THE UL­TI­MATE COL­LEC­TOR

Maxim - - INFORMER: ROCK T-SHIRTS - Re­port­ing by An­thony Pappalardo and Ja­son Feifer.

How deep does your col­lec­tion go?

I don’t know. It’s ridicu­lous. When I was work­ing at Mys­pace, ev­ery day I’d wear a dif­fer­ent shirt and peo­ple would say, “How many do you own?” Even­tu­ally I said, “I could lit­er­ally wear a dif­fer­ent shirt for 500 days.” So I did. Then I did 1,000. Then 1,400. [He chron­i­cles this on his site, Mi­northread.com.] Now I don’t know how to stop. I feel like at some point I’ll just freak out and sell them all.

But you’re still buy­ing, right?

Yeah. No­body’s buy­ing records any­more, and I want to sup­port mu­sic. But I also set ebay alerts for bands I love. And I’m not afraid to go up to some­one at a con­cert and say, “That shirt’s awe­some; I’ll give you $20 for it right now.” Worst case is they say no, and you start a con­ver­sa­tion with some­body who has a com­mon in­ter­est with you.

Why did you de­velop such a con­nec­tion to shirts?

It’s kind of an ana­log so­cial net­work­ing. When you’re out some­place and some­one looks at your shirt and says, “Oh, Green Day, sick, I love that record,” that’s how you con­nect to peo­ple. It’s the cover of the book of who you are.

Do you have a fa­vorite?

No. Ev­ery shirt is a mem­ory or re­flec­tion of some time in my life, or maybe an al­bum I loved or the era of mu­sic I loved. It’s all about my re­la­tion­ship to that mu­sic.

But relationships with bands come and go. And when they go, all you’re left with is some lame shirt.

That’s what makes you in­ter­est­ing— your pit­falls, that you liked the band that might have been cheesy. I used to love Primus in the ’90s. The mu­sic doesn’t hold up, but I still have this Friz­zle Fry shirt that I bought from that tour, and I’ll wear it gladly, even though I’m slightly em­bar­rassed. I’m to­tally proud to say I was there at that time, and I was into it, and I’m not go­ing to lie.

ISAC WAL­TER HAS WORN A DIF­FER­ENT BAND SHIRT EACH DAY FOR AL­MOST FOUR YEARS STRAIGHT.

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