Saturday, March 21, 2015

C.A.: 2013 Topps Heritage News Flashback, Rolling Stones

(If everything goes right, by my calculations, I have to survive just 15 more Marches at work at most and then I can take as many vacations as I want during this stupid month. Time for Cardboard Appreciation from an exhausted Night Owl. This is the 222nd in a series):

I love music trading cards. If there was a legitimate music trading card set, featuring different groups and singers, a mix of the new and the old, I would throw whatever baseball card set was on the shelves during that time down the stairs so fast, you'd wonder why I devoted seven years to a blog about baseball cards.

But I don't think I will be doing that anytime soon because it seems to be extraordinarily difficult to make a music trading card set that doesn't make me cringe.

I don't want a fan-club set devoted to the pre-teen singer of the day or even devoted to any one group or singer. But there seems to be few music sets that feature a diverse selection of artists.

One of the sets that came close to following what I'm looking for was the 1991 Pro Set Musiccards, which is also on the list that I just linked. I consider that a couple of octaves above the other sets on the list, because it took some thought and offers a wide range of genres from the past and the present. Sure, it was 1991 and I had to hold my nose and collect Vanilla Ice, but at last it was something in line with what I was thinking.

I collected maybe a third of the '91 Musicards set that year, and was thrilled with half of the cards and repulsed by the other half. At some point, all of those cards disappeared out of my collection.

I'm sad that they're gone and I'm left wishing another set like Musicards, or the MegaMetal set from the same period, would come along.

But since the lack of such a set probably has to do with licensing or royalties or whether the cards would make the company any money (Panini issued a country stars set last year, but I'm not interested in an all-country set), all I have is a stray singer in Allen & Ginter or the periodic News Flashback card from Heritage.

The Rolling Stones card from 2013 Heritage came from The Underdog Card Collector. It was very appreciated as a long unspoken want of mine (ever since I started this post, the Stones' '64 Bobby Womack-penned hit "It's All Over Now" has been going through my head).

The photo used on the Stones card is a Getty Images picture taken by Michael Ward, a famous British photographer in the 1960s. It shows the group, from left to right, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards, posing in a vintage car in 1964. (The image can be found in a series of Rolling Stones photos about three-quarters of the way down).

There is also a Beatles News Flashback card, which is probably the time when someone expects me to address which group I like better. But I have no answer for that. I like them both. I have a lot more difficult time picking sides in music than in baseball.

I would think a varied music trading cards set would have a wide appeal, but then maybe those immersed in music wouldn't care about cards.

I just know that my wife, who barely notices the baseball cards that I have scattered all over the house, just leaned over my shoulder a few minutes ago, poked at the Rolling Stones card, and said "cool".

They do stand out, don't they?

Anyway, just in case you think I'm ditching baseball cards for good now, here's a baseball card that The Underdog sent, too:

Now, if someone were to make a historic baseball and rock n' roll set -- something that would include Duke Snider and Dee Snider -- I would be the first in line.


  1. Set with Duke and a Dee - that's twisted! I will whisper that I own the Topps Bay City Rollers set. Please don't repeat this.

  2. I am going to make you dislike me intensely. Because, if you truly would toss "whatever baseball set" down the stairs in favor of a good music cards set, tracking this one down could potentially become an obsession.

    There WAS such a set. Its out there. And it's "vintage". And by "vintage", I don't mean the 1940s or something like that. I mean "right in your wheelhouse vintage", as in 1979. It included such artists as the B-52s, Chick Corea, Donna Fargo, Sly & The Family Stone, Deodato, The Sanford Townsend Band, Ashford and Simpson, Nicolette Larson, Ry Cooder, Fleetwood Mac, T.G. Sheppard, Pat Metheny, Maureen McGovern, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix and on and on and on. And it's got beautiful color borders (not quite '75 Topps beautiful color borders; more like Star Co. color borders). I've never seen a checklist for the full set, though one must exist, so I don't have any idea how many cards are in the set. Nicolette Larson is #75, so there were at least that many. If you look at the names I mentioned, you might be able to figure out the common denominator. They were all Warner Brothers artists of the era. And, somewhat sadly, it was a "promotional only" set. I was working in radio at the time and what WB would do was send a small pack (like the see-through packs you used to get in some food products) with 5 or 10 cards (or however many it was) along with whatever records they were pushing at the time. They were random; it wasn't like the Rock stations only got Rock cards or the Jazz stations only got Jazz artists, etc. And most radio stations did what mine did--Kept the records and tossed the cards right in the garbage. I fished out what I could find. I think I might have 20 or 25. I'll check to see if I have any dupes for you. I think they were printed in decent enough numbers (not like Topps, of course). But, because the radio stations threw them away, they're kind of hard to come by. Thus they carry something of a premium price. They aren't as nice, frankly, as the Heritage Stones card, really, but they are the best music card set I've ever seen or heard of--primarily because the subjects were from across the musical spectrum. Here's an eBay search link, so you can see what they look like.

    I specifically searched "lot" because there also appear to be borderless cards that I've never seen before--possibly the prototypes, since they were packed with a "collect them all" kind of card. So you can search for yourself without the "lot" designation, if you choose ("1979 Warner Brothers music cards").

    1. You're right, those are in my wheelhouse. I'll definitely look into those. Pretty cool and damn you and all of that.

  3. I have a few dozen of the 91 Pro Set, not a great looking set, but interesting subject selection. Rolling Stone Magazine had a couple of interesting Virtual Cards that homaged 75T I am also a fan of the Dick Clark set

  4. Donruss put out a Rock Stars set in 1979 that featured Queen, Kiss, The Babys and The Village People. Around the same time, they put out a set featuring only Elvis and a second set only featuring Kiss.