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Published March 09, 2024 Updated March 11, 2024

Rock & Pop Legends

Stunning photos of a selection of US and UK music artists.

2005 United Kingdom Bird Playing Cards Worldwide Co The Beatles Haime and Butler Music Pop Culture Add to Collection

Above: Rock & Pop Legends playing cards, each card showing photographs of iconic performers in action.

The Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades…” So sang Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead back in 1980. Sadly, they didn’t make it into this collection of 55 photographs of top songsters.

Instead, there are seven colour and forty-eight monochromes - mainly Getty images - save for the ace of diamonds and eight of clubs. Many images are all the artists belting out one of their songs, with very few posed. The Beatles get four cards for themselves (a group shot, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison), but the rest are all unique.  To gain a place in the deck, it looks like each performer had to be popular both sides of the Atlantic.

A colour shot of Status Quo adorns the back of the cards.

The pack was designed by Haime & Butler in London (Bermondsey at the time). The printer was chosen by WORLDWIDE CO. of Acton who commissioned the pack and distributed it in the gift trade. About 10,000 were sold. 

The selection of pop stars was chosen by Nicholas Bird’s (owner of Bird Playing Cards) postman, Simon Johnston, who was a rock buff!  The deck did not include Nirvana, because Nicholas could not find a good image, and the omission raised eyebrows as they were important at that time. Image rights were a problem in the USA and for that reason they were not sold there or in Canada. They may have been reprinted once but ceased to be offered around 2007.  The printing and manufacture were very cheap, and Nicholas now uses Piatnik for his supplier and printer.

With grateful thanks to Nicholas Bird for his information, memories and anecdotes.


Rock & Pop Legends
Rock & Pop Legends
Rock & Pop Legends
Rock & Pop Legends
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16 Articles

By Ian Taylor

Member since June 20, 2022

I've played card games from the age of three, collecting all things "cards" from 16 and finally started to specialise at 58! Thanks to these wonderful pages and a certain Mr Lodge, my main interest is in British decks, with examples of the English standard pattern in other countries. I am beginning to develop a liking for Belgium and German cards, too. It's nice to be able to spend time writing profiles for WOPC, on more modern yet beautiful decks. Looking forward to retiring in April, when I can spend more time on this wonderful interest.


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