I was having a conversation with Kendell, who’d just seen my earlier post about the Klowns, and then he started talking about a session he once played for legendary Klowns producer Jeff Barry (who was a friends with Rig’s first drummer, Tom Cerone). The session was for “Sugar, Sugar,” the 1969 #1 hit you know by heart. So here I am in a position to reveal to the world that the faceless “studio musicians” mentioned often by those pop historians who want to make it clear that cartoon characters didn’t really play on those records, were – in the case of the Archies’ quintessential hit – the guys from Rig. Kendell, sitting at the Wurlitzer electric piano, remembers this comment from Mr. Barry clearest: “Throw in some more of that Jamaican horse sh*t!” Kendell also says the following: “Maybe we should have let Jeff Barry produce the Rig album. But we were too stuck up for that.”
That’s a generational thing. My generation, weaned on a more aggressive level of pop culture commercialism, revels in the prefab aspects of the Archies, Monkees, and their ilk, while they make the previous generation’s hair stand on end. Let’s not even talk about today’s youth generation, who’s probably never thought negatively about songs appearing in commercials and who will be writing doctoral dissertations about ringtones.