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    

Beatles Vintage Full Set Of All 4 Autographs Obtained In 1969! With Caiazzo Coa!Original 1969 Texas International Pop Festival Concert Poster / Led ZeppelinVintage Kiss 1977 Metal Lunchbox With Thermos Lunch Box Nice! Beatles Vintage 1964 Sealed " Beatles 'second Album ' Mono Lp! 2 David Bowie Concert Tickets 1973 Ziggy Stardust Tour Hammersmith Odeon.....Beatles Very Rare 1968 John Lennon ' Yellow Submarine ' Bank In Great Condition!Beatles Very Rare Vintage Late 1960s ' Apple Matchbook ' Unused! Beatles Ultra Rare Orig 1965 Us " Metropolitan Stadium Mn " Full Concert Ticket!Vintage 1987 Iron Maiden Tour Tee Shirt Long SleeveBeatles Stunning Vintage Hand Written Letter By Paul Mccartney! From Mal Evans!U2 Vip Tour, History Book, Innocence & Experience Tour 2015, Limited, Box (tr6)The Clash T-shirt Uk Punk Rock Joe Strummer Vintage Tee Shirt David Bowie Isolar Tour Paper 1976 Rare Original Ziggy Stardust Thin White DukeBeatles Rare 1964 Mono ' Introducing The Beatles ' Ad Back! First Issue Of Lp!The Beatles 1966 Nems Disk. Go. Case 45 Records Case Kiss On Tour 1976 Vintage Tourbook Original W Inserts Rare 1st Print Alive Tour1998 Pearl Jam & Iggy Pop - Pittsburgh Silkscreen Concert Poster By AmesBeatles Rare 1964 Mono ' Beatles Vs. The Four Seasons ' In Nice Shape! Beatles Orig 1964 U.s. Beatles ' Wing Dings Beatles Sneakers ' Box Only CompleteMadonna Vip Limited Edition Rebel Heart Your BookBruce Springsteen - Pack - 4 X 7" - Rare Ireland Withdrawn 45 Set Dead Weather Tote Bag Flexi Disc And Sticker Promo Only SetOfficial 311 Poster Auction 311 Poster: Red Rocks 2012 - FoilPearl Jam Poster. Donkey Kong. Madison Square Garden 2010Tool Signed 2016 Tour Poster Atlanta Duluth Only 400 24x16 Rare PrimusMotley Crue Limited Edition Coin From Last Show Ever! Only 350 Made!! Beatles Vintage Early Error Pressing " Yesterday " Apple Label 45! Check It Out!Original 1973 Willie Nelson Fourth Of July Picnic Concert Poster / The FirstLarge Vintage Kiss Band Collection Concert Tees Cds Music Huge Lot Nr Rare Vintage 1977 Usa Tour, The Beatles, Away With Words, T Shirt,unused!,size SMadonna - Rare Promo Display Counter Display Standee For Like A Prayer SingleMadonna Rebel Heart Rare Vip Tour Book MintMadonna Rebel Heart Rare Vip Tour Book MintBeatles Full 1965 Set Of Green Starline Capitol 45s! Match La Pressings!Punk Magazine # 1 - 1975. Lou Reed/ramones. Early Punk.Beatles Vintage 1964 " Meet The Beatles " Compact 33 7" Ep Record OnlyJohn Lennon Yoko Ono Vintage Colour Snapshot Photograph Dakota 1979Motley Crue Final Show Autographed Tour Program Bundle. Great Extras !!Beatles Lp - White Album - Original 1968 Top Opener Uk 1st PressingDavid Bowie Original And Extremely Rare Tin Machine Signed Programme And 19 TicsBeatles Very Rare 1964 Uk ' Big Six ' Guitar In Beautiful Box! Very Rare Guitar!Official 311 Poster Auction 311 Poster: New York 2013Iron Maiden Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Tour T-shirt , 1988Kiss Music From The Elder 8 Track Sealed AucoinBeatles Very Rare 1970 U.s. ' Let It Be ' Picture Sleeve & 45! Rare Curve Top PsDavid Bowie Is Leaving Hundreds Of Clues V&a 50 Postcard SetTool 2016 Tour Vip Merchandise Pack Incudes Xl Shirt!Madonna Vip Rebel Heart Tour Book Rare Promo Very Limited Edition Numbered! Beatles Vintage & Original Nems Licensed Dutch Curtain Material C1964 David Bowie Record Mirror Special Ziggy Stardust 1972 Paper Poster Original RareOfficial 311 Poster Auction 311 Poster: Omaha 2004Beatles Incredibly Rare Uk " Sundown Playboys Saturday Nite Special ' 78 Nm-!Beatles 1968 Vintage " Yellow Submarine ' Comic Book With Poster Intact!Tool Band Offical Merchandise Aenima Patches Phallic Hardware Pin Stickers ShirtMotÖrhead Tour T-shirt, Rock 'n Roll Tour 1987Elvis Presley Autographed Las Vegas NapkinOfficial 311 Poster Auction 311 Poster: 311 Cruise 2013Madonna - American Life - Mini CooperBeatles Rare 1993 Paul Mccartney " Off The Ground " Promo Cd Single! Ac Edit VerTed Nugent Authentic Autographed Memorabilia