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    

Prince Vip Purple Box Complete Set Rare Queen Bohemian Rhapsody 7” Emi Ltd Edition Blue Vinyl Number 25Schecter Prince White Cloud Guitar For NpgPrince Piano & A Microphone Concert Program Tourbook Program Tour Book ProgrammePrince Schecter Cloud Guitar, Rare Npg Model, Numbered, Case, With Final Ticket 1984-85 Prince And The Revolution World Concert Tour T-shirt Purple Rain LargePrince Memorabilia – Rare Paisley 1986 Tambourine Given To Fan By Prince HimselfLot Of 2 Monsters Of Rock Van Halen 1988 Concert T Shirt & Dokken World Tour Must Read "symbol The Artist Prince 1992 Pin Badge Brooch" From Prince Himself!Rolling Stones Time Is On My Side Holy Grail Norway 45 Rare!!! Garage NorwegianBeatles Incredible Fully Signed Autograph Book By The Beatles & Beach Boys 63 64Madonna Rare Cd Single Impressive Instant Australian Radio PromoIron Maiden - Rare World Slavery Tour 1984/85 Shirt Tee Top - Original & VintageThe Who Bucket T / Run Run Run Holy Grail Denmark 45 Ultra Rare Danish Ps GaragePrince Crystal Ball 5 Cd Set - Very RareIron Maiden - Super Rare Ed Hunter Promo Pistol Lighter - Mint & BoxedBeatles - 45 Please Please Me - Jan. 1963 Uk 1st Press On Red Parlophone LabelsPrince The Artist Symbol Necklace Official Never WornPrince Purple Rain Tour Jacket 1984. Rare Original Crew Tour Jacket.Coldplay Tickets - Reserved Seats - Manchester Saturday 4th June 2016Prince's Purple Rain Tambourine - Minneapolis 1985 Prince Love GodKiss Vintage 1978 Mego Doll Set Gene Paul Ace Peter Aucoin Figures Nice CondBeatles Lp - White Album 1968 Original Uk 1st Pressing Top Loader Complete !!!Hand Signed Autograph Prince Symbol Purple Rain Album Vinyl Pearl Jam Raleigh S/n Mike Fudge 2016 PosterNever Worn! Prince Original Concert T-shirt Purple Rain Tour 1984-1985 X-large Prince Purple Rain 1984-85 Concert Tour T-shirt MediumPrince Signed Purple Rain Lp & Insert (2 X Signatures)Prince 'love Symbol' Medallion Charm Vintage Mint Memorabilia Rare Old Prince Usa Promo Black Album 1-45793 Peach Vinyl1966 Hells Angels Big Brother & The Holding Company, Merry Pranksters Gut PosterBeatles - Sgt Pepper Genuine 1967 Uk 1st Pressing In Stereo !!!Iron Maiden Vintage 1984 Powerslave T Shirt Original Rock N Roll Metal Concert1982-83 Iron Maiden World Tour Concert T-shirt, Original/authenticFrank Zappa Why Don't You Do Me Right Rare Norway 45 Psych Mothers Of InventionPrince Picture Disc Purple Rain Motorcycle ShapeRare Prince Magazine Book & Lot Controversy, Jet, Rolling Stone, The Face, Spin!Iron Maiden Brave New World 2 Lp Picture Disc Set Michael Jackson Owned Worn Crystal Glove Authentic History Billie JeanKiss Hard Luck Woman Mega Rare Denmark 45 Unique Danish P/s Mr Speed Metal Hear!Prince Tour T-shirt 1999 Original Medium Purple Rain VintagePearl Jam 20th Anniv Poster Michael Jackson Signed Dangerous Pop Up Box SetMichael Jackson Stage Worn Billie Jean JacketPrince & Revolution: ’84 Tour Crew Jacket Vintage Military Style Original! Large69 California Music Festival Original Concert Poster Hendrix Zeppelin Bg Fd AorAbba / Bjorn & Benny Inga Theme Heavy Fuzz Psych Mod Dancer Rare Polar Sweden 45M141 Vintage: The Beatles Aladdin Industries Tin Lunch Box & Thermos (1965) [Beatles 12" Record 'white Album' Uk 1968, 1st Mono Pressing Low No.0001220 Prince Signed Purple Rain Usa Lp1969 Original Who Poster Boston Tea Party, Boston Ma, The WhoPrince Signed Purple Rain Usa Insert PosterRare Kiss Curtain Bed Spread Fabric Aucoin Ace FrehleyKiss The Elder Promo Poster Casablanca RareMarc Bolan T-rex 'funky Childhood' Handwitten Lyrics.an Amazing Piece Of HistoryPearl Jam Kentucky Six Ames Bros PosterVintage Prince Crystal Ball Promo Jacket - Super Rare - Size Xl, Love Symbol Wow! Original James Brown Letterpress 70s Concert Poster - Stunning!Iron Maiden Vintage Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son T-shirt Rare Original Metal Pearl Jam Lexington 2016 Ames Bros Poster