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 August, 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; 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, and once again, the creative friction generated by Barry and Cynthia’s interaction with Ralfi Chingas pours gold into the LP grooves. 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 during the fall, 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.