GREAT MOMENTS IN SHIRTS
The first-ever rock shirt is believed to have been made by an Elvis fan club.
Promoters promise $1 and a free Beatles shirt to all who welcomed the band to America at JFK airport. 4,000 fans came.
An Allman Brothers shirt sells so well, show promoter Bill Graham launches the first big music merch company.
Dee Dee Ramone (né Douglas Colvin) meets Arturo Vega, who’d become the Ramones’ designer, T-shirt seller, and more.
Bob Marley becomes the first highly prominent band leader to have his portrait on an official shirt.
Maiden in Texas! Maiden in Japan! Iron Maiden popularizes a new sales idea: unique shirts for each leg of a tour.
After the BBC bans Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s song “Relax,” this shirt blows up.
Photographer Glen E. Friedman famously puts Chuck D and Flavor Flav in Minor Threat shirts.
Fugazi refuses to make shirts for itself. Boston merch company Just Say Rock fills the void with an instant-classic bootleg.
Kurt Cobain routinely wears singer Daniel Johnston’s shirt, prompting Atlantic Records to sign Johnston.
Beavis and Butt-head debut in AC/DC and Metallica logo shirts, which the bands hadn’t been making. But they soon started.
Robbie in The Wedding Singer, to his ex: “Please get out of my Van Halen T-shirt before you jinx the band and they break up.”
Disney briefly sells an unlicensed shirt blending Mickey with Joy Division’s 1979 Unknown Pleasures. On ebay, it’s now $300-plus.
Licensed Slayer merch gets warm and fuzzy: Locoape begins annual Slayer ironic Christmas sweaters.
Morrissey outfits his band in these shirts, protesting his former label. Harvest Records responds by selling the shirts.