In the comments section of the last post about Kerrang! T-Shirts we got to talking about band T-Shirts that we used to own. With that in mind, I reckon it's time to come clean about the ones I had, and I encourage you to do the same. Think of this post as a place where you can stand up among friends, say your name and then tell everyone that you used to have a Scorpions baseball shirt.
1. Rainbow and Black Sabbath
The first piece of clothing merchandise I owned actually wasn't a T-Shirt; it was a scarf similar to the one in the picture, which I bought at Rainbow's concert at the Ingliston Exhibition Centre in 1981, the first concert I attended. Unfortunately when I wore it to school everybody thought it was a Multi-Coloured Swap Shop scarf. To be fair, it doesn't look very rock & roll, does it? I also bought a bright red sweatshirt with the artwork of the Rainbow Rising album (this was before black had consolidated itself as the colour of choice for rock T-Shirts). Despite this looking even less metal than the scarf it was actually stolen from our washing line.
On the same trip I bought (from Ingliston Sunday market) a Mob Rules T-Shirt (with the tour dates on the back).
This was more like it! A real bona fide Metal shirt! Looking back with mature eyes, it's a pretty unpleasant T-Shirt for a 12 year-old boy to be wandering about it, but perhaps that was the attraction.
2. The Marillion Period
The early 80s were when bands really started to wake up to the idea of making money by selling "official" merchandise. Two bands who were at the forefront of this were Iron Maiden and Marillion. Both were signed to EMI and had album artwork that they could transfer to T-Shirts. I was going through my Marillion phase at the time and had a grey T-Shirt with the Punch & Judy single sleeve as well as the Garden Party one below.
3. Alice Cooper Raise Your Fist & Yell Tour T-Shirt
As the 80s went on I lost touch with Metal. I never really got into Thrash and as for Hair Metal... Well I'd rather have worn a Frankie Say Relax T-Shirt. So the last one I bought would have been the Alice Cooper shirt I bought when I saw him at the Edinburgh Playhouse in 1987 or so, when he was touring the Raise Your Fist & Yell album with a guitarist that looked like Rambo.
Pretty ugly, eh? Mind you, it's nowhere near as repulsive as Raise Your Fist & Yell.
And that concludes my relationship with Rock T-Shirts. Except that it doesn't of course, I've started buying them again in the last few years, and have a liking for faux-vintage shirts for tours that I was far too young to have seen at the time (so I have a Kiss Cobo Hall 1975 shirt, despite the fact that in 1975 I was 5 years old and hadn't traveled further than Aberdeen). In the Metal: A Headbanger's Journey film, Bruce Dickinson speculates that metal fans have managed to preserve their inner 15 year-old into their adult selves. I think he's onto something, and I'm sure my Black Sabbath Vol 4 T-Shirt would agree.