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

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    

Original Iron Maiden Killers Tour Shirt 1981. Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Judas Priest Original Iron Maiden Crew Tour Shirt 1982. Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Judas Priest Original Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard Of Ozz Tour Shirt 1981. , Dio, Iron Maiden Original Ozzy Osbourne Ultimate Sin Tour Shirt 1986. , Dio, Iron Maiden Iron Maiden World Piece Tour '83 ShirtThe Smiths - The Queen Is Dead Usa Tour T Shirt, 1986.Vintage 1987 Butthole Surfers Locust Abortion Technician Tour T-shirt Very RareAnthrax Original T Shirt Among The Living Tour 1987 LargeVintage 1992 The Cure Wish Tour T-shirt Xxl Very Rare Made In Usa Great Cond.Original W.a.s.p Tour Shirt 1985. Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden Vintage Suicidal Tendencies Concert T-shirt 1993 Xl RareKreator 1987 Xl (fits Like Med) Tour Shirt Sweater Slayer Sodom Death Rare Obituary Euro Tour Shirt Entombed Morbid Angel Bolt Thrower Carcass Death Rare Vintage Marilyn Manson '94 Tour Shirt Xl Nine Inch Nails Ministry Stray Cats Vintage Unworn Blast Off Tour T Shirt M Back Print Rockabilly/setzerMetallica Damage Inc Tour Shirt Original 1987 L Fits Like A Med Rare OopIron Maiden Original Vintage 1980 Woven Sew On Patch Not Tour Shirt Lp Badge CdZz Top Vintage Concert Shirt Eliminator Tour 83-84Iron Maiden Japan Concert T Shirt Rare XlIron Maiden Life After Death Vintage Printed Backpatch Used Not Shirt Tour BadgeIron Maiden Wasted Years Original Vintage 1986 Woven Sew On Patch Not Tour Shirt7 Seconds World Tour 1990 2 Sided Extra Large T-shirt Vintage Minor Threat PunkSavatage Vintage Concert Shirt Hall Of The Mountain King Tour 1987-88Cradle Of Filth Tour Shirt Rare!!!!! Dimmu Borgir,emporer,immolation,Vintage 1984 Iron Maiden Powerslave World Slavery Long Sleeve Tour Shirt MImmolation - Unholy Cult Rare Vintage 2002 Usa Tour Shirt Death Metal Size XlRedd Kross-2 Sided Vintage Concert T-shirt-mid 90's- Never Washed Or Worn RareUsed Vintage Scorpions Tour 1984 T T-shirt Usa Made 50/50 Tagged Size LargeVintage Siouxsie & The Banshees Superstition Concert Tour Shirt 1991 LargeMini Boden Johnnie B Boys Gray Vip Concert Guitar Shirt Size 9 10 EucVintage Metallica 1991 1992 Enter Sandman Tour T-shirt Xl BrockumGenuine Vintage Live Aid Concert T-shirt, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Dylan, SantanaFootjoy Dryjoys Tour Xp Rain Shirt Large Long Sleeve Red Retail $270Original Vintage Primus Uk Xl Tour T-shirt Sailing The Seas Of Cheese 1990s 1992Vtg 80s The Replacements Concert Band T-shirt * Don't Tell A Soul 1989 Rare M/lImmolation Harnessing Ruin Large Tour Shirt (cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel)Kanye West's "yeezus" Official Tour T-shirt [size:xl]Vtg Anthrax 1991 Black T Shirt Music Concert Tour Metal Heavy RockRare Vintage 1990s Replacements Concert Tour T-shirt All Shook Down 1991Judas Priest Original Vintage 1980`s Woven Sew On Patch Not Tour Shirt Badge LpVintage Original Kinks 1981 Usa Tour Jersey T-shirt, XlRush Original Vintage Counterparts T-shirt-1994 Tour-excellent Condition!Iron Maiden Original Vintage 1988 Woven Sew On Patch Not Shirt Lp Badge Tour CdBob Dylan T-shirt Tom Petty 1986 Tour True Confessions Size - M 392 RSavatage Vtg 1988 Printed Patch/parche/écusson/aufnäher Not Shirt Badge Tour LpKiss Original Rare Tour T Shirt 1983 Lick It Up Gene Simmons Paul Stanley Vintage Zz Top 1983 Eliminator Tour 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt/jersey (see Details)Rush~ Original Power Windows Tour Vintage Baseball Shirt-dec.1985 Rare!Motorhead Vtg 70`s/80`s Large Printed Patch/mini Backpatch Not Shirt Cd Lp TourIron Maiden Original Vintage 1988 Woven Sew On Patch Not Tour Shirt Lp Badge CdVintage 1983 Black Sabbath Born Again Tour Jersey Concert Shirt Rare Large/medOriginal 1995 Black Sabbath Tour Local Crew T-shirtImmolation Providence Concert Tour Tee T-shirt 2011 XlAerosmith Aeroforce One Concert Tour T-shirt 87-88Hawkwind Choose Your Masques Tour T-shirtBlack Sabbath Vtg 70`s/80`s Large Printed Patch/mini Backpatch Not Shirt Lp TourRunning Wild Rare Rubber Patch/parche/écusson/aufnäher Not Shirt Badge Tour LpVintage The Cure The Prayer Tour 1989 T Shirt Xl Goth Robert Smith *excellent*The Replacements Funeral Directors '91 Tour T-shirtVtg 90s T Shirt Selena Quintanilla Concert Tour 1994 Xxl 48" Chest