Saturday, 12 October 2013

Favourite Shirts

This was the title of Haircut 100's first single.
It is also an apposite title to waffle on about my favourite T-Shirt of days passed.

The Ramones T-Shirt, bought in the heady days of no responsibility, living at home, spare cash (ie 1988), and finally laid to rest in 1993.
(I feel I must qualify ownership of said T-Shirt, in that purchase was a fandom purchase, and not a fashion statement).
A five year life span for a T-Shirt is pretty impressive, even more so when you consider the amount of wear it had.  Towards the end of it's life, it had faded from jet black to a washed out mottled grey with flecks of white.  It was peppered with cigarette burns, food stains and fraying edges.
And yet still I continued to wear it - it almost became an instantly recognisable part of my existence, a calling card.
"I didn't recognise you", people would say, "wheres The Ramones shirt?"
And then one wash too many finally killed it.  It was pulled from the Hotpoint, one arm had fallen off, the neck became detatched from the body and some of the larger burns expanded and coalesced to make a second neck hole.
The garment was given a full viking burial - it was set alight and floated across the fish pond accompanied by  "I Wanna Be Sedated".

In the late 90s (or so), the retro T-Shirt market took off, and the wearing of pre-stressed garments from the 80s became a fashion statement.  In my cynical style, I often wonder if the wearers of such garments actually know who Lemmy is, or can hum the opening bars of Led Zeppelin's 'Rock and Roll".
Although, sometimes my cynicism is left ungrounded:
Whilst visiting a local watering hole, I noticed that the barmaid (I'm guessing early to mid 20s) wearing an OMD Architecture & Morality T-Shirt.  She served the pint and I said: "good band, good album" (to deflect the fact that she might think I was just staring at her chest).
I expected the reply: "Are they? Never heard of them, but the T-Shirt looked nice in the shop".
No - she then proceeded to tell me that Architecture & Morality was, in her opinion, OMDs best album. A nerdy conversation about early 80s synth bands ensued, and I got a free pint into the bargain.

And now, the retail market for the retro band T-Shirt has infiltrated the high street.
Tesco has provided my wardrobe with a couple of Beatles T-Shirts (for information: Yellow Submarine & Abbey Road), and a replacement Ramones T-Shirt has been procured from ... Primark (the range also includes Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie (Aladdin Sane), Rolling Stones Lips, Pete Docherty and Samantha Fox).
So 20 years after the original met a firey/watery end, I now have a replacement.
Now I'm on the look out for a Monster of Rock 1988 T-Shirt.

1 comment:

  1. I've got an occasional feature on favorite shirts here ...