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Yummy Yummy Yummy

Kelly and Kim explore the world of Bubblegum Pop.

Bubblegum isn’t a dirty word any more. Big deal, so you’re a sucker for the kind of sleek pop trash that oozes out of minivan radios, hooks a thousand kiddy-barbed claws into your cerebellum and injects its terminal catchiness deep inside, where it will remain long after the grandkids plant your drooling ass in front of a Leisure World window. Why be ashamed of falling for the calculated pap they make in the Swedish hit factories? It’s GOOD. But not quite as good as the stuff some cynical New Yorkers made in ’68 and ’69, when bubblegum first reared its ugly pink head and snared a million ears. Trust us, we know what we’re talking about. Bubblegum changed our lives—and for the better. Until Kim found those scratchy 1910 Fruitgum Company records, she was a mope who skulked around wondering where the fun went. And before Kelly wowed Kim by blowing an eleven-inch bubble outside of the Magic Castle in Hollywood (thus earning the honorable title of Bubblegum Queen), she was sitting in a dark corner of the art-rock free-jazz experimental music scene listening to the same five music geeks wank off onstage for their own self-absorbed egomaniacal amusement. Bubblegum turned our black-and-white worlds into psychedelic swirls of peach, lime and custard cream, where the boys are cuter, the sun shinier, and our hair always looks amazing. It can happen to you, too, if you just stop fighting it and let the bubblegum virus replicate inside your grumpy old heart. Our favorite bubblegum game is “spot the double entendre.” Is the Ohio Express REALLY singing about a girl named “Penis”? (They swear it’s “Peanuts,” but we’re not so sure.) Isn’t that Archies song about their puppy Hot Dog a little bit suggestive? (“So put some mustard on my roll…I really relish you/ Who could embellish you?”) And this is just the tip of a very dirty iceberg. Bubblegum music can suggestively satiate any oral fixation! What about that part in the Archies’ “Jingle Jangle,” where dreamy Toni Wine (as Veronica, or maybe Betty) lets Archie know in no uncertain terms that she expects a little oral lovin’? Pretty progressive for 1969. So why IS this happy music? The rhythm? The words? The cute people singing it? Why does it make you happy? Why will it make any ten-year-old kid happy? Simple, Simon. All of the above. Bubblegum is perfectly formed CRAFT made by the best in the field: the best singers, the best musicians, the best songwriters, the best producers, the best stylists, the best marketers, the best graphic designers, the best executives. They’re the best because they LOVE what they do, and that passion comes out of the music and goes right to your heart. BUBBLEGUM QUEEN KELLY KUVO AND KIM COOPER
Kim Cooper is coeditor of Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears. Visit Bubblegum Queen Kelly on the web at