Many years ago I had a Sex Pistols t-shirt. I wish I could tell you that I owned this shirt in 1977 and I made it myself but I was three years old at that time so punk rock was lost on me. I had to wait until 1988 when I was 14 to get a Sex Pistols tee and I got it in the most punk rock way available to me at the time: I bought it at The Sunrise Mall in Massapequa Park, New York. It’s not as cool as Richard Hell scrawling Please Kill Me on a tee (and he may never have actually done that) but it was the best I could do. If it helps my punk cred at all I went with my best friend at the time (who already owned the same shirt) and we totally smoked cigarettes and did not obey traffic signals on the way to the mall.
Anyway, I mention the Sex Pistols shirt because it was the first rock band tee shirt I ever owned, the first of probably 100 I’ve had over the last 20 years. 100 band tee shirts years may sound like a lot but for a middle class white guy into rock and roll I’m probably right around the median range of band related tee shirt ownership. Some guys have none, some guys only have rock tees, between the ages of 17 and 24 I was one of the guys who only had rock tees. In the ten years since stopped feeling the need to constantly advertise my musical tastes I’ve kept a few in rotation at all times but over the years the number has dwindled and as the shirts have worn out I’ve stopped buying new ones to replace them. In my closet there are maybe ten tattered and torn rock tees and The Clash London Calling tee I’m wearing as I type this is literally hanging by a thread. Will they be the end of the rock tee line? Am I officially a grown up now?