Category Archives: music

Fun Cards: 1971 Topps Doobie Brothers (Tom Johnston and John Hartman)

Tom Johnston Doobie Brothers Rock Hall 1971 Topps

The Doobie Brothers’ debut album was released in 1971. Looking at the track list, I don’t recognize a single song. The follow-up, Toulouse Street features a few titles that I know, though.

John Hartman Doobie Brothers Rock Hall 1971 Topps

There aren’t a lot of early photos of the Doobies out there. These pictures are actually from 1973, and I’m not even positive the top image is Tom Johnston.

Fun Cards: 1981 Topps Dave Gahan, Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher, and Martin Gore (Depeche Mode)

Dave Gahan 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

I don’t really know much about Depeche Mode. Their debut album Speak & Spell was released in 1981. They had a few singles hit #1 on the US Alternative charts in the 1990s.

Vince Clarke 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

Andy Fletcher 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

Martin Gore 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

In addition to the original four members, Alan Wilder will also be inducted. He joined the group in 1983.

Alan Wilder 1983 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

Fun Cards: 1989 Upper Deck Trent Reznor

1989 Upper Deck Trent Reznor Nine Inch Nails NIN Rock Hall

I am not surprised Nine Inch Nails will be honored by the Rock Hall. The impact Trent Reznor had on the music world in the 1990s is undeniable. I am not personally a fan of their music overall, but there are a few songs that I like.

Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston 1985 Donruss Rock Hall of Fame

Whitney Houston had a string of seven straight #1 singles from 1985 through 1988, and four more non-consecutive chart-toppers in the 1990s. She is likely best known for her cover of Dolly Parton‘s “I Will Always Love You,” which appeared on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard. She is one of five posthumous inductees in 2020 (Notorious B.I.G. and three members of T. Rex [Marc Bolan, Steve Currie, and Mickey Finn] are the others).

A cutout of Whitney appeared on a 1988 ProCards Steve Lubratich minor league card; she herself appeared on a 1991 Pro Set NFL Newsreel card after performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

Fun Cards: 1968 Topps Marc Bolan & Steve Peregrin Took (T. Rex)

Marc Bolan 1968 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame T Rex

The band was initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, but after four releases it was shortened to T. Rex in 1970. I couldn’t fit the entire word on the 1968 format without it looking really goofy, so I rewrote history a little bit with these Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took cards. Bolan was killed in an automobile accident in 1977.

Steve Peregrin Took T Rex 1968 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame

Took appeared on the first three Tyrannosaurus Rex albums; he is not listed among the members of T. Rex to be inducted to the Rock Hall this year. He died in 1980 of “asphyxiation after inhaling a cocktail cherry.” Why are so many rock ‘n’ rollers so reckless?

Fun Cards: 1994 Score Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious BIG Rock Hall 1994 Score baseball card

I don’t want this to be a debate about whether rappers belong in the Rock Hall. It’s not really a “Rock” Hall in the first place. The museum honors popular artists, from blues to soul to country to rock, and rap is one of the most popular forms of music.

But, should Notorious B.I.G. be in before Snoop Dogg? Before LL Cool J? I understand Biggie made a big impact, even though he only released two records before he was gunned down. To me, though, Snoop and LL were much bigger stars.

Notorious is the seventh rap act to be honored by the Rock Hall, joining Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Tupac Shakur.

Fun Cards 1974 Topps, 1974 Kellogg’s, and 1975 Topps Rush

What’s your favorite Rush album?

1974 Topps Geddy Lee

To be honest, I don’t have one. I’m not a huge fan. Never have been. I remember one of my guitar teachers in high school was a huge Rush fan, and tried to teach me a couple of songs, but they just never clicked with me.

1974 Topps Alex Lifeson

The original drummer for Rush was John Rutsey. He played on the band’s debut 1974 album, which included the songs “What You’re Doing” and “Working Man.” It is more of a hard rock album in the vein of Led Zeppelin than the progressive sound they became famous for.

1974 Topps John Rutsey

It’s a good bet that Geddy Lee would have been the band member to be featured in Kellogg’s “3-D Super Stars” set back in the day, if they focused on rockers instead of ballers.

1974 Kelloggs Geddy Lee

The impetus for this post, however, is Neil Peart. Peart, one of the greatest drummers in rock history and the primary lyricist for the band after joining in mid-1974 (his first studio record with the group was 1975’s Fly By Night), passed away January 7 from glioblastoma.

1975 Topps Neil Peart

I’ve listened to some Rush over the past couple of days, and they’re starting to grow on me. I’ll never be as big a fan as my guitar teacher, but I won’t automatically change the radio station when their songs come on either.

Fun Cards: 1973, 1975, and 1984 Topps Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen 1973 Topps

Bruce Springsteen seems to be one of those guys that you either love or hate. He’s got some of the most recognizable classic pop/rock songs in the world, from “Born to Run” to “Dancing in the Dark” to, of course, “Born in the USA.” Often misunderstood, his songs are used by politicians (and they usually receive a cease and desist letter from his attorneys).

One of my favorite songs from the Boss, however, is his take on the legendary Christmas song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Whether you enjoy Springsteen’s music or not, hopefully you’ll enjoy these “fun cards” of the Boss and his backing bad, the E Street Band.

Clarence Clemons 1973 Topps

David Sancious 1973 Topps

Danny Federici 1973 Topps

Vini Lopez 1973 Topps

Garry Tallent 1973 Topps

There was a bit of a shakeup in 1975, with three new members of the E Street Band…

Max Weinberg 1975 Topps

Steven Van Zandt 1975 Topps

Roy Bittan 1975 Topps

A big addition came in 1984, though his studio debut with the band came a little later…

1984 Topps Nils Lofgren

I probably won’t be posting any more before Wednesday, so let me just take a second to say to all readers of The Writer’s Journey, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THANK YOU FOR READING!

Goodbye, Marie Fredriksson

(May 30, 1958 – December 9, 2019)

Marie Fredriksson Roxette

Singer and songwriter Marie Fredriksson, best known for her work with the 1980s pop duo Roxette, died yesterday in Sweden from complications from a brain tumor. She was 61 years old.

Marie Fredriksson Roxette

Roxette’s debut album, Pearls of Passion, was released in 1986, but it was 1988’s Look Sharp! that put the group in the spotlight, selling 9 million copies across the globe. The follow-up, Joyride, was released in 1991 and sold 11 million worldwide. They scored four #1 hits in the US: “The Look,” “Listen To Your Heart,” “It Must Have Been Love,” and “Joyride.” One of my personal favorites, however, failed to reach the top spot…

Per Gessle Roxette

Per Gessle Roxette

Fun Cards: 1974 Topps Judas Priest “Rookie Rockers”

1974 Topps Judas Priest

The 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees have been announced, and heavy metal icons Judas Priest appear for the second time. They were previously nominated in 2018.

The other nominees are Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T.Rex, and Thin Lizzy. Fans can vote via Google…just type in “Rock Hall” or one of the nominees, and the ballot appears. You can select up to five nominees.

I expect NIN and B.I.G. to get in, and probably Soundgarden. Past that, it’s a toss-up. I would love to see Priest and Motörhead make it in, but the Hall is notoriously anti-metal.

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