24 June 2014

Say Goodbye To Riverdale: Part Six

Say Goodbye to Riverdale
Life’s A B*tch And Then You Die!
Cartoons + Castanets presents the conclusion
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 Jeff Barry,
Wolf Blitzer, Mario Canedo, Anderson Cooper,
Micah Diamond, Ben Maisani, Donna Marie,
Dan Parent, Mick Patrick, Mike Pellerito,
Laura Pinto, Chuck Tackett,
Mark and Jon Trouten
and Nero the Dog
Burlesque written, directed and staged by
DC Hampton Jacobs

Benazir Bhooty finds a flash drive full of explicit photos, along with a scrawled note in the front seat of her sports car. She can’t believe her eyes! Could it be a case of mistaken identity? After all, it was dark outside.  Jason Blossom surely can’t be the only man with currency symbols stamped on his ass! Benazir resolves to find out the truth.

Disguising herself as a frumpy American tourist, she gets a room at the Las Vegas hotel where Jason and Devon are staying on a “promotional trip”. She sneaks up to their suite and lets herself in by means of a lock-picking trick she learned for a movie part. The actress is hiding in the closet when her husband and his traveling companion return from breakfast. They remove their clothing to reveal Wonderbras, crotchless lace panties, garter belts and seamed stockings.  Benazir barely suppresses a gasp!

Then Jason unzips his travel bag and lifts out a jumbo can of Butter Flavor Crisco! Opening it, he jams a fist deep down inside; then he motions for Devon to lie down on the king-size bed. “Grab your ankles!” he thunders. “We’re going to re-enact the last scene from Crouching Horndog/Hidden Sausage.” “That was my favorite role!” Devon squeals.

Watching her husband perform unspeakable perversions with a male prostitute, the Saudi Arabian beauty is overcome by shock! On the witness stand, she will tearfully claim a hazy memory: “I vaguely remember them getting up from the bed, taking off their lingerie and going into the bathroom for a shower.” She won’t remember pulling the butcher knife out of her purse and following them in, or any of the subsequent carnage!

However, Devon Sweetbottom remembers everything. He barely escapes with his life! “That b*tch was crazy,” he’ll later tell The National Enquirer. “She had this SonoVid (successor to the Ipod) blasting that wild violin music from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  That music was playing while she sliced him up! And she kept screaming the title of her new movie at him: Life’s A Bitch And Then You Die! Is that f*cked-up, or what?”

A few months before she knifed Jason, Benazir Bhooty had filmed an almost identical scene for that movie. Her attorney will argue that the shock of Jason’s infidelity confused her sense of place and time; believing that she was still playing a slasher, she unwittingly became one in real life. Found not guilty due to temporary insanity, Benazir will spend eighteen months confined to a sanitarium. While there, she’ll be deluged by offers for book deals, TV appearances and movie roles!  Notoriety kicks her celebrity status into overdrive, and she couldn’t be more pleased.

Devon’s singing career will benefit too. Republic International reissues his all-but-forgotten Raw Like Sewage album, and it charts for one week. Asked later why he didn’t mourn Jason’s death, the heartless bastard shrugs: “I do miss Jay-B. And I especially miss that monster he was packin’ between his legs, but hey . . . sh*t happens! There’s plenty of rich, closeted sugar daddies left in the world.” So many sugar daddies, but so little time left! Devon will soon learn that he’s contracted a drug-resistant strain of HIV.  It's the result of acting in too many “bareback” porn flicks!


One of Ralfi Chingas’ biggest disappointments is what happened to the album he and Jonniemae Trouten produced for The Bettys in early 2018. The album master sold to Jamie Records. Then Republic International executed a hostile takeover of Jamie, and the master went missing. “It got nuked,” Ralfi reveals during a Mick Patrick interview. “I’m not at liberty to say how, but the master tape ended up back in our hands. Then The Bettys got word Jason Blossom knew we had it.  One of his lawyers was in town to claim his property; in fact, dude was right outside the studio! They panicked and destroyed the tape: Dropped that putamadre into an ashtray and burned it to a crisp. ¡Ay! It hurt me so to see our hard work go up in smoke; but I understood how they felt. No way were they gonna let that assh*le control their music!”

But now, six months after Jason’s death, the album master miraculously reappears! Sabrina Spellman presents it to Archie, who is now a shareholder of Republic USA (successor to Republic International). One listen is all it takes for Arch to know he’s in possession of a masterwork! The next morning, he hand-delivers the tape to Alexandra Cabot-Mayberry, Republic’s new CEO. “When I heard Betty’s Patsy Cline tribute album, I thought that was the best singing she’d ever do,” he tells Xandii, “but was I wrong! Listen to her interpret these classic songs by Bob Crewe, Nona Hendryx and Allen Toussaint. Babe’s gotta be one of the finest Rock vocalists of all-time!" Alexandra nods her agreement. "Not only that, but I marvel at Midge Mercury’s perfect timing, Bree Spellman’s Soul-deep keyboards, and Jonniemae’s flamethrower guitar-playing. She's even better than Josie! These women kicked ass and took names." Arch declares: "You can’t put this record out soon enough.”

Bree won’t say where the tape has been all this time, and Ralfi still swears it got incinerated. Betty, Midgie and Jonniemae all decline to comment. In any case, Archies fans hail the belated release of Marmalade Ladies, which features the most ferocious lead vocals Betty ever put on wax! It wins a Gold record and gets counted among the Top Ten Rock records of 2028. Unfortunately, the individual Bettys are far too busy to capitalize on its success: Midgie has replaced Melody Munro-Jones as drummer in Josie’s band; Bree now runs her own recording studio in Boston; and Jonniemae has gone to work for Ralfi at Discos Fuentes. The women are still good friends, but none of them are interested in getting back together.

After recording a quartet of million-selling Heavy Metal albums, Kevin Keller announces his intention to become a Jazz vocalist. Jazz lover Jughead is delighted (“Kevin’s a natural Jazz singer”, he raves), but Kelly’s fans are shocked and dismayed. Predictably, a subsequent duet album with Esperanza Spaulding gets mixed reviews and fails to sell: He’s too much of a rocker for the Jazz purists and too jazzy for the Metal heads! But there’s no time to ponder his next career move. Late one night when he’s cutting demos at Sabrina’s Boston studio, his hubby Clayborne telephones with awful news: Terrorist attacks have devastated San Francisco! Thousands have died and millions will be left homeless. Gathering in the bayside city from far-flung corners of the world, The Archies once again re-unite for benefit performances and relief work. Naturally, Kelly and Clay are right there working alongside them.

Reconnecting with Reginald Mantle III during this time, Kelly informs Gino that his old label, Fantasy Records, wants him back; after controversy erupted over Gino's envelope-pushing music videos, they'd parted company back in 2009. However, the company is now known for its cutting-edge output; Kevin Keller’s DVD single “Stop Me” is proof of that! Besides, Fantasy’s new CEO Laura Pinto has a history with the maverick musician; she was music supervisor for Spill The Wine, the Reggie Mantle album that launched his career in Latin music.

Remembering time spent on her casting couch, and how her record label had suddenly tanked, Gino is resistant. Kelly keeps after him, though, and ends up helping finalize the deal. (Gino's producer Dilton Doiley Briseño also signs with Fantasy; after years of splitting his time between academia and the Tejano scene, Dilton finally chooses music over math! He quits his teaching job and accepts Laura Pinto's offer to head up her A & R Department; over time, he'll succeed her as company CEO. Fantasy Records will do right by Gino this time; but after Laura chases him down a flight of stairs brandishing a butt plug, the King of Disco Huapango is careful to never get caught alone with he!. “She walks with a cane now,” he tells an amused Olga San Quentín, “but my rock-hard ass still drives her crazy.”

Late in the year, The Archies settle with Republic USA.  Archie and Veronica Lodge-Andrews OK new releases from the Archie Records catalog. The group’s 2001 Carole King demos appear in legitimate form for the first time, along with a collection of demos for the 2004 Jeff and Ellie Songbook album. Archie’s Christmas Album from 2007 is reissued for the first (but not last) time. In subsequent years, deluxe reissues of albums and singles will appear.


Fantasy Records reissues Gino's long-deleted album of Neil Diamond covers, Love 2 Love. Neil once demanded it be withdrawn from sale; but listening to a copy one day with his son Micah, he changed his mind about its musical merit. “Reggie Mantle is the only singer who ever did my father’s songs justice,” Micah Diamond believes. For its bold advocacy of polyamory and pansexuality, Rock historians hail Love 2 Love (as well as its sexually-explicit promotional videos) as a groundbreaking social statement. "Reginald was an artist before his time," Mick Patrick writes, "and he still is!"

The Archies remake Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” as a charity single for homeless relief; they cut the tune at Bree Spellman´s Witch Queen Studios, with Kevin Keller singing guest lead vocals. Ralfi Chingas and Jonniemae fly up from Medellín to produce the session; Nero the Dog (now enjoying success as a Spanish-language Pop singer) accompanies them and graciously howls a backing vocal. Listening to the playback, Ralfi remarks: "I can't quite put my finger on it, but this record has a certain magical quality." Up in the soundbooth, Bree, Nero and Salem the Cat exchange hand-to-paw fist bumps! Released by Republic USA, "San Francisco" becomes The Archies' long-awaited second chart-topping single!


Responding to popular demand, the group decides to wax one final LP. They sign directly with Discos Fuentes; Archie Records' one-time South-American sister label now has a worldwide distribution deal with Republic USA. Listening to a stack of old vinyl from her late mother’s music collection, Veronica hears a Jay + The Americans album track titled “The Grass Will Sing For You.” A Tony Bruno/Vic Millrose composition, it was cut by many different artists in the late ‘60s, but never became a hit. Roni falls in love with the song: “It's clearly about the joy of having sex outdoors, but it’s subtle. It’s romantic! You just don’t hear lyrics like that anymore.” She brings the soulful beat ballad to Archie, and he decides to cut a demo. The raspy roughness of his voice puts the tune across far better than Jay Black’s semi-operatic delivery did; for the first time in a long while, Arch is happy with his performance. “Why don't we make ‘The Grass Will Sing For You’ the title track of our new LP?” he suggests. Roni nods. "I was thinking the same thing. It suggests the whole album concept to me.”

As plans progress for the new album, The Archies offer Kevin Keller full membership; it's the latest of numerous invitations over the years. Everyone sees the logic of him joining up, since Kelly sang with the group on many Archie label releases; but Archie himself has a more somber motive. "The Grass Will Sing For You" demo notwithstanding, his singing voice has continued to deteriorate; he no longer feels confident fronting the band. Dude has decided to step back and take a behind-the-scenes role. Kevin finally agrees to join after his second Jazz-oriented album flops. He finds himself being groomed to replace Archie on lead vocals!


Veronica asks Ralfi Chingas to co-produce the final recording sessions with her. His A & R position at Discos Fuentes was a strong motive for The Archies to sign with the label. "You made our 2002 comeback possible," Roni reminds him, "so you should be with us at the end." Ralfi declines, citing his huge workload. "You are The Archies' producer now," he insists. "You cut their last album, and it was excellent." "It tanked, Nooky," she pouts. "All the more reason you should produce this record without me," he replies. "You've got unfinished business, Miss Thang: A hit record for your own group! And if there's one thing Roni Lodge-Andrews excels at, it's business. ¡Te vayas! But if you need me, I'll help out as much as I can."

Veronica, Archie, Jughead, Betty and Kevin assemble at Archie Sound Studios (ASS) for the sessions. As usual, they are their own rhythm section, but now they’re augmented by the Riverdale Symphony Orchestra! It’s the first time The Archies have recorded with orchestral backing since their 1991 album This Is Love. Most of the tunes Roni and Archie have chosen are ballads, so it seems logical to have strings and horns. However, Gino dislikes the AOR orientation of the new record. “When I was in Olguita and Reginald, I sang enough ballads to last me a lifetime," he complains. "Dammit, I wanna rock!”  He has prior commitments in South America, too, so he can’t come to Mamaroneck. Gino ends up cutting his vocals separately from the rest of group, working with Dilton Doiley Briseño down in El Paso.


Likewise, Trevor Smith is too busy to take leave from his position at Esperanto Music. Dude records his vocal tracks at London’s Abbey Road Studios. Both Gino and Trev’s performances are laid on top of backing tracks produced by Veronica at ASS. Archie is unhappy with this setup. “We are a f*cking group,” he yells. “It sucks that people are cutting songs for this album by themselves!”

Ralfi Chingas suggests a compromise. He convinces Archie, Reginald and Trevor to fly down to Medellín over a weekend. With Jonniemae producing, they cut Three Dog Night-style trio vocals for two up-tempo tracks: “Let’s Lock The Door” and “Only In America”. Ralfi conducts a salsa horn arrangement that chief engineer Yvonne Remy will overdub onto The Archies’ original rhythm tracks. (Yvonne is Alan Mayberry’s daughter, following in her daddy’s footsteps!) Nero the Dog adds a background vocal.

This trio session becomes legendary in Pop music circles; later, Nero will describe it to Sabrina and her cat Salem: “Archie’s hands were flaring as he bit down on the lyrics. Gino’s hips were swaying to the beat as he improvised Latin-style. Trev was wailing with his head thrown back in joyful abandon! They were competing with each other, but it wasn’t a negative vibe. It was a bitchin' vibe! The fellas just sang their asses off.”


When released, The Grass Will Sing For You sports a racy surprise on its album sleeve: Veronica’s daring nude photos of the elderly Archies, posed in a Garden of Eden setting! There’s a resurgence of puritanism in the early 2030s, so the sight of Kevin Keller and Trevor Smith’s exposed genitals triggers a Right Wing media furor! Veronica shrugs off the criticism: “I just wanted to show that you can still be sexy in your 60s and 70s,” she explains. “I declare!  You’d think I had shot X-rated footage. And why is everybody talking about the boys’ pricks? They’re nothing special. You can see my boobsies in those photos, too. Just look at those beauties! They’re as firm and bouncy as when I was a teenager.”

Cultural pundits aren’t the only ones who turn thumbs down on The Grass Will Sing For You: There’s a consensus among Rock critics that it leans too much in an AOR direction. Gino’s misgivings seem well-founded when Mick Patrick gives the LP a one-word review: “Yawn.” Rolling Stone concurs, dismissing it as “geriatric Pop, only good for rocking you to sleep!”

No matter: The album ships Platinum and tops Billboard's Pop chart! Despite getting negligible airplay, the DVD singles (“Strangers Tomorrow”, featuring lead vocals by Kevin, and “Come Dance With Me”, led by Jughead) break Top Fifty in unit sales. The Only In America extended play disc goes Top Forty; it features demo versions of the masters Arch, Gino and Trev laid down in Medellin.  Remixed for dance clubs by Spanish Eddie, these are the last recordings Ralfi Chingas will produce for The Archies. Fans clamor for one final stage show!  The retirement-age band decides to say goodbye with a world tour.


The farewell tour kicks off in March, in Washington DC. In addition to sax, bass, fiddle, keyboards, drums, percussion, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and vocals performed by the band, there are two backing vocal groups (The Cochinada Brothers and The Zoot Suit Muchachas) and a mariachi horn section.  Mariachi Lowrider also augments The Archies with acoustic guitars, violins and a harp (an earlier incarnation of this Nuevo Tejano group had played on the Exitos en Español album. Harvey "Foolkiller" Schwartz and his vatos also served as pit orchestra for Soul And Inspiration, Jughead and Kevin Keller's fondly-remembered jukebox musical.)

Officially, the 2032 touring personnel include Kevin, Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead. Juggy’s wife Toni Topaz appears with The Archies on tour, but not as an opening act: The ex-Bettys bassist performs as part of the band and sings some of her Reggae hits to boot! Reginald and Trevor don't go on the road, but they make surprise guest appearances at concert dates in South America and Europe.


The 50-city tour breaks box office records all over the world!  Even in countries like England, France and India where sales figures routinely lagged, business is brisk.  When The Archies play New Dehli, the city goes wild for them; they are held over for two nights! While in India, they accept producer Barclay Singh's invitation to track songs in several native languages.  New versions of "Get Off My Cloud" (in Urdu), "River-Deep, Mountain-High" (in Punjabi), "Mr. Five by Five" (in Kashmiri), "Girl" (in Bengali) and the old "Archie Comedy Hour" theme (belted in Tamil by Toni Topaz) will feature on a 2033 compilation that storms the Asian charts!  A single that pairs "Girl" with a Hindi medley of Rascals hits also scores big.  Everywhere the group plays, their back catalog gets a substantial sales boost.

Even so, the tour gets off to a rocky start. Audiences boo Kevin Keller’s lead vocals on familiar Archies hits, and he flees from the stage in tears (Veronica comforts him: “Come to mama, honey child”)! They demand to hear Archie. Even though his singing voice sounds weak and he can’t hit the high notes anymore, crowds give Arch a standing ovation night after night. Their unconditional love never fails to bring him to tears! Archie's vocal coach Timothy Garland is on hand, and manages to preserve what’s left of his ravaged voice.

The set list includes early Archies favorites like “Bang-Shang-A-Lang”, “Who’s Your Baby?”, “Get On The Line”, “Sunshine” and “You Little Angel, You” (with the last three songs performed in Spanish as well as English). Concentrating on hits they’ve recorded since 2004, the band also performs “Hip Shaker”, “Soul Deep Ska”, “Nobody But You”, “Jacky Daniels And You”, “Let’s Get It On Today”, “Love Her!”, “Come Dance With Me” and their Tejano-flavored 2008 remake of “Sugar, Sugar.” Kevin Keller raises the decibel level performing “My Clone Sleeps Alone” and “Stop Me”, his unforgettable solo hits. Rockers dominate, but big ballads like "Love Of The Common People" and “Unchained Melody” (from Soul And Inspiration) are the real show-stoppers.


When Gino steps on stage in México City to sing Neil Diamond’s “Kentucky Woman”, he is dressed to the nines in colorful charro regalia. The Latin-American fans go wild! “It isn’t just a Latin thing, either,” he reminds Archie backstage. “Did you forget that women love seeing a Rock star in tight pants?” He scolds the group for performing in casual clothes. “Veronica is the only one here who looks presentable. Come on, people! This is our last tour! We need to dress up for the occasion.”

On his advice, the band starts sporting colorful south-of-the-border costumes in concert; they are creations of Gino's personal couturier, Henrietta la del Barrio.  Sure enough, the new look causes a sensation! Arch, Juggy and Kelly put their own unique twist on Latin chic: Their habit of wearing charro jackets and sombreros with booty-hugging Daisy Dukes triggers a major urban fashion craze.

Raj Patel´s wife Amisha is delighted with the costume changes; she finds them highly photogenic. Babe is filming some of the dates for a documentary and DVD album. Betty consults with Amisha frequently, and keeps busy writing on her laptop while the band is on the road. Everybody thinks Betts is working on another one of her cookbooks, but they’re in for a big surprise!


After setting attendance records around the world, the tour ends, naturally, in Riverdale! Trevor Smith and Reginald Mantle III fly in for the final show; and Gino brings along members of Olga San Quentín's Dulce de Fuego dance troupe. Before an overflow crowd of 75,000 screaming and sobbing fans, the band performs three encores. The first is "Jet Airliner", for which Trev reprises his Grammy-nominated lead vocal note-for-note. The second is the seldom-heard "Jump Back, Honey!" from The Archies' failed Swing album of the same title. When his frenzied scat singing rates a standing ovation, Kevin Keller finally feels validated as a Jazz singer. The last encore is Archie's whispered, half-spoken rendition of "The Grass Will Sing For You". It seques into a grand finale of "Say Goodbye to Riverdale", written by Billy Joel for The Bettys' 2016 début album. The Archies perform it ensemble-style, with spirited accompaniment by Mariachi Lowrider and Dulce de Fuego.

Suddenly, all stage lights dim and the singers are stunned into silence. “That wasn’t planned,” gasps Veronica. “WTF is happening?” The massive crowd starts cheering wildly when a familiar face flashes on the overhead monitors. It's an old friend from Riverdale High School! “Archer St. Christopher Andrews, Mary Elizabeth Cooper, Veronica Lodge-Andrews, Forsythe Jerome Jones, Reginald Mantle III, Trevor Smith, Kevin Keller and Topaz Braithwaite: This is the President of the United States speaking." Commander-in-Chief Nancy Woods-Watanabe addresses The Archies on a live feed from the White House: “America loves you, and you know that I love all of you, too. Don’t ever stop rockin’ us!” No one present that night will ever forget the ear-splitting, five-minute roar of approval that greeted the President's words.


In January, AARP features The Archies on its magazine cover as role models for senior citizens. That same month, they make the cover of Time. In February, NARAS honors them with a long-overdue Lifetime Achievement Award; these are the first of many honors that start flowing in a steady stream. Their final TV appearances (the first a tribute to songwriter Laura Nyro and the second an "MTV Unplugged" special) pull big ratings; critics rain praise on their performances, and both shows are nominated for Emmy awards.  In June, they take a much-deserved group vacation in Ibiza. Relaxing nude under the palm trees are Archie and Roni, Jughead and Toni Topaz, Betty and Anderson Cooper, and Kevin and Clayborne Walker-Keller. Trevor Smith and Christina Angel are there, too, as well as Reginald and Olga San Quentín (sadly, it’s the last time the group will ever see her). However, this a working vacation; the group has important business matters to take care of.

After donning shorts and tees, The Archies meet in the grand conference room of Hotel Mirador, they vote Toni into the group as a full-fledged member. Reginald and Trevor vote to return from their extended hiatuses. Then, all present vote to disband as a group! Minutes later, the former bandmates vote to reunite as a corporation.

Archies, Incorporated will control all marketing of the group’s images and music catalog. “The first release under our new arrangement will be Amisha Patel’s concert film,” Archie announces. “The second will be the DVD album of the farewell tour. By this time next year, we’ll have confirmed other projects.” “I don't think you'll have to wait that long,” Betty interjects. She drops her bombshell: She has written a complete account of the farewell tour! Not only that, she’s put together a detailed history of the group. That's the “cookbook” she was working on between tour dates.

“I’d like to publish it under the Archies, Incorporated imprint,” she states. “Amisha Patel is going to provide concert stills, and from my personal collection, I will add dozens of snapshots.” Betty spreads several of those photos out on the conference table; some date back to high school, and the group’s founding by Archie, Juggy and Gino as a Rockabilly trio. Laughing and reminiscing at the sight of their younger selves, The Archies are overcome by nostalgia. “Ooh, Juggy,” laughs Toni, pointing to a Polaroid of her husband wearing his famous beanie. “You dressed so badly back then! But I still thought you were the cutest boy at Riverdale High.”


Betty distributes copies of her manuscript. “My book doesn’t pull any punches,” she warns. “It presents us just as we are, warts and all: Drinkin', fightin', cheatin', divorcin' and skankin' around! But it isn’t sensational or vindictive.  It's just a hella great story! It’s colorful, and sexy and exciting and funny and sad, all at the same time. It’s the life we’ve lived together.  I think it’s pretty damn special."

So do all her group mates after they finish reading it. “Bettykins, half the time I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe,” Roni tells her. “The other half, I was clutching a dripping wet handkerchief.” She gives her BFF a warm hug. “Thank you for saying such lovely things about me, and about Daddy and Mother.” Trev steals a kiss from his high school squeeze: “You are something else, Betts. Not only did you take my virginity, you took Archie’s, too! Maybe I had to share your sweet poontang with him, but that’s OK. I’ll always be glad you were my first time.” Caressing his cheek fondly, Betty replies: “I’m glad you were my first time.” Ex-husband Jughead takes her hand. “I think I finally understand why we broke up,” he smiles sadly. “Toni is my heart and soul now, but I’ll never, ever stop loving you.”

The group members vote unanimously to endorse the manuscript, and Betty’s group biography is officially named the third Archies, Incorporated project. At the end of one week, the working vacation ends like countless others before it have: With a wild, no-swimsuits-allowed, private pool party!


Back to the Future . . .
There’ll be more cause for celebration when the concert film breaks box office records, Betty’s book tops the best-seller lists, and the live three-record set becomes the band’s second consecutive Number One album! But those triumphs will be preludes to painful reflection for Reginald Mantle III. Exactly one year after the Ibiza retreat, Olga San Quentín suffers heart failure in the midst of choreographing a new dance routine for Dulce de Fuego. Thousands of wailing fans attend her funeral; the President of México declares Olga one of the nation’s greatest songwriters, on a par with Agustín Lara, Juan Gabriel and José Alfredo Jiménez. In the months following her cremation, a grief-stricken Gino abandons his career and becomes reclusive. “The money, the music, the fans . . . none of it means anything without my Olguita!” he sobs.

Responding to a desperate call from Reginald's son Dante Carmine, Kevin and Clayborne Walker-Keller fly down to his hacienda in México City. With a combination of tough love and TLC, they pull the despondent widower back from the brink. “Please don’t leave me,” Gino begs them after a week. “We’ve got to leave,” Kelly replies, “but guess what, dude? You’re coming with us!” Clay agrees: “Yes, you really need to get away from here for a while. Dante thinks so, too. I know you’ll love our home in Taos.” Gino also loves their goofy teenage sons, Penn and Teller; but most of all, he loves living with his BFFs. Reginald soon realizes that he’s fallen deeply in love with both men!

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Years ago, during the time he was suspended from The Archies, they’d enjoyed a single three-way romp in bed. Afterwards, he told himself: “Never again.” His feelings were too intense! He craved something more from Kevin and Clayborne than just sexual gratification; but he’d just gotten involved with Olguita, and he certainly didn’t want to interfere with what the Walker-Kellers had together. He couldn’t stay away from them, though: Whenever he visited their Riverdale home with Olga and Mike Pellerito, an orgy was inevitable!

Now, finally, he dares to let the depth of his feelings be known: Tengo tres corazones: Mi Olguita y los dos de usted. The night he confesses his love, the three men make passionate love together until dawn breaks. At one point, Gino requests that Kelly and Clay perform a double penetration on him. “No,” Clay says firmly. “That’s too dangerous.“ He reaches for two condom packets. “Let’s do it the sensible way. Kelly will shag you while you shag me.” Sandwiched between the husbands, Reginald feels enveloped in pure love; he experiences ecstasy like never before! After all three men climax, Clay lays his head on Gino's chest and whispers: “Now you can’t go home.” Gino agrees, kissing Kevin’s shoulder. “I am at home.”


It takes three months to make all the arrangements; then Kevin and Clayborne both exchange fidelity vows with Reginald. Plural marriage still isn't legal in the 2030s, so their wedding is officially called a Holy Union. As a wedding gift, Anderson and Betty Cooper fly them to Tahiti for the ceremony. Afterwards, Betty confides: "I love Andy so much; but if I were married to both him and Juggy at the same time, I'd be the happiest woman alive. Some people don't understand your kind of love, but believe me, I do. God bless you!"

Clay, Kelly and Gino will live out the rest of their lives together as America’s most famous poly-amorous same-sex couple. Naturally, the Walker-Keller-Mantles become strong advocates for plural marriage, but they prove that their expanded concept of family isn't just about sex: They’ll take turns caring for AIDS-stricken Devon Sweetbottom in the final stages of his illness.

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Also in 2034: Trev Smith’s actor son Trevor Angel stars in a smash hit remake of Black Belt Smackdown! The original 2007 film was Archie’s only starring role on screen. In 2035, Jesse Hipp, the youngest son of Timothy Garland is named chief administrator of prestigious Riverdale Music Academy. Shortly afterwards, founding administrators Archer and Veronica Lodge-Andrews announce their retirement from active roles at the school.

Just before they relocate permanently to a vacation home in Italy, the Riverdale city council votes to rename the town’s main drag Lodge-Andrews Boulevard. “My uncle Archie and Aunt Roni put this town on the map,” declares Mayor Delaney Cabot at the ceremony. (She’s the daughter of Gospel singer Valerie Smith Cabot as well as the niece of Trevor Smith). “First, as members of The Archies; then as founders of Riverdale Music Academy; and finally as humanitarians who have helped countless victims of terrorist violence. They are not only town treasures, but national treasures!”

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At this point, our insight into the future gets hazy. We can’t say for sure what happens after Arch and Roni leave Riverdale; but what do you bet Archie has one more great solo album left in him? That Josie James’s new band Jozetta becomes the next U2? That Sabrina’s Witch Queen Studios (with its mad groovy haunted house décor) will make her one rich witch? That director Raj Patel will keep pushing the sex and nudity envelope? That LaDiva Garland will keep finding submissive father figures to help promote her career? That Betty and Anderson Cooper will consider the plural marriage option? And that Laura Pinto will have her wicked way with Gino's rock hard ass just one more time?

Roni's driving through the city tonight
Through the lights in a hot new rented car
She joins The Archies in her heavy machine
It's a scene on Lodge-Andrews Boulevard
Say goodbye to Riverdale
Say goodbye, my baby
Say goodbye to Riverdale
Say goodbye, my baby

So many faces in and out of her life
Some will last, some will just be now and then
Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
And she knows it's time for goodbye again
Say goodbye to Riverdale
Say goodbye, my baby
Say goodbye to Riverdale
Say goodbye, my baby*

*excerpt from “Together We Two”, words and music by
Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. Copyright 1970 Sony/ATV Songs/
Steeplechase Music (BMI). "Say Goodbye to Riverdale", based on
"Say Goodbye to Hollywood", words and music by Billy Joel,
copyright 1976 Joelsongs (ASCAP).

"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 of Archie and his friends is dedicated to the memory, talent and bawdy humor of Harry Lucey, the finest "Archie" artist there ever was.