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]

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    

Pearl Jam Boston 2016 Fenway Steve Thomas Poster!!The Beatles Signed Lined Paper Sweden October 1963 Tracks CoaPearl Jam Chicago East Troy Poster 6/26-27,29/ 1998 Eddie Vedder !!holy Grail!!Beatles Rare And Historic 1962 Decca ' My Bonnie ' Pink Label Promo Issue 45!!Ween Original Lyrics For "japanese Cowboy"Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks U.s. Promo + Press KitPaul Mccartney " 2001 Ny " Signed 4x6 Cut Autograph Psa/dna Loa " The Beatles " Beatles Outstanding 1970 U.s. Fan Club Only ' Christmas Album Sw / Nm!Beatles 1990 Quality ' Yesterday And Today ' Butcher Cover Lithograph!Bruce Springsteen Born To Run Deluxe Signed & Numbered Book2016 Pearl Jam Wrigley Field Jersey Tote Socks Cap Patch Wristband Pennant LotMadonna "erotica" Virgin Megastore Australia Limited Edition Cd In Foldout CoverBeatles Signatures By Neil Aspinall On Concert ProgrammeKiss Alive! 1975 Poster "kiss Army Kit Version" Aucoin - Vintage - RareBeatles Signatures In The Hand Of Mimi Smith John Lennon AuntBruce Springsteen Autographed BookBeatles Full 1965 Set Of Green Starline Capitol 45s! Match La Pressings!Dave Matthews Band Gorge Weekend Poster 2016 Dmb Madonna - American Life Red Mini Cooper Promo Uk Corgi Vip Code 3 Model CarBeatles Apple Records March Hare Mamma Do 7 Inch AcetateThe Beatles Signed Black And White Photograph Liverpool 1962/1963Beatles Very Rare 1970 Orig. ' Let It Be ' Official Photograph 8" X 10" RooftopKiss Toy Guitar 1977 Aucoin Rare Org Vintage 1977 Rca Iggy Pop Stooges Lust For Life T-shirt Promo Only SJermaine Rogers Poster Tool Houston 06 Perfect Circle Puscifer Rare Doodled Incredibly Rare 1964 The Beatles Wing Dings Shoes - Unbelievable Find!Mixed Lot 12 Orig Beatles Yellow Submarine Revolver Vee Jay Lp Record Albums YqzRolling Stones Stoned Mega Rare Commercial Stock Copy 7" 45 1st Us Single!Pearl Jam Moline Poster 10/17/14 By Ian Williams Mint Rare Stored FlatBeatles Historic 62 Uk Red Label " Love Me Do " 45! Late 1962 Pressing!Genuine Owsley Stanley Grateful Dead Silver Syf Belt BucklePearl Jam Fenway Park Boston August 2016 Rare Steve Thomas Poster Show Edition Beatles Rare 1965 Uk / U.s. Christmas Flexi With Cover And Insert Sheet!Beatles Rare 1966 John Lennon & The Beatles ' I Apologize ' Lp! Rare Org 1972 David Bowie Ziggy Stardust Rca Promo Poster Record Store Display John Lennon & Yoko Ono 1970 Original 'war Is Over!' Protest Poster ChristmasMadonna - Rebel Heart Tour Cd Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set Asia Only 50 MadeBeatles CollectiblesGhost Guitar Pick Lot Nameless Ghoul Shirt Cd King DiamondBeatles Rare ' Complete Christmas Recordings ' Cd Issued In 1990! Near Mint!Beatles Vintage 1965 Aladdin ' Lunch Box & Thermos ' In Very Nice Condition! Beatles Vintage 1965 U.s. Stereo ' Early Beatles ' Album Factory Sealed Mint!Beatles Orig. Rare 1964 U.s. Vee Jay ' Christmas ' Picture Sleeve Nm-!Metallica Fan Can Lid Signed By All 4 Members + Meet & Greet Sticker! J HetfieldVintage 1980s Rare Unsold Unwashed Slaytanic Wehrmacht T-shirt Size Medium MintKiss Peter Criss Stage Worn Costume Love Gun Reunion TourBeatles (unopened) Do It Yourself By Tge Number Of George Harrison% 1960's Remco The Beatles Figure Paul Mccartney 5 Inches TallRare Org 1971 David Bowie Hunky Dory Rca Publicity Press Kit 2 Photos PromoKiss Paul Stanley Stage Worn Costume Pants Reunion TourBlack Sabbath ~ The End Limited Edition Vip Tour Book ~ 1/22/16 ~ 01265/14999David Bowie 1973 Uk Tour ProgrammeFirst White Stripes Silkscreen Poster Album Von Munz Rare 1999 Original PrintingOasis Noel Gallagher Handwritten Set List March 27th 2007 With Full History*** 2016 Dave Matthews Band Poster 3 Day Gorge Poster. Mint! Dkng ***Alice Cooper Group Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame Autographed Bio, Drum Head & Sticks Beatles Brooch CollectionPearl Jam Wrigley 2013 Both Stickers Leaf 2 Unopened Card Packs Wristband- Mint!Beatles Rare 1969 U.s.a. Christmas Flexi With Cover!Kiss Collection "on Tour" Game World Tour 77-78 Book 3 Magazines Kiss Army