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    

Vintage, Perfect! Ready To Play, Les Paul Ultra, Epiphone Electric Guitar, NrBeatles Fantastic Mono 1967 " Sgt. Pepper's Lhcb " Lp Factory Sealed Beautiful!Beatles Fantastic Mono 1964 " Beatles Story " Lp Factory Sealed Beautiful!Beatles Fantastic Mono 1964 " Something New " Lp Factory Sealed Beautiful!The Clash Joe Strummer Mick Jones White Riot Tour Leicester Punk PosterBeatles Very Rare 1966 " I Apologize " Lp With Photo! John Lennon & The Beatles!Rare 1982 Acetate Dubplate David Bowie & Bing Crosby Little Drummer BoyPearl Jam Donkey Kong Nyc PosterBeatles Oustanding 1964 Vj " Souvenir Of Their Visit To America " Ep Sealed!Sex Pistols + The Clash Etc 1976 Uk Concert Flyer Manchester Electric CircusMonkees Original Uk 1967 Mono " Headquarters " Album Signed By All Four Monkees!Beatles Rare Orig. 1982 " Sgt. Pepper's Lhcb ' Mfsl Uhqr 200 Gram Vinyl Box Set!Pearl Jam Pono Player Limited Edition 247/495Beatles Vintage 1962 Glossy Photograph With Official Peter Kaye Stamped Back!Stevie Ray Vaughan's Classic Hat, Authentic, Vintage, Personal Gift From SrvPearl Jam Moline Concert Poster By Ian Williams Show Edition Plus Event Sticker!Beatles Rare 1996 Anthology Home Video Promotional Box Set! Fantastic Promo Item1966 Authentic Beatles Disk-go-case 45 Rpm Records Charter Industries & NemsIron Maiden 1984 Vintage Aces High Shirt Size Large Beatles Late 1960's Issue " Yesterday And Today " Stereo Album Factory Sealed!Beatles Original 1969 U.s. ' Yellow Submarine ' Lp Factory Sealed!Beatles Orig 1976 ' Rock N Roll ' 2 Record Set Album Sealed!Beatles Beautiful Mono " Magical Mystery Tour " Lp! Unplayed Record!Ryan Adams 2014 New Jersey Limited Edition Numbered Concert Poster/signedLynyrd Skynyrd Band Signed " Street Survivors " Album! Signed By 5Kiss Paul Stanley 1999 Washburn Ps-2000 Bb Black Burst Electric Guitar - 1 Of 61978 Kiss Rare Aucoin Sleeping Bag In Excellent ConditionDepeche Mode Just Can't Cant Get Enough German 12" Maxi Single White Weisses ExPearl Jam 2014 European Tour Sticker SetBeatles Butcher Cover Genuine 3rd State Mono W/trunk Slick & RecordBeatles Vintage Early 1960's Band Photograph! Image From 1962 W Ringo!Beatles Orig 1964 Mono ' Beatles' Second Album '! Cover In Wrapping! La PressThe Clash Casbah Club Tour Poster 1982 Bronco Bowl,dallas Texas Know Your RightsThe Smiths - Some Girls Are Bigger 7" Ultra Rare German Promo Ex/ex MorrisseyJethro Tull 1970 Original Concert Poster Bg-226 Fillmore West Bill GrahamBeatles Very Rare Beatles Concert Ticket Stub June 24, 1966 Munich Germany. OrigBeatles Orig Mid 70's " Hey Jude " Apple With " All Rights... " Print Lp SealedRick Springfield - Custom Autographed Guitar (2014)Abba Bag From The 70's .* Rare And Original * ..near Mint ... Motley Crue Gift Box , Six Motley Crue Items + Gift BoxToms Memphis Sunglasses From Tegan And Sara's Personal CollectionMichael Jackson Signed Fedora Hat Coa Autograph--no Reserve King Of Pop Billie Kiss Mego DollsPearl Jam Moline Poster With Sticker And PinSuper Rare Madonna Like A Prayer Us Promo Starburst Picture Disc Gold Disc MintBeatles Butcher Album Yesterday And Today 2nd State Stereo St2553 Capital 1966Arch Enemy Angela's Jacket, Military Style (wellenstein) Xs, Signed By A. GossowDeltic, Hornby City Freight, Boxed. The Duke Of Wellingtons Regiment. Train Set.Beatles Robert (bob) Wooler 1961 Mersey Beat Business CardKnucklebonz Guitar Hero Collector Series Randy Rhoads Statue/ DisplayKiss Transistor Radio 1977 Aucion Mgt. Inc With Box Beauty Gene Simmons Works C!Beatles Help ! Capitol Rare White Carte Pink Title Circa 1965 Sealed 8track TapeRare Taylor Swift Life Size Cardboard Stand-up 6 Foot Walgreens Red 1989 CharityArch Enemy Angela's Pants Worn @ Video, Photoshoot & Live, Signed By A. GossowVintage 1981 Kiss Iron-on Transfer Aucoin Super Rare!Von Zipper Dotty Sunglasses Worn By TeganPearl Jam With The Black Keys Madison Square Garden Nyc PosterBeatles Bob Wooler Nems Record Shop Receipt 1961Danzig Misfits Samhain Ouija Bord SetMisfits Plan9 Promo Press Kit Samhain Danzig Fiend Club