The Evolution of Concert Tees

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Source: Photo by Vishnu R Nair from Pexels

Although many people may think that concert tees got their start in the 1970s with bands like the Ramones (“Presidential Seal” tee) and Pink Floyd (“Dark Side of the Moon” tee), this hot item actually started in the 1950s. An Elvis Presley fan club decided to create t-shirts to give their members. The shirts were not worn in public often but “were considered part of the fan club membership pack.” In the 1960s, the Beatles sold graphic tees in the US. Then, in 1968, Winterland Productions was founded by Bill Graham, the first music merchandise company of its kind.

Original vintage 1970s Elvis tee

The quality wasn’t there in the beginning. Band logos faded quickly in the wash. But the excitement rose. By the 1980s, band tees had exploded. Every concert had official vendors outside of the venue. Logos were creative and actually talked about. Time and effort were put into the creation of (and care for) these iconic t-shirts.

These days, it seems like less love is put into concert tees. More focus is on money and mass production than creating a t-shirt that people want to show off to their friends. The shirts now typically have a few words and maybe the artist’s face. There are a few that still grab our attention, though. Next time you’re at a concert – or shopping online or at a thrift store – check out the concert tees. Find the ones that outshine the rest, and maybe bring a vintage feel to their shine.

Ed Sheeran “x” album – 10th anniversary tee
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AJ Jewell

Amber "AJ" Jewell started at in 2016 as a part-time admin assistant, quickly moving to be the 'Duchess of Flow" - making sure that the office is flowing smoothing. AJ is also an award-nominated author, homeschooling parent of three, an avid reader, and a college student.
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