Bear T-Shirt – A DJ that can really scratch. And bite.

October 18, 2012 § 1 Comment

bear tee

Bear Musicians: Thin Grizzly, Koala Shaka, Polar Abdul…

Who doesn’t like bears? Next to apes/monkeys, they’re my favourites and this Bear T-Shirt is a great example of the fun you can have with these cuddly killing machines.

Going by the name Record Bearer (get it?) this tee comes to you from the indy shirt store concreterocket.com. All the t-shirts are limited edition so the designs don’t hang around for too long, but this means that you can be sure that your threads will be unique and unusual. I was particularly fond of this particular design for two reasons. First off, it’s a wonderful illustration, expertly drawn and applied to the tee, and also because it made me think of bears listening to music and this allows my brain to ramble off into a strange and wonderful world where nothing makes sense. I pondered for some time about what sort of music bears would listen to. Eventually, I settled on Grunge. Shaggy and unkempt, spending a lot of time asleep and catching salmon with their bare (or should that be ‘bear’) hands are just a few of the things that grungers and grizzlies have in common. Kurt Cobain was often seen stealing pic-a-nik baskets. True story.

This is the ladies’ version of this t-shirt (there’s a man’s version too) but there’s just one of each left in stock at the time of writing so chop, chop. It’ll cost you £16.72 or $26.60 depending on wherever you are and it’s only available in this rather fine blue. Right, I have to go knit red jumpers and yellow scarfs for Soundgarden or they’ll eat me alive, the rascals.

 

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Iconic T-Shirts – Motorhead T-Shirt

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

heavy metal t-shirt

“If you think you are too old to rock ‘n roll, then you are.” – Lemmy

 

The Motorhead T-shirt has grown into an iconic piece of clothing, and it has come to symbolise the violent, brash and vicious nature of Heavy Metal. Which is kind of odd because Lemmy always seems like such a nice chap.

Long ago, in an age where musicians didn’t really have to care about looks as long as they could play their instruments, this guy called Lemmy turned up in the psychedelic rock band, Hawkwind. The other guys in Hawkwind were all heavily into taking acid – a drug that slows you down, mellows you out and makes you see pink flowers growing out of your fingertips. Lemmy, despite having been Jimi Hendrix’s acid supplier, was more into speed – a drug that makes your blood and mind race like Bolt and Blake in the 100 metres final. Lemmy didn’t last long in Hawkwind, and soon departed to form Motorhead. The name was a reference to the nickname given to anyone who took speed habitually, and thirty odd (very odd) years later, Motorhead are still going and they are still the loudest band on the planet. Trust me, I went to see them last year at the Brixton Academy and I couldn’t hear anything for a couple of days after.

But the band needed a symbol. Hawkwind had been all about tie-dye and beads, but that wasn’t exactly a heavy metal image. Luckily, Joe Petagno was on hand to create the fanged, horned, tusked face that has seen hundreds of variations since its beginnings in 1977 when it appeared on the band’s self-titled debut album. It’s known as War-Pig (or Snaggletooth) and has featured on nearly all of Motorhead’s album covers since its creation. It gave the band a look. A mean look. And, due to its now iconic status, it will survive, like Lemmy himself, for a long time and against all odds.

This particular version comes from the official Motorhead store where it costs $19.99, comes only in black, and in sizes L-XXXL (most Moterhead fans tend to be a little larger). It is Metal personified, instantly recognisable, and as wonderfully ugly as it was in 1977.

Iconic T-Shirts – The Ramones T-Shirt

August 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

ramones logo t-shirt

Sheena is a punk rocker. And she wears this t-shirt.

The Ramones T-Shirt is now something that we see every day, and many variations have been created on the theme. But the fact that a t-shirt created by one of the most unlikely bands in history could become as mainstream as it has today, makes this an Iconic T-Shirt.

If you were hanging out in CBGB’s, a grimy little club in Queens, New York in the mid-late 1970s, you’d have seen a few bands and musicians play there that are today household names. There was Blondie, Patti Smith and, later on, The Police. Then there were these guys. They couldn’t play their instruments, they looked like they were from the local gang, the singer’s voice was as ridiculous as it was unusual, and they were playing something that would eventually be called punk rock. Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone, sporting bad hair, leather jackets and ripped jeans became one of the most important (and undervalued) bands of the 20th century. When they played the Roundhouse in London in ’76, members of the Sex Pistols, the Clash and others were in the crowd. These guys made punk rock.

The band’s logo which features on this t-shirt was designed by Arturo Vega, an artist from New York who lived with Joey and Dee Dee. He also started printing the t-shirts. It takes the seal of the President of the United States and gives the bald eagle a baseball bat. It’s subversive, striking and instantly recognisable. And it contains the great mantra of the Ramones – Hey ho, let’s go. It’s the perfect symbol, not just for the band, but also for an Iconic T-Shirt that is easily more recognisable to a lot of people today than the band’s music (and as a fan of the band’s music, that’s a little sad, but I get it).

If you want one, you can find them all over the place. If you want to see a selection of designs though, I recommend checking out ramonesworld.com which is still run by Arturo Vega. There’s lots of choice, so have fun.

 

Iconic T-Shirts – Frankie Says Relax T-Shirt

August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

relax t-shirt

Unwind to the sounds of the 1980s

The Frankie Says Relax T-Shirt is as much a part of the 1980s as red suspenders, filofaxes, the films of John Hughes and Thundercats. That’s why this makes the Iconic T-Shirts list.

Long before the ‘chill pill’ and the ‘chillax’, and even before Bart Simpson told us not to have a cow, Frankie told us to relax. Many people won’t know who or what Frankie Goes To Hollywood is (and thankfully, I’m young enough to have only caught the tail end of the 80s) but this t-shirt was a big deal, and you still see it around from time to time. If you are a bit unsure (you whippersnapper) then I’ll give you a brief summary. They were a British dance-pop band that had a hit single in 1983 called Relax. The name sounded innocent enough, but the video and a closer examination of the lyrics pointed towards it being overtly sexual, and in a decade as conservative as the 1980s, the fact that it promoted homosexuality was also met with enough frowns to get it banned by the BBC. They had a couple of other hits, but nothing that garnered the popularity of Relax which became one of the biggest selling records of the year around the world.

The t-shirt is simple – bold, black words on white – but its place in society was more complex. It had obvious appeal to gay men and fans of the band, but others used it simply because the message on the t-shirt suited them – relax. The 80s were a hectic decade full of disillusioned punks and yuppies. In Britain the cold war still raged, there were race riots, war with Argentina, mass unemployment, recession, Margaret Thatcher… if ever the people needed to be reminded to relax once in a while, it was the 1980s. So as much as it was part of gay iconography, it crossed into the mainstream and any t-shirt that can do that deserves its place in the list of iconic tees.

You can find a good retro version on truffleshuffle.co.uk where it costs £20.00. The sizes available at the time of writing this post are small, XL and XXL but other sizes are available when in stock. So if you want a blast from the past and a message that we could still use today, this is the Iconic T-Shirt for you.

AC/DC T-Shirt – Shaking Iranian nuclear plants all night long…

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Brian Johnson T-Shirt

It’s Back In Black. And also available in green, red, blue, pink or grey.

 

Today feels like the right day for an AC/DC T-Shirt. This is in part due to the fact that AC/DC are a great band, in part because this is a great looking tee, and also because this week saw the band make the news for the oddest reason.

As a nuclear scientist, you tend to rely on computers quite a lot. Monitoring core temperature, radiation levels, etc. What you don’t expect is for them to come on in the middle of the night and start playing AC/DC’s Thunderstruck at full volume, but apparently that’s what they were doing in Iran. If you click on this link you can read the whole story. Back to the t-shirt and this is a great stencil of the bonkers and barmy geordie that is Brian Johnson, lead singer of one of the most iconic rock bands in the world. It’s a brilliant looking stencil and anyone who sees you wearing it is bound to be Thunderstruck by your excellent taste. Stick on a classic “Acca Dacca” album as you walk down the Highway to Hell and many will see that you are about to rock, and they will salute you for it.

Get your hands on a Brian Johnson T-Shirt by heading over to 8ball.co.uk where this garment will set you back £18.99. It comes in six colours (but seriously – get it in black) and sizes range from small to a staggering 5XL. Ask a girl out while wearing this and you won’t get Shot Down In Flames. Ok, I’ll stop now…

Guitar Beard T-Shirt – This guy looks like me!

July 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hairy T-Shirt

What might he be playing? Hairies Wear Boots? Free Beard? Deep Deep Stubble?

The fellow on this fantastic-looking Guitar Beard T-Shirt really does bear an uncanny resemblance to yours truly. I’ve got the headphones, the guitar (well, bass guitar anyway) and the beard too.
Ok, so there are a few differences. No matter how much I condition it, I can never get my beard to look that flowing, luxurious or impressive. My Headphones are red. Yes, it’s a guitar and I play bass, and I’m not bald. He’s also kind of skinnier looking than fat ol’ me. But apart from all of those differences, it’s a spitting image of me. This beautiful looking tee has been brought to you by the unique and striking talents of British artist DBug whose style stands out as refreshing and fun. He’s found great lines in this illustration and made something that looks great. The man deserves credit and your appreciation. Maybe he’s done something that looks like you…
I found this t-shirt on Spunky.co.uk. Alas, it’s not currently in stock, so you can’t grab one for yourself at the moment but I’m going to be keeping my eyes out for when it comes back (especially if the sale price of £7.50 stays up!!). In the meantime, do take a look at his Fotolog – a very talented artist indeed.

Alternative Jubilee T-Shirt – Spirit of ’77

June 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

sex pistols t-shirt

God save the Queen…

Here is your Alternative Jubilee T-Shirt, brought to you courtesy of 1977 and, of course, the Sex Pistols. But oddly, despite promoting this today, I’m actually a bit of a royalist. Doesn’t make sense does it?

When I say that I’m a royalist, it’s because I consider myself to be a historian. The monarchy provides this amazing link with history – a continuity (except for the bit with Oliver Cromwell) that very few countries have. Think of the history lessons you had at school – wherever you are, I bet you learnt about at least one British King or Queen. And Betty does a pretty good job too, bringing in tourists and opening stuff. What I don’t get is the mindless flag-waving of my fellow subjects. I don’t get why we have to spend so much money on her to celebrate a day 60 years ago that means nothing to most of us. And most people are dumb enough to call it a Union Jack when it’s on land too! So today, I’m going very 1977. My punkiness is coming through. I shall shortly head off to start spitting on people. And I will be wearing this too.

Pick up your own iconically punk Sex Pistols T-Shirt by heading over to electric t-shirts where a bit of rebellion (if you forget about the butter adverts) will set you back a paltry £12.95. There are five sizes from Small to XXL. Now go shave your head, put on your bomber jacket and your DMs and lets have a proper celebration of Britishness.

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