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One of my favorite guitarists is releasing a new album soon

Reb Beach 1988 Topps

This guy is hands-down one of the most under-appreciated guitarists of my lifetime. Hair metal gets a bad rap, and thanks to Beavis & Butt-Head‘s friend Stuart, Winger is the butt of many jokes. The band is really superb, though, and guitarist Reb Beach is a magician on the frets. His new album, A View from the Inside, is set for an early November release. The audio for “Aurora Borealis” just dropped this morning on YouTube, and it blows my mind.

Fun Cards: 1977, 1983, 1986, and 1988 Topps Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali passed away on Thursday last week after battling pancreatic cancer. Banali joined the group in 1982 and made his recording debut with DuBrow and the boys on 1983’s Metal Health. I love making “fun cards” of musicians using classic baseball card designs, and his passing reminded me that I had not created cards for Quiet Riot yet. So, without further ado, the classic 1983 Metal Health lineup of Quiet Riot: Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali, Carlos Cavazo, and Rudy Sarzo

Kevin DuBrow Quiet Riot singer 1983 Topps

Frankie Banali Quiet Riot drummer 1983 Topps

Carlos Cavazo Quiet Riot guitarist 1983 Topps

Rudy Sarzo Quiet Riot bass guitar 1983 Topps

Metal Health was the first heavy metal album to reach #1 on the Billboard charts on the strength of their cover of the Slade song, “Cum On Feel the Noize.”

Unfortunately, the follow-up Critical Condition did not fare as well, and subsequent releases failed to recapture that spark from 1983. On 1986’s QR III, bassist Sarzo was replaced with Chuck Wright.

Chuck Wright Quiet Riot bass guitar 1986 Topps

By 1988 DuBrow was out of the band in favor of Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino (as was Wright, replaced by Sean McNabb). Shortino only appeared on one album and the group disbanded in 1989 (only to be resurrected a couple of years later by DuBrow and Cavazo, with Kenny Hillery on bass and Pat Ashby on drums).

Paul Shortino Quiet Riot vocalist 1988 Topps

Sean McNabb Quiet Riot bass guitar 1988 Topps

Membership in the band was a revolving door, regardless of your role in the band. Eight singers, seven guitarists, eight bass players, and four drummers spent time with the group. Banali was the most consistent, appearing on every studio recording except for the first two (which were released in Japan only) and the underrated 1993 compilation that featured some of the best of those records and outtakes.

Speaking of the first two records…it was 1978’s Quiet Riot II that featured the first Quiet Riot “fun cards” on the back cover, styled after 1978 Topps football cards…

Quiet Riot II 1978 Topps Randy Rhoads Kevin DuBrow Rudy Sarzo, Drew Forsyth

Fun Cards: TWJ “Project 2020” 1988 Topps Eric Davis

Davis

I’m not a huge fan of the Topps “Project 2020” release. Some of the cards are okay, but they’re all overpriced, and the secondary market for these cards is stupid. I’m glad there are no Reds in the set, even though I have shied away from buying much lately at all anyway.

But since it’s all the rage, I thought I would fire up the PhotoShop while watching some Chuck on Amazon Prime. I miss Chuck and Sarah and their weekly adventures. That was such a fun show. But I digress.

Here is Eric Davis, one of the greats of the 1980s Reds. It’s rough around the edges…so it’s edgy, right? It’s art. I said it’s art, so it’s art, even if it looks awful. Because some of those Topps cards look REALLY awful. Some are nice. But some are absolute trash. I’ll let you decide for yourself which cards fall in what category, because your taste is different than mine. Some of the cards, though, barf. Can’t possibly be anyone’s taste.

If you can’t say anything nice…I’m shutting up now.

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: 1988 Topps Reggie White (NFL, baseball-style)

Reggie Knows Football Cards

Reggie White should never have worn any uniform other than a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Herschel Walker (NFL, baseball-style)

Rod Knows Football Cards

The Dallas Cowboys trade of Herschel Walker to the Vikings was one of the first non-Bengals NFL stories I recall. It was a big deal, but it paid off in the end for America’s Team.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Rod Woodson (NFL, baseball-style)

Rod Knows Football Cards

Rod Woodson was the 10th overall pick in the 1987 Draft. Drafted ahead of the Hall of Famer were such NFL luminaries as Mike Junkin, Kelly Stouffer, and Reggie Rogers.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Roy Green (NFL, baseball-style)

Roy Green

Roy Green was a 2-time Pro Bowler for the St. Louis Cardinals and was the 16th member inducted into the Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor in 2016.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Neil Lomax (NFL, baseball-style)

Neil Knows Football Cards

The Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Phoenix in 1988, and 2-time Pro Bowler Neil Lomax played his last season in the NFL.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Kellen Winslow (NFL, baseball-style)

Flipper Knows Football Cards

Another career-capper, Kellen Winslow retired in 1987. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.

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