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    

Kiss Remote Control Van 1978, Aucoin, Official, With BoxKiss Your Face Makup Kit 1978, Aucoin, Remco, Official, SealedKiss Trading Cards 2nd Second Series, Donruss, Full Box W/36 PacksBeatles Very Rare 63 ' Beatles Book Monthly #1 ' Cover Page Signed By All Four!Kiss On-tour Game 1978, Aucoin, Official, SealedDavid Bowie Reel To Reel Studio Box With Tape. Please Read Description.Rolling Stones Outstanding 1965 ' Satisfaction ' Picture Sleeve Near Mint!!Vintage 1987 Iron Maiden Concert T Shirt T-shirt Somewhere On Tour 87Metallica Copenhagen Concert Poster Full Set. Signed By ArtistBeatles Ultra Rare "compressed Master" U.s. White Album! "a28" / "b29" MastersThe Grateful Dead Uncle Sam Vintage 1977 Rock & Roll Film Poster Gary GutierrezPearl Jam September 11, 2011 Toronto PosterVintage Concert T-shirt Grateful Dead 1986 Summer Tour Surfer Griffin Official 1Beatles Ultra Rare Early 1963 ' Please Please Me ' Uk Demo 45! Promo Issue! Pearl Jam Portland Oregon 2013 Poster By EmekBeatles Yesterday And Today 2nd State Stereo Butcher Lp Capitol St-2553 Vintage Iron Maiden Patch, Rare, The Trooper, Not Cd, Lp, Shirt, Acdc, MotorheadPhish Pollock Poster 1999 Japan KabukiBeatles Paul Mccartney New York City Central Park 1968 Vintage Snapshot PhotoQueen Freddie Mercury Montreux Statue. Official And Box. + Cert (box Damage)Vtg 80's Rare 1988 Pink Floyd World Tour Concert T Shirt L Larger Healthknit Beatles Very Rare Vintage 1968 ' Hey Jude ' Apple 45 With Stunning Apple Sleeve!Grateful Dead‎ – Spring 1990 18 × Cd, Hdcd Excellent Condition1977 Pacifica Aucoin Kiss Metal Belt Buckle Ace FrehleyBeatles Rare Original 1970 U.s. ' Let It Be ' Lp Factory Sealed! Gatefold CoverVery Rare Original Vintage 1990 Iron Maiden T Shirt OfficialThe Smiths - How Soon Is Now? - Uk Rough Trade Promo Poster Frank Ocean Boys Don't Cry Magazine [limited Edition Collectors Item)Rare 1964 Movie Promo Radio Spots 10" 1 Sided Lp Elvis Viva Las Vegas ListenRolling Stones Outstanding 1967 ' Shes A Rainbow ' Picture Sleeve Nm! Beatles Rare 1992 U.s. ' Love Me Do ' Red Vinyl 45 Near Mint Oss UnplayedHawkwind 1974 Uk Concert Programme With Poster Motorhead Lemmy Barney BubblesEd Sheeran Tickets X 2 Manchester Saturday 22 April 2017 Block 111Guitarist Keith Richards - Signed Book - Life - All Proceeds To Charity Beatles Very Rare Early 1964 Canadian ' Beatles Promotional Publicity ' Photo!7 Inch Box Set The Clash Singles Japan 8 X 7 Inch1920 1930 Reo Speedwagon Radiator Emblem Ornament Grille Truck Vintage HoodBeatles Orig 1964 U.s. Vj Records, ' Please Please Me ' Picture Sleeve Near MintEddie Vedder 2008 Tour Klausen Batman Poster Pearl JamPet Shop Boys "super" Tour Programme 2016/17Vintage Rolling Stones Stadium Dragon Tour Concert T-shirt Small 1981Type O Negative Long Sleeved ShirtEd Sheeran Tickets X 2 Manchester Sunday 23 April 2017 Block 107Slash La Punk Magazine V1 N09 1978, Darby Crash, Germs Cover, KbdThe Smiths 1984 William, It Was Really Nothing Single Artwork Proof UkFreddie Mercury (queen) - How Can I Go On Original 1988 Cd SingleKiss Rare Eric Carr Signed Vinyl 45 Of 'i' & 'the Oath' From The ElderThe Cross - Mad Bad Dangerous To Know Cd Promo Sampler (queen Freddie Mercury)Beatles Ultra Rare Feb 23, 1963 ' Helen Shapiro / Beatles ' Concert Handbill!Kiss - Revenge Tour Book Program 1992 / Good Condition (signed)P014. Vintage The Rolling Stones Some Girls Display Advertisement Sign (1978) }Vintage Pearl Jam 1992 Tour Shirt Beatles Brian Epstein Nems 1960s Polythene Lp Record Sleeve UkVintage 1964 Remco Dolls Beatles Full Set John, Paul, George, RingoRare Purple 1966 Nems The Beatles Disk Go Case 45 Record Holder Carrier CaseJam Fully Autographed Signed Down In The Tube Station At Midnight Paul WellerGeorge Michael Signed CdElvis Presley 1957 Japan Only Ep Jailhouse Rock Ep-1267 JapaneseBeatles Rare 1964 8mm Newsreel Film Reel In Beatles Backing Card Sealed!Beatles Ultra Rare 1964 ' Blue Plastic ' Guitar Brooch Mounted On Card!