NORTHWEST BANDS & LABELS
AUTHORIZED LIMITED EDITION TRADING CARDS
Okay, this is a project Frank Harlan completed in 1993. This project spun out of another that was going on at the time. Harlan was producing a weekly TV series known as NorthWest Rock Music Video. A TV program where NW Bands hosted the show while presenting Music Videos released by other NW Bands. The year it premiered (1992) Harlan was creating Collectable Trading Cards featuring each band that hosted the program. Viewers could visit sponsor locations and collect the cards. The plan was to continue releasing new cards as new episodes were created. Although more episodes were completed, the cards stopped at #18.
A KILLER CONCEPT
However, there were many bands without a video who also wanted a card. So in an moment of sheer wisdom, Harlan thought, Hummm, maybe a boxed set of Trading Cards could introduce some of the "Other bands" in the region. He put together NW Bands and Labels Volume One. It was a hit with bands but a bust with trading card influencers at the time because "the cards were not the standard dimensions."
The sizing was not a mistake. Again, Frank sized the cards so if they were mixed with other trading cards, you could stack them and shake out the Bands And Labels cards. The concept was based on the trick for "TV Magic Cards". BTW, it works.
Following Volume One the demand grow to be a part of the card sets. So, Volume Two and Three were compiled and released. This time he listened to the Trading Card reviews and designed the cards to the standard dimensions
200+ sets of each volume was distributed to A&R Reps to introduce other bands in the Pacific Northwest that were not the top 4 trending bands at the time -- Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
Too Punk Rock for his own good.
As the cable networks started to really blow up in 1993. Independent producers lost their access to the local TV market. Local programming like, Almost Live... gone, Spud Goodman found his way back to Community Access and Frank a new father who was tapped out covering the cost of multiple music related projects lost a certain kind of motivation due to a sincere lack of funding.
CAN I BUY THESE CARD SETS?
Here are the facts, a majority of the packaged card sets that were available when Frank left the TV Series and other related projects all went to MoPOP Museum of modern culture (formally EMP Experience Project) to be properly stored and archived.
Kinda funny though, because at the time the doors of EMP wasn't even open. The curators were trying to get their hands on everything "Local" but, unlike acquisitions from other places, they wanted all the locals to give their prize possessions to them as "gifts", problem was they were willing to buy from others.
My donation included more then 150 episode of music video programming - Bombshelter Videos and the NorthWest Rock Music Video series. Plus nearly 1,000 individual music videos, and some of the cloths I wore in the program... AND, the remaining boxed and unboxed sets of NW Bands and Label Trading Cards. To date MoPOP/EMP have not made them available to the public.
Come to think of it. None of the programs I hosted either.
However, at the time of the donation, there were a couple hundred sets being held by a vendor. Who recently had been listing them on Ebay. Remember, these cards were created in 1993, they are basically vintage grunge history. So, from what we understand, all three sets are only available at Jive Time Records in Fremont, Washington. Remember to Ask For Them By Name.