Category Archives: music

Goodbye, Kenny Rogers

(August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020)

Country music legend Kenny Rogers has passed away at the age of 81. Best known for songs such as “The Gambler,” “Lucille,” and “Lady,” Rogers also recorded a song in the late 1990s that connected with baseball fans: “The Greatest.” He also hit the charts with several duets, teaming up with superstars such as Dolly Parton, Sheena Easton, Gladys Knight, and Alison Krauss.

Fun Cards: 1987 Donruss Axl Rose

Axl Rose Guns N Roses 1987

Finally, we get to the man who caused this blizzard of music “fun cards” today, the birthday boy Axl Rose. He was born William Bruce Rose Jr. and raised as William Bruce “Bill” Bailey in 1962 in Lafayette, Indiana…a long way from Hollywood. He has appeared on non-Guns N’ Roses songs with Don Henley, Gilby Clarke, and Sebastian Bach, and fronted AC/DC in 2016 when Brian Johnson faced health issues. Perhaps the coolest thing that Axl Rose has ever done, though, happened just a few years ago when he was animated and appeared on New Looney Tunes, performing a new song called “Rock the Rock” with Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig in the episode “Armageddon Outta Here.”

Happy birthday Axl!

Fun Cards: 1987 Donruss Slash

Slash Guns N Roses 1987

I often cite Slash* as the reason for getting a guitar when I was 16 years old. I’ve sadly never been able to learn how to play quite as well as the Guns N’ Roses axe-slinger. His recent collaborations with Myles Kennedy are very good, but nothing stands as tall as his work with Axl Rose and the boys.

* Aerosmith‘s Joe Perry also gets some credit. I was crazy for the 1970s output of Boston’s finest.

Fun Cards: 1987 Donruss Duff McKagan

Duff McKagan Guns N Roses 1987

Duff McKagan was at one time the most underrated member of Guns N’ Roses, but he has proven himself as a musician and writer over time and is now getting the recognition he deserves. In addition to GNR, McKagan released a solo album Tenderness last year and has been a member of Neurotic Outsiders, 10 Minute Warning, Velvet Revolver, and Loaded, and has performed with Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, and Hollywood Vampires. He had dropped out of high school in the 1980s but has since completed his education and founded a wealth management business. Duff is also the author of It’s So Easy (And Other Lies) and How To Be A Man (And Other Illusions). He rejoined Guns N’ Roses in 2016.

I didn’t know until just now that yesterday was actually Duff’s birthday…56 years young! Happy belated birthday Mr. McKagan!

Fun Cards: 1987 Donruss Izzy Stradlin

Izzy Stradlin Guns N Roses 1987

Guns N’ Roses was the biggest band in the world when guitarist Izzy Stradlin walked away. After recording four albums with the group, he decided the spotlight was too much and opted to pursue a solo career with less pressure. His first post-Guns album, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, featured some great songs, and he continues to put out solid music under his own name. Corporate rock radio, however, has all but ignored his excellent output.

Fun Cards: 1987 Donruss Steven Adler

Steven Adler Guns N Roses 1987

Exactly how bad does your drug problem have to be for Guns N’ Roses to cite that as a reason for your firing? The group struggled with substance abuse for much of their early career, but Steven Adler‘s problems were so bad even his bandmates were worried about him. He has appeared on two seasons of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and one season of Sober House, both reality shows documenting the troubles of addiction in the spotlight. Adler has joined his former bandmates on stage a few times during the “Not In This Lifetime” tour a few years ago.

Fun Cards: 1991 Donruss Matt Sorum

Matt Sorum Guns N Roses 1991

Matt Sorum followed the troubled Steven Adler behind the drumkit for Guns N’ Roses, recording all but one song on the Use Your Illusion records. Aside from GNR, Sorum’s most notable work came with Velvet Revolver, the supergroup formed by ex-Gunners Slash and Duff McKagan and Stone Temple Pilots‘ singer Scott Weiland.

Fun Cards: 1991 Donruss Dizzy Reed

Dizzy Reed Guns N Roses 1991

Dizzy Reed officially joined Guns N’ Roses, if Wikipedia is to be believed, in 1990 during the recording of Use Your Illusion I and II, but he had a relationship with the band since their very early days in Los Angeles. Reed was the only Illusion-era member of GNR other than Axl Rose to appear on Chinese Democracy. He has an extensive discography beyond GNR which includes Johnny Crash, The Dead Daisies, and Motörhead.

Fun Cards: 1993 Donruss Gilby Clarke

Gilby Clarke Guns N Roses 1993

Today is Axl Rose’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than a slew of Guns N’ Roses “fun cards”? I’m not going to touch the 2008 Chinese Democracy lineup. Instead, we’ll start with Gilby Clarke, who joined the band in 1991 following Izzy Stradlin‘s departure. He hit the road with the Gunners on the Use Your Illusion tour but didn’t make his studio debut until 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident?, a collection of cover songs ranging from The Stooges to Soundgarden to Charles Manson.

Following his time with Guns N’ Roses, Gilby released several solo albums and recorded with Slash’s Snakepit, Nancy Sinatra, and Rock Star Supernova, a supergroup that also featured vocalist Lukas Rossi, Metallica‘s Jason Newsted, and Mötley Crüe‘s Tommy Lee.

Fun Cards: 1969 Topps Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper 1969 Topps

It’s Alice Cooper‘s birthday! By far the best concert experience, he always knows how to put on a show. What are your favorite Alice Cooper songs?

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