In so many ways, music is the soundtrack of our lives—whether we're driving in the car or settled into a cushioned seat in a concert hall. But for many serious fans, music is just as much about collectibles and memorabilia as it is about choruses and melodies.

Music collectibles can encompass almost anything: vintage records, ticket stubs, concert posters, T-shirts, and even artists’ clothes, not to mention signed paraphernalia. Some bands, like KISS, have also released board games, comics, and more.

The original kings of rock ’n’ roll marketing were the Beatles. As Beatlemania reached full swing in 1963 and 1964, dozens of companies—some authorized, some not—began releasing machine-autographed beach hats, purses, charm bracelets, trading cards, and even hair gel. Aside from the merchandise, Beatles collectors are often eager to obtain ticket stubs and rare posters, like the one Wes Wilson created for the group’s final live performance on tour at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1966.

Of course, anything even remotely connected to one of the Fab Four is also highly desirable. In fact, a copy of John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to “A Day in the Life” sold at Sotheby’s for $1.2 million in June 2010.

Each age has its superstars, and Elvis and Michael Jackson rivaled the Beatles in their own heydays. Jackson’s memorabilia draws on the appeal of both his music and his edgy image—rare vinyl records are on par with the clothes he wore, like the famous red leather jacket from the music video for “Beat It.” For Elvis collectors, mint condition 45s from his Sun Records years are highly sought after, alongside even more rare items from his famously flamboyant wardrobe.

While not as popular nationwide, the Grateful Dead boast their own legion of devoted followers (called Deadheads, of course) who prize ticket stubs, postcards, and especially handbills advertising Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests from 1965 to 1967. In particular, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse created some of the most iconic, and beautiful, concert posters for the Grateful Dead’s shows at the Avalon Ballroom, while Wilson, David Singer, Lee Conklin, and others produced Fillmore posters that were emblematic of the psychedelic style then and are much-desired collectibles now.

Indeed, posters from almost any period and for almost any genre—rock, jazz, orchestral, and country, to name but a few—have become iconic symbols of the music they advertise. In particular, 1960s rock posters for artists like Jimi Hendrix (Rick Griffin’s “Flying Eyeball” is one of the most famous images in rock), Pink Floyd (the early Hapshash and the Coloured Coat posters for the band are late-'60s classics), and Cream helped define the visual aesthetic of a sonic revolution...

More recently, Jim Pollock's posters for Phish have become quite collectible, as have posters produced by the Ames Bros. for Pearl Jam, and just about anything Emek makes for practically anyone.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

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]

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]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1964 The Beatles Blue Metal Lunch Box Thermos Only Very Clean!!!Pearl Jam Poster Fenway Park Boston, Ma 2016 Steve Thomas Aka "the Catch"Phish Pollock Poster Msg New York Nyc 2017 Bakers Dozen 7/21/17 - 8/6/171964 The Beatles Boxed! Remco Doll Set Mint! John Paul George RingoThe Clash - Give 'em Enough Rope Dutch Promo Signed By All 41964 The Beatles John Lennon Boxed Model Kit By Revell H-1352:150 Built, Painted1964 The Beatles Blue Metal Lunch Box Excellent! By ThermosPearl Jam Poster Fenway Park Boston, Ma 2016 Steve Thomas Aka "the Catch"Vintage Kiss Peter Criss 1978 Collegeville Mask+costume Nice In Box Htf ~ AucoinU2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Exclusive Vip Boxed Memorabilia Gift.U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Exclusive Vip Boxed Memorabilia Gift.The Cure - Faith Lp Signed By The Cure + Entire Tour Party Inc Chris ParryPearl Jam Denver Poster 2014 Tour Pepsi Arena Eddie Vedder Ten Club1964 The Beatles George Harrison Boxed Model Kit Revell H-1353:150 Built PaintedThe Cure - Primary/descent 7" Pic Signed By Smith Gallup & Tolhurst1964 The Beatles Tan Kaboodle Kit Vinyl Lunch Box No Splits!Led Zeppelin 1971 Uk Concert Ticket Empire Pool Wembley November 20thPearl Jam Boston 2016 Fenway Park Poster Steve Thomas Orange Variant Not Signed1965 The Beatles Paul Mccartney Soaky Personality Bath Soap W Rare Box!Phish Poster Official Dayton Ohio 2017 Silkscreen Rich Kelly NumberedGuns N Roses Vip Limited Edition 'not In This Lifetime' Tour Book With ExtrasU2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Exclusive Vip Boxed Memorabilia Gift.1964 The Beatles Paul Mccartney Boxed Model Kit Revell H-1350:150 Built, PaintedKate Bush Uk Tour Concert Programme & Ticket 1979 With All InsertsMotorhead Pin Badge, Iron Fist, Original, Not Patch, Shirt, Album, Acdc, SlayerPink Floyd Uk Winter Tour Concert Programme & Ticket Wembley November 1974V.rare ~ U2 ~ Staring At The Sun Kaleidoscope & Discotheque Mirror Ball PromosPink Floyd Uk Animals Tour Concert Programme & Ticket Wembley March 1977Astral Thor Marvel Comics 1971 Blacklight Poster Brand New Wrapped Third Eye Limited Edition U2 Joshua Tree 2017 Tour Vip Commemorative BookPearl Jam 2016 The Ride Festival Poster Mint Condition1964 The Beatles Ringo Starr Boxed Model Kit Revell H-1351:150 Built & PaintedMarc Bolan T. Rex Free Tour Concert Programme & Ticket Wembley March 1972Pearl Jam Adelaide Australia 2009 PosterMetallica Guitar Pick Atlanta 2017 Dead And Company Poster - Wrigley Field 6/301967 Original Donruss Gum Co. Monkees Color Photos Full 36 Wax Pack Wax BoxPearl Jam 2016 New York Bioworkz Owl Msg PosterV/a Bickershaw Festival Concert Programme & Ticket 1972 Grateful Dead BeefheartPearl Jam Las Vegas 2000 10th Anniversary Poster Ames S/n'd Zoltron Ween Ogden 7/13-7/14 Poster Set1964 The Beatles Punch Out Portraits W Mobile N-mint Unused Complete By Whitman1964 The Beatles Woolworth's 8" X 6.5" Writing Pad & Gold Plated Heads BraceletPhish 2017 Dayton Nutter Poster Rich Kelly #'dPink Floyd Tour Concert Programme & Ticket Earl's Court London May 1973 Shelter1964 The Beatles 1" Gold Plated Photo Diary Book W Ribbon Pin BackHard Rock Cafe Yankee Stadium, Ny 3d World Map Series Pin 2017The Beatles 1965 Tv Show Cartoon Characters 6" Resin Figures (circa 1999)1977 Kiss Poster 39 X 27 Never FoldedDavid Bowie 1972 Uk Concert Ticket Rainbow, Finsbury Park August 20thRare 311 Promotional Am/fm Transistor Radio Promoting Transistor Album Hard Rock Cafe Pin: Pune Staff 1st Anniversary Le50 Phish 2009 Camden Nm Poster Justin Helton Status Serigraph Anastasio Not PollockLinkin Park Skateboard / Skatedeck (hybrid Theory - Red) (limited Edition)Adele The Finale Wembley Stadium 2017 Ltd Edn Programme, Vip Ticket & ItineraryU2 Vip Limited Edition Album Joshua Tree 2017!V/a Progressive Pop Festival '70 Koln Concert Programme Yes T Rex Mighty BabyPhish Official Ticket Magnet Dayton /nutter Center PosterLana Del Rey Ticket Amoeba Music 7/26Chester Bennington Linkin Park Poster Blink 182 Blinkin Park Signed Rare Signed