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    

Phish Pollock Magnaball Waterwheel Jim Pollock August 21-23 2015 OriginalBeatles Very Rare 1964 ' Beatles Vs The Four Seasons ' Mono Lp W Poster Sealed!Charlie Gracie 1948 Gibson Es125,his Own 1st Electric Guitar,rock History,extrasSet Of 5 Original 1964 Vintage Nems Beatle Dolls 2 George,ringo,paul,johnJim Pollock Magnaball Phish PosterBeatles Complete Set Of All Four 1963 Beatles Autographs W Rare John InscriptionBeatles Rare 1964 " Second Album " Compact 33 Jukebox Ep Complete W All Inserts!Beatles Outstanding Paul Mccartney Signed " Sgt. Pepper's Lhcb " U.s. Lp Cover!Unused Vintage 1970 Rolling Stones Sympathy For The Devil Premiere Poster Rare Beatles Signed Autograph Photo Card Germany Tour 1966 Caiazzo CoaMagnaball Pollock Numbered Mint Phish Poster 8/21-23/2015Phish Pollock Poster Magnaball Watkins Glenn Ny 10th Festival Mint 8/21-23/2015Foo Fighters Limited Edition Chicago Wrigley Field PosterBeatles Ultra Rare 1963 Vj " Please Please Me " 522 45! Very Rare Brackets LogosBeatles 64 Vj " Souvenir Of Their Visit To America " Ep W Cover Nm Brackets LogoPhish Official Jim Pollock Magnaball 2015 Poster PrintPhish Pollack Magnaball Poster/print Post Punk Flyer. Leeds Sci Fi Music Festival. Pil, Joy Division, Omd, The Fall, Beatles Vintage 1968 " White Album " Numbered Issue Factory Sealed! Low Number!U2 How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb Vinyl Lp, Booklet & Matching Bag 14/986 817-2Phish Magnaball Drew Millward Mint Poster 8/22/2015 Not PollockKiss - "gene, Ace, Peter & Paul" 2015 Book Uncorrected GalleyPhish Millward (not Pollock) Sunday Magnaball Poster Print August 23 2015Phish Magnaball Millward Print Beatles Orig. Rare 1964 U.s. ' I'll Cry Instead ' Picture Sleeve Minty!Magnaball 10th Festival Jim Pollock Phish Poster 8/21-23/2015 NumberedMint Jimi Hendrix Rick Griffin 1968 Bg 105 Flying Eyeball Fillmore CardPhish Poster Magnaball Drew Millward Sunday N3 August 23 2015Phish Rift Welker Print (magnaball - No Vinyl, Print Only)Phish ~ Magnaball~ Pollock Poster ~ Original, Le **sold Out **Phish Magnaball Millward Three Print SetOfficial Phish Magnaball Poster Millward Print From Saturday August 22, 2015Beatles Signed Autograph Photo Card Germany Tour 1966 Caiazzo CoaPhish Poster Magnaball Millward All Three 8/21-23 Official + Ticket With CodeMadonna – Material Girl / Like A Virgin Album Shaped Promo Display Stand Phish Pollock Magnaball 2015 Poster Print August 21 22 23 Mint LeIron Maiden Original Powerslave Sleeveless Tour Shirt Mega Rare 1984 ConcertPhish Poster Magnaball Print Millward August 22 2015 Official Not Pollock Rush R40 Tour Lithograph Los Angeles Limited Edition #426Phish Magnaball Official Le Poster By Landland #331/750 (not Pollock)Joy Division - Universal Publishing Sampler Rare 2 Cd Factory Records New OrderPhish Poster Magnaball Print Millward August 23 2015 Official Not PollockBeatles Ultra Rare Sealed Original U.s. 1965 " Ticket To Ride " Capitol 45!Beatles Ultra Rare 1969 " Ballad Of John & Yoko " 4" Flexi Disc With Cover Nm!Magnaball Jim Pollock Print Rush Vapor Trails Baseball Geddy Lee, Alex Liferson, Neil Peart - NmibMadonna – I'm Breathless Album Uk Shaped Promo Display StandBeatles Orig. Rare 1966 U.s. ' Yellow Submarine ' Picture Sleeve Minty! Ec Vers.Dio Original "european Tour" 1983 Baseball Jersey Vintage T-shirt M Iron MaidenBeatles Rare 1966 Cathay Pacific Beatles Photo & Folder Signed By Ringo StarrPhish Millward (not Pollock) Saturday Magnaball Poster Le Print August 22 2015Phish Millward (not Pollock) Saturday Magnaball Poster Print August 22 2015Cd Album David Bowie - Live In Santa Monica '72 - A Signed Radio Station PrizePost Punk Tickets. Leeds 1st Futurama Festival.pil, Joy Division,the Fall Et Al The Devil's Blood Backpatch - Watain Dissection Urfaust One Tail, One Head CovenPhish Magnaball Landland Poster Not PollockSniffin’ Glue Issue 6 (january 1977) Punk FanzineSex Pistols : Welcome To London. Rare Vinyl Album + 7" Sid Vicious Johnny RottenBeatles Very Rare 1975 John Lennon " Slippin And Slidin ' Promotional Only 45 NmX2 One Direction 1d Tickets Sheffield Thur 29 Oct