Fun Cards: Foo Fighters! 1995 Topps Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel; 1997 Score Taylor Hawkins; 1999 Topps Chris Shiflett
Foo Fighters‘ 1995 debut album was groundbreaking. Not because it was radically sonically different; it was a rather straight-forward rock album. But the fact that Dave Grohl recorded the entire thing by himself for the most part, and so soon after the disbandment of Nirvana the year prior…honestly, Grohl is a musical genius. Nirvana didn’t deserve this man.
He is being inducted into the Rock Hall for the second time along with Foo-mates Pat Smear and Nate Mendel (who joined the band after the recording of the debut; both made their debut on 1997’s The Colour and the Shape), Taylor Hawkins (who sat down behind the skins in 1997, first appearing on 1999’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose), Chris Shiflett (additional guitarist since 1999, making his recording debut on 2002’s One By One), and Rami Jaffee (who came into the fold in 2017 on the Concrete and Gold album but won’t get a card because I’m not going to attempt a custom 2017 card).
I can’t believe I just typed those words. This one is going to take some time to digest.
January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020
Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, the greatest rock guitarist of my lifetime, passed away today from throat cancer. He was an innovator, a magician on six strings. He was the guy everybody wanted to play like. And no one could. Not even close.
Eddie recorded music with his brother Alex (drums on all Van Halen releases), his father Jan (who played clarinet on “Big Bad Bill” from Diver Down), and his son Wolfgang (bass on A Different Kind of Truth and Tokyo Dome Live in Concert. He recorded with Michael Jackson (playing the guitar solo on Thriller‘s “Beat It”), Brian May of Queen (1983’s Strar Fleet Project), and LL Cool J (“We’re The Greatest” from Authentic). He
He was not just a master of his craft. He was the master of his craft.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
— Valerie Bertinelli (@Wolfiesmom) October 6, 2020
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen. We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in '88, a friend. Sending love to Alex, @wolfvanhalen & everyone in the greater VH family.
— Metallica (@Metallica) October 6, 2020
— Aerosmith (@Aerosmith) October 6, 2020
HE CHANGED THE COURSE OF GUITAR WHAMMY BAR ROCK & RHYME… A GAME CHANGER… AND HIS MELODIC CRAZY WAS OVER THE TOP… WE’LL MISS YOU EDDIE…
LOVE FROM ABOVE
— Steven Tyler (@IamStevenT) October 7, 2020
This goes beyond the passing of a great guitarist, but rather is a tremendous loss of a great man who truly helped to change my life and path with his guitar and sound. He helped forge the way for myself and many and will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Eddie. @eddievanhalen pic.twitter.com/5RXCtC0N91
— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) October 6, 2020
I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again. pic.twitter.com/Qs8tsLPANJ
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) October 6, 2020
Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed. So shocking- One of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius. RIP. So sad.Thoughts go out to his brother Alex, and his family. pic.twitter.com/fwIw040YMX
— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) October 6, 2020
— Def Leppard (@DefLeppard) October 6, 2020
Just found out @eddievanhalen has died. I remember driving home from a @TwistedSisterNY club gig with @AnimalTactics late one night and hearing "Eruption" on the radio for the first time. Our minds were blown…and guitar playing was never the same. RIP Eddie. You left your mark.
— Dee Snider🇺🇸 (@deesnider) October 6, 2020
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) October 6, 2020
Apart from his technical brilliance, Eddie Van Halen was the antidote to a lot of hyper-serious, grimacing guitarists who made playing look painful. Eddie shared the joy with us instead.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) October 7, 2020
Articles keep referring to Eddie Van Halen as ‘guitarist’ and that word just doesn’t feel like it’s enough to me. Whether you liked his band or not he was at the very least a legend.
— Sean Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) October 7, 2020
He was an artist who was so amazing at his craft that his three names became shorthand for the standard of excellence in his field. Rest In Peace, Eddie Van Halen. It was a joy to watch you shred. I hope they had a Frankenstrat waiting for you at the gates of Rock ‘n Roll Heaven. pic.twitter.com/PIkzipSB2g
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) October 7, 2020
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.