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]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Beatles Outstanding 1965 Beatles Blue Metal Lunchbox By Aladdin! Fantastic ShapePearl Jam 1990-1992 The Promo 7" Boxed Set Colored Vinyl Limited Rare Mint Pearl Jam Concert Poster 21 May 2010Miranda Lambert 2014 Panini Country Music Auto Worn Jeans 2/10 Silhouettes Wow!Pearl Jam Pj20 Patagonia BackpackThe Beatles Signed Parlophone Promo Card 1963.Rare Vintage Bolt Thrower Warmaster Us Tour 1991 Ls Shirt Xl Earache2014 Pearl Jam Enamel Mug SetJohn Lennon And Yoko Ono Signed Grapefruit Book July 1971Beatles John Lennon George Harrison Paul Mccartney Book Signed 1963 Original Led Zeppelin 15 Orig Photograph Negatives From 1977 Houston Concert W CopyrightVintage Kiss Gene Simmons Pick $immons Jack White Loretta Lynn Hatch Print Poster 144/300 Nashville Show January 28U2 Very Rare Australian Only Zooropa Virgin Megastore Cd Box Set In Unique Box.Beatles Original1965 Alladin Lunch BoxChuck Sperry Widespread Panic 2014 Chicago Wsp Poster Print Show Edition 425 S/nJack White & Loretta Lynn Nashville Hatch Show Print Jan 28 Poster Nmbr #279/300Pearl Jam 16 July 1998 Sacramento Poster The Beatles Concert Programme ... Futurist Theatre , Scarborough .. 1964 Reversocaster White Electric Guitar-signed By Michael Jackson, GenuineVintage 1970's Kiss Ace Frehley Pick Vintage 1970's Peter Criss Drum Sticks Regal RockPhish It Chopping Block Poster Original Rare Pollock 384/1000The Rolling Stones Full Set Of Autographs Inc. Brian Jones 1964.Beatles Incredible Orig 1967 " Hello Goodbye " Picture Sleeve In Minty Oss ShapeBob Marley / Wailers Catch A Fire Lp 1973 Island 1st! Zippo Cover!! Look At PicsLp Album Duran Duran Japan Special Dj Copy Promo OnlyBeatles Original Used Concert Ticket Leeds 1963The Beatles Hohner Harmonica Never Opened!!!Vintage 1970's Kiss Paul Stanley Pick The Beatles: The Collection Original Master Recordings Mfsl 14 Lp Box Set #4317Elvis Costello Original Handwritten Lyrics 1972 Unpublished Rusty BandLp Album Iron Maiden Michael Schenker Japan Promo Special Dj CopyBeatles Original Used Concert Ticket Cardiff 1965Elvis Presley Owned / Worn Leather And Metal Belt 80's Chaka Khan Iconic Retro Art,graphic,t- Shirt, Size L ,unworn, Nos, L@@k!Millward Phish Miami New Years 14 Poster Print Blue S/n Mint Not Pollock WelkerWow!! 1st Printing 1967 Grateful Dead Human Be-in Poster Original Aor-2.217Incredible 1940’s Shure 55c MicrophoneElvis Presley Owned And Worn White Pants From Vester PresleyBeatles Incredible Orig 1964 " I'll Cry Instead " Picture Sleeve In Minty OssKiss DollBeatles Orig 1964 Stereo " Meet The Beatles " Album Nm! Green Ltrs / 3 Bmi DiscBeatles Incredible Orig 1965 " Help! " Picture Sleeve In Minty Oss ShapeMotley Crue Drum Stick And PicsMushroomhead Mask Official RobbieBeatles John Lennon Neil Aspinall Signature On PhotographMotorhead Memorabilia: 2013 Knucklebonz Rock Iconz Lemmy Kilmister Statue Figure2 Iron Maiden Bruce Dickinson Vintage Sweatbands WristbandsKiss DollRare Vintage Original 1968 Yellow Submarine Production Art Animation CelComplete Original 1964 Milton Bradley The Beatles Flip Your Wig Board Game #4404Myrtle Beach Widespread Panic Sperry 2010Earliest Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar Pick Ever Offered For Sale Srv Vaughn Beatles George Harrison Ringo Starr Signed Concert Programme 1963Beatles Orig. Uk 1966 Stereo " A Collection Of Beatle Oldies " Lp Near Mint!Autographed Stanley Mouse Icecream Head / Rainbow FootGeorge Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne & Elton John SignaturesOriginal Fd-40 Grateful Dead Poster Family Dog Hippie Santa Claus MoscosoRory Storm + The Hurricanes Ringo Starr Concert Handbill Bob Wooler Collection