Hello all and welcome back to the blog, it was a very good day today until I cooked dinner and proceeded to drop a large pot of rice all over the kitchen floor. It then became a very bad 15 minute spell punctuated by an incomplete meal and a very happy dog, I’m better now however.
I was just on ebay (I don’t know why either) and notice that there is another gathering swell of vintage The Clash t-shirts making their way onto the online auction site. I’m not sure if people are clearing out their attics or realising that they’ll never weigh what they once did ever again but the number of shirts in recent months is getting a bit mad to be honest. Going with the assumption that they are all 100% legitimate I don’t know what makes people pay $200, $300 or even more for a t-shirt that originally cost a tiny fraction of that. If I had the money and the desire I’d love to get some autographed photos or other memorabilia but a t-shirt that was mass produced in the first place seems to only hold real value by holding onto it as the original proud owner for all these years. I could be wrong?
I only recall purchasing a t-shirt at one of The Clash concerts I attended and that was the post Mick Jones Out of Control thing. It was a pretty ugly shirt and I don’t even remembering wearing it with much pride as I was still annoyed about the band getting rid of Jones. I never bought concert shirts regularly as I’d rather save the funds for another concert or a pint of cider, or if everything went well even the luxury of a shared taxi home now and then. Even so I know I acquired pretty early t-shirts for a number of bands between 1981-1986 and don’t have any left now. I did hang onto a bunch of James shirts in part because they were really well made and also in the knowledge that for a time in that bands career it was James shirt sales keeping them afloat such was their inability to sell records, which was a shame as they were brilliant both live and on record.
So I wondered if many of you have very old Clash concert memorabilia that you’ve held onto. I’ve seen some wonderful old ticket stubs and a few flyers but I don’t recall t-shirts becoming really popular until about 1982 when marketing the brand as well as the band seemed to make the record companies sit up and take notice. On a related note was anyone ever manning a merchandise table for The Clash or indeed any other band? At the end of a tour what happened to all those unsold shirts in the days before the internet? Did they all get sent to a mysterious warehouse in Swindon to gradually seep onto ebay 25 years later or did they just get recycled? If there was a holding place for such things someone could well be sitting on a goldmine. Anyway I’ll put together a list of examples on the next post but would love to hear what you held onto.
That’s all for now, there was a popular John Lydon piece this morning on the sister site in case you missed it. More very soon and thanks as always for reading.