Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cardboard Heroes # 2

More favorites from my collection:

Ted Kluszewski  1957 Topps

This hulking slugger had biceps so large that they kept busting through his uniform sleeves. The Reds tried outfitting him with larger and larger uniforms but they still restricted his swing. Big Klu finally found a solution by cutting the sleeves off his uniforms.

Al Hrabosky   1981 Topps

The Mad Hungarian had the best facial hair in baseball.

Glen Hubbard  1984 Fleer

Wait. What? Why?
Glenn took accessorizing to the next level with this 8 foot boa constrictor draped around his neck.

Bobo Newsom  1952 Topps

Dumbo was already taken.

Joe Torre 1966 Topps

Joe was born with a five o’clock shadow. He actually shaved right before this picture was taken.

Joe Black  1953 Red Man

Meet Joe Black.
This card came in a pouch of tobacco.
Hey Kids - collect them all!

Don Mossi  1966 Topps

Because every Don Mossi card is beautiful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cardboard Heroes

Those of you who know me, know how much I love baseball. 
As we head toward the 112th World Series, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite baseball cards with you. 

Don Mossi (Topps 1958)

I got a Don Mossi card in the first pack I ever bought. It scared the hell out of me but started a lifelong obsession. A face that only a mother could love. 
In his Historical Abstract, Bill James wrote “Mossi’s ears looked as if they had been borrowed from a much larger species, and reattached without proper supervision."

Wally Moon (Topps 1965)

Hands down the greatest unibrow in baseball history. Did he ever look in a mirror?

Gus Zernial (Topps 1952)

One of the most spectacular and confounding cards in my collection. So many questions…
How did he get those balls to stick to his bat and why? Is his undershirt pink because he wants us to know that he is in touch with his feminine side, or did the clubhouse attendant mix the whites in with the colors? It doesn’t matter because he is telling us everything is A OK.

Nellie Fox (Topps 1961)
You’ll never find a card or photo of this Hall of Famer without a gigantic wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek. Kids: don’t try this at home. Mr. Fox died of cancer at the age of 47.

“Spook” Jacobs  (Topps 1955)
I wonder how he got his nickname?

Oscar Gamble  (Topps 1975)
The best afro in baseball history. How did he even get his cap on? Now batting…number 17, Mickey Mouse.

Friday, September 21, 2012

We are pleased to announce our first art show opening!
Friday Oct. 19 at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI
Stay tunes for more details...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

From A (Angus) to Z (Zappa)

By Michael Tanaka

Let me begin with full disclosure. We’re trying to sell this guitar. Actually, I’m trying to sell this instrument for a friend who’s in a financial jam. It’s listed on Craigslist and ebay, but it’s also on display at POP. This, however, isn’t just some run-of-the-mill used guitar. I happen to find this instrument quite interesting as a pop-cultural artifact. This particular guitar may not have celebrity provenance, but it’s a cool time capsule reflecting rockin’ days gone by, and was a very specific model played and popularized by some pretty interesting (and diverse) current and bygone guitarists. In other words, this guitar has a backstory.
The guitar you’re looking at is a  cherry-red 1969 Gibson SG Standard. Quirky guitar. Ever play one? Like the iconic Gibson Les Paul, you get the trademark sound of twin humbucking pickups, but the SG’s lightweight body gives it a totally different resonant quality, creating a very unique tone and different sustain. And if you’ve never played one of these babies before, take a moment to note where the neck (and fingerboard) join the body. On an SG it’s at the 21st fret. Few guitars give you a skinny neck that absurdly long. This does more than make playing in the upper registers easy—it makes high note diddling a requirement. This SG also has the cool, engraved Lyre tailpiece vibrola unit (missing the arm, I’m sorry to say), but you don’t really need it to bend notes. The neck is so long, all you have to do is pull back a little on the neck after hitting a note or chord, and you get instant pitch dive. Very cool.
I won’t bore you with the history and development of the Gibson SG… introduced in 1961 during the Ted McCarty era as a thinner, double-cutaway Les Paul… name officially changed to SG in 1963, blah, blah…. But I will mention some of the players who have made the SG their trademark instrument. Call it their “signature” guitar. And in most cases, the SG is the only instrument you see them play. That says a lot. I’m not sure what, but it says a lot.
For SG players, you probably want to start withTommy Iommi of Black Sabbath. He’s a big SG guy, and Gibson currently sells a Tommy model, based on his personal favorite-- an SG of similar vintage to the one you see here. Then there’s Angus Young of AC/DC. He’s ALWAYS seen playing one. Gibson also sells a version of the Angus SG. Others…? Robby Krieger of the Doors played an SG, as did acid-rock blues-man John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Carlos Santana onstage at Woodstock… he’s playing an SG. For a long time, Frank Zappa played SG’s exclusively. There’s Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult and Elliot Easton of the Cars. And while Eric Clapton will forever be associated with the Fender Strat, his main axe during the Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire Cream period was a pop-art painted SG that he dubbed “The Fool.” 
And it’s not only 60’s and 70’s dinosaurs who are partial to the SG. Contemporary players often add the SG to their axe arsenal, although few besides Derek Trucks make it their main squeeze. I recently saw the Jayhawks in concert, and Gary Louris still plays his SG. Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi proved that you can thrash hardcore pretty good on an SG. Ask Darren when you’re in the store—doesn’t Westerberg fancy SG’s too? I could go on and on…I can go deeper… remember the guitarist in Mahogany Rush? OK, I’ll stop now.
So there you have the Gibson SG. It’s an interesting guitar, and while it might not be everyone’s cup of tea-- if you’re a player and you’ve never strapped on one of these extra-long-necked babies, you might want to check one out. Break away from the crowd. Everybody we know plays Strats, Teles, Les Pauls. Get bold, get crazy… try an SG. This guitar is at POP right now. Go play it. Please buy it. I won’t give you all the details about condition, price and collectibllity now— you can find that info on the Craigslist or ebay listings, or Darren can tell you. I won’t go into all that jazz because then this wouldn’t be a blog. It would be a classified ad. And we don’t want that, do we?

Monday, April 16, 2012

POP is featured in the Providence Phoenix Best 2012 issue!

< >
Readers' Pick


If you're of a certain age, there's a good chance you'll glance around POP's wealth of ancient artifacts and say, "Whoa, I had that." The East Greenwich nostalgia nook — a self-proclaimed "Emporium of Popular Culture" — is a haven for kitsch-o-philes whose memories of the bygone days are still vivid. It doesn't really matter if you're into Red Sox paraphernalia (Yaz freaks take note), albums by actors (Vince Edwards, vocalist?) or "Love Tester" machines (grab the phallic handle and check your libido level) — Darren Hill has it all. A musician who enjoyed acclaim with the Raindogs and Red Rockers, Hill presides over the well-stuffed shop, a one-room flea market where all the crud has been stripped away and only the cool stuff remains. He's been collecting for years and boasts a sharp curatorial eye. That's what makes POP a cultural museum as well as a singular retail treat. Don't forget to try on a fez or two.
142 Duke St, East Greenwich | 401.885.5050 | emporiumofpopularculture.com