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”)

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

The VFG is a non-profit international educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vinta… [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    

Vintage Nirvana 1993 In Utero Concert Tour Sonic Youth Hole Grunge T Shirt LAuthentic Guns & Roses Banned Robot Rape T Shirt 1987 Tour Extra Large XlRare Vintage 1987 Def Leppard Hysteria Women Of Doom Concert T Shirt XlVintage Ozzy Osbourne 1986 Ultimate Sin Jersey Raglan Tour Shirt Size Large1981 Original Iron Maiden Japan Concert Tour T ShirtVtg Megadeth 1987 Tour T Shirt Concert Iron Maiden Metallica Slayer MetalSebadoh Vintage T Shirt 80's 90's Tour Concert Indie Punk Dinosaur Jr Lou BarlowMetallica Damage Inc Tour T-shirt 1991 Print Size Large Vintage Pushead Artwork*genuine* Bad Brains Quickness World Tour 1989 T-shirt Dischord Punk HardcoreVintage Original Pink Floyd 1987 Tour Raglan T Shirt Excellent!! Lrg U.s.a. #980Kreator Vintage Rare Tour Shirt // Sodom Destruction Slayer Metallica Thrash Metallica - The Night Before Officially Licensed Concert Shirt Nfl Logo Size XlVtg Anthrax 80s Tour T Shirt Concert Iron Maiden Metallica Slayer Metal MegadethVintage Official Anthrax 80s Among The Living U.s Tour Shirt Medium RareVintage 1981 Rolling Stones Jersey Tour Shirt Knits Size SmallVintage Wasp 1986 Blind In Texas Tour Shirt Size Large Rare!!!Burning Spirits Tour T-shirt Rare Orig Bastard Death SideVintage 1993 Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream Tour T-shirt Original 90s Rock LIron Maiden Vintage 1984 Powerslave Tour Shirt Jersey Promo Mega Rare Original!Vintage 1986 Wasp The Last Command Tour Concert T-shirt Metal Rock BandOriginal Iron Maiden Football Shirt Visions Of The Beast Tour - Size XlVtg 1994 Obituary World Demise Tour T-shirt Original 90s Punk Rock Metal Tee - LVintage Ozzy Ozbourne 1986 Ultimate Sin Tour Concert T-shirtRare Vintage 90s Danzig Heavy Metal Shirt Men's Xl Concert Tour Samhain MisfitsPink Floyd Division Bell 1994 Concert T-shirt True Vintage Size LargeVintage 1984 Ozzy Osbourne Bark At The Moon Ozzy Rules Concert T-shirt M SabbathNine Inch Nails & David Bowie 1995 - Vintage & Rare Concert Tour - L T-shirtRamones-brain Drain Tour T-shirt Rare Vintage 1989 Tour Shirt Thin/softBruce Springsteen Born In The Usa 1984 Tour L Shirt Concert Vintage Screen Stars*genuine* Henry Rollins Turned On Tour 1990 T-shirt Rollins Band Punk Black FlagBritish Lions 1997 South Africa Tour Rugby Long Sleeved Shirt Size Medium Adult Yeezy Tour Shirt Yeezus Men's Size Medium (m) Longline T-shirt RareRapha Vintage British Tour T-shirtJoan Jett & The Blackhearts I Love Rock N Roll 1982 Tour T-shirt Concert Vintage1979 Vintage Showco Concert Roadie Shirt, Size L ,unworn!100% Original Motorhead -live Germany - Last Concert Ever -box Set - 2x 12inch+t Shirt -lemmyBruce Springsteen The River 1980-81 Tour M Ringer T-shirt Concert Vintage BossVintage Charlie Daniels 1981 Full Moon Tour Concert Tshirt MediumMetallica Unforgiven Xl Official Tour T-shirt Pushead Concert TeeRare Vintage 1987 Guns Roses Was Here Tour T-shirt Rape Robot Banned Rock Used!Original David Bowie 1978 World Tour Black M T ShirtSkinny Puppy Too Dark Park Tour Shirt Xl 1990Metallica Suicidal Tendencies Danzig 1994 Concert T-shirt Beavis & Butthead TourVintage Mercyful Fate Don't Break The Oath Shirt King Diamond 1984 Us TourVintage 1987 Tom Petty Rock N Roll Caravan Tour T-shirtIron Maiden 2013 Backline Crew Tour T-shirt, Limited, LargeVintage 1980s Wasp I F**k Like An Animal Concert T-shirt Metal Sleeves Cut Off Yeezus Tour T Shirt 100% Authentic Size Xl YeezyKiss 1977 Love Gun Us Tour Concert T-shirt Lg Vintage Gene Simmons Ace FrehleyLive Aid Concert Shirt '85 David Bowie Paul Mccartney Ozzy Osbourne Queen StingVintage Joe Walsh Concert T Shirt Ordinary Average Tour Circa 1991 Nos XlVintage Original Rolling Stones 1989 Steel Wheels N.a. Tour T Shirt Xl U.s.a #82Vtg Iron Maiden World Slavery Tour 1984-85 Black Rock T Shirt Sz LRolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour Crew Issue Xl Polo ShirtMetallica Album/albums Art All Over Print T-shirt Large Tour Concert 90sMetallica - The Night Before Officially Licensed Concert Shirt Nfl Logo Size LVtg 1989 Kreator Extreme Aggression North American Tour T-shirt Xl RareAuthentic Vintage 1987 Motley Crue Wild Side Concert Tour Trashed T Shirt XlYeezus Shirt Kanye West Yeezy Merch Merchandise Tour T-shirt Indian Pacsun (xl).Vtg Grateful Dead 1965-1995 30th Anniversary Tie Dye Concert Shirt Xl