Band T-shirt Etiquette

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A good friend of mine, John, is a strident purist when it comes to
band-related shirts. Unless he was actually at the show in question, he won't wear a concert shirt. Like myself, he's perturbed by the "rock ironic chic" trend of the last few years, but he's particularly offended by shirts displaying bands that, in all likelihood, probably never sold shirts in their heyday (i.e. he hates people wearing Velvet Underground shirts, as chances are, when the Velvets originally played out, they probably weren't hawking merchandise). Moreover, he won't wear shirts that merely display the band's name or logo -- it has to have originated at a show he himself attended, or he won't go near it. A friend gave him a Clash shirt with the COMBAT ROCK logo on it (John being a big Clash fan), and he politely thanked him, but refused it,
admitting that he'd never wear it. So, yeah,......John has a hang-up, but I can kinda see his points sometime (however trivial this all is). But on the flipside of that argument -- who cares? If you like a band, why *NOT* wear the shirt? (But I still say that if ya don't know the band -- don't wear the damn shirt, ya poser!)

Overlooking the obvious trivial and juvenile nature of this dilemna, what say you? Do you follow any particular fashion stipulations when it comes to band t-shirts? Moreover, do you consider band t-shirts to be the hallmark of the sad loser to begin with? If so, why? If not, which ones do you wear and why? Pictures, incidentally, are welcome.

Discuss....

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 13 September 2002 17:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Do you *HONESTLY* believe this woman to be a Motorhead fan?

http://www.efanguide.com/~dreadematteo/pictures/app14.jpg

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 13 September 2002 17:46 (seventeen years ago) link

I own a small handful of rock t-shirts (all of them unsurprising if you're at all familiar with my musical obsessions) and of all of them, the only one I bought at an actual concert was a Beck shirt from his August 8th show earlier this year in St. Paul. I did find a website that sells tour t-shirts and I'm thinking I could get away with getting a Beastie Boys "Hello Nasty" tour shirt since I was there regardless of whether or not I got to buy any merch during the actual concert.

Nate Patrin, Friday, 13 September 2002 17:48 (seventeen years ago) link

I tend to wear rock shirts a bit. I have to admit that I have similar -- though not as stringent -- ettiquete points. I don't wear a shirt of a band unless I attended a show by that band, although that's mostly to avoid looking like a dope if someone asks me if I've seen them live. "Umm, no. I just, uh, like them a lot."

I think there's an exemption for bands that were obviously a done deal before you were born (Velvets, etc.) or are now fairly classic (Pixies for instance), but it's iffy.

The most important band t-shirt ettiquette thing is to not wear the band's t-shirt out to that same band's concert. Rules like this don't really matter or anything, but you look like a dork. "I'm your biggest fan!"

wl, Friday, 13 September 2002 17:56 (seventeen years ago) link

That's kind of a silly code to have, but I'm for anything that stops people from wearing band t-shirts. I used to have a bunch when I thought it was a good expression of what I was "about". It's like bumper-sticker philosophy, LOOK THIS IS WHAT DEFINES ME. There was this article in the Portland Oregonian about this girl who has a collection of 800. It doesn't make me sick or anything, it's a cultural status symbol. I like t-shirts with wolves and moons, now.
Do you like magic?

paul b, Friday, 13 September 2002 18:52 (seventeen years ago) link

I definately don't follow any kind of T-shirt etiquette. I often wear shirts that I don't promote at all. I have a "Broadway stars" shirt (I don't really like Broadway) I have a Y100 country radio shirt (And I definately hate modern country radio) I have a Nantucket Nectarfest shirt, some Spanish Festival shirt, a geography bee shirt from some middle school I didn't even go to. They are ironicly cool looking, and T-shirts are trivial (and I treat them as jokes). In fact I have plenty of T-shirts that I have no clue what they mean.

I also make a bunch of T-shirts. I made a Velvet Underground shirt with the cover of thier bootleg ("Sweet Sister Ray's Murder Mystery') and I made a David Bowie shirt with just an old picture of him that most people wouldn't even think was him. I also made a couple Spacemen 3 T-shirts. One guy came up to me and said, "Yeah, that's a great band, where did you get the T-shirt." I said "I made it!." I have a Merzbow shirt I got at a record store in Japan, which was the only one I actually bought. (and it's also a souvenir)

But wearing the band's T-shirt to the band's concert is really lame, especially if you are in that band (e.g. Sting)

A Nairn (moretap), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:04 (seventeen years ago) link

- Don't buy/wear "tour" shirts when you didn't attend the mentioned tour
- If you're on stage yourself, don't EVER wear your own band's shirt
- New shirts are out of the question, shrunken/grey early 80's shirts of legendary bands = true.
- Don't wear black shirts & Dockers.

Siegbran Hetteson (eofor), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:04 (seventeen years ago) link

at first I never thought abt T-shirts. But if I saw a Borbeto t-shirt then you know I'd be tempted. Or skullflower (in fact I am thinking of getting the cover for their Xaman alb to be printed onto a t-shirt becuz I love the band and the rec and the design). And I'd wear it too and I wouldn't give a shit if ppl thought whether it was cool or not. It would be a change from the colour t-shirts i wear. I mean, how can some stupid t-shirt define who you are anyway.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Ah, but bands wearing the t-shirts of the other bands on the bill (cf. the 'We Love This Fucking Tour' tour) is actually quite heartening.

I wear band t-shirts cos... I like 'em. And I'd rather have Ikara Colt across me chest than "PENNSVILLE ATHLETIC SQUAD: 69 :IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE". I accept this might be just me, tho.

Mr Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I only ever buy T-Shirts at gigs anyway - where else do you people get them???

Where do label tees fit into this etiquette.

When I was 20 almost every top i had was a band t shirt and now I'm down to four, one of which bands I don't even like anymore. I dont really like any of the shirts now either.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:27 (seventeen years ago) link

where else do you people get them
Record shops, mailorder distros, labels...

Siegbran Hetteson (eofor), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Wow....there's actually a surprising lack of bile, derision and mallice on this thread so far! Who knew?!?! A kinder, gentler ILM?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:54 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm wearing an Angry Samoans shirt right now.

Kris (aqueduct), Friday, 13 September 2002 19:57 (seventeen years ago) link

Not buying a t-shirt for a band unless you were at a gig = STUPID TO THE EXTREME. God, that's turning band t-shirts into the equivalent of those lame "My boyfriend went to London and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". Feh!

I don't have a problem with band t-shirts, so long as it is an expression of your personality/tastes. mind you, I said EXPRESSION. I hate it when people use their band t-shirts as a REPLACEMENT for any kind of taste or style. Doing so over the age of 15 is extremely questionable. Even doing so at the age of 15 is questionable, but hey, everyone does questionable things at the age of 15.

Wearing a band t-shirt to the concert = DUD.
Wearing your OWN band's t-shirt (especially at a concert) = CLASSIC.

Especially if they are specially made t-shirts catered to each member's personality. That's so bubblegum it's instant classic. (yes, of course, because we've done it, too.)

Why, I'm wearing a t-shirt for my fictional band right now. I got it while on tour in Seattle, it says Charm School Reject, which was the original name of The Charms, so of course, I HAD to have it. I don't have a Don't Hate Kate t-shirt any more; one of the Dandy Warhols stole it.

kate, Friday, 13 September 2002 20:03 (seventeen years ago) link

man, I was having a hard time figuring out what it was okay to listen to around here and now I have to worry about what to *wear* too?!? This is all so confusing!... anyway, I have a couple general fashion rules (no logos, for example), but in terms of band t-shirts I'll wear it if it a) looks good on me (duh), b) is a band I genuinely love and admire, and c) is relatively cheap. Seems to me the "where" and "when" of the purchase is immaterial - I mean, do you worry about when your pants were sewn? Duh. The shirts I've got and regularly wear:

- orange shirt with the art from Miles Davis' "On the Corner" on it
- pink Sun Ra Research shirt (great spiel from Ra on the back)
- MC5 Babes in Arms shirt
- Fat Possum shirt (pic of a Possum digging in a trashcan, reads "Oxford Mississippi")
- Primal Scream "XTRMTR" tour shirt. No band name, just the "Kill All Hippies" text.
- Spiritualized t-shirt. Again, no band name, but this has a picture of Jason walking down the street in his astronaut's outfit.
- Andrew WK shirt. Bought at the show - no name, just the "I Get Wet" album cover photo
- Small Faces shirt
- Jane's Addiction "Nothing's Shocking" shirt that I've had since high school (and thus of some sentimental value)

...mmm I think thats it. Deride me at will.

Shaky Mo Collier, Friday, 13 September 2002 20:14 (seventeen years ago) link

I believe everyone is in agreement that one should *NEVER* wear a specific band's t-shirt to that very band's performance (as Jeremy Piven sagely intoned in the underheralded classic, "PCU," to a then-portly John Favreau on his way to see the fictitious Merkins while wearing a Merkins t-shirt: "Don't be that guy!")

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 13 September 2002 20:15 (seventeen years ago) link

"You're ALWAYS fashionable with a Motörhead shirt"

Siegbran Hetteson (eofor), Friday, 13 September 2002 20:22 (seventeen years ago) link

I bought a black Tortoise t-shirt when they stopped into town to play last spring. It's got the "Standards" album cover art right in the center. I really liked the art, because it's a way of suggesting exactly what their music is -- a reconstruction of jazz music, arguably America's first all-American music. But ever since Sept 11th, I've had trouble wearing it in public due to the odd and often times foul stares I've received from wearing a t-shirt with a mangled American flag on it. I'm waiting for someone to say "hey, what the fuck's up with that, you commie!" to which I would say "well, no, it's not like that, see..." and then explain the cut-up jazz thing, but fuck it. I've just stopped wearing the shirt in public.

It's kind of too small, anyway.

Famous Athlete, Friday, 13 September 2002 20:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Some five years ago a boy was actually taken to court in Britain (on charges of blasphemy) for wearing a "Jesus Is A Cunt" shirt (from circus-act Cradle Of Filth).

Siegbran Hetteson (eofor), Friday, 13 September 2002 20:30 (seventeen years ago) link

I once had to justify to a friend's (very Catholic) mother why I was wearing an Afghan Whigs tee with a depiction of the sacred heart on the front. "I hope that isn't sacreligious." It was awkward.

wl, Friday, 13 September 2002 20:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Some five years ago a boy was actually taken to court in Britain (on charges of blasphemy) for wearing a "Jesus Is A Cunt" shirt (from circus-act Cradle Of Filth).

Good.

Who is it that does those "NUKE IBIZA" band tees? Great tee-shirts, but the band are shit. Hundred Reasons?

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Friday, 13 September 2002 20:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Some five years ago a boy was actually taken to court in Britain (on charges of blasphemy) for wearing a "Jesus Is A Cunt" shirt (from circus-act Cradle Of Filth).

Of course, if he wore that shirt in LA, he'd be more likely to get beat to a pulp by some dude named Jesús.

wl, Friday, 13 September 2002 21:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Someone got arrested for wearing a Clint Boon Experience t-shirt with 'Cooler Than Fuck' written on it - breach of the peace or something...

Mr Swygart (mrswygart), Friday, 13 September 2002 21:16 (seventeen years ago) link

i've never owned a band t-shirt or been to a good concert.

mitch lastnamewithheld, Friday, 13 September 2002 21:27 (seventeen years ago) link

I went to see Hanoi Rocks of their first UK tour, and bought 2 t-shirts (the cover of "Bankok shakes..." album) I bought 2 because they were something like £2.50 each! about 10 years later, I was wearing one when this poser glammer offered me thirty quid for it! AND I SAID NO!!!!! 3y3 /-\|\/| /-\ |=3\/\/|_!¡!¡!¡!¡

Strangely enough, I sort of agree with the sentiments of NYC alex' friend. I know it seems silly, but it does seem sort of right. T-shirt I wish I'd bought - Stereolab "electric music" design. Last band t-shirt I bought, Dark Star's one-and-only headlining tour. It has vanished, just like the band, more's the pity. And Shakey - PRML SCRM "KLL LL HPPS" T? Bad move. I've never seen anyone wearing that one who didn't lookmlike a prize chump. Hahah you did ask for derision, dud U not?

N0RM4N PH4Y, Friday, 13 September 2002 21:51 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm not sure the not wearing the t-shirt of the band on the stage is such a sin. When I see people doing it, it's never looked bad. Is there a rationale for it?

Graham (graham), Friday, 13 September 2002 21:57 (seventeen years ago) link

Anyone who bought into the fad of a few years ago of wearing old metal t-shirts tricked out with studs and rhinestones (these things were selling in hyperhip boutiques for hundreds of dollars) should have been locked up for criminal insanity.

j.lu (j.lu), Friday, 13 September 2002 22:12 (seventeen years ago) link

All Saints did that on their last album cover! Good old All Saints.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 13 September 2002 22:14 (seventeen years ago) link

but I really do hate hippies! I live in SF for chrissakes, it's hard not to... their sanctimonious, patchouli-stinking, spare-changing, Ben and Jerry patronizing, Phish-listening asses irritate me constantly. They wouldn't be so bad if they didn't all take their cultural cues from a generation that basically sold the world down the river for the price of a ponytail haircut and a Jaguar parked in their Marin County hideaways. Granted I only wear the KILL ALL HIPPIES shirt in public when I'm looking to annoy people/start arguments. The AWK shirt gets a lot of dirty looks as well.

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 13 September 2002 22:23 (seventeen years ago) link

They wouldn't be so bad if they didn't all take their cultural cues from a generation that basically sold the world down the river

Like there was a generation that didn't??

And Primal Scream ARE hippies! Stinkin' loved up higher than the sun love, peace & Stones boogie HIPPIES!! Bless their hearts.

Me, I'm just really proud of my Mod jacket with pins on it. My ambition is to own so many of those that they cover every last part of the jacket (will probably never happen- so far, I've only got six: Johnny Cash, Eddie Chocran, The Smiths, The Clash, The Specials and Dennis Brown.)

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 13 September 2002 22:58 (seventeen years ago) link

i've got a depeche mode shirt. i don't really know any of their songs except for the personal jesus one but it's a cool shirt. and that guy died! dave gahan. i even know his name. he died! he was dead because he injected too much cocaine into himself and he came back to life. my friend went to see a depeche mode concert in minneapolis, too. a couple of years ago. he enjoyed it.

dk, Friday, 13 September 2002 23:05 (seventeen years ago) link

On the subject of wearing t-shirt to same band's gig, it's ok if the shirt is tatty, grey and with a logo they currently disown from a secret gig/ early toilet tour.

Marinaorgan, Friday, 13 September 2002 23:34 (seventeen years ago) link


Do you *HONESTLY* believe this woman to be a Motorhead fan?


Uh no, I don't KNOW because I haven't met her in person to check if it's just a fashion pose... Anyway on what basis can you tell she DOESNT? Based on her nose? Her blonde hair? I mean WHAT exactly gives it away it's just a pose? Oh whatEVER y'know.

nathalie (nathalie), Saturday, 14 September 2002 00:30 (seventeen years ago) link

Actually, I can. Her name is Drea deMatteo, and she's the proprieter of a store here in NYC's East Village called Filth Mart, a boutique that sells exclusively "vintage" concert t-shirts, usually augmented with rhinestones.

You could put a gun to her head ask her to name three Motorhead tracks, and she'd fail miserably.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 September 2002 01:31 (seventeen years ago) link

...she's also an actress, incidentally. And her store's augmented t-shirts sell for *HUNDREDS* of dollars.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 September 2002 01:33 (seventeen years ago) link

luckily only psychopaths would put guns to people's heads to test their music knowledge on the basis of their wardrobes.

Josh (Josh), Saturday, 14 September 2002 01:52 (seventeen years ago) link

You're missing the point, of course.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 September 2002 01:55 (seventeen years ago) link

she looks like a banger to me.

brian badword (badwords), Saturday, 14 September 2002 01:58 (seventeen years ago) link

no alex I think you've made it pretty well.

Josh (Josh), Saturday, 14 September 2002 02:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, there's the sanctimony and derision I was expecting.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 14 September 2002 02:41 (seventeen years ago) link

that's rich.

I have a House of Pain T-shirt that I bought for $2 and makes a very functional nightshirt. Is that not reason enough?

felicity (felicity), Saturday, 14 September 2002 07:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Paying 100s of dollars for a T-Shirt = lunacy whatever's on it.

Augmenting old rock t-shirts with rhinestones = bad how exactly? Rhinestones are a big country music/liberace thing i.e. to metropolitan types they carry this overtone of kitsch, so what these T-Shirts are really saying is that rock, especially vintage rock is itself kitsch now, with the further implications that i)no of course I don't know three Motorhead tracks, ii)if you care about having your dead culture taken the piss out of then you're a bit sad.

i.e. Alex is right to hate them, but only cos they hated him first. They're a fairly brutal anti-rock statement. Anyone who wears one of them and a selection of current rock band tees is either a right chump or very clever.

Tom (Groke), Saturday, 14 September 2002 07:40 (seventeen years ago) link

the only item of clothing mentioned in this thread that i ever would actually wear is the house of pain shirt

simon trife (simon_tr), Saturday, 14 September 2002 07:47 (seventeen years ago) link

The main act wearing the t-shirt of the support act onstage: classic.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 14 September 2002 10:10 (seventeen years ago) link

i have dope shirts!!!! i gots a 1984 dead kennedys new years flyer, melvins, mr bungle polo golf shirt, a bootleg cure shirt, 2 the the shirts, a shirt for unpopular manchester band the railway children, a motorhead shirt (signed by lemmy), 3 shirts from my friends band strung out, a wu wear hoodie, a sean john parka, and a long sleeve in flames shirt. i never wear any of them obv.

chaki (chaki), Saturday, 14 September 2002 10:31 (seventeen years ago) link

you are all mentalists: the only reason for wearing clothes AT ALL is to fuck with other people's heads obv

the rhinestone woman in the motorhead stuff has fucked with alex's so she owns this thread

mark s (mark s), Saturday, 14 September 2002 11:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Augmenting old rock t-shirts with rhinestones = bad how exactly? Rhinestones are a big country music/liberace thing i.e. to metropolitan types they carry this overtone of kitsch

Rock was also a big country music/liberace thing, so it's all good.

Daniel_Rf, Saturday, 14 September 2002 12:07 (seventeen years ago) link

band t. shirt story -
i go up 2 the dj booth of my local indie disco
circa mid 92. i hear a good song i don't know playing, so
(leans over)"who's this mate..." ?
"it's...(looks at morrissey t.shirt on my chest)...morrissey..."
song playing - 'glamorous glue'.
not my fault, the lp had only
just come out + i was a poor teen at the time.
what made it worse was i actually said as the dj was about
to answer, "is it gallon drunk..." ?

then there was the time both damon a. and justine f.
gave me a good natured hard time at elastica's 1st gig
up north ('93)cause i had my suede 'metal mickey' t. shirt on.

got punched in the head once at a party in chester, and
i'm not convinced it wasn't because i had a baby pink
skin-tight elastica t. shirt on.

piscesboy, Saturday, 14 September 2002 14:04 (seventeen years ago) link

I've boycotted all band merch in the last couple of years. Have you seen some of these bands, especially punk rock bands and their merch tables? It's like damn walwart. A few weeks ago I worked a Strung out show with three other bands on the bill. Even the opener (made up of Roadies for S/O) were selling 10 different T shirts. You could barely get into the club, there was so much crap clogging the entrance.

mogreen, Sunday, 15 September 2002 18:06 (seventeen years ago) link

hey--let's not knock Drea De Matteo. She is, after all, Adrianna of Sopranos fame. Her run at Jersey girl style and attitude is abso-fucking-lutely fantastic. Adrianna is such a great character. She deserves props for that, if nothing else. So what if she has a lame store that sells lame t-shirts.

cybele, Sunday, 15 September 2002 18:32 (seventeen years ago) link

I have http://www.spookyboutique.com/boutique/tshirts/swans12.gif. It's probably my favorite shirt.

Ivan, Friday, 23 March 2007 06:19 (twelve years ago) link

I don't like wearing shirts I buy at shows the day after the show; it seems too show-offy or something. I love most all of my shirts... except my Mouse on Mars one that's somehow not cut right and feels really weird when I wear it, like one of my sleeves is twisted and tugging on the armpit/shoulder or something. I have this Can shirt I like too but I tore a small hole in the sleeve a few weeks ago and now I'm bummed :-/. And my one Sleater-Kinney shirt has a hole near the neck, but it's this design:
http://www.killrockstars.com/catalog/large/sleater_387t3.gif
so it just kinda makes it look punk rocky or something. There's also this Aphex Twin shirt I made (with the logo on the front, the rephlex logo on the back, and the fragmented SAW II spelling of "Aphex Twin" going across the side) but it's a tad too big/baggy. I've wanted one of those Pavement Ist Rad shirts for a while...

Stevie D, Friday, 23 March 2007 07:42 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Over two years since the last post, surely cultural mores have shifted some since then?

For example, is it OK to wear a t-shirt for a band whose music you've got off bittorrent but never actually bought?
What if you download a scan of the shirt from bittorrent and print it yourself?

mei, Monday, 11 May 2009 21:49 (ten years ago) link

My bro gave me a sweet Grateful Dead tshirt this weekend. Stoked.

Trip Maker, Monday, 11 May 2009 21:51 (ten years ago) link

pretty sure it's only ok to wear t-shirts for bands you've never heard

Ømår Littel (Jordan), Monday, 11 May 2009 21:51 (ten years ago) link

i wear what i want, and if it's not ok, you can suck it

:)

Surmounter, Monday, 11 May 2009 21:54 (ten years ago) link

the only band t-shirt i have is an old Caribou one, and I was never in to them, liked them live but the albums are boring. Nice design tho, pink lettering on yellow.

Have two record label t-shirts, this:

http://www.boomkat.com/media/stock_images/tectonicredSMALL.jpg

and this (in white):

http://www.catapult.co.uk/resources/cache/resize_fixed_height_resources-product-images-22108-bbkblueoutjpg.350x.jpg

Really couldn't care less about the politics of wearing band shirts, except I always feel it's a bit lame when someone wears the band shirt to the gig, whole lotta stanning goin' on.

languid samuel l. jackson (jim), Monday, 11 May 2009 22:02 (ten years ago) link

i only wear my own band's shirts these days

Ømår Littel (Jordan), Monday, 11 May 2009 22:03 (ten years ago) link

I own a Univers Zero 1313 t-shirt that has a picture of a random band (not univers zero) on it.

No one ever notices this, however.

Amenaza Elegante, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:08 (ten years ago) link

i don't have any band shirts any longer, except the very well-fitting Belle & Sebastian shirt i bought on their 2002 tour. i am embarassed to wear it now except when i am doing laundry or going to bed or hungover and putzing.

the table is the table, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:13 (ten years ago) link

yea the only thing i have is my Lilith Fair tshirt. i wear it

Surmounter, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:42 (ten years ago) link

I'm wearing a Lou Reed New York Tour shirt right now. I was born that year. It's really old and xxl, but I love it.

Banvil! The Story of Banvil (Tape Store), Monday, 11 May 2009 22:46 (ten years ago) link

oops, duh it's old, i meant 'worn,' thx

Banvil! The Story of Banvil (Tape Store), Monday, 11 May 2009 22:46 (ten years ago) link

k whew i was about to deduct points

Surmounter, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:47 (ten years ago) link

I never heard this don't wear a band's old shirt to a show thing until this thread.

I think paying for today's overpriced tickets would be more a more embarrassing admission of fandom than admitting you went to a concert 10 years ago.

james k polk, Monday, 11 May 2009 22:52 (ten years ago) link

yeah but it's just like "fuck, obviously you like the band." actually i don't care about people wearing the band's t shirts to shows but whenever say metallica or iron maiden come to town there'll always be their shitty old boring fans on the metro or bus the next day or the afternoon of wearing shirts. i don't know if i'd say i condemn doing such a thing, but it depresses me when i imagine myself 30 years from now in the same situation.

samosa gibreel, Monday, 11 May 2009 23:42 (ten years ago) link

Just throwin' this into the mix...

A question to those of you who wear "concert" t-shirts.

peepee, Monday, 11 May 2009 23:47 (ten years ago) link

at his show in oakland, jeff beck had an awesome t-shirt for sale with the Beck/Bogert/Appece logo that i would have gotten but fuck $30 for that shit. and i have a problem fitting into t-shirts so i probably would hardly ever wear it anyway.

the one "band" shirt that fit me was an aphex twin one. i was not informed of this until the shirt was already in tatters, but i guess the logo is extremely similar that of this video game "half life" but i guess afx is about as dorky as videos games so whatevs

QE II, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 00:12 (ten years ago) link

Funny that this thread should be revived as just yesterday, I posted a sorta semi-related piece. Read it by clickin' right here .

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 00:43 (ten years ago) link

i wouldn't wear a reproduction concert shirt, even for a show i went to. that's just retarded. however, if i manage to score a shirt that was bought at a concert i didn't go to, that's cool (i got my Depeche Mode Violator tour shirt at a thrift shop in the late 90's for $1, i inherited a Donovan '84 tour shirt from my dad which was pretty awesome with this weird heart/peace sign logo).

if a band had shirts that were made with logos/artwork and not associated with a tour, i have and will wear those. some of my favs were the Nirvana seahorses shirt, the Porno for Pyros shirt with the city in flames in the front and the band's name written in naked women across the bottom of the back, and i was wearing an extremely faded Tribe Called Quest shirt with the "Beats Rhymes and Life" artwork on the front the morning my son was born back in December 01.

the offensive band shirts are fun too: the My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult shirt that said their name and had a hand holding a dripping knife on it (with the same thing mirror imaged on the back!) always got comments, my Anal Cunt shirt from their 96 or so tour is pretty much one of the most offensive shirts i've ever seen anyone wear (it was hard to actually sport this in public), and my old school Anti-Flag shirt (circa 94, way before they had much popularity outside of pittsburgh) with the guy burning a flag on it would draw some good comments.

nowadays i'm into label shirts and shit like that. Inner City, Trax, Dance Mania, Technoir Audio, 7th City, Underground Resistance (the puffy paint one of course!), Hot Mix 5, and Prestige are amongst the ones i wear now. i also have a really great "The Godson" shirt which is essentially a shirt for Rick Wilhite, which i probably wouldn't wear if that wasn't my boy. oh yeah, i have the cover photo from the "Anotha Black Sunday" LP with Moodymann's face on it but no text which is awesome because no one knows who it is.

i definitely support the wearing of shirts that are unrelated to the music being played at the event. though i did recently wear my UR shirt to a techno gig which got me many many positive comments from fuckheads that i am sure couldn't name one track of theirs. unintentionally irritating, but it helped since i was handing out flyers for an upcoming gig.....

pipecock, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 02:22 (ten years ago) link

oh yeah, i also rock shirts for record shops now, especially the local pittsburgh shops when i am going record shopping out of town.

pipecock, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 02:40 (ten years ago) link

Are label shirts are the trend nowadays? I saw two young guys in a restaurant recently...they were both wearing musical shirts of some kind, one of them was a Trojan Records shirt, and it struck me "hmm...a label t-shirt...that's kindof an interesting thing" I don't remember there even being any label t-shirts back in the day. Some wonderful goth put the 4AD logo on the back of their black leather jacket, though, and it was a sight to behold.

What's wrong with being a big fan of a band and wearing a t-shirt to one of their gigs? I refuse to be embarassed about that. Band T-shirts are to wear and be seen in and compare with other fans, even. Those people out there who might think I'm uncool for wearing one are not the people I'm concerned about.

More Goth Than Your Grandmother (Bimble), Tuesday, 12 May 2009 02:57 (ten years ago) link

One of my favorite memories of Area:One at The Gorge was walking around and seeing the entire history of New Order represented in tour and album tee shirts.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 03:24 (ten years ago) link

i buy band shirts at shows (but never tour shirts) and i make sure i buy a shirt for a record store when the employees start calling me by name

lol "Hoosical Steens"

More Goth Than Your Grandmother (Bimble), Tuesday, 12 May 2009 03:37 (ten years ago) link

"Are label shirts are the trend nowadays?

― More Goth Than Your Grandmother (Bimble)"

i think they've been a music nerd thing. i used to rock a Moon Ska shirt back in the day with the whole roster of the label listed on the back, that was an awesome shirt. i always wanted a Sub Pop one waaaayyyy back when but i never got one. it's a bit easier to love dance music labels in general, maybe because of relatively small numbers of releases?

pipecock, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 05:22 (ten years ago) link

four years pass...

this is pretty amazing. i couldn't believe it was real

http://www.primark.com/whats-new/article/186

piscesx, Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:19 (six years ago) link

Tenji Tosspot · Top commenter · Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

too much Michu, not enough meta (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:12 (six years ago) link

A good friend of mine, John, is a strident purist when it comes to band-related shirts. Unless he was actually at the show in question, he won't wear a concert shirt. Like myself, he's perturbed by the "rock ironic chic" trend of the last few years, but he's particularly offended by shirts displaying bands that, in all likelihood, probably never sold shirts in their heyday (i.e. he hates people wearing Velvet Underground shirts, as chances are, when the Velvets originally played out, they probably weren't hawking merchandise). Moreover, he won't wear shirts that merely display the band's name or logo -- it has to have originated at a show he himself attended, or he won't go near it. A friend gave him a Clash shirt with the COMBAT ROCK logo on it (John being a big Clash fan), and he politely thanked him, but refused it,
admitting that he'd never wear it.

I would like to read a short story or novella that used this as it's opening paragraph.

One Trick Over-Painted Pony (soref), Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:13 (six years ago) link

Ivor Porkbelly · Do what i want when i want at Semi Retired
Worn by chavs with no musical knowledge-Pathetic..

One Trick Over-Painted Pony (soref), Tuesday, 12 November 2013 10:14 (six years ago) link

its opening paragraph

One Trick Over-Painted Pony (soref), Tuesday, 12 November 2013 11:28 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

If someone is wearing a T-shirt of a band/artist you like, is there a-n-y appropriate or non-weird comment to make other than, “I like your shirt?”

Mocha Sauce (morrisp), Thursday, 13 February 2020 16:09 (two weeks ago) link

Sure! I mean, I reckon comments related to the band in question are all appropriate, as long as you don't say something condescending or creepy or dick-like, i.e., don't say anything you wouldn't say in any other circumstances. I've had some nice conversations with people this way, and some of those people are my friends now!

may the force leave us alone (zchyrs), Thursday, 13 February 2020 17:29 (two weeks ago) link

I was at the grocery store a few months back wearing a Misfits shirt, and one of the cashiers asked me if I went to see them play recently on their reunion tour. ... Totally legit question.

sarahell, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:27 (two weeks ago) link

that's a good one

or just point at the shirt and say "<band name>! hell yeah!"

mh, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:30 (two weeks ago) link

I've gotten "I like your shirt" when it was clear the person saying it had no idea it was a band shirt, so if you're saying it because you do know and enjoy the musical act maybe follow up "nice shirt" with something about the band

if it's a thrift store/salvaged shirt and they aren't actually into the band, would recommend shrugging it off with "oh, that's cool"

mh, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:33 (two weeks ago) link

I met my first two bfs in high school because I said I liked their tshirt of certain band. There has been other band t shirt passing conversation in my life, both ways. I don't think it's creepy though if it's sincere and you don't expect anything else from the comment.

Yerac, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:38 (two weeks ago) link

A lot of my long term friendships started that way.

Weird one - I went to the movies last night with my Queensryche tour shirt from last year and the manager says "I love your shirt by the way", so I said thanks and he kept saying "Al Bundy" after and it looked like he was talking about my shirt to the guy next to him as he was still facing me and the other guy didn't know who Al Bundy was so he explained it.

Obv kinda confused as my shirt very much did not look like Al Bundy nor was he a Ryche fan. Thought maybe it was a side convo or he was making fun of my receding hairline but i was embarrassed and confused.

Already embarrassed i hand my ticket to the taker to scan only to be told it was for the wrong Regal cos I was an idiot when i bought the tickets.

Went home and locked my door.

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:39 (two weeks ago) link

me and my ex met when he complimented my punk jacket that I had adorned the back of with duct tape that said "Part-Time Punks" ... it was part conceptual and part because I liked that song. I don't think he was familiar with the song, but he liked the concept and in highschool he was the arty kid that drew flyers for his friends' punk bands' shows

sarahell, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:42 (two weeks ago) link

For dudes like me who are mega shu sometimes it helps start a convo i wouldn't have been able to otherwise

sorry for butt rockin (Neanderthal), Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:43 (two weeks ago) link

granted, "arty kid" in that high school context meant being able to draw a variety of skulls with fine-point sharpie

sarahell, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:44 (two weeks ago) link

https://data.whicdn.com/images/20497400/original.png

sarahell, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:47 (two weeks ago) link

When The Occasion was still playing around NYC I once saw a friend wearing their tee and said "Nice shirt, what's The Occasion?" I'm still proud of that joke.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:50 (two weeks ago) link

I have this cool Beach Boys "Black Flag" shirt:

https://www.misswit.net/images/product_image/Black_Flag_w_address.jpg

I love it for lots of reasons, but mostly because the Beach Boys and Blag Flag more or less hailed from the same place. Anyway, I love the Beach Boys but (tbh) have never really listened to Black Flag. I wore the Beach Boys shirt to Trader Joe's once, and the green haired dude working the register complimented me on it, then started talking about ... Black Flag. I kind of nodded along and made small talk, but, like, read the fine print!

My favorite shirt might be this Opeth shirt that some Egyptian fan translated and redesigned into cursive Arabic:

https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/max_1200/84a36227805587.5636bbbe12a21.jpg

I like it because it's a cool design made cooler the more you know what's going on with it. Might wear it to the show tomorrow, not that anyone will know, because it will be like 7 degrees and no one sells Opeth sweaters or long underwear.

I also love my Grant McLennan shirt, for much the same reason. It's his last name, but designed to look like the Monkees logo. Though I once wore it out and someone thought it was a Phish logo.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:53 (two weeks ago) link

I wore the Beach Boys shirt to Trader Joe's once, and the green haired dude working the register complimented me on it, then started talking about ... Black Flag.

As a (barely relevant) follow-up, I will note that I have regularly seen Henry Rollins shopping at Trader Joe's.

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Thursday, 13 February 2020 18:57 (two weeks ago) link

Was he wearing a shirt?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 13 February 2020 19:40 (two weeks ago) link

No shirt, no shoes, no service.

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Thursday, 13 February 2020 19:44 (two weeks ago) link

I had my peak "band shirt to gig" moment a few years back, went to see Mogwai here in Hobart (ass end of the earth) and thought you know what, my CAN "Future Days" t shirt is perfect so I wore that. By a chain of coincidences I ended up going out with Barry Burns and a few friends until about 4am. At one point in the evening Barry squints at my shirt and says, "I fuckin love your shirt man. Actually, I think CAN might be my favourite band of all time." This vindicated the shirt choice dilemma so perfectly that I could turn up to every gig for the rest of my life in a Ralph Lauren polo and still feel cool overall.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Thursday, 13 February 2020 22:38 (two weeks ago) link

I've complimented two people wearing t-shirts of a band I am in and neither knew who I was

PaulTMA, Friday, 14 February 2020 00:42 (two weeks ago) link

I have made lifelong friends by talking to people wearing interesting band shirts at gigs.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 14 February 2020 02:10 (two weeks ago) link


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