Besides a face tattoo of your favorite band, rock T-shirts offer the best combination of artwork and advertising, acting like a membership badge that confers insider status. Some of the earliest T-shirts made to celebrate a musician were produced by Elvis Presley’s fan clubs during the late 1950s, just as the T-shirt was becoming an emblematic style choice for rebellious teenagers.

As rock-n-roll music spread, the 1959 invention of plastisol (a durable ink designed for use on fabric) cemented the concert T-shirt’s place in history. San Francisco-based promoter Bill Graham was one of the first to recognize the rock tee’s moneymaking potential toward the end of the 1960s, when he started printing shirts for popular West Coast acts like Jefferson Airplane.

But the golden era of the rock-n-roll T-shirt really began in the 1970s, as they evolved from free swag made for a band and its crew to a collectible piece of merchandise every fan needed. During the following decades, shirts were sold at every major show and tour, typically featuring imagery that let fans easily identify themselves as followers of an artist and their music. Groups like the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd had shirts that showcased psychedelia; punk acts like the Ramones, the Clash, and Sex Pistols went for an anarchist, DIY look; T-shirts for Ozzie Osborne, Mötley Crüe, and the Misfits featured darker and more violent graphics.

By the 1980s, fans of popular bands like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Van Halen, Journey, and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts all wanted their favorite artist’s faces emblazoned across their chests, as did those who liked music as diverse as Kiss, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Metallica, and David Bowie. Today, shirts for artists like Iron Maiden, the Police, and Nirvana continue to draw top dollar due to their powerful graphics and rabid fan-base. But for a true music geek, the holy grail is a concert shirt from a show you’ve actually seen in person; while many retailers make reproduction shirts, such knockoffs will always lack the “I was there” power of an authentic vintage rock shirt.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Remember Eddie Cochran

Remember Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran died in 1960 at the age of 21, but his legacy lives on at Remember Eddie Cochran. The site pays tribu… [read review or visit site]

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Wish you'd visited San Francisco in the late 1960s? Get a quick hit with this comprehensive collection of psychedel… [read review or visit site]

Dylanstubs.com

Dylanstubs.com

Hey babe, check out this database of over 2,900 Bob Dylan ticket stubs and concert posters, assembled with the help… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

While primarily designed to steer buyers to online vintage clothing shops, this blog is chock full of interesting, … [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Warzone "iron Cross" Tour Xl T Shirt, Nyhc, Agnostic Front, MadballIron Maiden Unworn Vintage Powerslave Sleeveless Tour Shirt 1985 Vtg 86 Black Flag Rollins Band Rare Nyhc Hardcore Punk Concert Tour 80s T ShirtIron Maiden - Somewhere In Time Tour - European Only Tour Shirt 1987 Super Rare!Warzone "iron Cross" Tour Xl T Shirt, Nyhc, Madball, Agnostic Front Metallica Vintage T Shirt Lot Of 5 80's Tour Concert 1986-1990 Thrash Metal EraOriginal Vintage Black Sabbath Concert Tee Shirt - 1978 Never Say Die TourSoundgarden Vintage T Shirt Lot Of 4 80's 90's Tour Concert Grunge SuperunknownBolt Thrower Og 4th Crusade 1993 Tour Shirt Vintage Dismember Entombed CarcassKiss 8 Lp Lot W Alive Tour T-shirt, Alive Iii Cd & 6 - 45s (w Detroit Rock City)Venom Nightmare Vintage Tour Shirt 1980s Slayer Metallica ThrashVtg 1991 Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion Rare Concert Tour ShirtMetallica Vintage T Shirt Lot Of 10 90's Tour Concert Black/load Era PusheadStussy Hustler Long Sleeve Men's Button Up Shirt Black M World Tour TribeVintage 1991 Prong 'prove You Wrong' Tour T-shirt L Band Ministry Helmet DanzigVintage Morrissey 1991 Long Sleeve T-shirt Size Xl Tour Concert The Smiths VeganVintage Judas Priest Shirt From Painkiller Tour. Iron Maiden, Metallica, SlayerStussy World Tour Tie Dye Tshirt Sz M Green Diamond Supreme Ssur CrooksVtg Iron Maiden Can I Play With Madness Seventh Son Of A 1988 Tour Xl T Shirt 2 Vtg 92 Nirvana Alice In Chains Grunge Rock Concert Tour 90s Rare T Shirt LotSlayer Vintage T Shirt Lot Of 8 90's Tour Concert Thrash Metal Seasons DivineVintage 90s Morrissey Boxers Tour T-shirt Britpop The Smiths Blur Depeche Mode1984 Neil Young - L Adult Concert Shirt (original Vintage Band Tee T-shirt)Prince & The Revolution Vintage Tour Shirt 80's LVintage Survivor 1984 Tour Shirt Red Hot Chili Peppers Vintage 1996 Shirt Rhcp 90s Punk Rock Tour Original MediumVtg 80s Mosquitohead Jimi Hendrix Rock Concert Tour Rare All Over Print T Shirt1988 Metallica ...and Justice For All Damaged Justice Tour Shirt - Spring FordRare Vintage Original Beatles Longsleeve Offwht Retro Thermal Concert Shirt 1969Vintage 1988 1989 Metallica And Justice For All Concert Tour T Shirt LVan Halen Monsters Of Rock Tour 1988 T Shirt Lg Never Worn Scorpions Metallica Bad Religion Og No Control 1990 Tour Shirt Vintage Bad Brains Dag Nasty Nofx Iron Maiden 2013 Number Of The Beast Shirt Xl Mint Maiden England TourTestament Vintage Tour Shirt 1989 Slayer Metallica ThrashVintage 1994 Marilyn Manson Concert Tour T-shirt Satan's Bake Sale RareVtg Pink Floyd 1987 1988 Momentary Lapse Of Reason Concert Tour Xl T Shirt BedsCheap Trick Original Vintage 1979 Tour T Shirt Jersey L Xl .99 Cents No ReserveVintage '94-'95 Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral World Tour Xl T Shirt Black NinRare Foo Fighters Nashville Concert T-shirt - Sonic Highways Halloween Show!Deep Purple Vintage Original 1987 Tour T-shirt (l) (ultra-rare Classic Rock!) Vintage Original Bruce Springsteen Tee Shirt Born In The Usa World Tour 84-85 MExodus Tour Shirt Pleasure Of The Flesh Tour 87.death Angel Vio-lence Heathen Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia Vintage 1980 Music Concert Tie Dye T-shirt Mens LIron Maiden Canada Event Shirt Somewhere Back In Time Canadian Tour RareVintage Janes Addiction 1990 Ritual De Lo Habitual Tour Shirt Size LMetallica 1994 Binge & Purge Vintage Tour T-shirt XlVintage 93' Pearl Jam (never Worn!) Threadworm Concert Promo T-shirt Rare Authentic 1970s Vintage Led Zeppelin 1977 Us Tour Shirt Swan SongDr. Know Concert Tour T Shirt Vintage 1987 Screen Stars Size Xl Never WornVintage 90s Tlc T-shirt Xl Hip Hop Lisa Left Eye Lopez Tour Salt N Pepa T.l.c.Stone Temple Pilots 1996-1997 Stp Vintage Tour T-shirt XlStryper Jacket Patch Glam Heavy Metal Hard Rock T-shirt Vtg 80s Tour Cd Lp RareExtreme Ii Get The Funk Out Vintage Tour T-shirt XlDepeche Mode World Violation Tour T Shirt L90s Beastie Boys Aloha Mr Hands Concert T Shirt Rap Hip Hp Def Jam Dj LargeRare Vintage 1991 Metallica Crew T-shirt Sz L Tour Guns N Roses Megadeth SlayerRatdog Shirt Tour Grateful Dead Vintage L Furthur Rare Holiday Pricing!Nuclear Assault Shirt Tour 1990 Overkill S.o.d Anthrax Prong Carnivore Nyhc Dire Straits On Every Street Sheffield 1990s Original Tour Shirt Rare! KnopflerSuper Vintage Grateful Dead Baseball T Shirt T-shirt 1983 Summer Tour - Rare