18 March 2015

Mama Can't Buy You Love: Part Six

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Sabrina + The New Archies
Mama Can't Buy You Love
Cartoons + Castanets presents the conclusion
of a bawdy cartoon burlesque featuring
fan art images based on
Archie Comics Characters
Burlesque written, directed and staged by
Donny Hampton Jacobs
for The Pop Culture Cantina

The story so far . . . Veronica and Archie Andrews want a new Rock group to carry on the legacy of The Archies.  They ask Boston-based producer Bree Spellman (AKA Sabrina the Sorceress) to create The New Archies: Garcy Briseño on guitar!  Donna Dante on bass!  Frankie Fujiyama on drums!  Mal Hypster on tambourine and harmonica!  Toby Maxx on saxophone; and Rikki Ninja on keyboards!  This band is a non-stop hit factory from the years 2038-42, cutting four best-selling albums, fourteen hit singles and a Grammy-winning Broadway cast recording.  

Romantic entanglements inside the band are inevitable: Garcy pursues an abortive relationship with Ninja; Dee Dee dates up and ultimately gets jilted by Fuji; and Chi (Mal Hypster) begins a stormy off-and-on romance with Toto (Toby Maxx).  Fuji quits in 2040 to become an actor; ten years later, he dies in a movie set accident.  Dee Dee quits in '41 to found her own band.  When Garcy goes solo in 2042, The New Archies break up for the first time.  

With Punk Rock guitarist Lana Suzuki taking Garcy's place, Mal Hypster switching to drums, and Ninja stepping up to the mike, the band reunites five years later.  Between 2047 and 2052, a Bree Spellman-compiled hits collection goes Double Platinum, a Number One hit and six more singles score high on the charts, and a wildly successful concert tour pushes a controversial album straight to the top.  Even so, The New Archies score far fewer hits the second time around.  High-profile failures include an ill-conceived TV series and soundtrack. 

In 2051, arranger/conductor Ramsay Khalid Sharma signs on as The New Archies' music director.  Later, he meets and fell in love with Donna Dante; but when he first starts working with the group, she isn't there! Dee Dee had quit a second time in 2049 amid more relationship drama:  Ninja dated up group manager Lyle Jason Blossom and had a son with him; their bond was deepened by LJB's revelation that he, like Ninja, is Transsexual!  Yet, they later became estranged. Chi and Toto got engaged to marry, but the couple bickered more than ever.  During this same period, Lana Suzuki came off the road to care for her aged mother. 

 Dee Dee's ex-bandmates go their separate ways again in 2053:  Susu becomes manager of Bree Spellman's Witch Queen Studios; Chi begins recording children's music; struggling with alcohol addiction, Toto dissolves his production partnership with Rikki Ninja and strikes out on his own; and Ninja launches a solo career in Europe.  Circumstantial evidence convinces him that Lyle Jason Blossom wants to harm their child; he forbids LJB to touch Nero!  The wrongly-accused father returns to Boston: distraught at separation from his son, bewildered by Ninja's suspicions, and moving painfully toward gender transition.
  
Carmen Serna, LJB's half-sister, is a witch, a voodoo priestess, and a has-been Disco diva!  Rejected for membership in The New Archies, she and her Hound from Hell, The Abominable Miss Fang, have stalked the group through all its ups and downs.  Insanely jealous of Donna Dante (rival for the affections of her late husband, Frankie Fujiyama), Carmen nearly killed her in the year 2050! Sabrina's animal friends Salem the Cat and Nero the Dog died valiantly trying to save Dee Dee.  In the end, only Bree Spellman could stay her murderous hand!  

Elected Witch Queen by the Universal Coven, Sabrina attempts to ban Carmen from the earthly realm; however, the evil sorceress outwits her and goes into hiding.  The world believes her dead, but she's anything but: From her secret sanctum, the Wicked Witch of New Jersey plots an ultimate revenge on Bree and the super group she founded!

Part Six:
The Truth About Pattycake Blossom
The Year 2054
Gossip websites are buzzing with reports of La Chupacabra, a beautiful Latina prostitute who specializes in blowjobs! She services rich and famous men who live in the Northeastern USA; but disturbingly, some of her clients vanish without a trace! Even more disturbing: The disappearances are reportedly preceded by the fearsome baying of a wild beast! No one can describe La Chupacabra, except that she always appears dressed in head-to-toe black lace. The buzz about her arouses Salem Saberhagen’s suspicions: He wonders if The Wicked Witch of New Jersey has somehow escaped from The Seventh Void? Dude alerts Sabrina in the Sorcerer’s Realm, but the preoccupied Witch Queen seems to brush off his concern.

Lana Suzuki finally convinces Mal Hypster to try producing his own solo album. Getting him into Witch Queen Studios’ famous skeleton head control booth is like pulling teeth; but once there, dude becomes a whirlwind of activity! He throws himself wholeheartedly into singing lead and background, arranging both music and voices, playing piano, guitar, drums and percussion, and conducting Succubus, the all-woman (and all-vampire!) house band. “Give me more passion, Drusilla,” he instructs the organist. “Bite down hard on that chord progression!”

Chi hires the delightful Clitoris Club to join him on backing vocals.  Now based in the United States, May, Kay and Fay Clitoris fly up from New York City for the sessions. The group gets nervous when some of the vampire women eye them hungrily; but otherwise, the dates run smoothly.  Unexpectedly, some of Witch Queen’s infamous denizens lend a hand: The authentic-sounding insect chirps on “The Lonely Cricket” are provided by bats nesting in the studio rafters; spicy zombie handclappings embellish “Hey! Little One”; and “The Big Boat” features a quartet of funky phantoms moaning in harmony! Hearing these tracks later, Lana Suzuki laughingly calls them “on-the-spot Goth mixes.” The project becomes a family affair when Chi’s sister Cass and famous sister-in-law Garcy Briseño contribute background parts to the tracks “Young Love” and “Little By Little”. Big brother Jesse Hipp will pen the CD liner notes.

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All tracking for Malachi’s Big Boat is completed in less than one week. Then Chi spends over four months with sound engineer Corky Clayton, mixing them down to his satisfaction! “If you’d produced the KitschANNETTE album,” Susu later chides, “I bet it still wouldn’t be ready for release! You’re a damn perfectionist, aren’t you?” Dude shrugs and smiles. “I guess I’ve been a frustrated producer all this time. I contributed a lot to Toto + Ninja’s productions, but I never wanted to impose my ideas on them! Totes and I were already fighting at home; who needed to throw creative differences into the mix, too? So I willingly took a back seat; but it feels good now to finally be in control!”

Mal Hypster’s solo album is the first release on Salem Saberhagen’s Blue Cat label. The Rockabilly-tinged set gets glowing reviews, but sales are sluggish.  Salem isn't worried.  “It may not sell fast,” he predicts, “but it’s going to sell big. Wait and see!” The formerly feline sorcerer is right on the money: Malachi’s Big Boat will never break Top Forty, but it will stay on the Juvenile Pop chart for years! In 2059, the disc will go Gold; by 2063, it will have earned a Platinum Record award.

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Love Vibrations
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Lucky Me
(I’m Just Your) Puppet On A String
The Lonely Cricket
Fallin’ In Love Is Fun
Young Love
Somebody Likes You
Hey! Little One
Anyone Can Be Anything
Little By Little
My Singin’ Guitar
Sweet Saturday Night
The Big Boat
(Cal Cagno, Goldberg)
Malachi’s Big Boat
Mal Hypster
with Clitoris Club
A Witch Queen Production
Music Supervision: Salem Saberhagen
Produced and Directed by
Malachi Hipp
Executive Producer: 
Lana Suzuki
Recorded @ Witch Queen Studios
Sound Engineer: Corky Clayton
#59 Juvenile Pop Albums

Ramsay Khalid Sharma proposes to Donna Dante. She joyfully accepts! Once they announce their engagement, paparazzi hardly give the betrothed couple a moment’s peace. “Oh, well!” Dee Dee sighs, pulling down the shade on her bedroom window. “If they weren’t out there, I’d probably be complaining. I never pretended I didn’t want to be a star!” Caressing her hard nipples from behind as his throbbing penis enters her twat, Ram chuckles and tenderly nuzzles his fiancée’s neck. “You’ll always be the star of my show, baby,” he murmurs. When explicit photos of the couple’s lovemaking session show up on YouTube, RKS is appalled; but Dee Dee is too happy to even care. “A man and woman expressing their love: Is that so shocking?,” she whispers, tracing the curve of his lips with one finger. “Let them leer at us if they want to! I’m not ashamed to be seen with you in any context.”

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Sexually, temperamentally, even musically, she and Ram are a perfect match! His large Thai/Indian family takes to her immediately, and she embraces them with equal warmth. “It feels like I’ve finally found home!” Dee Dee beams. The couple marries up in Mumbai with the rest of The New Archies in attendance; even Garcy Briseño shows up!  There’s quite a scare when the wedding party’s international flight nearly collides with another plane; but they land safely, thanks to a certain Witch Queen!

Unsure about Carmen Serna’s whereabouts since Salem Saberhagen's warning about La Chupacabra, Sabrina has decided to keep tabs on Donna Dante:  "Other than me, there's nobody Carmen hates more than her husband's ex-girlfriend!"  Observing the wedding preparations from afar in her magic crystal, Bree acts quickly to avert disaster.  
“With the cat’s cradle of magic spells I’ve cast around Dee Dee," she muses, "nothing can happen to her that I won’t know about in advance.”  There's no evidence that Carmen was responsible for the plane mishap, but that fact does little to quell Salem's suspicions.  "I'm not a cat anymore," he admits, "but I can still smell rotten fish a mile away!"

At long last, Lyle Jason Blossom publicly identifies as female! She comes out of the closet as Transsexual to everyone she knows. Babe loses more than a few friends, but naturally, all of The New Archies are supportive. Finally dressing in a gender-appropriate manner, LJB renames herself. She is now CKB: Cleopatra Kaitlyn Blossom! “It’s a mouthful for sure,” she laughs, “so just call me Patsy Kate.” However, little Nero has his own idea about what to call Mommy! When Patsy Kate Blossom tries to teach him her new name over a long-distance phone call, he’s overcome by a fit of giggles. Pointing gleefully at his mother’s image on the vidscreen, the two-year old yelps: “Pattycake! Pattycake!” Mommy loves it! Daddy Ninja does, too. The nickname sticks!

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Original Archies member Veronica Lodge-Andrews dies heroically in South Africa. She was helping her daughter, Dr. Maya Andrews, triumph over the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history! Despite stringent precautions, Roni contracted the virus and expired within hours of falling ill. Grief-stricken but sanguine, Dr. Maya consoles herself: “At least Mom didn’t suffer for very long!” The news makes world headlines; thousands of Archies fans go into mourning.

For public health reasons, Veronica's body is immediately cremated; when her husband finds out, he is devastated! “Her beautiful raven hair! Her silky skin! I’ll never touch it again!” he wails. Veronica's cousin Leroy (also a doctor) administers a sedative and then puts through an emergency call to Salem Saberhagen: “Archie needs his old friends with him now. Please get in touch with as many as you can!  I’ll fly them to Riverdale at my personal expense.” Jughead, Betty and several other Riverdale High School alumni rally around Arch at the Lodge mansion. Over time, they will help him come to grips with Roni's tragic death. Salem assists Leroy with funeral arrangements; naturally, her memorial is held at the Riverdale Music Academy she and Archie co-founded.

Husband and wife Anderson and Betty Cooper give a joint eulogy. “Veronica was a girl who had everything”, Andy states. “She had brains, beauty, musical talent, money, power, and the skills necessary to use power effectively. As a business woman, she was every bit as tough as her late father, Hiram Lodge: Roni took no prisoners! Some people were afraid of her; others assumed she was a snob. But Roni wasn’t scary, not really (there’s laughter from the crowd), and she certainly didn’t look down her nose at the less fortunate. Wealthy peers got on her nerves more often than not! She felt more comfortable around working-class folks. That’s how she became my wife’s best friend.”

Betty nods and continues: “In recent years, Roni spent most of her time caring for the poor and the sick. This led to the tragic circumstances that took her life; but if she could speak to us now, I know she’d have no regrets! She’d risk her life again without hesitation, just to help people in need. That’s the kind of woman she was: Brave, kind, giving, and passionate about her beliefs! Friendship was one of things Veronica believed in most. Often, she and I had the kind of knock-down, drag-out fights that end friendships! Afterwards, I’d never want to see her again; but she always found ways to remind me how much we loved each other. Roni would bend over backwards and do anything to patch things up between us. Well, almost anything . . . she drew the line at sharing her boyfriend!”

Smiling down at Archie in the front row, Betty Cooper ends her speech with tears streaming down her face: “For Veronica, friendship was forever; and so was marriage to her beloved Archiekins! It was love at first sight, from the first day they met in junior high school. Believe me, I know, because I was there! I think the only person who’ll miss Roni more than her husband and daughter is me: We were closer than sisters! Today, I’m saying goodbye to a member of my family, and God is welcoming home an angel.”

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During the course of 2054, Mal Hypster and Toby Maxx reconcile, break up, and reconcile again!  No longer in partnership with Rikki Ninja, Toto watches his independent production company flounder.  He only produces one hit record all year, Kansas City Corruption’s “Health Department Payoff Blues”!  His artist clientele has dried up, but that’s only partially due to his drunkenness in the studio; the genre he excels most in, neo-Hip-Hop, is losing popularity. Conversely,Chi’s career as a children’s music artist is slowly building strength. “Hey! Little One” and “Sweet Saturday Night”, both cuts from Malachi’s Big Boat, are well on their way to becoming Preteen Pop standards; Rock Candy Satellite Radio spins the songs several times a day.

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Oh, Sweet Suzy!/Oh, Baby! (Don’t Let It Get You Down)
(Cal Cagno, Foster, Goldberg)/(Cal Cagno, Goldberg)
Mal Hypster
Produced and Directed by
Malachi Hipp

Dude records another unreleased Archies song written by Neil Brian Goldberg: It’s a hard-rocking adaptation of the Stephen Foster folk favorite “Oh! Suzannah.” The harmonies of Clitoris Club blend seamlessly with Chi's high tenor delivery, and the undead ladies of Succubus set his rhythm track on fire! Despite her packed schedule, Lana Suzuki manages to contribute a truly awesome lead guitar solo. “Susu laid that sucker down in one take!”, Chi marvels. “Eddie Van Halen himself couldn’t have played it better . . . or faster!” Pressed up as an old-fashioned vinyl single, “Oh, Sweet Suzy!” fails to chart; however, its music video, infested with dancing hamsters, is extremely popular with kids. Mal Hypster performs his new record and selections from his solo album in a series of children’s music concerts that are very well-received.

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2055-56
Witch Queen Sabrina appears to Salem Saberhagen and dispatches him to a secret location in Hoboken. There, in an abandoned vampire’s tomb, he finds an emaciated Frankie Fujiyama: Alive, naked, covered in bullwhip scars, and restrained in a lewd manner! Standing guard over him is Carmen Serna’s Hell Hound, The Abominable Miss Fang! When she leaps to the attack, Salem instantly reclaims his feline form. "What’s a matter, bitch?” he taunts. “You want some more Cream of Whip Ass? Didn’t you get enough last time?" He savagely claws the monstrous Rottweiler on her nose; bellowing in pain, she vanishes in a burst of fire and brimstone! "Bring Fuji to me," Sabrina commands. Seconds later in the Sorcerer's Realm, she puts the delirious actor under a Spell of Forgetfulness; dude will remember none of the excruciating sexual torture he suffered at his wife's hands!

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"Carmen covered her tracks so well, even I was misled," Bree admits. "But her kind of skill at creating optical illusions can take a witch just so far! Tracking her down was only a matter of time." "Let's bag that murdering skank right now!" Salem urges, but the Witch Queen cautions patience. "When a sorceress goes insane, backing her into a corner can endanger a lot of innocent lives. She and that demonic dog of hers have already killed enough people!  Now that we've rescued Fuji from her clutches, she'll surface soon enough. And when she does . . . " Bree gestures, and chilling laughter erupts all around them! Salem grins wickedly: The Universal Coven has sealed Carmen Serna's fate! "Revert to your human form and return to the earthly realm," Sabrina tells him. "Await further instructions from me!  Fuji will remain here for now."

Changing her birth certificate to indicate female gender, Patsy Kate Blossom prepares to complete her transition. She undergoes minor cosmetic surgery, having decided against so-called sex change procedures: “Can an artificial vagina make me any more female than I already am?” she asks. “No way!” Sadly, during this time of spiritual renewal, Pattycake learns that her cancer has returned. “It’s very aggressive,” her doctor adds somberly. “I’m afraid that it’s already spread to your bones.” Options for treatment are slim, so she resolves to face her fate bravely. “At least I won’t die as Lyle Jason Blossom!” Pattycake reminds herself. “I’ll live out the rest of my life as the woman I was meant to be.”

She tells no one about her grim diagnosis, but Carmen Serna learns of it via their psychic connection. The Wicked Witch of New Jersey is ecstatic: “One less Blossom heir to kill!” Carmen is the one who's been threatening little Nero’s life; acting under her hypnotic command, Lyle Jason Blossom was forced to attack his own baby! Fortunately, deep love for his son always stayed Lyle’s hand at the last minute. “Ninja may have thought sending Lyle away would save their son,” Carmen rants, “but Poodle Boy's days are still numbered!"

 Having learned that Nero Blossom is the reincarnation of her enemy Nero the Dog, she's more determined than ever to kill him!  
The Jersey City Sorceress arranges to have the boy murdered in Paris.  "That red-headed brat is toast," she rasps with an evil grin. "And French Toast is what's for breakfast tomorrow morning!”  After both Pasty Kate and Nero Blossom are gone, Carmen plans a miraculous return from the dead; then she’ll lay sole claim to Jason Blossom’s billions!  

The following day, Nero is kidnapped! The abduction occurs while Rikki Ninja and his son are visiting the Eiffel Tower. A confederate of Carmen Serna rips the boy from Ninja’s arms and tries to fling him over the side! This confederate is none other than Tara Nation Faws, Sabrina’s ex-production assistant! Now a depraved meth addict, she has fallen under Carmen’s evil control. A heroic gendarme intervenes and manages to rescue Nero; during a fierce fight with him, the would-be kidnapper falls to her death instead! “Our former remix producer!” Ninja gasps, shaking his head in disbelief. “Then Lyle wasn't responsible for hurting Nero after all. I’ve made such an awful mistake!” Contrite to the point of distraction, he telephones Pattycake and apologizes: “Forgive me, mamacita; how could I ever have suspected you? Our son needs his mommy. Please come home!”   The traumatized Transsexual family has a tearful reunion in London.

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After talking about it for months, Donna Dante and her husband, Ramsay Khalid Sharma, finally take the stage together: “Let’s give it up for Sharmante!” At a charity event for homeless LGBT elders, the couple performs old Phil Spector hits, as well as borrowed repertoire from The New Archies, The Archies and Donna + The Motherf*ckers, Dee Dee’s fondly-remembered Punk Rock trio. They also take solo turns, allowing Ram to unfurl his rumbling Blues growl. “Your gritty kind of singing voice is just what The New Archies were missing,” his adoring wife raves. “I loved to hear Ninja sing “Lady Jane” and “Jacksonville Station”, but his versions can’t touch yours! Don’t take my word for it, baby: Just listen to that applause!”  Yet the biggest hit of their show is Del Shannon’s “Stand Up!” The long-lost rocker was a breakout near-hit when The Motherf*ckers’ cut it for their 2044 Runaway Love album.

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Sir Ambrose Nixon and some other backers conceive a children’s TV show. Much to Mal Hypster’s surprise, they ask him to host it! “This is something along the lines of your latest music video,” Sir Ambrose explains, referring to “Oh, Sweet Suzy!" “Kids enjoy the Hell out of watching you sing and dance with giant rodents!  We’ve elaborated on that concept by placing it in a Damon Runyonesque setting; imagine Guys And Dolls performed by petting zoo animals!  You'd be known as Uncle something-or-other, sort of a cross between Mother Goose and Nathan Detroit.” Chi is dubious:  "No sh*t?"  However, after watching a pilot TV episode filmed with a stand-in host, he changes his mind. Dude collapses with laughter as frantic dancers in hamster costumes Krump and Twerk to songs from Malachi's Big Boat!  “OK, maybe it could work,” he allows. “But can we try this show out in a live setting first? Kids are unpredictable; they might not go for this Guys And Dolls thing.  If that's the case, let's find out on stage before spending thousands of dollars on a TV series that flops!"  

Recalling "For Pete's Sake," The New Archies' failed TV show from 2049, Chi is understandably wary; however, his misgivings prove unfounded.  Mounted in the summer of 2055, The Uncle Hypster Show tours for three months and breaks the box office bank! The amusingly renamed Mal Hypster and his gyrating menagerie of furry hoodlums touch off juvenile pandemonium in city after city. In September, the delighted concert promoter gives Sir Ambrose the option to extend Chi’s tour. “Tour extension, like f*ck-all!” he thunders. “You’ve made more than enough money. It’s time for us to stop mucking about and get this show on the air!” After three hectic months of fine-tuning for a TV audience, “Uncle Hypster and His Hamster Hipsters” debuts on the fledgling Whoopie cable network. It becomes an instant ratings smash!  Chi's big sister Cass can't stop teasing him:  "Pee Wee Herman lives!

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Embarking on what will be a lengthy television career does nothing to ease Mal Hypster’s strained relations with Toby Maxx. After yet another screaming match, Chi angrily breaks off their engagement. In response, Toto goes on a drunken binge and crashes his custom Groove-A-Cycle down a ravine! Waking up in Beth Israel Hospital with serious burns and multiple fractures, the first thing he sees is the face of his estranged fiancé. “Malachi! You’ve come back to me,” he stammers. “I always come back to you, Totes,” Chi sighs. “I’m just the yo-yo you’ve got wound around your finger.”

“And isn’t it the truth?” a bitter voice interjects. Lana Suzuki stands near the door, frowning at them. “The two of you have honed the art of playing emotional games to such a fine point, it's literally painful,” she fumes. “You have a classic co-dependent relationship. Enablers, both of you! Toto, you enable Chi to behave like a hormone-crazed teenager. Chi, you enable Toto to drown himself in a Jack Daniels bottle. You fight and break up, you kiss and make up, and then you start the same bloody cycle all over again! A bit of a bore by now, isn’t it?”

Mal Hypster is the one frowning now. “Susu, maybe now isn’t the time . . . “ She shakes her head impatiently. “Yes, it is, Chi! Mum’s sudden illness and death taught me that when something needs to be said, there’s no time to waste. Tomorrow may be too late!” “It may not always seem so,” he protests, “but I do love this man dearly.” Susu gets in his face! “Do you, now?" she snaps. "Then why don’t you stop thinking with your little head all the time?  If I didn't know better, I'd swear your brain was hanging between your legs.  It isn’t that you can’t be true; you just don’t choose to be! Can't you see how it hurts him so?”

Her next observation cuts Chi to the quick: “Uncle Hypster is an icon to millions of children! What kind of role model is he? Gawd, you just shagged half the male roster of the World Wrestling Federation!  Everybody's gossiping about it.  What’s going to happen when your private behavior becomes public? Have you thought about that?” Abruptly, Susu shifts her wrath to Chi's bedridden lover: “And as for you, stop using relationship issues as an excuse to get arseholed!  No matter what Chi may do, you can't blame him for what you’re doing to yourself. You’ve ruined your professional reputation; Ninja is the only artist who’ll consent to work with you anymore.  Drowning your sorrows at the bottom of a shot glass bloody doesn’t work! You almost killed yourself this time. Is that what you want?”

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Fighting back angry tears, she turns to leave the room. “I’m saying all this because I love both of you so very much", she sighs. "But if it’s really love between you two, I’ve yet to be convinced! Nearly five years engaged, and still not married? That’s ludicrous! Nobody here is waiting for a soldier to return home from war. Nobody’s saving up money to buy a house.  Nobody’s waiting for their parents’ blessing.  Perhaps you don’t really want to tie the knot? Stop your game-playing, then! Woman up, lads, and have the courage to admit it. It’s time to either take a sh*t or get off the f*cking chamber pot!”

Properly chastened, Mal Hypster and Toby Maxx look desperately into each other’s eyes. “What do you want to do?” Chi asks. “I just wanna keep it together!” Toto sobs, embracing his future husband. “I don’t know if you’ll ever be faithful. I don’t know if I’ll ever get completely sober. I do know that if I let you slip away, I’ll have been better off dead at the bottom of that ravine!”

The two men clasp hands tightly like they did the first night they made love; their engagement rings shimmer in the soft morning light that filters through the window. “I just can’t get this f*cking ring off,” Chi whispers. “Does that mean I’m gonna have to marry up a damn Republican prude? ”Tenderly, Toto cups his lover’s tear-stained face in bandaged hands. “You bet your sweet ass that's what it means; and I’m gonna have to exchange vows with a slutty Democrat. So shut the f*ck up, and kiss me!”

2057
On the 20th anniversary of The New Archies’ founding, the band regroups to record a farewell album. It will be a tribute to Neil Diamond, and much to everyone’s surprise, the concept originates with Punk rocker Donna Dante! “I got to love Neil’s songs when we recorded our Monkees tribute,” she explains. “People hang an MOR tag on his music, but I think it can work in an edgier setting. For years now, I’ve been wanting to put my stamp on his song catalog. It’s now or never!” Salem Saberhagen bids for and wins the release rights; the double-length album will appear under his Blue Cat imprint, by now one of the most successful independent labels in the music business.

Mal Hypster excitedly tells Pop diva Garcy Briseño about the reunion project.  His sister-in-law's reaction floors him: She wants to take part! “Why now and not in the past?” he wants to know.  Garcy’s reply is typically blunt: “Did you think I’d put my solo career on hold while the rest of you tried to make lightning strike twice? Not hardly! But this time it's different; you're saying goodbye to our fans. The New Archies is where I became a star, so it’s only proper that I be there for the final bow.” However, Garcy being Garcy, she imposes strict conditions on her participation! “I will sing on four songs only," she declares.  "I will sing lead on all four! I will choose which Neil Diamond songs I want to sing. I will supervise the vocal arrangements. I want a Gospel choir on background vocals. All the songs must be recorded at a studio of my choosing; and the vocals must be completed all at one session!”

That crowded session takes place in March of 2057. The place is historic Sun Studios in Memphis, where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis cut their first records. The songs are “Stones”, “Glory Road”, “Canta Libre” and “Holly Holy”. The Gospel choir is comprised of students from Riverdale Music Academy; and the crowd spilling out onto Union Avenue includes MTV cameramen, entertainment media reporters, paparazzi galore and hundreds of Garcy Briseño’s adoring fans! Arriving at the studio directly from Memphis International Airport, Garcy sweeps into the room like a visiting monarch. A flowing multi-color robe billows around her as she bustles here and there, giving orders. “How pretentious can you get?” Donna Dante fumes. “B*tch must think she’s Charlton Heston starring in The Ten Commandments!”

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Imperiously, the superstar all but takes control of the record date!  Lana Suzuki calmly asserts her authority.  The New Archies' producer admires Garcy’s confidence and forceful personality, but draws a line at getting bulldozed! “She comes on wicked strong, that one,” Susu grins, “but I’m nobody’s pushover. Not for nothing did they used to call me Lana Switchblade!” There are some tense moments, but the band’s original lead guitarist and her replacement end up working well together. With Dee Dee, Rikki Ninja and Mal Hypster joining in on backing vocals, the Sun session is telecast live on MTV.  When The New Archies’ final DVD single is issued, it will contain portions of the video.

The remainder of the album is cut in quieter surroundings: Witch Queen Studios, The New Archies’ recording home from 2038-42. Garcy’s initial choices have influenced the album’s subsequent selections: Every tune comes from Neil Diamond’s incredibly fertile “middle period” of 1968-73. Ramsay Khalid Sharma returns as music director. The group extends Ram an invitation to join, which he respectfully declines; but as one-half of Sharmante, he does sing duet vocals with his wife on “Crunchy Granola Suite”.

Surviving members of The Archies also take turns at the microphone; at the request of their "junior partners", 89-year-old Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper and 90-year-old Jughead Jones fly up to Boston to take part in the sessions. Juggy sings guest lead vocals on “Done Too Soon”, Betty does the honors on “Brooklyn Roads”, and Arch (who no longer sings) plays blistering lead guitar on Dee Dee’s fiery rendition of “Lordy!”

True to her word, Garcy Briseño sings nary another note, but the butch Ballad Queen does lay down some excellent rhythm guitar tracks. As usual, Lana Suzuki sizzles on lead guitar, and Donna Dante’s Fender bass mines a soul-deep groove. Rikki Ninja’s righteous keyboard-playing, Mal Hypster’s down-home harmonica-blowing and Toby Maxx’s mariachi-styled brass arrangements are just as praiseworthy. The band lays down definitive cover versions of “Walk On Water”, “Shilo”, “Brooklyn Roads”, “Two-Bit Manchild”, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” and “Holly Holy”.

MEMPHIS STREETS RECORDING SESSION0001

With characteristic modesty (not!), Garcy evaluates her lead vocal on the latter tune: “My best recording yet! Not only will it be nominated for a Grammy; it’s gonna win!” (She’ll be proven right at the 2058 awards ceremony.) Dilton Doiley’s superstar daughter is a notorious boaster, but never an idle one; when "Holly Holy" is previewed on The New Archies' website, critics fall over themselves raving about it! New Musical Express declares her performance “fabulous.” Variety echoes Garcy’s prediction of a Grammy nomination. Cashbox’s reviewer opts for Biblical imagery: “An angelic voice, fronting a heavenly host! Pop singing doesn’t get better than this.” The single version zooms out of the gate on a trip that surely seems bound for #1; then, inexplicably, sales and airplay flatline! “Holly Holy” stalls far outside the Hot 100, and nobody can explain why.  For some reason, both radio and the public turn a cold shoulder; Garcy is so angry, she refuses to even discuss the record!

Nobody wants to talk about the music business anyway: Immediately after the album wraps, everyone flies to Tel Aviv for a mad groovy Gay Jewish wedding! In the months following his release from Beth Israel Hospital, Toby Maxx converted to Judaism. At the same time, Mal Hypster reclaimed his lapsed faith. Studying the Talmud together drew the couple much closer, and they ultimately decided on a traditional marriage ceremony. Escorted down the aisle by their respective fathers (Toto's papa Björn Maxwell and Chi's dad Timothy Garland), the grooms look radiant in white vinyl yarmulkes and color-coordinated suits designed by Stuffed Animal! The officiating Rabbi reads their ketubah and conveys the Seven Blessings.  She delivers her final blessing in a robust voice that rings out over the crowd: “Under this chuppah, may you find family, commitment, faith and love everlasting!” But just before the newlyweds smash ritual wine glasses to spirited yells of mazel tov, tragedy strikes!

“Holy f*cking sh*t!” Donna Dante screams. “Something freaky is rising up out of the sand!” Suddenly, huge desert scorpions are everywhere, striking out with long, poisoned stingers! Panic scatters the wedding party: Chi, Toto and all their guests run for their lives! But there’s no escape from the lightning-fast pincers and deadly stings. When the vicious arachnids finally slink back to their underground lair, they leave behind dozens of swollen bodies: skin covered in bloody wounds, faces frozen in terror! Lying among them are the doomed bridegrooms, their lifeless fingers entwined. As her signature song, “The B*tch Is Back”, blares from the PA system, Carmen Serna’s maniacal laughter rings out over the grisly scene!

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Traveling from the Sorcerer’s Realm in the blink of an eye, Sabrina appears, ready to neutralize Carmen once and for all! Like two Old West gunfighters, the Witch Queen and her former protegée stand silently on opposite ends of the carnage.  They stare each other down, gathering strength for their final battle! Carmen suddenly lifts her arms; slow to the attack, Bree is instantly transformed into a life-sized ice sculpture! Gleefully, the Wicked Witch of New Jersey then topples the frozen sorceress. Hitting the ground with deafening impact, her longtime enemy is smashed to bits! “The Witch Queen is dead,” La Chupacabra shrieks in triumph. “Long live the B*tch Queen!”

Of the large wedding party, only Patsy Kate Blossom and four-year-old Nero have survived!  They are in the act of running away, but Pattycake can only hobble; by this time, terminal cancer has all but crippled her. Before long, mother and son are cornered by Carmen Serna’s satanic pet, The Abominable Miss Fang! Over her fearsome growls, an adorable yelp can be heard: It’s Miss Fang’s pup spawn, the Adorable Fangette! Puppy wants to romp and play, but her demonic mother is in anything but a playing mood. “Settle down,” she barks in dog language, “or I’ll stomp your tiny ass into the ground! I told you before: Never interrupt Mama while she’s working!” As the hulking Rottweiler disciplines her rambunctious baby, Pattycake hugs a sobbing Nero close to her bosom: “Be brave, little man! We’ll face this nightmare together.”

Miss Fang’s murderous owner transports the cowering pair to Egypt, where she has prepared a sacrificial voodoo altar! Atop Mount Sinai, dozens of Carmen Serna’s crazed acolytes writhe and spin as her sardonic theme song echoes through the rocky landscape. “Your brat would have been stillborn if not for Sabrina’s interference,” the Jersey City Sorceress snarls. ”That bleach-blonde cow should have left well enough alone! Your suffering will be all the worse now: Prepare to sacrifice your own child!”

Handing Pattycake a ceremonial knife, Carmen orders her half-sister to cut out Nero’s heart and feed it to her Devil dog! Licking her hideous chops, Miss Fang slobbers in anticipation of the gruesome meal; but with a herculean effort, Patsy Kate Blossom throws off her half-sister’s evil influence one last time!  Heroically, she turns the blade on herself and commits hara-kiri . . . but incredibly, she does not die!

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“Mazel tov!” Glass breaks under the feet of Mal Hypster and Toby Maxx! They complete their wedding ceremony; it was frozen in time while the faraway mountaintop drama unfolded. Sabrina has used Carmen Serna’s favorite trick (optical illusions) against her! Nero is safe! So are Toto, Chi, and their dozens of wedding guests. The nuptials have gone off without a hitch, and no one’s the wiser about the narrowly-avoided tragedy; but a closer look at the wedding party reveals a startling difference! Patsy Kate Blossom had been sitting in the front row, but now she's nowhere to be seen.  Carmen Serna is sitting in her place, with husband Frankie Fujiyama right beside her!  WTF happened?

A Witch Queen is hard to kill, especially when she’s Sabrina the Sorceress! Bree Spellman is the most powerful Head Witch since her mother, Della Nightshade. Carmen Serna never even came close to harming her, much less killing her! What’s more, Bree had the situation well in hand long before Carmen appeared on the scene.  Her superior witchcraft has caused a shift in reality perception, one even more profound than that which concealed La Chupacabra's murderous actions in 2050!  Back then, after saving Donna Dante from certain death at Carmen's hands, Sabrina led the world to believe that both she and Fuji had perished in a movie set explosion.

Patsy Kate Blossom is now remembered as having died of cancer a year ago. Six months later, news broke that Carmen and Fuji were still alive! Miraculously, they survived the blast believed to have killed them both seven years ago. The couple was found together, suffering from amnesia and wandering dazed in a Detroit suburb. After recovering her memory, Carmen was a markedly different woman: Grief over the loss of her half-sister seems to have brought about a sea change in her personality! Close observers note how closely her current demeanor mirrors that of the late heiress. Babe has grown close to Rikki Ninja, and is helping him raise Nero in his mother’s absence. She has also made amends to Donna Dante for past wrongs; incredibly, the former hated rivals are slowly becoming friends!

As for Frankie Fujiyama, he tried to resume his stellar movie career but found his long absence from Hollywood had all but dealt it a death blow. His sensational return to public life has generated plenty of fresh buzz, though: Already, his agent is fielding eager offers from producers and directors. Next year, he’ll return to the Broadway stage in the first of several successful plays. By the end of 2058, Fuji and Carmen will have divorced amicably.  With Donna Dante's heart now claimed by Ramsay Khalid Sharma, all he can ask of her is forgiveness!  "You've got it, Fuji", she'll assure him, "and I don't think you'll be alone for very long."  Dee Dee knows her ex-boyfriend all too well!  Dude will soon turn his amorous attentions to Lana Suzuki; but Susu's black belt karate skills will make him think twice about two-timing a woman again!

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These changes were set in motion when Patsy Kate Blossom sacrificed her life to save Nero! Just as the knife plunged deep, an incantation Sabrina had spoken hours earlier in the Sorcerer’s Realm sent Pattycake’s life essence hurtling into Carmen Serna’s body. Simultaneously, Carmen’s soul was transferred into her half-sister’s body!  Bree used the siblings’ shared bone marrow as the conduit for her spell, just as Carmen had done years before. La Chupacabra’s enraged, bloodcurdling death scream was heard all the way to Jerusalem! The new Carmen Serna (that's Patsy Kate Blossom in Carmen Serna’s body) found herself transported back to the wedding ceremony she’d been attending minutes earlier. Looking down, she saw Nero staring up at her. In his squeaky toddler’s voice, he bleated: “Pattycake?” Tears of joy spilled from her eyes as she bent down to fold the boy into her arms!

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Sabrina’s reality shift now complete, her emerald green eyes appear as a pair of giant glass orbs in the sky!  As they stare down at Pattycake/Carmen’s remains, the body bursts into flame; an instant later, nothing is left but smoking ashes!  Bree then materializes on the mountaintop and, with a sweeping motion, scatters Carmen’s deranged voodoo acolytes to the far ends of the Earth. A ravenous Miss Fang lunges at her, but the Witch Queen steps aside and shouts, “Olé, motherf*cker!” The monstrous Rottweiler plunges through a yawning hole into the Seventh Void! “That’s what I like about Hell Hounds,” Bree quips as the bitch's pitiful howls fade into the distance. “They’re always so eager. As for you,” she says, turning her attention to Miss Fang’s whimpering pup, “you’re much too cute to send to Hell. I have other plans for the Adorable Fangette!”

In time, Rikki Ninja will learn who Carmen Serna really is; but for now, only she and Salem Saberhagen are aware of what has taken place. Far from being traumatized, the former Patsy Kate Blossom is overjoyed at what Sabrina has done; not only has she been given a new lease on life, she is now a female-born woman! “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this miracle!” she gasps. “I can even sing now!” Salem nods and smiles down at her. “A new career as a recording artist awaits you," he predicts. "You deserve it! It’ll make up for all those years you suffered. But how the f*ck am I ever going to get used to calling you Carmen?”

Blue Cat USA 2-1105
Done Too Soon!
Guest lead vocal by Jughead
Holly Holy*
Memphis Streets**
Two-Bit Manchild**
Ain’t No Way!***
Deep In The Morning**
Shilo****
Walk On Water**
Glory Road*
Soo-Lay-Mon****
Lordy!***
featuring Archie, lead guitar
Long Gone
Sung by Riverdale Rock Chorale
Crunchy Granola Suite
featuring Sharmante
Sunday Sun****
Practically Newborn***
River Runs, New Grown Plums****
Stones*
Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show****
And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind**
Sweet Caroline****
I Am, I Said!**
Merry-Go-Round***
Canta Libre*
Brooklyn Roads
Guest lead vocal by Betty
(Neil Diamond)
Neil Diamond Classics
Memphis Streets
The New Archies
*Garcy Briseno and The New Archies
with Riverdale Rock Chorale
**Lead Vocals by Rikki Ninja
***Lead Vocals by Donna Dante
****Lead Vocals by Mal Hypster
Music Supervision: Salem Saberhagen
A New Archies Production
Arranged by The New Archies
Conducted by Ramsay Khalid Sharma
Produced by Lana Suzuki
Recorded @ Sun Studios, Memphis
and Witch Queen Studios, Boston
Sound Engineers:
Corky Clayton and Garry Fawcett
2057
This album will chart belatedly 
in the year 2058 at #16

The New Archies’ Neil Diamond tribute is released in early August of 2057. Just as they’d feared, it gets no better reception in the music marketplace than “Holly Holy”! Memphis Streets looks to be the first of their albums to miss the charts completely. There’s a chorus of mea culpa: Donna Dante blames herself for “coming up with a wack concept!” Toby Maxx thinks his arrangements were “too eclectic”. Lana Suzuki regrets using a “heavy-handed” production style: “I didn't let the music breathe!” Only Rikki Ninja dares to put into words what everybody’s really thinking: “I guess we were right to disband when we did.  The New Archies’ time in the sun has come and gone!” But has it?  None of them realize that The Wicked Witch of New Jersey's revenge is manifesting beyond the grave!

20 YEARS AGO TODAY0001

Back in 2037, Carmen Serna had hexed their début recordings: All of them were flops!  Garcy Briseño broke that hex with her determination to remake a record from the original Archies’ catalog; unawares, she stumbled onto the hex breaker! Wary of reusing a failed means of sabotage, Carmen found various other ways to bedevil the group over the years. However, news of their farewell album sent the crazed voodoo priestess into a blind rage! She decided to make that original hex twenty times more malevolent . . . literally! “No New Archies recording from the past 20 years or the next 20 years will come anywhere near the Hot 100!” she vowed.  Her curse was broad enough to cover their entire recorded output; not even an unreleased track from the vaults could break it. Carmen’s diabolical plan was to utterly destroy The New Archies: Rob the group’s music of its commercial appeal, and then kill off the members themselves with a black magic scorpion attack!

But now, as they prepare for their farewell concert in Boston, something unexpected happens. On August 3rd, the non-album flipside of “Holly Holy” hits the Top Sixty with a bullet. Two weeks later, it’s nudging the Top Forty. Two weeks after that, it breaks Top Ten; and finally on September 6th, the day before the concert, it barrels into the top spot! “I Just Wanna Keep It Together” then lodges at #1 for a whole month, making it the most successful New Archies DVD single ever!  But why did this particular record break La Chupacabra's hex?  What, beside the fact that it doesn't appear on Memphis Streets, was different about it?

Blue Cat 096
I Just Wanna Keep It Together/Holly Holy*
(Paul Davis)/(Neil Diamond)
The New Archies featuring Mal Hypster
Produced by Bree Spellman
Additional Production and Remix by Lana Suzuki
*Garcy Briseño and The New Archies
Produced by Lana Suzuki
#1 Pop/#116 Pop

The answer: It's actually a Mal Hypster solo recording, cut a year before The New Archies came together! Under Bree Spellman’s supervision, Chi had enjoyed a brief solo career in 2035-6. His remake of the 1968 Classics IV hit “Spooky” had charted, and “I Just Wanna Keep It Together” was planned as the follow-up. The New Archies’ 2037 founding cancelled those plans, and the bare-bones track gathered dust in Witch Queen Studios’ tape vault for two decades!

Salem the Cat attended the tracking session, and never forgot how much he loved Chi’s rendition of the Paul Davis tune. When the group was debating what to pair with “Holly Holy” for their final single, the now-human Salem pulled rank: “I want this record on the flipside! You don’t even need to re-cut it. Just overdub backing voices and additional instruments.” Nobody liked that idea, but Blue Cat Records’ CEO was adamant: “Why fix what ain't broke? This is a great lead vocal, and after all, it's only the B-side!  'Holly Holy' is the main event.”

Even with New Archies overdubs, "I Just Wanna Keep It Together" is essentially a Mal Hypster single; Chi’s buttery Country/Soul crooning is unquestionably what sells the song. Carmen Serna’s final curse was nullified when that 21-year-old vocal track struck a chord with barrio music lovers. Sometimes mistaking the record for a Lowrider oldie, Latino couples in California began calling radio request shows to ask for it. Week by week, enthusiasm for its Old School sound swept across the USA.

When the flipped-over DVD single topped the charts, nobody was more surprised than Garcy Briseño! Yet nobody could have been more gracious. “It’s God’s belated wedding present to you and Toto,” she told Chi, hugging him warmly. “Congratulations!” Her brother-in-law could barely contain his joy! "F*cking awesome!", he yelled, pumping both fists in the air. "Dee Dee, Garcy and Ninja have all sung lead on Number One records. About time I had my turn!" Toby Maxx shared both his husband's excitement and his new sister-in-law's opinion:  The song title echoes his own words of reconciliation, spoken in a hospital room months earlier.

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The group's farewell performance takes place on Saturday, September 7th, 2057. Inside the Hatch Memorial Band Shell on Boston’s Esplanade, Donna Dante, Mal Hypster, Toby Maxx, Rikki Ninja, Lana Suzuki and Ramsay Khalid Sharma play a free concert for thousands of post-Labor Day revelers! "We wanted to play the Shell on Labor Day," Toto explained to 7 News's entertainment reporter, "but nobody bumps Boston Pops out of a holiday booking!"  His right-hand man Hornytoad flies them to the Shell in their private helicopter. A second copter brings their on-stage accompanists, The Boston Brass Ensemble. Hundreds of hysterical fans rush to greet The New Archies after they land and debark beside the Charles River; a police escort hurries them backstage. Minutes before they go on, Sabrina the Sorceress materializes in their midst. The Witch Queen is instantly caught up in a tangle of embracing arms; this reunion is long overdue!

Dee Dee formally introduces Bree to her husband. “I’m so pleased that you finally joined the band, Ramsay,” Bree tells him. “You’d have been the perfect replacement for Frankie Fujiyama! I always meant The New Archies to have six members.” Bowing in humble gratitude, Ram says: “I’m ecstatic that you’re here with us for the last show! It’s fitting, since you single-handedly founded this group.” She corrects him: “Oh, no.  Not single-handedly! There was someone else involved.” The Witch Queen snaps her fingers, and Archie Andrews appears in a puff of smoke, rhythm guitar in hand! “I wouldn’t have missed this concert for the world!” he smiles. “And Veronica is here with us, too, in spirit. I can definitely feel her presence.”

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“After the six band members took the stage, dancing the Funky Carmen to 'Willie And The Hand Jive,’” Rolling Stone later reports, “their nearly two-hour set never let down. It rocked hard, even when serving up dubious fare like medleys of Annette Funicello and Petula Clark songs! Singing “Can’t Break The Habit”, Donna Dante proved she is still one of the best belters in the business. Kiddie show host Mal Hypster was in fine voice, especially on crowd favorite “I Just Wanna Keep It Together”. The razor-sharp dance moves of Rikki Ninja and Toby Maxx (once a hit production team) were as energetic as when they played the Riverdale Rock Festival almost two decades ago. New member Ramsay Khalid Sharma was solid on rhythm guitar (he also duetted with wife Donna on “Humpty Dumpty”, “Shambala” and “Wiggle On Out”), and Lana Suzuki’s masterful lead guitar, which hasn’t been heard live in years, was a revelation.”

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Two-thirds of the way through The New Archies’ set, Carmen Serna steps onstage and performs "China Grove" with them. The crowd goes wild for her! Pandemonium breaks out again when surprise guest guitarist Archie replaces Ram on “Sugar, Sugar en Español”. Both Carmen and Archie join in during the finale, a slammin' mashup of “Dirty Water” with “Mama Can’t Buy You Love”. The band’s first hit rates a standing ovation that lasts almost ten minutes! Corky Clayton records the performance; Blue Cat Records will release it in time for the Christmas season. A joyful Nero Blossom sits next to Corky in the sound booth; he claps for his Daddy Ninja and Aunt Pattycake when they take solo turns!  Sitting beside him, his new puppy, The Adorable Fangette, wags a happy tail.

I don't know when it started
Just how long it's been
Or where it began

I never meant to love you
Just turned out that way
Oh, and this is how I want it to stay

I just wanna keep it together
Forever and ever and ever

I can't make a move without you
Yeah, there ain't no way to groove without you
And I don't know what I'd do without you 
To show me the way

I just wanna keep it together
Forever and ever and ever*

Blue Cat 49274-08
Intro:
Willie And The Hand Jive (Johnny Otis)/Humpty Dumpty (Cohen, Rostelli)*
Neil Diamond Medley:
Walk On Water/Memphis Streets/Two-Bit Manchild/Holly Holy
(Neil Diamond)**
Three Dog Night Medley:
Eli’s Coming (Laura Nyro)***/Shambala (Daniel Moore)*/
Never Been To Spain (Hoyt Axton)****/Family Of Man (Conrad, Williams)*****
Can’t Break The Habit (Dozier, Holland)****
Tighter (James, King)*****
Annette Funicello Medley:
Dance Annette/Hey, Mama!/Promise Me Anything/Rock-A-Polka******
(Bob + Dick Sherman)
Petula en Français Medley:
Dans Le Train De Nuit (Clark, Cour)*/Le Coeur Qui Bat (Aber, Clark)****/
La Mer Est Comme Toi (Aber, Clark)**/Un Mal Pour Un Bien (Aber, Clark, Hatch)*****
Wiggle On Out (Jack Scott)*
Sausalito (Graham Gouldman)***
China Grove (Charles Thomas Johnston)
Special Guest Lead Vocal by Carmen Serna
Ska Medley:
Sugar, Sugar en Español (Barry, Kim, Milstein)/
Soul Deep (Wayne Carson Thompson)/My Boy Lollipop (Roberts, Spencer)/
Don’t Mention My Name (Crewe, Gaudio)******
with Archie, rhythm guitar
I Just Wanna Keep It Together (Paul Davis)***
Stand Up! (Del Shannon)*
Finale:
Dirty Water (Ed Cobb)*****/Mama Can’t Buy You Love (Bell, James)***
with Carmen Serna and Archie
Jamz On The Hatch Shell
The New Archies Live!
with The Boston Brass Ensemble
*Duet Vocals by Sharmante
**Lead vocals by Rikki Ninja
***Lead vocals by Mal Hypster
****Lead Vocals by Donna Dante
*****Quartet Vocals by Sharmante, Rikki Ninja
and Mal Hypster
******Duet vocals by Rikki Ninja and Mal Hypster
A New Archies Production
Music Supervision: Salem Saberhagen
Music Director: Ramsay Khalid Sharma
Produced by Malachi Hipp and Lana Suzuki
Recorded @ Edward A. Hatch Memorial Band Shell, Boston
Sound Engineer: 
Corky Clayton with Fangette and Nero
#40 Top Albums

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Sabrina the Sorceress's characterization was based on comedienne Chelsea Handler!  Garcy Briseño was visually based on actress Lea Delaria and vocally on Pop divas Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand. Donna Dante was inspired by actress Lupita Nyong'o (visuals) and Crystals lead singer La La Brooks (vocals). Frankie Fujiyama was based on surfing legend Miki Dora. Mal Hypster was inspired by Chubby Checker (visuals) and Neil Sedaka (vocals). The visual inspiration for Toby Maxx was rocker Gregg Allman.  Rikki Ninja was based visually on actor Wilson Cruz and vocally on British Pop singer Helen Shapiro. The visual inspiration for Ramsay Khalid Sharma was 1940s movie villain Turhan Bey; vocally, he resembled Box Tops lead singer Alex Chilton.  Lana Suzuki was inspired by legendary British actress Dame Diana Rigg.  Actor Jason Stuart was the visual inspiration for both Lyle Jason Blossom and his late father, the evil Jason Blossom! Sir Ambrose Nixon was inspired by forgotten 1930s movie star Warren William.  Carmen Serna was a visual amalgam of actress Stockard Channing and "Laugh-In" comedienne Jo Anne Worley; her speaking voice was based on TV host Joan Rivers and her singing voice by Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector.  The human version of Salem Saberhagen was a reincarnation of 1940s film noir actor Zachary Scott.  Baby Nero was based on child actor Johnny Sheffield, but Nero the Dog is a real live wonder poodle who lives in Iowa City with his owners, Jon and Mark Trouten. He is liable to turn human any day now!

Go back to the future and read 

"Mama Can't Buy You Love" 
in its entirety!

*Excerpt from "I Just Wanna Keep It Together", words and music by
Paul Davis, copyright 1970 Web IV Music/Sony Music Publishing (BMI)