Remember that David Lee Roth look-alike custom card I did a couple of months ago? The one based on the 1974-75 Topps basketball card featuring Pete Maravich?
Well, recently I took some time to look through the original 1974-75 set a little more closely, and found some really great-looking team leader cards. Here are a couple of examples.
The colors, the team logos, the '70s haircuts and mustaches. It wasn't long before all of those things caused inspiration to hit. The gears in my mind started churning:
There are four players on these team leader cards.
There are four members of Van Halen.
See where I'm going here?
All four band members, captured in all their glory. And Van Halen formed around 1973, so it works out perfectly.
As for design elements, I replaced "Team leaders" with "Team members", and then changed each leader's category (scoring, free throws, rebounds, assists) to each band member's instrument (vocals, guitar, drums, bass). The bright yellow panel that features the basketball team logo on the original card provides a perfect analog for the band logo, don't you think?
And I didn't stop there. I enjoyed the design so much that it made me want to create a card back. The first thing I had to do was look at one of the originals:
It took me a little while to figure out how to adjust the stats for a rock band, but here's what I came up with:
Instead of the individual player stats that appear on the backs of the original cards, I went with some stats about the band: Album certifications, hit singles, some general info, and even a music quiz related to the band.
And this card came out so well that inspiration hit again. I started thinking about other 4-man rock bands of the era, and came up with quite a list of powerhouse groups: Led Zeppelin, KISS, The Ramones, The Who, Black Sabbath, and more.
And then I thought, Hey, let's make this a set of cards.
And then I thought, Hey, all these bands are either from the US or the UK.
And then I thought, Hey, let's try to come up with an equal number from each nation.
So I did some more thinking. Here's what I came up with.
US 4-man rock bands: The Doors, KISS, The Ramones, Van Halen
UK 4-man rock bands: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Who
So there I had it. An 8-card set featuring some of the best hard rockin' quartets of all time, let alone the 1970s. And I got right to work.
Want a sneak-preview of the finished products?
Okay, here we go.
I went with a separate color combination for the UK bands to provide some variety, and also to distinguish them from the US bands. And I'm not sure you can get much more '70s than that green and orange combo.
But why only a sneak-peek? Why not show all eight card fronts and backs here?
Well, a little later this year I'm going to run a special series here on the blog that puts more of a spotlight on these cards and these bands. The series will run for a few consecutive Sundays, and I've been having fun creating the content. Not going to reveal any other details for now. Stay tuned.
What are your initial thoughts about the set?
Favorite band of the bunch?
Feel like putting a 45 on the record player and blasting some rock music out of your quadraphonic sound system?
Share in the comment section, and thanks for reading!