Would You Pay $4,000 For A Rolling Stones T-Shirt? (Pit Stains Thrown In For Free)

Nov 19th, 2007 // 4 Comments

ledzep.jpgHope y’all hung onto your Cinderella and Neneh Cherry T-shirts, because they’re about 20 years from being worth thousands of dollars, at least if an upcoming auction at Christie’s is a good barometer of the amounts people are willing to spend on someone else’s stinky, four decade old rock merch.

Several performers at the Monterey Pop Festival have not survived, but a Yardbirds T-shirt from the event did. Rock journalist Greg Shaw wore the yellow shirt to the famed 1967 concert, and it’s expected to bring up to $4,000 at the Nov. 30 auction.

“The fact that these T-shirts exist in such pristine condition is remarkable because most people didn’t keep these shirts. They were worn out and thrown out,” said Simeon Lipman, a specialist in entertainment memorabilia for Christie’s.

The shirts, while lightweight, come freighted with historical significance. A classic “Rock and Roll Lives” T-shirt was sported by New York Dolls bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane for a shot that appeared on the back cover of the trailblazing band’s second album, 1974′s “Too Much Too Soon.”

Emphasis mine. Alas, that freighted historical significance is why your hair-metal and dance-pop shirts will probably not fetch such bonkers prices in a few decades, as “the shirts for auction are originals from an era before mass merchandising, when the shirts were often available only to the tour crew.” On the other hand, who is to say just how much a gently distressed Debbie Gibson or BulletBoys T-shirt would bring in the auction market of 2027? Best to seal them in mylar and put them in a dry, cool place right now.

Old T-Shirts Mean C-Notes For Rock Fans [AP]
[Photo: AP]

  1. Audif Jackson Winters III

    The other thing is, only Boomers venerate their youth culture enough to create a market like this. Our generational default impulse is to go ironic, and there just isn’t the same kind of instrinsic value assigned to that kind of thing. (We’ll pay $125, maybe, for a pop culture joke, but not 4K)

  2. Nicolars

    I would think the only market for this type of crap is Hard Rock Cafes. Or Jann Wenner.

  3. It Must Be Take a Worm for a Walk Week

    I would NEVER part with my Neneh Cherry shirt. Bomb the Bass, rock my face!

  4. Jfrankparnell

    I want the Bauhaus shirt Peter Cetera wore** in the video for “You’re the Inspiration.” No price too high.

    **Absolutely fucking true

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