, he didn’t even think his music video would be noticed. (That kind of cluelessness explains why Kevin didn’t last long in Congress!) Now, he finds himself an instant Rock star; both Kelly and his hubby, Dr. Clayborne Walker-Keller, are repeatedly ambushed by paparazzi! Clay values his privacy, and their relationship becomes strained.

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PROMO FOR KEVIN KELLER'S 
HEAVY METAL TRIBUTE 
TO PAT BENATAR, ALL FIRED UP!

The British public responds most strongly to “My Clone Sleeps Alone”. Archie Records flies Kevin to London for his first promotional appearances. Veronica and Jughead fly over with him and, between press conferences, they rush Kelly into Abbey Road Studios to cut his début album. Roni, who supervises the sessions, decides that the whole LP will be a tribute to Pat Benatar; she and Kevin choose hits and album tracks that he can sing without needing to change pronouns. When released, his All Fired Up! album goes Double-Platinum and is the most successful LP ever released by an openly Gay Rock 'n' Roll artist! Next spring, Pat Benatar herself will present Kevin with a Best New Artist Grammy Award; but before he receives that honor, dude gets a crash course in overnight stardom. Everybody seems to want a piece of him, and in more ways than one:  Groupies almost derail his marriage!

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PAPARAZZI CATCH KEVIN KELLER'S 
HUSBAND CLAY RELAXING 
AT THE BEACH

Just in time, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Bill Medley provide a distraction from the madness. They approach Kelly and Jughead with an idea for a Jukebox musical.  It will be based on Bill's memoirs; he was one-half of The Righteous Brothers, a '60s Pop music super duo. After hearing Blue-Eyed Soul’s rendition of “Soul And Inspiration” (a second fundraiser single recorded for Equality Now!), Bill decided that Juggy was the right man to portray him, with Kevin co-starring as his late partner Bobby Hatfield.

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PROMO FOR THE MUSICAL 
SOUL AND INSPIRATION 
STARRING JUGHEAD AND KEVIN KELLER 
AS THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS

Kelly jumps at the chance to raise his actor profile; he urges his reluctant friend to take the plunge. By fall, the show is in previews.  Jughead's high school buddy Toni Topaz choreographs the go-go dancers, and plays Bill Medley's girlfriend Darlene Love. Bearing down like he hasn't done since scoring the Black Belt Smackdown! soundtrack, Archie writes all the musical arrangements.  "Bitchin' music, Arch!" raves Bill Medley.  "These sounds take me back to the '60s and my good times with Bobby."  Ralfi Chingas supervises the bitchin' music and is thrilled to appear as Phil Spector, the Righteous Brothers' celebrity producer!  Raj Patel, branching out from music videos, bags his first of many directing jobs in the theater. Soul And Inspiration: The Righteous Brothers Story débuts in Riverdale at The Awesome Venue; this is a performance stage set up inside Acapulco, a nightclub run by mobster Ambrose Pipp. "Here's an offer you can't refuse", Ambrose tells all his friends.  "Haul ass down to my club and see this new show.  It's f*ckin' great!"  He's not the only one who thinks so: Word of mouth is excellent, and soon there are lines stretching down the boulevard!

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BEEFCAKE PIN-UP PHOTO 
RELEASED TO PUBLICIZE 
KEVIN KELLER'S STARRING ROLE 
IN SOUL AND INSPIRATION

2013
Reggie has begun to feel creatively stifled in The Archies. For two months, he hits the ballroom dance circuit with Olga San Quentín; a self-taught dancer, dude picks up routines quickly. The pair, which performs under the name Olguita and Reginald, wins several dance competitions. It looks like Reg is well on his way to a new career, but looks can deceive: Music still has an iron grip on him. When not learning new dance steps from Olga, he’s cutting demos of the ranchera-flavored songs she's been writing. “Bueno Ya”, a sexy “Spanglish pillow talk” number, clearly has hit potential. Reggie also likes her dramatic bolero “Vaya Amor!”  With the right musical backing, he thinks it could go over big on Spanish-language radio.

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OLGUITA AND REGINALD RECORD 
WITH MARIACHIS @ STUDIO BRISEÑO

In the spring, Reg approaches his old nemesis with an important request: He asks Archie to help launch Olguita and Reginald as a musical act. Arch and Roni had always intended to start a subsidiary label, so in May, the guitar and accordion duo become the flagship artist on Discos Falcón. (Falcón is a famous Tejano label whose rich Latin music catalog Archie recently purchased.)  Dilton Doiley Briseño arranges and produces their self-titled debut album at his El Paso studio. Olga is thrilled to be backed by a full mariachi band. "When we launch an act, we don't do it half-ass, sugar," Veronica tells her. "We do it right!"

Appealing to a core audience of middle-age Latinas, Reggie and his fiancée find immediate success on the Tejano nightclub circuit. While they’re out on tour, “Bueno Ya” and “Vaya Amor!” become the biggest Latin records of 2013.  Reg can’t believe the kind of audience response they generate; he doesn’t have to dance "The Hip Shaker" anymore!  "Thank God for that," he sighs.  "I got tired of smacking myself on the ass."  However, he and Olga do perform exhibition dances at shows, and their flashy routines become a major draw for the fans. It’s the beginning of a long and stellar career, first for the duo and later for Gino (as Reg renames himself) on his own.

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THE LATIN MUSIC PRESS 
LAUDS REGGIE'S COMEBACK

In January, the Righteous Brothers musical Soul And Inspiration moves from Riverdale’s Awesome Venue to the Harry Lucey Theatre in London’s West End. Soon, it´s the hottest ticket in town, selling out every single night! Because of Juggy’s membership in The Archies and Kevin’s recent solo success, the show attracts international attention; both men are awash in critical praise, especially Kelly for his fevered rendition of the big ballad “Unchained Melody”. However, Jughead is Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's favorite: They swoon nightly, hearing him sing their compositions “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, “Soul And Inspiration”, “Brown-Eyed Woman” and “See That Girl.”  “It’s almost better than sex!” Cynthia raves toThe London Times. “Shut the front door!” snickers Barry.

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BACK COVER OF THE 
SOUL AND INSPIRATION 
CAST ALBUM

Toni Topaz also wins plaudits for her powerful vocals on "Lord, If You're A Woman"! It’s the first time she’s sung since rocking out with The Bettys (led by Jughead’s future wife) as a teenager. Archie Records capitalizes on the show’s success by releasing a cast album; it's mostly recorded at Abbey Road Studios, with horn masters Terry "Pop" Tate and Rey Cochino among the sidemen augmenting Mariachi Lowrider.  Once again, the creative friction generated by Barry and Cynthia’s interaction with Ralfi Chingas pours gold into the LP grooves!1 When the two-record set goes Platinum, Archie is beside himself with excitement. He tears off all his clothes and runs the length of his office complex, shouting and pumping his fists; his secretary, Ethel Muggs Mason, faints at the sight!  The cast recording is so profitable, it more than makes up for the failure of his Black Belt Smackdown! soundtrack from 2007.

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HERALD FOR JUMP BACK, HONEY! 
THE ARCHIES' TRIBUTE TO 
ELLA MAE MORSE

Taking a break from their show in the Summer, Juggy and Kevin fly to New Orleans to help cut a new Archies album (Gino is absent, still touring the Southwest with Olguita). Jump Back, Honey!, a tribute to 1940s Jazz and Blues singer Ella Mae Morse, is Jughead’s concept; he’s always been the group’s biggest Jazz buff. For the first time, Ralfi Chingas acts as executive producer of an Archies session; this time out, Veronica is in charge. "Let's see if Miss Thang is finally ready to take over", he rasps.  "Kiss my grits, Nooky!" jokes Roni, ruffling his ginger toupé; but babe does feel anxious.  This will be The Archies’ most radical musical experiment, and one that sorely taxes their abilities. However, it will pay off in across-the-board critical acclaim, something the group has never enjoyed before.

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PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES SINGLE 
"JUMP BACK, HONEY!" 
FEATURING KEVIN KELLER 
ON LEAD VOCALS

Except for Juggy’s jam sessions in New Orleans, the group members have precious little experience playing Jazz. Even so, they nail every note of Justin Strickland's complex arrangements.  Temporarily switching back to keyboards, Roni rocks the house on Boogie Woogie piano; Trev kicks serious ass on stand-up bass; Kelly bears down on the vibes; Betty’s sax solos are mad groovy (“jive, Betts, jive!”); Juggy is eight-to-the-bar on his traps; and Archie imitates Django Rinehardt on Jonniemae Trouten's flamenco guitar. Kevin sings special guest lead vocals on the title track, which ends up being the only single released. Long-delayed critical applause feels good, but nothing can cushion the shock of total fan indifference: "Who needs a 1940s version of The Archies?", fumes Veronica's #1 British fan, Andru Charlz.  Nobody, it turns out, and not many want to hear one, either.  Jump Back, Honey! arrives on the Christmas market stone cold dead!

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TRANSSEXUAL FLAMENCO QUEEN 
JONNIEMAE TROUTEN, MUSIC DIRECTOR 
FOR THE ALL FIRED UP!, JUMP BACK, HONEY! 
AND TONI TOPAZ ALBUMS

2014
Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Bill Medley cut a big money deal to take Soul And Inspiration to Broadway. Everyone is elated, until the backers drop a bombshell: They want Hollywood movie actors to play the leading roles, not Jerome Jones and Kevin Keller! Only established stars, they argue, can draw crowds to a Broadway theater. Bill, Barry and Cynthia threaten to back out of the deal, but their cast thinks it may be time to move on.

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WHEN HE RETURNS FROM LONDON, 
KEVIN'S HUSBAND CLAY GIVES HIM 
WHAT HE'S BEEN MISSING

Juggy realizes he hasn’t been spending enough time with Betty and their son Montana. Kevin worries that his Heavy Metal fans might desert him, and his marriage to Clay needs some shoring up, too. As for Toni Topaz, the backers dig her style; they think she’s got star quality! However, she refuses to go to New York without her co-stars. "F*ck off, banksters!", she snaps in her lilting Jamaican accent.  She, Juggy and Kelly all advise Barry, Cynthia and Bill to accept the new deal.  "We wish y'all the best of luck," the always-optimistic Kevin says.  Unfortunately (but predictably) the revamped and renamed musical will close on Broadway after just five dismal performances!

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RARE LIMITED-EDITION 
KEVIN KELLER ALBUM INSERTS. 
 FEWER THAN FIFTY ARE KNOWN 
TO STILL EXIST.

At the cast’s farewell party, Toni announces that she has signed with Archie Records as a solo artist.  "Alan Mayberry has already booked sessions for my début album," she squeals.  "We're doing it at Chapel Of Rock, where The Archies recorded Hits Of The Sixties." Juggy telephones the news to his wife back in Riverdale. To his surprise, she has news for him as well: She's reforming her high school band, The Bettys! Former member Toni is delighted to hear of their reunion, and asks if they can back her up in the studio. "You better not have asked anybody else," Betts laughs. "Girlfriend, I'd have kicked your ass!"

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PROMO FOR TONI TOPAZ'S 
HIT SINGLE "THROW DOWN A LINE" 
FEATURING THE BETTYS

Jeff Barry acts as executive producer of The Toni Topaz Album. The first thing recorded is an extended-play disc of his lesser-known compositions.  First to be released, though, is a slammin' Cliff Richard oldie called “Throw Down A Line”!  Pop radio pounces on Toni’s tiger woman vocal, snuggling up against Archie’s piston-pumping Reggae arrangement. Jonniemae Trouten, who now plays lead guitar with The Bettys, brings her poodle to the session.  "Ralfikins!" she hisses reproachfully.  "You're not going to put Nero 'on mike' again, are you?"  "Just watch me,"  he promises.  Sure enough, dude captures the dog howling in perfect harmony behind Toni’s lead! A YouTube video of this amazing performance exists.

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ARCHIE SELLS OUT!

The album ships Gold, the EP goes Top Ten, the single hits #1, and Toni abandons her choreographer career for a promising shot at Pop stardom. Nobody but Archie and Veronica knew that her LP would be the last one ever released on Archie Records! They break the shocking news on December 31, exactly 15 years since their label was incorporated: They’ve sold out to multi-media conglomerate Republic International. Archie Records is now controlled by Jason Blossom!

2015
The Archies knew Jason back in high school; he was despicable even then! Now, he’s twice as hateful. Millions of workers have lost jobs in the wake of his hostile corporate takeovers.  His rapacious business practices give capitalism a bad name, but they’ve also made him a billionaire. Jason first became interested in acquiring The Archies' catalog when Return To Archie Country went platinum. After Kevin Keller's LP and the Soul And Inspiration cast album sold millions, he contacted Archie and started making offers. Veronica warned her husband: “Jason Blossom is a Carl Icahn wannabe.  He's a vampire who buys up corporations and sucks them dry!  Ignore the bastard.” Archie was inclined to do just that; but the takeover baron kept dangling ever larger sums of money in front him. Finally, even Roni had to admit he’d be foolish to turn down such an incredibly lucrative deal.

The couple had long dreamed of opening a Juilliard-caliber music school in Riverdale; Jason's offer would allow them to realize their dream, and spare no expense!  Although the actual sale price was kept confidential, it’s known that the deal made Archie a multi-millionaire; his new net worth put him in the same lofty tax bracket as Roni’s late father. Veronica knew that, with the change in ownership, their artists would worry about bad treatment.  With the terms her lawyers demanded, Jason was mandated to be on his best behavior!  There'd also be royalty increases, and handsome signing bonuses for extending artist contracts.

But both Roni and Arch failed to anticipate how their friends would feel about working for Jason.  The Archies also don't like learning about the merger after it happened. The intensity of outrage leaves the ex-label owners stunned and speechless. Jughead is so p*ssed at the news, he drives a fist through his favorite conga drum! Kevin Keller, who once fended off unwanted sexual advances from Jason (“he’s a f*cking closet case”) storms out of the room. Even mild-mannered Betty Jones hits the roof: “Dude is just evil! I’d sooner work for Bernie Madoff.” Trevor Smith feels the same way: "Hella bad vibes, man!”  The Archies, along with Josie + The Pussy Cats, Savoy Sound, Kevin Keller and Toni Topaz, will exercise an exclusivity option in their contracts and leave the Republic label.  The enraged corporate raider will fire his legal team for overlooking the clause!

Over the next sixteen months, all the acts will defect except for Archie (who'll cut a solo album that flops), Veronica (who’ll produce a handful of new artists for Republic) and Olguita and Reginald. Gino despises Jason as much as the others do, but is wary of sabotaging his new career as a Tejano star. However, he will also defect after Jason unearths his long-lost Elvis Presley tribute and, against his wishes, markets it.  The awful album reviews won't hurt Reggie's solid Latino following, but dude will feel betrayed.  “I was a dumbass to trust him,” he’ll admit to his former bandmates.

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OLGUITA AND REGINALD'S FIRST ALBUM 
IS THE LAST TO BE MANUFACTURED 
AND DISTRIBUTED BY ARCHIE RECORDS

On top of everything else, a forthcoming Archies album gets pulled off the release schedule; the hard-rocking collection of ABBA covers is legally blocked by the Swedish supergroup's publishing company.  Intra-group relations become so strained, The Archies decide to take an extended hiatus from touring and recording. Betty, Jughead and Trevor’s anger at Arch and Roni soon subsides; nothing could ever destroy their friendship. Even so, fourteen long years will pass before The Archies enter a recording studio or a concert venue again!

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COMPILED BY NERO IN 2015, THE ARCHIES' 
GOLDEN SUGAR TWO-RECORD SET 
IS FINALLY RELEASED IN 2025

Jason Blossom will withhold all Archies product from the market for a decade. He wants to both retaliate against the group for leaving his label and generate increased demand for their hits. The two-record Archies anthology he finally releases in the year 2025 will go Double Platinum!  His strategy seems to prove successful until his profits are eaten up by legal fees.  Archie, Roni, Betts, Juggy, Trev and Kevin Keller will file a monster lawsuit against him for non-payment of royalties. As the late, great Jim Croce used to sing: You don’t tug on Superman’s cape . . . you don’t spit into the wind . . . you don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger, and you don’t d*ck around with Veronica’s money!!!* Carole King will also sue Jason when she discovers he has bootlegged The Archies' unreleased 2001 demo recordings of her songs. Dude will win both lawsuits, but that's not the end of the story.

Back To The Future . . .
After Archie and Veronica open their music academy, and it earns a world-famous reputation for excellence. They’ll become Riverdale’s answer to Bill and Melinda Gates, getting involved in many philanthropic activities.

Betty and Jughead will grow apart after she spends months away from home touring and recording with her all-female band. When they divorce (“here's looking at you, Juggy”), he will buy out her half of their catering business. Betty Jones will again become Betty Cooper, but you won’t believe how: Anderson Cooper will fall for Betts marry her up, and together they'll inherit the Vanderbilt fortune.  "What can I say?", Anderson will shrug.  "I'm a late-blooming Bisexual guy!" 

 Meanwhile, Juggy and Reggae queen Toni Topaz will pursue a romance that almost kindled when they starred together in Soul And Inspiration.  Jug's son with Betty, Montana Jones, will grow up to be a celebrity sushi chef with a top-rated cooking show.

Olguita and Reginald will become a Tejano music institution, winning many awards; their shared star will blaze brightly until Olga gets pregnant with their daughter Donna Marie and decides to retire. Gino will then launch a solo career, adopt a new sound, and hold forth as Mexico’s King of Huapango Disco! 

 He and Olga will never officially marry, but with Mike Pellerito, President of Archie Comics, they'll forge a successful ménage à trois relationship. “Olga and I have so much love together,” Reginald will explain, “it would be selfish not to share!”

Trevor Smith will morph into an in-demand session musician (earning the nickname “Dr. Thunder”) and then a record company A & R executive. He will eventually be president of ASCAP! By then he’ll have married up Christina Angel from Savoy Sound; their son Trevor Angel will become a famous action movie star. His remake of Black Belt Smackdown! will be a box-office smash, and result in a cult following for the original film.

Kevin Keller’s movie career won't ever get off the ground (not counting a sex tape of his wedding night that surfaces), but he will issue a string of Gold and Platinum Heavy Metal albums. Eventually, Kelly will switch from Rock to Jazz, and he and Juggy will start collaborating again. Happily, his marriage to Dr. Clay Walker-Keller will survive, and together they'll raise two sons, Penn and Teller.  Both children are the product of Kevin's one-night stands with groupies!  Like Anderson Cooper, Kelly is another Bisexual late-bloomer.

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CLAY AND KEVIN KELLER'S SCANDALOUS 
"WEDDING NIGHT" SEX TAPE, 
SECRETLY FILMED BY RAJ PATEL

Finally, greedhead Jason Blossom will be murdered! When his new bride, actress Benazir Bhooty, catches him in the shower with his male lover, she'll stab him to death . . . Jeff Barry's neighbor Jerry Maneker, vacationing with his wife at the Las Vegas hotel where it happens, will be quoted at the crime scene:  "Eileen and I heard the whole thing.  Benazir screamed: Life's a b*tch, and then you die! And suddenly, there was all this screeching violin music!"  Police will classify the murder as an "Alfred Hitchcock-inspired crime of passion."  Jason’s scandalous murder and Benazir’s sensational trial will dominate the news cycle for months on end. As for what becomes of Josie + The Pussy Cats, Ralfi Chingas, "Spanish" Eddie Roxchild and all the rest . . . read on!

*Excerpt from "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", 
words and music by the late, great Jim Croce.  
Published by Blendingwell Music/Wingate Music (ASCAP).
See the imaginary Archie Records Discography
and more rare Archies memorabilia!

"Say Goodbye to Riverdale" is DC Hampton Jacobs' cartoon love letter to Archie Comics, Latino culture, Pop music from the 1960s and '70s, dance crazes, and Japanese Gay erotic art.  Robert López, better known as El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, is the inspiration for Ralfi Chingas.  Jonniemae is the alter ego of Jon Trouten (and he never even knew)!  Laura Pinto isn't a record producer in real life, but she's the founder of Pop Culture Cantina as well as a fine novelist; buy her bitchin' new book, The DA's Forever!  This burlesque treatment is dedicated to the memory, talent and bawdy humor of Harry Lucey, the finest "Archie" artist there ever was.

Say Goodbye to Riverdale: Part Two

POP ART0001

Say Goodbye to Riverdale
The Secret History of Archie Records
Cartoons + Castanets presents Part Two 
of a bawdy cartoon burlesque starring
The Archies
Josie + The Pussy Cats
Sabrina the Sorceress
Toni Topaz     Jason Blossom     Kevin Keller
and other fan art  images based on 
Archie Comics Characters
with super-bitchin' cameo appearances by Burt Bacharach,
Jeff Barry, Pat Benatar, Mario Canedo, Andru Charlz, 
Anderson Cooper, Ron Dante, Jackie DeShannon, 
Neil Diamond, Louise Goffin, Art Greene, Mick Jagger, 
Carole King, Sherry Kondor, Eileen + Jerry Maneker, Barry Mann, 
Wynton Marsalis, Ricky Martin, Bill Medley, Tom Mourgos, 
Phil X Milstein, Mike Pellerito, Laura Pinto, 
Chuck Tackett, Jon Trouten, Cynthia Weil
and Nero the Dog
Burlesque written, directed and staged by 
DC Hampton Jacobs

2006
Ron Dante, who took over producing The Archies after Jeff Barry moved on, contacts Archie with a Christmas album concept. Everyone agrees that it’s a great idea, but due to previous commitments, it will take a year for the project to come together. In the meantime, The Archies decide to cut an album of Ron Dante tunes. “You’ve never gotten credit for being a great songwriter,” Archie tells him. “Maybe we can help change that.” They can, and they do: The title song from their Psychedelia-tinged album Get It On Today! is released as a single, and it becomes one of The Archies’ biggest yet!  However, the album fails to meet sales expectations because of turmoil in the group; there are no personal appearances and little in the way of promotion.

Here’s why: Still grieving over her father’s death, Veronica returned to London with Archie, where he and Laura Pinto (now an independent producer) were completing work on the film score for Black Belt Smackdown! Ralfi Chingas, Ron Dante, sound engineer Alan Mayberry and the rest of the band joined them there, booking Abbey Road for the Get It On sessions. Archie felt that making new music would do Roni good, but the opposite proved true. She was miserable, and since misery loves company, she made working with her a living Hell for the others: Arriving late, leaving early, flubbing take after take, and picking b*tch fights with Betty Jones!

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HERALD FOR THE 
GET IT ON TODAY! ALBUM AND 
THE BLACK BELT SMACKDOWN! 
SOUNDTRACK

Making matters worse, Roni resumed an on-again, off-again affair with Jughead (“Come on over here, honey child. Mama’s got some candy for you”)! Upon learning of her husband’s infidelity, an enraged Betty then seduced Archie (“I was your first time, Archiekins, and I’ve been keeping it warm for you. Get what you’ve been missing”)! The uproar that ensued nearly destroyed the band, two marriages and two lives! 

Wracked by guilt, Archie and Betty got sh*t-faced on Grenadian Rum and went joyriding together. Archie lost control of his car; it spun off a bridge and crashed into a lake!  Dazed, Arch managed to pull Betts out of the submerged wreck and swim for shore. He escaped with minor injuries, but she was seriously hurt; paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene!  Cradling her limp body in his arms, Archie tearfully begged God for a miracle and got one: Betty started breathing again. "We've got to stop meeting like this," she wisecracked between coughs, and that's when Arch knew she'd be OK!  Later in the hospital, Betts claimed to have had a near-death experience. "I saw the future," she insisted. "None of us are going to die early. We're all going to live for a long time!"

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BETTY DREAMS OF 
CLAY AND KEVIN KELLER 
AS AN ELDERLY GAY COUPLE

Learning of the accident, Veronica became hysterical. Consumed by remorse and fear for Archie and Betty, she suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized, too.  Fortunately, most tracking for the new LP had been completed by then; Alan Mayberry flew the sound mixes back to Archie Sound Studios.  Reggie and Ron Dante joined him in Mamaroneck, and their combined vocal and instrumental prowess filled in the gaps.  Alan M ended up supervising the album’s release.

Betty’s accident and Roni’s illness rallied the fractured group, including a contrite Jughead.  "Sometimes, I get stupid and think with the little head instead of the big one," he told his wife.  "Which one's the little head?", she wanted to know, winking an eye.  While caring for each other, the band members realized that their shared love was stronger than any adversity; well before the women had fully recovered, both couples reconciled. Friendships were re-affirmed!  When Roni and Betts were well enough to travel, the entire group returned to the USA, and everybody took some much-needed time off.

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THE ARCHIES RECEIVE
 A PLATINUM RECORD FOR THEIR 
HIT SINGLE "LET'S GET IT ON TODAY!"

2007
Black Belt Smackdown! is released to scathing reviews: Variety calls it “a mash-up sexploitation/kung-fu-fighting flick with an absurd plot, wooden acting and non-existent production values!”  The Archie Records movie soundtrack album gets a better critical reception, but it sells poorly regardless.  Rumors circulate that Benazir Bhooty’s sex scenes with Archie were genuine, a claim that Arch hotly denies. "Do you think I'd make a porn film?" he fumes.  "I've been naked with plenty of beautiful women.  I can control myself.  Sure, I can!"  Standing within earshot, Jughead struggles to keep from cracking up . . .  contacted for her response to the rumors, Benazir prefers not to comment.

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EUROPEAN PROMO FOR 
THE MOVIE BLACK BELT SMACKDOWN!

In February, The Archies meet Ron Dante in Hollywood and lay down tracks for their Christmas album. Contrasting these dates with the disastrous London sessions from which he fled with Alan Mayberry, Dante remembers them as “some of the most fun I’ve ever had in the studio. And the bond between band members was stronger than ever!” Jughead will recall “Ron asking me to whinny like a horse on 'Sleigh Ride'. I was stoned drunk on Betty’s egg nog when I did it, and I wore reindeer horns on my head. I know I must've looked like a meshuggenah, but it was hella fun!” Veronica has fun, too.  Her behavior surprises everyone: The usually petulant Ms. Lodge-Andrews is cooperative, considerate and professional.  She almost seems like a different person.  Only once does her mood darken.  Listening to the playback, she whispers sadly: "Daddy would've loved this record."

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HERALD FOR THE RELEASE OF
ARCHIE'S CHRISTMAS ALBUM

In the summer, the group flies to New Orleans with Kevin Keller to play more benefit concerts.  While there, they record some new material at Spanish Eddie’s (located in the Latin Quarter, Eddie Roxchild’s bar/studio was barely damaged by Hurricane Katrina). Three singles emerge from these sessions, all of which appear on Greatest Hits of All-Time; it's a collection of 14 Archies recordings dating back to their 2002 renaissance. The first single is a Ska arrangement of “Soul Deep”, the old Box Tops hit; Archie introduced it during the Hot, Sweet And Live! concert, and has been singing it on stage ever since.

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CHAPEL OF ROCK OWNER 
JEFF BARRY STARS IN THE MUSIC VIDEO 
FOR "SOUL DEEP SKA"

The second single is a mash-up of two vintage Neil Diamond tunes: “Two-Bit Manchild” and “Practically Newborn” feature Reggie on lead vocals. (Because of legal issues involving Neil's music that will develop later on, this single won't appear on an Archies compilation until the year 2075. More about this later.) The third 45 is “Lady Jane”, remaking an old Tommy James Rock ballad. Archie sings lead, but just before releasing it as a single, he and Ralfi Chingas decide on a change. They replace Archie's vocal track with a new one recorded by Jughead. The switch pays off: Juggy does his Barry White thing, coming across as super-virile and seductive.  "Ooooh," moans Betty when she hears the playback.  "I think I'm getting moist!"  Jug's performance makes “Lady Jane” one of the best make-out songs ever; Latino Archies fans will turn it into a lowrider standard! (The Archie-sung version only appears on the album and will become a rarity). Both "Lady Jane" and "Soul Deep Ska" land in Billboard’s Top Ten, helped by popular music videos directed by Raj Patel. In the fall, the Ron Dante-produced Christmas album is released. Both LPs are warmly received by fans and win Gold Record awards.

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PROMO FOR THE LOWRIDER FAVORITE 
"LADY JANE", SUNG BY JUGGY AND FEATURING 
RONI ON LEAD GUITAR

2008
Physics professor Dilton Doiley (now known as Dilton Doiley Briseño after reclaiming his Blaxican heritage) is also a musical genius.  Dude adores Latin music; he plays accordion and several other instruments, and leads a Tejano band in his spare time. Dilton was a sideman on The Archies' Like A Rolling Stone album and, at Archie's request, served as musical director for their 2004 American tour.  He wrote the Ska arrangement for their “Soul Deep” remake, too.  In April, he presents Ralfi Chingas with a Tejano-flavored arrangement of “Sugar, Sugar”. The Archies love it and decide to cut their only American #1 hit in Spanish for South American fans. Ralfi and Dilton co-produce the new version, which tops numerous Pop charts south of the border as well as in Spain.

ARCHIES IN MEXICOBookScanStation-2013-08-28-09-37-18-AM

PROMO FOR THE RELEASE OF 
"SUGAR, SUGAR" IN SPANISH

The group tours Spanish-speaking countries during the summer, and response is overwhelmingly positive; so much so that Latin-American fans christen the members with Spanish names! Archie becomes Archito; Reggie is called Carlos Marín and Juggy becomes Torómbolo. (“Man! That’s a mouthful,” Jughead quips. “But I don’t care what they call me, as long as they call me for almuerzo!”) The ladies’ given names sound Spanish enough to survive translation, but both Veronica and Betty hear Latino men refer to them as mamacitas quite often . . .

REGGIE'S NEW LOOK

REGGIE COPS A NEW LOOK ON TOUR

When their mini-tour hits Madrid, Reggie proves to be the most popular with female fans. With his Latin lover looks (he's half-Cherokee) and perfect Spanish, dude is often mistaken for a native. Between concert dates in Barcelona, he steps out for some solo appearances. On a bill with Ricky Martin at the Teatro Odéon, “Carlos” performs a new Latin Rock number called “Papichulo Mambo”. Ricky’s notorious onstage sexuality is tame compared to Reggie’s: dancing “The Hip Shaker” in slow motion while spanking his own ass, he almost makes the “Vida Loca” Pop star look shy! He works the crowd into a frenzy.  Several horny muchachas rush the stage, and a riot breaks out: He and Ricky Martin need a security escort to leave the venue!  They go straight to Ricky’s hotel room for a steamy one-on-one ("Sookie sookie, now," Reg hisses, halfway through an "around-the-world" trip.  "Pour a little sugar on it")! The next day, Spanish newspapers compare Reggie to Elvis Presley. Elated, he basks in his new notoriety.

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PAPICHULO TIENE TUMBAO! 
 REGGIE'S SEXY SPANISH 
CENTERFOLD PHOTOS

Soon afterward, racy nude photos of Reg appear in a Spanish Gay men’s magazine.  Tabloids all over the world report on his erotic escapades with both women and men! Archie is scandalized; he thinks the lurid publicity will reflect poorly on the band. He and Reggie clash, and the latter threatens to quit The Archies. In retaliation, Arch suspends him from the group for six months! Outraged, Reg accuses him of hypocrisy.  "You’re as much of a horndog as I am!”, he sputters. “What about you shagging Benazir Bhooty?”  The rest of the group pleads with Archie to reconsider, but his Dutch/Irish/Italian temper takes over, and he won’t budge. Reggie flies back to the USA that same night. One week later, he’s in New Orleans for a solo recording session at Spanish Eddie’s Bar + Grill.

PAPICHULO MAMBOBookScanStation-2013-09-01-01-08-48-PM

MEXICAN PROMO FOR 
THE RELEASE OF REGGIE'S SOLO HIT 
"PAPICHULO MAMBO"

Ralfi and Dilton produce “Papichulo Mambo” for Reg as a solo single. Remixed by Eddie Roxchild and leased to the Fantasy label, it scores a huge hit in Latin dance clubs on both sides of the border!  Archie barely notices Reggie’s triumph: He is preoccupied with Josie + The Pussy Cats, whom he’s just signed to his label. He doesn’t care for the Punk Rock sound they’ve adopted, and wants to change their musical direction back to Soul. Back in the day, Josetta James, Valerie Smith Cabot and Melody Munro-Jones were icons of England's Northern Soul movement: “The kids at Wigan Casino and Blackpool Mecca were The Pussy Cats’ biggest supporters,” Arch recalls. “I’d like to win back that original fan base!”

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HERALD FOR "HEAVY MUSIC" 
BY JOSIE + THE PUSSY CATS, 
THEIR DÉBUT SINGLE ON ARCHIE RECORDS

Taking a huge gamble, he hires Alexandra Cabot-Mayberry, Alan’s wife and Josie’s longtime nemesis, to produce the trio’s comeback album. She and Archie are both avid R & B fans, so together, they choose a selection of vintage Soul numbers for the Pussy Cats to record. When the sessions begin at Abbey Road Studios, it doesn’t take long for fur to start flying! Alexandra rejects Josie’s lead voice (“darling, that Joan Jett bullsh*t you do is so 20th century”), and gives her sister-in-law Valerie most of the leads. The rest she gives to Melody; this was the vocal configuration when the group first tasted success in the 1970s.  She tells Josie to concentrate on her lead guitar-playing, which she feels could be “great, instead of just loud!” Xandii also augments the trio with her studio band, The Kooltyme Katts; they’re a Dap Kings-styled rhythm section she recently discovered.

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PROMO FOR THE SOUL GALORE ALBUM 
BY JOSIE + THE PUSSY CATS, 
PRODUCED BY ALEXANDRA 
AND REMIXED BY ALAN M

Josie blows her top (“b*tch, you couldn’t carry a tune across the street! Where do you get off, choosing lead singers?”) and almost smacks Alexandra; but Archie's gamble is a lucky one.  Josie + The Pussy Cats’ Soul Galore album zooms up the charts and makes the legendary all-woman trio Soul music queens once again! Unexpectedly, their expanded audience includes many if not most of the Punk Rock fans they’d cultivated over the past few years.

As Soul Galore goes Platinum, Reggie signs a recording deal with Fantasy Records and hires red-hot México City producer Don Felipe X to supervise his third solo album. He and PX Milstein (Felipe's real name) play all the instruments on it: Keyboards, guitar, bass, strings, horns, and a battery of Latin percussion. "I f*cking don't need The Archies," Reg fumes, "and this new album will prove it." Back in Riverdale, the group auditions substitute bass players.  They settle on Betty’s old high school boyfriend Trevor Smith. "WTF?" Arch exclaims when Trev lays into the bass line of "Mustang Sally."  "The floorboards are shaking, and his amp isn't even turned up!"  With their new bass man, The Archies fly down to the Chapel Of Rock and cut a double-length album in Spanish: Ralfi Chingas and Dilton Doiley Briseño co-produce the sessions.  For help translating the tunes, they call on Olga San Quentin; she happens to be the composer of “Papichulo Mambo.” Olga joins Veronica, Betty, Juggy and Trev on backing vocals, but leaves the sessions early to fulfill another commitment (about which she is very secretive).

LOS ARCHIES POSTERBookScanStation-2013-10-02-09-38-07-AM

LIMITED-EDITION POSTER 
FOR THE ARCHIES ALBUM 
ÉXITOS EN ESPAÑOL

Released on Discos Fuentes (Archie Records’ sister label in South America), Éxitos en Español burns up the Pan-American Pop charts! Old Archies favorites like “Get On The Line” (A La Linea), “Who’s Your Baby?” (¿Quién Es tu Novia?) and “Love Light” (Luz de Amor) sound bitchin' fresh with a dash of cilantro and lime on them. Demand quickly builds for a North American release. Archie and Veronica do release Éxitos in the USA, along with “Angelito Mío”, a six-track Spanish-language EP; both earn Gold Record awards. A promotional video for “Angelito”, directed by Raj Patel, features Jughead wearing a jockstrap and twerking as he fries up a hamburger!  "He's always doing that around the house," Betty tells Raj.  It becomes nearly as controversial as Madonna’s 1990 “Justify My Love” video, and barely avoids getting banned!

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JUGHEAD SHAKES AND BAKES 
IN THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR 
"ANGELITO MÍO"

Veronica, Betty and Juggy are still in contact with Reggie.  To no avail, they try to mend fences between him and Archie!  At the invitation of their exiled bass player, they fly down to México City and end up singing background vocals on his solo album.  Olga San Quentín is there; officially, she's the vocal arranger, but it soon becomes apparent that babe is carrying on an intense love affair with Reggie. Later, Jughead learns that she's expecting his child!  Reg admits impregnating her.  "Yeah, I'm gonna have me some baby mama drama," he smiles, "but I don't care.  It's really love this time!"

  A professional ballroom dancer as well as a singer/songwriter, Olga portrayed Cuban cabaret star Ninón Sevilla in his “Papiculo” music video.  That's where they first met.  When they danced the samba in a Brazilian carnival scene, Reggie matched her move-for-move. "I think he hips-notized me", she laughs, describing their dance floor introduction to Veronica and Betty; but her thrusting pelvis had the same effect on him. Once filming ended for the day, he could hardly wait to get in her pants!  "He doesn't have a very big chorizo," Olga confides, "but he sure knows how to use what he's got.  Ay-yi-yi!  Can that boy wear out a headboard!" In unison, Roni and Betts, reply: "Yes, we know."  Soon, the parents-to-be will again dance together in new Raj Patel-directed music vids.

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NERO THE DOG REPORTS ON 
REGGIE'S NEW SOLO ALBUM

2009
Olga San Quentín gives birth to Reggie’s child in April. Dante Carmine Mantle San Quentín is named after producer Ron Dante, who agrees to be the baby’s godfather. This joyous news coincides with the release of Love 2 Love, Reggie’s Latin-flavored album of early Neil Diamond songs. The music videos filmed to promote the LP send the entertainment media into a state of shock; Raj Patel has pushed the envelope further than ever before! The clip for the title track depicts a Bisexual ménage à trois, and is so explicit, VH1 bans it.

LOVE TO LOVE CONTROVERSY0001

REGGIE EXPRESSES PANSEXUAL PRIDE
 IN HIS MUSIC VIDEO FOR 
"LOVE TO LOVE"

The furor over these erotic videos attracts the attention of Neil Diamond, who declares them “X-rated!” Diamond sues to halt sale of Reggie’s album, citing defamation. Despite ecstatic critical reviews, Fantasy pulls Love 2 Love off the market to avoid litigation (it immediately becomes a collector’s item). Soon afterward, the company exercises an option to release Reggie from his contract: Dude's just too hot to handle! Heartbroken, angry and demoralized, he flees to St. Petersburg with Olga, where they go into seclusion with their newborn son.

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REGGIE AND OLGA SAN QUENTÍN 
CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF THEIR SON, 
DANTE CARMINE

The Archies (including Archie himself, who now regrets Reggie’s suspension) invite the new family to Bayamón, Puerto Rico.  The band is on a working vacation, finishing up Return To Archie Country! their second album of Country Rock classics. Reg reluctantly accepts the invitation at Olga’s urging. When they arrive with the baby, all residual bad feelings between Reginald and Archie melt away; "Uncle Archito" falls in love with little Dante, as does the rest of the band. At Ralfi Chingas’ home studio in Bayamón, both Reggie and Olga dub vocal parts onto the new recordings.  Promotional materials will trumpet his return to The Archies, but he hasn´t actually done that yet; officially, Reg is a “guest artist”.  Ralfi also dubs Trevor Smith’s voice onto older tracks left over from the original Archie Country! sessions.

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PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES' HIT 
REMAKE OF "GOOD DEAL, LUCILLE"

Release of the new album, which ships Platinum, rekindles Archiemania, but not always in a good way. Jughead starts dancing his "Hamburger Twerk” in concert. He just wants to add some comic relief to the shows, but his bouncing butt in a tight pair of Daisy Dukes proves a bit too provocative! One night, a mob of sex-crazed fans rushes the stage. We want to see Little Jughead!, they scream. "They're not talking about our son Montana," warns Betty.  "Dude, you better book it!"  Juggy tries to run, but they tackle him and rip off his Daisy Dukes in front of 25,000 people!  Unfortunately, he isn’t wearing a jock this time; he isn’t wearing any underwear. Somebody films a video of the incident (and of “Little Jughead”, who turns out to be not so little at all) that will later end up on YouTube! A security detail hauls the crazies off stage, leaving poor Juggy cowering naked behind his drum kit.  “As God is my witness,” he swears, “I’ll never twerk again!”

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JUGGY ADOPTS A "GOT IT, FLAUNT IT" 
ATTITUDE ABOUT GETTING "PANTSED" 
ON YOUTUBE

Hit singles from Return To Archie Country! include the ensemble vocal showcase “Love Of The Common People”; Betty’s sassy "redneck woman" take on Neil Sedaka's “Jacky Daniels and You”; Reggie’s rockabilly-styled “Good Deal, Lucille” (like “Soul Deep Ska”, it was first heard on the Hot, Sweet And Live! album), and Trevor Smith’s début lead vocal on a cover of “Jet Airliner”. Trev’s wailing rendition of the old Steve Miller Band hit will win The Archies their only Grammy nomination. At year’s end, the band announces that he will remain on bass permanently.

JET AIRLINER0001

PROMO FOR THE ARCHIES' 
GRAMMY-NOMINATED SMASH HIT 
REMAKE OF "JET AIRLINER"

2010
The Archies spend four months touring the world on the strength of their two Platinum Country albums. They also perform “Sugar, Sugar en Español”, “Angelito Mío” and other selections from their Gold Spanish-language collection. Their 30-city international tour sells out all the venues it plays in North and South America. The band returns to Riverdale exhausted, and the members decide to take a breather before starting work on anything new. However, the best-laid plans . . . !

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PROMO FOR TREVOR SMITH'S 
JAZZ VOCAL GROUP, SAVOY SOUND, 
AND THEIR FIRST ALBUM

Trevor Smith turns Archie on to Savoy Sound, a Manhattan Transfer-style singing group he’s discovered. Archie Records signs them up, but by the time a recording date is set, lead singer Art Greene has split the scene.  Trevor explains what happened:  "Art walked in on his girlfriend, group member Britney Birdsong, and caught her serving 'box lunch' to their vocal arranger, Justin Strickland!  Art blew up, called Britney and Justin 'skeezers' and quit the group."  Trev stands in for him, and the reconstituted quartet cuts Begin The Beguine, a Laura Pinto-produced collection of Latin Jazz standards. Critics are not impressed by Trevor’s vocal improvisations (“Tony Bennett has nothing to worry about” one snipes), but the LP and extended play disc both sell a respectable number of copies.

ARCHIE SINGS BACHARACH0001

HERALD FOR THE BURT BACHARACH-
PRODUCED SONGBOOK ALBUM 
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT, ARCHIE?

The reverse is true of Archie’s first solo record, on which he sings a collection of Burt Bacharach Pop standards. When an opportunity arose to work with the legendary composer, Arch couldn’t turn it down; after all, Burt is his wife's favorite songwriter! He, Roni and Burt co-produce the album together in Paris where Burt is scoring a French film.  (Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi? stars Arch's former leading lady, Benazir Bhooty. When the busty sexpot visits him at the recording studio one day, a chilly Veronica lays some serious side-eye on her!) Reviewers give Archie’s take on classic hits like “Make It Easy On Yourself” and “You’ll Never Get To Heaven” an enthusiastic thumbs-up, but the public isn't buying him as a lounge singer. Still, Burt Bacharach enthuses: “Archie Andrews just might be the best interpreter of my songs since Dionne Warwick!” Original copies of What’s It All About, Archie? have now become rare, and are known to sell for upwards of $200.00 in eBay auctions.

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PROMO FOR MAMBITO, RALFI CHINGAS' 
SOLO ALBUM FEATURING THE ARCHIES 
AND INTRODUCING JONNIEMAE

In July, Ralfi Chingas records Mambito, a solo album that features Jughead, Betty and Reggie as his rhythm section. Producer Laura Pinto overdubs Ralfi playing six horn parts; essentially, he becomes a one-man salsa band! To play flamenco guitar, Laura hires the amazing Jonniemae Trouten; she's a Transsexual musician Ralfi met at an Iowa City drag bar. Critics hail her as a major discovery, and Ralfi’s LP, released on Discos Fuentes, is called the finest fusion of Rock and Afro-Cuban music since Santana’s début. It is well-received by Latin music radio and sells quite well. Outwardly, Reggie is happy for his friend-with-benefits (he’s tapped Ralfi’s pint-sized ass twice more since that drunken encounter in Key West), but dude is suffering inside; how he envies Ralfi his solo success!

ARCHIE & BETTY SOLOBookScanStation-2014-03-23-02-23-59-PM0000

PROMO FOR BETTY'S 
CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED 
SOLO ALBUM, PATSY, JACKIE AND ME

While making personal appearances with Ralfi and Jonniemae, Betty receives a message from singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon. Praising how much she sounds like Patsy Cline on the single “Jacky Daniels And You”, Ms. DeShannon asks to work with her. Flattered, Betts agrees. Sun Studios is booked, and Jackie hires the cream of Nashville session players to back up her vocal tracks. On the first day of tracking, Ralfi Chingas comes up with a novel idea: Why not have Betty interpret an album’s worth of Jackie DeShannon songs using Patsy Cline’s impeccable phrasing? "She won't have to imitate Patsy, because their singing voices are already similar," he explains. "I don't know, Ralfi," Betts warns.  "What if I offend Patsy's fans?"  But the concept excites Jackie, and she gives the go-ahead.  “It lets me imagine how Patsy would’ve sounded doing my songs,” she later explains to the music press. “Betty Jones did a phenomenal job; I will treasure this recording forever!”

JUGHEAD AND BETTY

COLLAGE ASSEMBLED BY BETTY, 
COMMEMORATING THE BIRTH OF 
MONTANA JONES, HER SON WITH JUGHEAD

However, Betty's misgivings prove well-founded: Ralfi's album concept splits longtime Patsy Cline fans into two camps. One adores the record, while the other takes umbrage at it! The only thing they agree on is the singing, which is superb. Although the Jamie Records CD Patsy, Jackie And Me gets little airplay and fails to chart, Betty will be nominated for a Best New Country Artist Grammy. She’ll get many lucrative offers from Nashville promoters over the years, but will always decide against launching a Country music career. Betts prefers living in Riverdale, playing sax with The Archies, raising her son, and running a catering business with her husband.  However, all that will change one day.

EQUALIZER0001

SUPERHERO COSTUME DESIGN FOR 
"THE EQUALIZER", AN ABORTED TV SERIES 
STARRING KEVIN KELLER

At Riverdale’s George Gladir airport, she runs into Kevin Keller, who’s returning from a job in Canada. Since singing background on The Archies’ first three studio albums, the former US Senator has been pursuing an acting career without much success. Kelly auditioned for and won the starring role in a forthcoming TV series about a Gay superhero. "It's a great concept," Kevin tells Betty, "but the producers won't let him have a boyfriend!  They're scared to show two men being affectionate.  Over time, I think I can loosen up their reticence."  Betts disagrees: "Don't bet money, honey!  The television industry isn't as progressive as you think."  "I prefer to stay optimistic," Kevin insists.  He just filmed a pilot episode in Toronto, but unfortunately, “The Equalizer” won’t be picked up by any network.