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    

Rolling Stones Stunning Vintage 1964 Complete Set Of Autographs! Brian Jones TooRare Orig Vintage 18"x23" Concert Poster Led Zeppelin Salt Palace 1970 Feyline1967 Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground/freeborne Boston Tea Party Handbill PosterAutographed Motley Crue Limited Edition Final Tour 2014 GuitarThe Jam Rare 1980 Fully Signed Press Photo / Original Signatures / Mod / Punk ! The Clash Rare Original 1977 Handbill For Gig / Punk / Generation X / Buzzcocks311 Poster 2014 Grassroots Festival Omaha Tim The Tree - Signed - Brandon HeartOriginal 1967 Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground Boston Tea Party Handbill PosterBeatles Outstanding Original 1963 ' Beatles Book Monthly 1 #1 Issue! Nm-!Beatles Orig. Early 1969 U.s. ' Abbey Road ' Album Factory Sealed! Early IssueBeatles Ultra Rare 76 " Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl " Acetate! Different Songs311 Owl Queen Poster Tulsa 2014 Maxx242 Set Of 4 La Kiss Bobble Heads: Demon, Starchild, Spaceman, CatmanIron Maiden... Rare Genuine Crew Issue 'maiden England 2014' Tour Itinerary !Abba CollectionBg-23 1966 Grateful Dead Jefferson Airplane Fillmore Concert Poster 1st Print!Daft Punk Discovery Era HelmetBeatles Set Of 16 Colored Vinyl Beatles 45s From The 1990s! Johnny Winter Guitar Pick Rare Excellent Condition RipL.a. Kiss Football Bobble Head Set All 4Mega Rare Orig Vintage 17" X 22" 1972 C.u. Stadium Grateful Dead Concert PosterSublime Insanely Rare "badfish" Sardines!!! Self Made By The Band!! Beyond Rare!Iron Maiden... The King Of All Maiden Laminates... Official Crew Tour Pass ! Beatles Old Store Stock Mint John Lennon ' Spaniard In The Works ' Book!Widespread Panic Chicago Poster Chuck Sperry 6/20/14 Not Wood EmekSummer 2014 Kiss Def Leppard Local Crew Tshirt Plus Guitar PicksSublime Rare Original "chiva Kenevil" Cassette Tape! The Holy Grail! No Reserve!Beatles Old Store Stock Mint Beatles Compact Complete With Pouch! 196412 Inch Custom Kiss Dynasty Ace Frehley Cd 1/6 Doll Figure Statuette PosterSub Pop Coca Vintage T Shirt 1989 Nirvana Grunge Mudhoney Punk Rare OriginalLa Kiss Football Limited Edition Bobblehead Set Catman Demon Starchild Spaceman Original Signed Sketch By Coil's John BalanceU2 Promo Official Achtung Baby 20th Anniversay Limited Edition Uber Box SetKiss Rare Brunzwick Bowling Ball Gene Simmons Foxtrot 10" / Original Artwork By Steven Stapleton And Other RaritiesKiss Vintage Sealed Pencils Set Aucoin 1978 Wallace Mip Nip New Army ToyPink Floyd - 1970 Uk Concert Ticket BirminghamPearl Jam Record..vault 3 Vinyl...constitution Hall Lp..eddie Vedder..sealed!!!Motley Crue-2014 Final Tour-12 Stage Used Props-picks-nikki Sixx-tommy Lee-mickKiss Toy Guitar Vintage Aucoin Mgt 1977311 Platinum Blue Record Plaque.Pink Floyd - 1969 Uk Concert Ticket BirminghamDavid Bowie Station To Station 1976 Original Unreleased Rca Color Proof Slick 12 Inch Custom Kiss Destroyer Gene Simmons Cd 1/6 Doll Figure Statuette PosterJimi Hendrix Denver Summer Pop Festival 1968 Ticket Stub Red Rocks Theatre Original 1955 "sun Records" Elvis Presley #217 45 Rpm Record With Push MarksFantastic Beatles Butcher Cover W/removed Trunk Slick Yesterday & Today W/extrasMeet The Beatles Sealed 1964 Us Stereo St 2047 Blue Inner Sleeve Visible Riaa 6 Important Elvis Presley's Personally Owned Spiritual Book W/ Underlined Passages1977 "kiss" Custom Chevy Model KitBeatles Very Rare Linda Mccartney ' Matey For Eighty ' Signed Book! Beatles Orig. 1964 Canadian ' Roll Over Beethoven ' 45 Near Mint! W SleeveDaft Punk Guy Manuel Helmet Replica Costume With Gloves And JacketPhish Cmac PosterLa Kiss Football Limited Edition - The Demon - Gene Simmons Bobble HeadLot Of 3 Vintage Remco Beatles Figures - John, Paul, And Ringo1964 The Bobbin Head Beatles By Car Mascots, Inc. Bobble Head DollsExtremely Rare Beatles 1965 Vinyl Lunchbox. Beatlemania Classic In Great Shape!Nkotb Vegas Vip Gift BagMuddy Waters & Buffalo Springfield 1967 1st Print Fillmore Concert Poster