Trouble with xml drop down menu

I am using Flash CS3 Pro working with AS2.

i completed the tutorial here at kirupa on the XML drop down menu. It was fantastic. I was trying to alter it for what i need to do and i am running into some problems that i was hoping to get some help on.

I have been playing with the code and am having a hard time with the submenus. The sub items need to have a different background altogether. I basically need a menu bar background with labels. Then the background of the sib items need to be a different color. My client specifically requested a menu similar to this one:

It, obviously doe not need to be exact, but the basic idea is what they are after. I can handle the alpha fades and the mask that gives the illusion of them dropping down. But i can’t for the life of me get the sub item background to cooporate. I am having problems with the depth i think.

I did manage to alter the kirupa code (that i followed along with) to make a horizontal menu. can anyone please help me with this? I would be soo grateful. It is really beginning to rack my brain. I don’t know if the best way is to attachMovie for the sub item backer or to populate an empty movie clip to help with the depth issue. I will keep trying variations, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks alot!