My First Favorite Band

The first album I ever owned was “Everything’s Archie” by The Archies.  I was 9 years old and loved all their songs.  “Sugar Sugar,” "Jingle-Jangle," and of course, “Bang-Shang-a-Lang.” 

I also had a major crush on Veronica Lodge.  I didn’t think Betty Cooper was bad either.  I would have hooked up with Betty in a heartbeat if Veronica had a boyfriend.  That was my thinking in 1970.

I thought The Archies were the greatest band ever.  That is, until Eve Allison Fearing set me straight.  Eve Allison was 11, so she knew a thing or two about bands.  “The Archies aren’t even real, David,” she told me.  “They’re on Saturday morning TV.” 

“But...they are real,” I countered.  “I just heard “Sugar Sugar” on WKIX.”

“Yeah, you heard the song, but it wasn’t Archie singing.  It was some backup studio musician you’ve never heard of.” 

I was completely taken aback by this.  It never occurred to me that Archie wasn’t singing, that Jughead wasn’t banging the drums, Reggie wasn’t on bass, that Veronica wasn’t on the keyboards and that Betty wasn’t slapping a mean tambourine.  This was devastating information.  I tried to play it cool and asked Eve indignantly, “So who’s your favorite band, Miss Know-It-All?” 

“The Partridge Family,” Eve Allison proudly proclaimed. 

“The Partridge Family?  Well, they’re not real either.” 

“Yes they are.  David Cassidy sings all their songs.” 

When she said this I knew I had her.  “Oh…I thought Keith Partridge was their singer.” 

“He is, David Cassidy plays Keith Partridge on the show.” 

“That means Keith Partridge is not real either!” 

Eve Allison crossed her arms, glared at me and then testily replied, “Well at least he’s not a cartoooooooooooooon.” 

Eve Allison stretched out the "toon" longer than the Beatles stretched out the last note of “A Day in the Life.”  I had no comeback.  Eve Allison was right.  I needed a new favorite band.

Four years later, I found KISS.


2 responses
I remember visiting your house in Butner around that time. I was totally amazed that your mom let you take the cereal bag out of the box and cut the Archies record off the back BEFORE YOU FINISHED THE BOX OF CEREAL!!! My mother would never have stood for that. I thought Pat was so cool for allowing such impatience.
I was always confused by Veronica. I heard that blondes had more fun, but Veronica was always out on dates while Betty the sadsack stayed in and did Archie's homework for him. Now it occurs to me that Archie was a golddigger.

My parents still have my collection of Archie comics in their attic, in plasticine covers. They're with my Mad Magazines.

You know Kiss isn't real, right?