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    

Beatles Vintage 1968 ' Yellow Submarine ' Alarm Clock! Works Great! Beatles Orig 1964 U.s. ' Why ' Mgm Records Vg++ Picture Sleeve & Near Mint 45!Queen Rega Very Rare Limited Edition Turn-table Sealed In Box NumberedBeatles Mint ' Beatles On Capitol ' Slip Case Set Of Lps & 45s Books Signed! Madonna Vogue / Rare 12 Inch Promo Hong KongBeatles Vintage Mint ' Beatles On Vee Jay ' Hard Cover First Print Book Signed!The Beatles In The Studio Photograph By Linda Mccartney 1968 Honey PieQueen Uk Bicycle Race Fat Bottomed Girls Emi Promo Poster Brian ‘nudger’ SpencerBeatles Vintage 1964 U.s. Vj ' Introducing The Beatles ' Mono Ver 2 Sw / Nm-!!❤george Michael❤bare. The Biography. Must Have Gm Collectible. 1st Edition. WhamBeatles Ultra Rare 1970 Special Fan Club Insert Set For The Christmas Lp! W OrigQueen Freddie Mercury 1970s Usa Tour Polaroid Photograph Brian Nudger SpencerBeatles Ultra Rare 1967 Vintage ' Sgt. Pepper's Lhcb ' U.s. Promotional Poster! The Beatles Vintage Colour Snapshot Photograph 1963 Liverpool Mersey SoundBeatles Vintage Sept. 3, 1964 U.s. Concert Ticket For The ' Indiana State ' FairPearl Jam W The Black Keyes Madison Square Garden May 21, 2010 Ames PosterQueen Concerts West Usa Tour Bag 1970s Brian ‘nudger’ Spencer CollectionBeatles Orig 1964 Hong Kong Four Inch Nodder Dolls Sealed On The Card!Autographed Shannon Hoon/blind Melon Poster Over 20 Years OldRare 1981 Van Halen Black Light Velvet Dayglo Poster W/sparkles No ReserveBeatles Outstanding 1964 ' If I Fell ' East Coast Picture Sleeve Nm W 45Beatles 1991 Apple Corps Hamilton Ltd Statues FigurinesVery Rare Mint Johnny Cash 1964 Boxing Style Concert PosterBeatles Vintage 1971 Paul Mccartney Apple ' Ram ' Lp Factory Sealed Beautiful!Green Day Concert Tickets - Leeds Sun 5th Feb 2017 X 2Frank Ocean Blonde Magazine Boys Don't Cry Issue 1 With Cd **ready To Ship**Rare Vintage 1990s Morrissey Tour Concert Paper Thin Ringer T Shirt The SmithsOriginal Here Comes The Beatles Candlestick Park Poster Signed By Wes WilsonJohn Lennon Authentic Autograph Signed 1964 In His Own Write Book1973 Elvis Presley Las Vegas 3am Show Post Fillmore Concert PosterBeatles Vintage Original 1968 U.s. ' White Album ' Numbered Copy Factory Sealed!Widespread Panic Tunes For Tots Poster Roadmap Variant Ryman Nashville Tn 12/29Pearl Jam Official Beanie Tour 2014 New Eddie Vedder Temple Of The Dog Iron Maiden Somewhere In Time Cyborg Eddie 18" Action Figure Neca 2005 Mib NrfbBeatles Stunning Vintage 1965 ' The Early Beatles ' Stereo Lp Sw / Nm! Great!Sex Pistols God Save The Queen T-shirt Vintage Late 70s Early 80s CollectibleBeatles Orig 1977 Paul Mccartney ' Thrillington ' Lp Sealed! Queen 1979 Live Killers Promotional Frisbee Brian ‘nudger’ Spencer CollectionPearl Jam - 2014 - Moline, Il. - Artist Print Poster - Rare - Bg171 Jefferson Airplane Grateful Dead Fillmore Concert Poster Signed By TutenBeatles Orig 1969 John Lennon / Yoko Ono ' Cold Turkey ' Picture Sleeve & 45 Nm!Morbid Angel, Long Sleeved 1991 Tour Shirt Part 2,blessed Are The Sick.Vintage Nirvana Concert T-shirtsRolling Stones I Can’t Get No Satisfaction Demonstration SingleEddie Vedder Official Tour Sticker Pack 2014 New Pearl Jam Temple Of Dog Rare! 1968 Ray Charles And His Raeletts Fillmore Era Boxing Style Concert PosterBeatles Very Nice Set Of 1964 8" Nodder Dolls! All Four! Beatles Orig. U.s. 1964 Mgm ' The Beatles With Tony Sheridan & Others Stereo!Jeffrey Lee Pierce Go Tell The Mountain: The Stories & Lyrics Rare Book Gun ClubBeatles Outstanding 1967 ' All You Need Is Love ' East Coast Ps! Oss! W 45Beatles Orig. 1964 U.s. ' Matchbox ' Picture Sleeve Vg+++ W Nm 45!Queen Made In Heaven Mega Rare N'od 500 Only Boxset Limited With Cd + Coin +certJimi Hendrix Will Rogers Coliseum Cancelled Concert Handbill 1969The Cult Vintage Tour T Shirt Genuine Original 1987Pearl Jam Mystery Box Poster Print Shirt StickersIron Maiden Ed Force One Boeing 757-200 Boxed Model Flight 666Vintage Ozzy Osbourne "bark At The Moon" Concert Tour Jersey T-shirt 1984Syd Barrett: Barrett BookBeatles Orig. 1970 U.s. ' Long And Winding Road ' Picture Sleeve Vg+++ W Nm 45!Queen 1979 Live Tour Guest Pass Switzerland Brian ‘nudger’ Spencer Collection